The leading talisman for any club will always be a fan favorite and Blas Perez is no exception to that. On top of leading Dallas in scoring for the past two seasons (9 goals in 2012 and 11 goals in 2013), he's also said all the right things to the media, never bad mouthing the organization and always being grateful towards the fans. There is plenty to like about the Panamanian striker and there is a lot of optimism heading into 2014 as this could be the first time the Hoops will have Blas for the entire season (barring injury... knock on wood).
Here's a quick summary of Blas' season in 2013 in terms of his offensive production:
Strikers can be evaluated on more than just their goal production (assists, link up play, chances created, etc.) but it is a simple metric when judging their usefulness as a player. Strikers score goals. More goals equals a higher chance of winning. Winning equals a happier fan base. Happier fan base equals more bags of money for the organization. More money means better players. Better players equals more goals.*
*No actual scientific research was done here.
What's interesting to note about Blas is that of the 11 goals he scored, 82% (9) of them were scored in the second half of the game. But this isn't as simple as Blas simply shooting more, because as the stats tell us, Super Raton took 22 shots in the first half (converting 9% of his scoring chances) and 34 shots in the second half (increasing his SC% to 26%). This kind of second half improvement can be determined by a number of factors, with one of them being that Perez is simply a smart player. His second half production can be attested partly to his ability to make adjustments to the opposing defense and also goal keeper tendencies.
His shot selection and placement is also one of the better ones in the league. Here is a quick comparison to another striker who finished with 11 goals:
Blas Perez: 11 goals. 56 shots. 19.6 SC%
Chris Wondolowski: 11 goals. 101 shots. 10.9 SC%.
With Wondolowski, you get volume and chances created. The man practically shot the ball almost twice as much as Blas, but resulted in the same amount of goals. Even when comparing Blas against the 10 players who scored more goals than him last year, only Diego Fagundez (23.6%), Robbie Keane (24.6%), Alvaro Saborio (22.6%) and Tim Cahill (20%) scored more goals per shot attempt, while out doing last year's Golden Boot winner Camillo (17.9%) and last year's MVP Mike Magee (18.4%). In other words, when Blas shoots, there's a high chance it's going to result in a goal.
Other attacking players on the team should also note than when Blas shoots, there's a high chance of it being on target and they should actively seek to pounce on any rebounds. Of the 56 shots Perez attempted, only 8 were blocked and only 18 missed the target. Resulting in 54% of his shots will either find the back of the net, test the keeper or bounce off the post.
All this is to confirm what we already knew that Blas Perez is a very efficient attacker. And as long as he stays healthy, there's plenty of reason to get excited and prepare ourselves for a beer shower when Blas finds the space to shoot.