Cameron Iwasa hit a career landmark in 2020 while playing for Sacramento Republic FC, and the forward and hometown guy was a key player last season. But with three goals and two assists scored in 15 games, Iwasa’s pure production was rather disappointing, especially with the team needing goals.
But is it possible he was unlucky more than in a terminal decline? Time will tell, but it turns out Iwasa was one of the best forwards in the USL Championship last year in terms of xG+xA.
In fact, as this data visualization shows, Iwasa was 7th in the league last year in his expected goals and assists numbers, at 0.76 per 96 minutes.
Made a simple viz showing some of the best players in the 2020 USL Championship season— Zach (@60MinSub) March 18, 2021
Really exciting to have this data available now thanks to @AnalysisEvolved https://t.co/dQ45tAIlPC pic.twitter.com/t0RpqgS1Zw
Given the expected numbers, Iwasa was in line to get a combined 11 goals and assists last year, instead of the five he ended up with, so he was getting into scoring positions.
Is it possible for a player to have a yearlong slump? Absolutely. Does that mean it’s over and he’ll be back to the production we’ve come to expect for the Sac Republic man? Again, expected goals and assists aren’t the same thing as guaranteed goals and assists.
But I think this data point can tell you that Iwasa’s struggles last season may have been a slump rather than an indication he’s over the hill. And hopefully that is a good omen for the coming 2021 Sac Republic season.
What do you think? Leave a comment below.