clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Angel City FC 2022 Player Postmortem: Cari Roccaro

Veteran has career year with Angels.

Copa Angelina 2022 - Mexico v Angel City FC Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

2022 was in many ways a career year for Cari Roccaro.

The midfielder joined Angel City FC after being traded from the North Carolina Courage, where she spent four seasons, winning back-to-back Shield-league doubles in 2018-19. For most of her prior NWSL tenure, Roccaro had been a rotation or depth option, but with a change of scenery, she grabbed the opportunity in Los Angeles with both hands.

Here are Roccaro’s competitive stats with Angel City in 2022:

Cari Roccaro Angel City FC 2022 Statistics

2022 Games Played Games Started Minutes Goals Assists Shots SOG Yellow Cards Red Cards
2022 Games Played Games Started Minutes Goals Assists Shots SOG Yellow Cards Red Cards
Challenge Cup 6 6 503 0 0 0 0 2 0
Regular Season 21 20 1,646 4 1 17 9 2 0
Total 27 26 2,149 4 1 17 9 4 0

A defensive midfielder, Roccaro was effectively in a double-pivot with Dani Weatherholt in the ACFC midfield, and so it was surprising to see Roccaro’s scoring explosion. After not scoring in NWSL at all dating back to 2016, she hit a scoring run for the ages, scoring four goals in five games from July 30-Aug. 28.

That was a surprise, but it was nice to see, for a team casting about looking for goals from literally anywhere, and up stepped Roccaro. Her goals were not bangers, but every team needs a player or two who cleans up rebounds and pokes home free balls from close range.

When it comes to Roccaro’s overall picture, the scouting report graph shows her effectiveness was mixed. Her pass completion rate is good, and her tackles are also good for midfielders, but most of her passes are sideways and backwards, and her defensive metrics overall put her in the “above average” tier.

I think this shows she is a good pro at NWSL level, and I think Angel City appreciate her experience, grit and veteran savvy. Those intangibles don’t really show up on the scouting report graph, obviously.

But I’m not sold on Roccaro and Weatherholt in the volume and roles they were in, either. I think they worked hard and both players brought good contributions, but statistically the midfield was a season-long issue for the team. Roccaro and Weatherholt were in the bottom four among Angel City players in terms of American Soccer Analysis’ Goals Added statistic, which is not a great sign for two automatic starters. I don’t think Roccaro needs to be replaced, but I think running it back exactly like last year is not the way to go, if Angel City really want to reach the playoffs in 2023.

Roccaro is under contract for 2023, and I expect she’ll play a key role for Freya Coombe once again. Given the major minutes she played and the surprise attacking output, it totally makes sense, too. It really was a career year for Roccaro in 2022. But I do hope that some tweaks are made to the lineup, formation and/or tactics in midfield, and hopefully that can help Roccaro, who’s only 28, to push on and be even better next season. If that happens, her contributions will likely be a key platform for the rest of the team in a successful campaign.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.