Can we all settle down now on Scottish strikers?
We were warned. And we know the deal with these guys: they wow us with stats fattened up while playing with Rangers or Celtic.
Those are two venerable clubs, to be sure, but the Scottish league is absurdly unbalanced, with Rangers and Celtic and then a bunch of clubs they snack on waiting for their next chance at the Old Firm table.
(Well, that’s the way it was before Ranger’ financial tsunami, but let’s stay on point.)
In Portland, Scottish DP striker Kris Boyd has reached the end of his 2012 struggles, it seems. Perhaps he’ll be back in the Rose City for another go, or perhaps not. Either way, injuries and the controversial coaching change certainly contributed to a career re-boot that just never hit stride for Boyd in at Jeld-Wen Field.
It’s fair to ask the question if too much was expected all along? Was he ever the man to carry the full center forward weight around Jeld-Wen? Even then, will he still be the guy needed going forward to fit into Caleb Porter’s system, which is more about possession and less about moving the ball quickly forward and looking for crosses into a striker’s striker near goal.
And then we get to Kenny Miller at Vancouver, the other high-profile Scottish DP goal-maker currently employed in the Pacific Northwest.
No, nine games is not a big sample from which to draw. Still, Miller has just two goals in that time, so the rate of one goal per 4.5 contests is not satisfactory for a DP striker.
More than that, in a game at home that the team absolutely had to win (over one of the bottom Western Conference clubs), Miller did not start. (Though he did come off the bench to score a goal.) That says a lot. I mean, what is this, D.C. United?
The Scots have given a lot to the game. Some very prominent men with Scottish heritage have contributed mightily to MLS through the years, none more than Houston Dynamo coach Dominic Kinnear.
But can we figure it out on the strikers? Nothing wrong with a striker who has spent time with Rangers or Celtic or anyone else in the northern reaches of Great Britain – but let’s recalibrate their value to something more accurate.