Matt Reis got his 100th victory in the New England Revolution’s win Wednesday night, earning a shout-out from Nick Rimando and a jersey from his club. On the other coast, Dwayne De Rosario moved within 5 goals of 100 for his career.
That got me thinking: What’s a more difficult feat to accomplish?
First, the numbers:
- The scorer’s club: Jeff Cunningham (134 goals; 0.53 goals/90 minutes), Jaime Moreno (133; 0.46), Landon Donovan (117; 0.47), Ante Razov (114; 0.50), Jason Kreis (108; 0.39), and Taylor Twellman (101; 0.60). (DeRo comes in at 0.39 goals/90 minutes.)
- The goalkeeper’s club: Kevin Hartman (174 wins in 387 games started), Zach Thornton (131 in 276), Nick Rimando (127 in 298), Joe Cannon (111 in 313), Scott Garlick (107 in 234), and Matt Reis (100 in 257).
Judging by those figures, it would seem that scoring 100 goals is a bit easier. On average, the strikers tally around once every 180 minutes, while the goalkeepers on the list win a little more than 40% of the time. So, all things being equal, the goalkeepers have an advantage.
Of course, all things are not equal. Netminders are more durable and have longer careers than forwards. Furthermore, players like Bill Hamid, Sean Johnson, and Ryan Meara are earning starting roles at extremely young ages, which gives them plenty of time to bank victories. (Flipside: A transfer to Europe, but that exists for star goalscorers as well, probably more so.)
Add it all up and you have to think it’s slightly easier for goalkeepers to reach 100 wins than for a field player to net 100 goals.
The real question, perhaps, is not which feat is more difficult, but how rare will it become? After De Rosario and Jon Busch — who needs 19 more victories — it’s a long way down on either side.