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Player Profiles, #22: Robbie Findley struggles to return to form after long-term injury

Robbie Findley recovered from a major injury, but his form never picked back up through 2014. He's ranked 22nd in our player rankings, and we're profiling him today.

Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

If you say the name Robbie Findley to any RSL fan you are bound to get an emotional response. Everyone seems to have a strong opinion on Findley. To accurately take a look at Findley's 2014 season, you need to set that emotion aside and look at all the facts.

The biggest factor to Findley's 2014 season actually occurred in the 2013 MLS Cup Final. In that match he suffered a serious leg injury that required surgery in the offseason. Findley missed training camp and the first 11 matches of the season. It was still another two months until he started seeing regular minutes in the RSL lineup.

When he did return he did not seem like the player RSL fans were used to seeing. He didn't seem to attack players like he had in the past. And his stats suffered because of it. In 2013 Findley played 1260 minutes and scored 6 goals. This past season he played 764 minutes and only scored one time. In 2013 a respectable 16% of Findley's shots hit the back of the net. This past season that number dropped to only 4%.

Not only did Findley struggle while he was playing this season, the whole team struggled. When Findley was not on the field, RSL scored at a rate of a goal every 49 minutes. When he did play, the team only scored at a rate of a goal every 95 minutes. That scoring rate was the worst among all players on the team. The team was a -1 in goal differential when he was on the field compared to a +16 when he was not on the field.

One area that he did contribute was on the defensive side of the ball. When he played, RSL averaged giving up a goal every 84 minutes. When he was not on the field, the team gave up a goal every 76 minutes. Part of this difference has to be attributed to Findley's willingness to track back on defense.

It was clear to see that Findley's injury caused him to struggle to get into the form many RSL fans were accustomed to seeing. The team has decided not to pick up the option on his contract for the upcoming season. Part of that was probably due to Forward being RSL's deepest position. It probably also didn't help that according to the Players Union he made $215,000 last season.

Editor's note: This is part of a series of player profiles recapping the 2014 season and previewing the 2015 season. Player ratings were compiled via a vote by RSL Soapbox writers. Statistics are via