Mandatory Credit: Gary Rohman/Sporting KC-USA TODAY Sports

Sporting Kansas City Dilemma: Dom Dwyer or Claudio Bieler


Sporting Kansas City has a dilemma on their hands – do you give a young up and coming Dom Dwyer starts or do you give your proven playmaker DP (designated player) Claudio Bieler the starts.

Both players may be worthy of the starting spot but the decision will have to be made based on whose skill set you value more. They may play the same position but Bieler and Dwyer are very different players.

So far this season Sporting has been alternating the starts but with a crowded schedule to begin the year the choice has been based on fatigue rather than skill and potential but one or the other will have to step up and be the go to guy.

Claudio Bieler

We will start with the breakdown of a known commodity, 30 year old Argentine international, Sporting’s designated player Claudio Bieler. Bieler joined Sporting in December of 2012 when they paid an undisclosed transfer fee to LDU Quito for the rights to Bieler.

Bieler has made appearances in 31 Major League Soccer games with Sporting, 26 of which were starts. Bieler has scored 10 goals and added 4 assists in his 31 appearances which means he contributed or scored a goal in roughly 45% of his appearances.

If you look at minutes played, Bieler has played for 2219 minutes which means he has scored a goal or assisted a goal every 158 minutes. Bieler’s form of late is a bit of a concern as he has only had 1 shot in 3 games played so far this season.

Bieler specializes in hold up play and is the most clinical finisher on the team as seen here.

Bieler clinical finish on Make A Gif

Bieler can strike from anywhere and usually puts it on frame. If there is a knock on Bieler it would be his defense and sometimes he just disappears from a game. In league play last year .94 goals were scored per 90 minutes when Bieler was on the field.

In summary while Bieler may flash and show signs of elite play we have not seen the consistency and effort that we would have liked and that may be why Dwyer is getting an improved role with the team.

Dom Dwyer

Dom Dwyer is a 23 year old English international that joined Sporting in January of 2012 when he was selected 16th overall in the 2012 MLS Superdraft.

Dwyer has made 22 appearances in Major League Soccer games, 11 of which were starts. Dwyer has scored 4 goals and added 2 assists in his 22 appearances which means he contributed or scored a goal in roughly 27 percent of his appearances.

Since Dwyer has less starts I figured a more fair comparison would be if you look at minutes played so Dwyer has played for 1018 minutes in league play. That means he has contributed or scored a goal roughly every 169 minutes. That is almost 1 goal or assist every 2 games.

Dwyer does seem to be in good form early this 2014 season which is best shown with this MLS goal of the week to win the game for Sporting over the Colorado Rapids.

Dwyer GOTW on Make A Gif

Dom Dwyer specializes in his high intensity “Bulldog” style of play. Defensively Dwyer has been the better player. In league play last year .53 goals were scored every 90 minutes that Dwyer was on the field.

The best comparison of the differences in what Bieler offers compared to what Dwyer offers is best summed up in this play.

Dwyer run on Make A Gif

Dwyer makes that run but couldn’t finish it. Bieler would have finished it but likely never makes that run.

So to put the stats side by side:

Offensively

Claudio Bieler – Goal or assist every 158 minutes.

Dom Dwyer – Goal or assist every 169 minutes.

Defensively

Claudio Bieler – .94 goals scored per 90 minutes.

Dom Dwyer – .53 goals scored per 90 minutes.

Overall it appears Dwyer has the slight edge on Bieler and he also benefits with being young and seems to be improving with every start. You can see why Sporting has elected to alternate between the two so far this season.

Do you go with the veteran that can strike at any moment or do you go with the young gun who charges down everything and plays with high intensity?

Sporting Kansas City is on a much need bye week this week and will return to action April 19th at 7:30 PM against the Montreal Impact at Sporting Park in Kansas City. Sporting sits in 3rd in the eastern conference standings behind Toronto FC and the Columbus Crew.

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Tags: Claudio Bieler Dom Dwyer Sporting Kansas City