On the one hand, the “assist” is a great statistical category, a fine example of an American contribution to the world’s game. You’re welcome, world.
On the other hand, like most statistics in sports, this one is flawed in some ways. Here’s a great “for-instance:”
Montreal’s Justin Mapp gets an official assist on the first goal of MLS Round 25, late in the first half at Stade Saputo against visiting D.C. United. And it was good work, indeed, from the man whose career is enjoying a second life after a couple of seasons in decline.
But teammate Felipe Martins (pictured) will not get an assist, and what a shame that is. Watch his wonderful dummy run to the near post, freeing up Marco Di Vaio in behind by drawing not one, but two defenders away and freezing yet another.
Di Vaio finished clinically for his 12th goal this year, which is third best at the time of this posting.
As for Felipe (he goes by Felipe): he’ll need to happy knowing his good work went a long way to a 1-0 halftime lead for the Impact over D.C. United.