Dempsey & Donovan: Head-to-Head

As we noted earlier, the experts’ perceptions of Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan are markedly different than those reached in the Castrol Index.  To try and sort through this discrepancy, let’s take a closer look at both players’ performances during the group stage.  We’re not taking sides in this debate:  we’re glad the U.S. has both of them.

Goals Scored:  Donovan 1; Dempsey 1.  Draw.

Assists: Donovan 1; Dempsey 0.  Donovan.

Fouls Committed: Donovan 5; Dempsey 3. Dempsey.

Fouls Suffered: Donovan 5; Dempsey 4.  Donovan.

Shots (on Target): Donovan 4(2); Dempsey 9(3).  Dempsey.

Solo Runs: Donovan 7; Dempsey 6.  Donovan.

Tackles Suffered (Losing Possession): Donovan 4 (2); Dempsey 3 (1).  Dempsey.

Lost Balls: Donovan 4; Dempsey 4.  Draw.

Deliveries into the Penalty Area: Donovan 5; Dempsey 6.  Dempsey.

Passes: Donovan 125; Dempsey 124.  Donovan.

Pass Completion Percentage: Donovan 65%; Dempsey 66%.  Dempsey.  Note:  To be fair, Donovan’s been more consistent passing than Dempsey.  In the first three matches, Donovan’s passing completion rates were: 56%, 70%, 67%.  Over those same matches, Dempsey’s rates were: 59%, 58%, 75%.

Short Pass Completion:  Donovan 53%; Dempsey 79%.  Dempsey.  (Although Dempsey seems to be the one called out for it, he has had much more success completing the short pass.  Landon’s been erratic with short passing:  25%, 71%, 42% whereas Dempsey’s been consistently solid: 100%, 67%, 79%.)

Crosses (Completed): Donovan 10 (7); Dempsey 3 (0).  Donovan.

Let’s take a closer look at the passing statistics:

Landon Donovan:

Donovan appears much more comfortable passing the ball from the right side around midfield and from the left side in the attacking third.  Donovan has made 34 passes in the middle of the field:  6 on the left, 10 in the middle, and 18 on the right.  He has made 37 passes in the attacking third: 19 from the left, 13 in the middle, and 5 on the right.

Landon’s favorite targets are Bradley (15) and Dempsey (12).  He has made 16 passes to forwards; 15 to the wings; 38 to other midfielders; and 6 to the central backs.

Landon most often receives the ball from Dempsey (14), Spector (11), and Bornstein (10).  He has received the ball 26 times in the attacking third.

Clint Dempsey

Clint appears comfortable at any place on the field.  He has made 41 passes in the middle of the field: 15 on the left, 11 in the middle, and 15 on the right.  He has made 32 passes inside the attacking third: 13 from the left, 5 from the middle, and 14 from the right. 

Dempsey’s favorite targets are Landon Donovan (14) and Charlie Davies (13).  He has made 18 passes to forwards; 18 passes to the wings; 37 to other midfielders; 8 to the backs; and 1 to the keeper.

Clint most often receives the ball from Bornstein (13), Donovan (12), and Bradley (12).  He has received the ball 34 times in the attacking third.


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