Into the Numbers: Chris Mueller
There have been plenty of superlative breakout performances on Oscar Pareja's Orlando City. But none have quite jumped off the page quite like Chris Mueller's.
"Cash" was already a key player for the Lions over his first two seasons, notching 8 G/11 A over 61 appearances. The 6th overall pick in the 2018 MLS SuperDraft showed flashes of potential, but his role tended to fluctuate between starter and super-sub, and coaching changes and general instability surrounding the team put a lid on what he could achieve.
Not so in 2020. Mueller quickly earned the trust of Pareja and his coaching staff, scoring four goals in his first four games between the regular season start and the bubble. Mueller broke out in a huge way against NYCFC in the second bubble game, scoring twice in the first ten minutes to announce Orlando City's arrival among MLS' contending pack.
The hype machine instantly went DEFCON 1, with U.S. Men's National Team talk bubbling over after Mueller's incredible start in the bubble. But would Cash be able to keep up his hot form when the regular season restarted?
Yes, and then some. Mueller kept up the scoring, but also added plenty of assists to his tally as well. Across 17 appearances and 13 starts in the restarted regular season, Mueller racked up 6 G/7 A, chipping in a goal contribution in 10 of his appearances. Not only are Mueller's raw totals of 10 G/7 A extremely impressive, even for a full 34-game season much less a reduced 23-game slate, but his rate stats were astonishing:
Final MLS G+A/90 (no PKs, 1000+ min)
1) BWP - 1.17
2) Mueller - 1.04
3) Ruidiaz - 0.95
4) Morris - 0.94
5) Quintero - 0.91
6) Rossi - 0.90
t7) Pulido*, Bassett* - 0.90
9) Dike - 0.88
10) Y. Chara - 0.88
Morris & Mueller are the only two to stay top 10 the whole season.
- Tutul Rahman (@tutulismyname) November 9, 2020 Mueller's 1.04 goals and assists per 90 minutes is a single-season club record, shattering Kaka's previous mark of 0.87 from 2016 (Nani also hit 0.87 last year, though rounding puts him slightly behind the Brazilian). Mueller had 19 goal contributions total in his first two seasons across 3,426 minutes, a rate of 0.50 G+A/90; he more than doubled his productivity in 2020.
Even with fewer games to do it in, Cash also became the sixth player in club history to reach double digit goals in a season, after Cyle Larin, Kevin Molino, Dom Dwyer, Nani, and Tesho Akindele. Mueller reached the mark in the second-fewest amount of games, behind Larin in 2015.
The breakout for Chris Mueller in 2020 was very, very real. And while the USMNT is certainly beckoning sooner than later, Orlando City will be hoping it continues into the 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs first.
• Discuss this story on the Major League Soccer message board...
Major League Soccer Stories from November 19, 2020
- What to Watch for as Nashville SC Hosts Inter Miami CF in Audi MLS Cup Playoffs - Nashville SC
- Rapids Look to Carry Momentum from Winning Streak into Audi 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs - Colorado Rapids
- Minnesota United FC vs Colorado Rapids: Keys to the Match: November 22, 2020 - Colorado Rapids
- Major League Soccer Launches Enhanced Data Broadcast for Audi 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs - MLS
- Columbus Crew SC Provides Update on Audi MLS Cup Playoffs Home Match on Saturday at MAPFRE Stadium - Columbus Crew SC
- Rapids Forward Diego Rubio Available for Selection After Chile Call-Up - Colorado Rapids
- Earthquakes Announce Extended Partnership with PG&E and the PG&E Corporation Foundation - San Jose Earthquakes
- Orlando City, Pride to Host Orlando City Foundation Annual Turkey Giveaway Presented by Publix on Monday - Orlando City SC
- Rookie Roommates Alistair Johnston and Jack Maher Stay Laughing through a Tumultuous Season - Nashville SC
- Into the Numbers: Chris Mueller - Orlando City SC
- New York City FC Signs Andres Jasson to Homegrown Contract - New York City FC
- Game Preview: New England Revolution vs. Montreal Impact Audi 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs Play-In Round - New England Revolution
- Two Atlanta United Players Undergo Successful Post-Season Surgery - Atlanta United FC
- Sporting KC Announces Winners for 2020 Sporting Club Awards - Sporting Kansas City
- Nesbitt First Woman Named MLS Assistant Referee of the Year - MLS
- Angel City Football Club to Play at Banc of California Stadium in Spring 2022 - Los Angeles FC
- New York City Football Club Continues COVID-19 Relief Efforts with NY Common Pantry During Thanksgiving Week - New York City FC
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.
Other Recent Orlando City SC Stories
- Canada Soccer's Men's National Team to Commence FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Qualifiers in Orlando
- Orlando City SC Acquires Dutch Forward Silvester van der Water
- Exploria Stadium Establishing Itself as Top Soccer Destination
- Two Years with Captain Nani
- Orlando City SC Acquires 2021 International Roster Spot