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(RESULTS) 2018 for Beckerman, Rusnak and Lennon through heat maps

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Check below each of the polls to see the results and some reflections

MLS: Western Conference Semifinal-Real Salt Lake at Sporting KC Amy Kontras-USA TODAY Sports

As you may recall last winter I posted a series of heat maps and asked you to identify which Real Salt Lake player each of the heat maps represented. Real Salt Lake have now complete another season, so this time I am going to switch things up a bit. For the first three sets of heat map, I will show you two heat maps and ask you to identify which is the 2017 version and 2018 version. Then I have a single 2018 heat maps that I will ask you to identify the player for.

Kyle Beckerman

First up is the captain, Kyle Beckerman. The years continue to pass, but Beckerman soldiers on and leads on the field. He may have lost a step, but as Head Coach Mike Petke commented on him during the end of year press conference. “We get a printout everyday ... that has every player listed ... that shows their work load and work rate. Kyle is the top of that list every single day.”

Image A
SofaScore.com
Image B
SofaScore.com

Poll

Which is the 2018 heat map for Kyle Beckerman?

This poll is closed

  • 30%
    Image A
    (93 votes)
  • 69%
    Image B
    (212 votes)
305 votes total Vote Now

Beckerman Result Update: 70% of the voting public got this one right. Image A is his 2017 heat map and Image B is his 2018 heat map. It is interesting to note that his position along the top of the box on corner kicks and other set plays on the offensive side changed in 2018 and broadened into three main locations rather than just the single one in 2017. He spent much less time in the offensive half of the field and saw substantial time in left portion of the defensive box. Who might the left center back be in those cases?

Albert Rusnák

During his sophomore season in MLS Albert seemed to become, at times, less of a offensive force and disappeared from play. While the whole issue of his contract extension/revision remains somewhat hazy, he is still a key part of the offensive moving forward.

Image A
SofaScore.com
Image B
SofaScore.com

Poll

Which is the 2018 heat map for Albert Rusnák?

This poll is closed

  • 61%
    Image A
    (178 votes)
  • 38%
    Image B
    (111 votes)
289 votes total Vote Now

Rusnák Result Update: A little more difficult than Kyle Beckerman, but 62% of the voting public still got this one right. Image A is Albert Rusnák’s 2018 heat map and Image B is his 2017 heat map. Notice how much more time he spent in the defensive half in 2018 and the absence of the front and center block of red so predominate in the 2017 heat map. Albert also spent less time on the far right side in 2018 than 2017. Perhaps in conjunction with a new player to the team this year or even the presence of Lennon and his crossing skills on that side?

2017 Tony Beltran / 2018 Brooks Lennon

Here I am going to break my own rules. Veteran Tony Beltran missed the entire 2018 season due to the injuries he received in a match against the Colorado Rapids on October 15 in Commerce City, Colorado. Brooks Lennon, despite his preference for offensive wing positions, spent the entire 2018 season replacing Tony at right fullback. How do the two heat maps compare?

Image A
SofaScore.com
Image B
SofaScore.com

Poll

Which is the 2018 Brooks Lennon heat map?

This poll is closed

  • 54%
    Image A
    (163 votes)
  • 45%
    Image B
    (134 votes)
297 votes total Vote Now

Beltran/Lennon Result Update: This was the most surprising in some ways as 55% of the public identified the wrong heat map. Image A is Tony Beltran’s heat map from 2017 and Image B was Brooks Lennon’s heat map. Might be worth the time to go back over some videos and compare the two players. Tony as indicated by the three red areas on his heat map is much more likely to defend 1-on-1 deep in the right corner while Brooks, perhaps due to the change in position, is much more likely to take up a blocking or defending position at the edge of the box. Brooks, as a former winger also has more that the single concentration on the far offensive wing from which he sends in crosses. Tony had a spot and used it.

Identify This Player

For this heat map all I ask is that you identify the player. It should be quite simple if you stop and give it some thought. I find it interesting that is shows the concentrations it does as he was asked to do a large number of things in the 2018 season.

Image A
SofaScore.com

Poll

This is the 2018 heat map of which RSL player?

This poll is closed

  • 5%
    Corey Baird
    (18 votes)
  • 27%
    Joao Plata
    (85 votes)
  • 56%
    Damir Kreilach
    (176 votes)
  • 9%
    Sebastian Saucedo
    (30 votes)
309 votes total Vote Now

Kreilach Update: With the hits that were given, I was also amused that only 57% of the public vote was correct in this case. This heat map is for Damir Kreilach’s 2018 season. The surprise that I mentioned above was how left sided it was. It was not so apparent to me when watching the matches that he spent so much of the time on the left side. Take another look at Rusnak’s 2018 heat map and think about how left sided we may have been at times on offense. Lennon, Savarino, and maybe Baird would have been the only real constant presences on the right.

If there are some other heat maps you would like to see, let me know in comments below. I do plan another contest for next week. My only hint is to take some time to re-watch the four Sporting KC games from 2018 as it will center around them. Thanks for taking time to vote and play along.