I have not been a fan of Frederic Piquionne. My primary gripes are he slows the game down and turns over the ball a lot. Knowing that the US Open Cup game would bring out the Piq supporters, I prepared to arm myself with stats on why he should not be a starter.
Only, the stats led me to a different conclusion. I might have been wrong. Maybe. Here is my general philosophy on forwards: "I don't care if they don't score a lot of goals, but they had better be helping the team score."
My going-in assumption was that Johnson helps the Timbers score goals at a higher rate than Piq. Here are their individual numbers:
- Shots per 90 minutes: 1.13
- Assists per 90 minutes: .45
- Goals per 90 minutes: .56
- Shots per 90 minutes: 3.34
- Assists per 90 minutes: .28
- Goals per 90 minutes: 0
Timbers with Johnson:
- Shots per 90 minutes: 12.39
- Goals per 90 minutes: 1.69
- Shots per 90 minutes: 14.49
- Goals per 90 minutes: 1.95
It seems pretty clear, more through observation than through statistics, that the two play a different style. Johnson is more of a combiner. Piq is pure finisher. They have played a few minutes together, and they are complementary in style.
I am still not sure that Piq has the legs to put in the work Johnson does. And I assume Porter likes having the differences in style as options he can use depending on the situation.
What I feel more confident in is that Piq is certainly not hurting our attack, and may be helping it. The calls to start him are not outlandish, even if I am not yet convinced he should. For now, I'm taking a wait and see approach.