Hidden Talents - A look at players with multiple Sorare card positions

Posted 13th July 2021

Hidden Talents - A look at players with multiple Sorare card positions

As an owner of Christian Casseres I recently noticed that the score he was given in my SO5 team was different to that of the listed score on his player profile, this set me off on an investigation to understand what was causing the difference in points.

As a result of this research I’ve learned that in the event of a player having two cards available in the game, they will post different scores depending on the minted card position. 

Things start to get interesting when you consider that on Sorare the player’s profile will only show the score of the currently active player position. Things get even more complicated on Sorare Data where the SO5 scores graph displays the score of the position that was active during the corresponding gameweek. For Casseres who has been a midfielder, then a forward before reverting to a midfielder again, the SO5 history on SD shows a combination of his score as a midfielder and as a forward. 

It’s important to note that where the player lines up on the pitch has no bearing to this, it’s about the score given to the player based on the position that is printed on the card. This means that there are cards in the game that could be scoring more or less than the figure shown in Sorare, so let’s take a deeper look at hidden talents!

There are several players in the game with multiple card positions, however, for the purposes of this analysis I’ve selected 5 from each group with a selection of different types of players who collect AA points in different ways.

Players who have both a defender and a midfielder card in game 

  • Liberato Cacace (LB/LWB)
  • Alexis Saelemakers (RM/RW) 
  • Richie Laryea (RB/RWB)
  • Maciej Rybus (LB)
  • Bill Tuiloma (CB)

Players who have both a midfielder and a forward in game

  • Michael Barrios (CF) 
  • Tajon Buchannan (RM/RW) 
  • Nani (LW) 
  • Christian Casseres Jr (CM)
  • Yuya Kubo (CM)

Lets begin…

Players who have both a defender and a midfielder card in game 

Player: Liberato Cacace

Club: STVV

Playing Position: LB/LWB

Current Position In Sorare: Defender

Cacace has been playing as a LB/LWB in a team battling against relegation, his AA scores are a real mixed bag, however, his midfielder card has tended to outperform the defender card. The main catalyst in this example is possession lost, defenders score -1 for every time possession is lost whereas for midfielders it is only -0.5. This particular difference heavily impacts players with defender cards who are playing in more advanced positions such as WB and delivering crosses into the box.


Player: Richie Laryea

Club: Toronto

Playing Position: RB/RWB

Current Position In Sorare: Defender

Similar to Cacace, Laryea is another player in a more advanced position playing in one of the weakest teams in the league. Like Cacace, Layrea’s midfielder card tends to outperform his Defender card, however, there is one notable exception vs. Orlando. The main reason for this difference was that Layrea won the majority of his duels. A lost duel sees a Defender losing 2 points, however, winning a duel only wins them 1.5 points. As a general rule of thumb a Layrea would need to win at least 65% of his duels for his Defender card to outscore the Midfielder card.  


Player: Alexis Saelemaekers

Club: Milan 

Playing Position: RM/RW

Current Position In Sorare: Midfielder

I chose Saelemaekers as the next example as he also has a defender and midfielder card within the game but is playing in a more advanced position on the right side of midfield. The important difference here is that Saelmaekers is playing in a much stronger team. In this example his defender card outscores his midfield card in 4 out of the 5 examples, the notable exception was in the game vs Sassuolo where Milan didn’t keep a clean sheet. Saelemaekers does not score many points for ‘won contest’ which suggests that rather than attempt to beat a player by dribbling he operates as a wide creator who primarily opts for a pass. This is important as a player who attempts to dribble more frequently is likely to be penalized by possession lost under the current scoring matrix.


Player: Maciej Rybus

Club: Lokomotiv Moscow

Playing Position: LB

Current Position In Sorare: Defender

Rybus is another who plays within a possession dominant team however he has a notably different playing position to Saelemaekers, playing a much more defensive orientated role. He does however contribute from an attacking sense but in a very different way to Layrea and Cacace. Rybus tends to operate as a deep lying creator and scores points in a similar way to Kieran Tripper, playing long balls from deep to create opportunities rather than offering an overlapping threat. Despite being a different type of fullback, Rybus is penalized in the same way by the current scoring matrix with the negative points for possession lost heavily impacting his overall score.


Player: Bill Tuiloma

Club: Portland Timbers

Playing Position: CB

Current Position In Sorare: Midfielder

To provide a comparison I’ve also analysed Bill Tuiloma, who plays as a CB for Portland Timbers, despite playing a different position he is again penalized by the possession lost metric when scored as a defender. In the 5 games analysed Portland failed to keep a clean sheet and there was only one game where Tuiloma had < 10 in the possession lost box. This highlights how important this metric is for defenders and in this example has not been counteracted by the points scored for clean sheets. 


Defensive Player Summary 

Based on the results of the players analysed I’ve drawn the conclusion that in the case of players who have both a defender and midfielder card, more often than not, a players midfielder card will outperform the defender card because of the greater points deduction that defenders receive for ‘Duel Lost’ and ‘Possession Lost’. 

The only exception to this is for players in a possession dominant team that frequently keeps clean sheets.  

Players who have both a midfielder and a forward in game

Player: Michael Barrios

Club: Colorado Rapids

Playing Position: CF

Current Position In Sorare: Forward

Looking at Michael Barrios score comparison the possession lost stat is again a dominant influence on the overall score. Forwards only lose 0.1 point for every possession loss, compared to 0.5 for midfielders. For this reason his Forward card consistently outscores his Midfielder card.


Player: Tajon Buchanan

Club: New England Revolution

Playing Position: RW

Current Position In Sorare: Forward

As a basis for comparison I’ve also looked at a completely different type of player in Tajon Buchanan, playing as a RW in a 4-2-3-1 formation Tajon is far more involved in the build up play than Barrios who tends to act as a target man for Colorado. Despite the contrast in playing styles we again see ‘Possession Lost’ as the dominant scoring differential with Tajon’s Forward card outperforming his Midfield card.


Player: Nani

Club: Orlando City

Playing Position: LW

Current Position In Sorare: Midfielder

Nani is the first example of a player who scores more points as a Forward but the listed score in Sorare is for the midfielder version of his card. His Forward card consistently outperforms his Midfielder card yet it’s the midfield score that’s shown in game and is possibly impacting his value. 

His L5 as a forward is 69.2 which ranks him as the top MLS forward but he’s not showing in the leaderboard on SorareData as his active position in the game is listed as Midfielder. 


Player: Cristian Cásseres

Club: NYRB

Playing Position: CM

Current Position In Sorare: Midfielder

The one area where Midfield cards outscore Forward cards is in the case of players who make tackles and interceptions, Forwards receive no points for these in-game actions so it’s the one area that offers balance to the ‘Possession Lost’ penalty. Cristian Cásseres, who averages 6 tackles and interceptions per game for NYRB was the perfect card to test my theory that an all action midfielder may be the exception to the forward being better than the midfielder card theme that developed with Barrios and Buchannan. 

Casseres L5 includes games for Venezuela as well as NYRB and highlights the difference in his role internationally vs. with NYRB. With NYRB he plays more centrally and as a result collects more tackles and interceptions which influence his AA as shown against Orlando. 

For this player who averages a significant amount of recoveries per game when playing for his club side we can expect the midfielder card to outscore the forward card on a regular basis.


Player: Yuya Kubo

Club: FC Cincinnati 

Playing Position: CM

Current Position In Sorare: Forward

Last but not least, our hidden gem, Yuya Kubo. The curious case of Kubo starts with him beginning the season as a LW in a 4-2-3-1 formation. Jaap Stam has made the decision to convert Kubo, who has played as an attacking midfielder/winger for most of his career, into a deep lying playmaker in a double pivot. His 2020 cards were minted as a midfielder, but his 2021 cards have been minted as a forward. As a result the scores of his Forward card are shown in Sorare. His L5 as a forward is a measly 40, however as a Midfielder it’s 55, ranking him 28th of all MLS midfielders in the game.


Offensive Player Summary 

When players have both a Midfield and Forward card in game, the role that the player plays has a huge effect on which of the cards will be more effective in SO5. The general rule is that wingers and strikers will perform better as a Forward in Sorare. However, should your player occupy a deeper, more centralized position that enables them to collect AA score for tackles and interceptions then the more effective card is likely to be the Midfielder version. 

Conclusion

It’s incredibly important to consider the style of play for a particular player should they have two different positions available in game as there are a couple of key aspects of the scoring matrix that will hurt/benefit particular types of players. 

As a rule of thumb

Possession Lost/Duels Lost 

Wingers and attacking Full Backs/Wing Backs are more likely to lose duels and possession in a match as they are usually encouraged to attempt to create attacking opportunities with progressive dribbles or crosses that often end up in a turnover. The scoring matrix heavily penalizes defenders for this (-1) and midfielders (-0.5), forwards (-0.1) to a lesser extent. If you have a player that has two cards in this scenario the card with the lower negative score for possession lost is likely to be the better choice. 

Unless 

Recoveries (Tackles and Interceptions)  

The scoring matrix doesn’t currently give any points to forwards for tackles and interceptions. These are high scoring actions for defenders and midfielders so if you have a player who wins the ball frequently such as Casseres/Kubo then they’re likely to overcome the additional negative points deduction that a midfielder card gets vs. a Forward. More often than not, these players play centrally in a deeper position. 

The one thing for sure is that it adds an extra dimension to player scouting and affords opportunities for attentive managers to pick up players with hidden scoring potential.


 

This guest article was provided by ProfessorTekkers

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