Audi Player Index Playoffs Analysis

Audi Player Index Playoffs Analysis: The best at each position so far

Chad Marshall - Seattle Sounders - Audi

The Conference Semifinals of the Audi 2016 MLS Cup Playoffs gave us plenty of excellent and multi-faceted team performances. The Colorado Rapids, victors over the LA Galaxy, had substitutes come off the bench and collectively log more than 180 minutes. The Seattle Sounders and Montreal Impact each had three different players notch an assist in their respective wins. And Toronto FC’s potent offense overshadowed the fact that their team defense did not concede a single goal. But before heading into the Conference Championships, lets look back at the top performers from each individual position during this last round of the postseason.


The top striker during the Conference Semifinals was unsurprisingly Sebastian Giovinco. Potentially motivated by an MVP finalist nominee snub, Giovinco took his game to the next level against NYCFC. Almost more impressive than his second leg hat trick, he alone took nearly two-thirds of the team’s total shots over the 180 minutes (with 10 of his 19 shots landing on target). It has been discussed in this series before, but it is worth restating— the amount of pressure that kind of sustained quality in attack puts on opposing defenses is undeniable. He was the deserved leader on the Audi Player Index through this part of the Audi 2016 MLS Cup Playoffs, beating out all other strikers by tallying an average of 1592.


Nicolas Lodeiro was a difference-maker in Seattle’s series against FC Dallas. He found the back of the net three times and tucked away a pivotal away goal. But Lodeiro was instrumental in so many ways beyond his finishing. As the Audi Player Index shows, he was mixing up long and short passes, drawing fouls, winning tackles, delivering crosses, finding space to shoot, etc. Given that arguably Seattle’s most technical player committed to impacting the game in so many ways, it was no surprise Lodeiro landed as the No. 1 midfielder with an average score of 968.


Fellow Sounders player Chad Marshall was the top defender. He averaged 567 points through both legs and was the only defender amidst primarily midfielders and forwards to have a top ten Audi Player Index performance over two legs. Marshall’s ability to connect 11 out of 14 passes in Seattle’s own half in the second leg where FC Dallas were throwing numbers forward, was crucial to relieving pressure for his side.


As mentioned above, Toronto FC’s ability to keep two clean sheets was of course a team effort. But Clint Irwin, making six saves over the two legs, certainly had a say in keeping the ball out of the net. Interestingly, Irwin also played a total of 60 long passes over the two contests per the Audi Player Index. And although he did not complete a large percentage of these, his individual decision to try to connect long passes helped to put the ball towards TFC’s dangerous players upfront while avoiding additional pressure from opposition attackers.  

With the top four positional players coming from only the Western Conference’s Sounders and Eastern Conference’s Toronto FC, is this a sneak-peak at the matchup we may be seeing at MLS Cup?