There have also been many unsuccessful attempts to reconcile his checkered professional record with his more than respectful goal scoring record for Canada. Like junior high students learning algebra (see what I did there? -- as a math educator I couldn't pass this up) those trotting out this argument keep running up against a wall without finding a solution.
The most commonly espoused theory is that Gerba's goals for Canada were scored against less than worthy opponents, with the implication that Gerba simply lacks the quality to score in MLS.
Does this theory hold water? Here's a look at Gerba's games, with the rank of Canada and it's opponent at the time of the match:
|CAN RNK||Opponent||OPP RNK||Goals|
Quickly, of his 15 goals for Canada, 9 were scored against a lower ranked opponent (4 each against Guatemala and St. Vincent, and one against Guadeloupe, who surely would have been ranked lower than Canada if FIFA ranked them at all).
That works out to a strike-rate of 0.82 goals/game against lower ranked sides, and 0.35 against higher ranked ones.
Open and shut case, right?
Wrong. It's only that simple if you conveniently ignore that Canada doesn't score a lot of goals, especially against higher ranked teams. Here's what you can say about Ali scoring against big sides:
- His strike rate of 0.35 goals/game in these matches is still higher than the overall strike rate of any active Canadian player
- He has two goals against Mexico. In World Cup qualifiers. If you can find any player from the last 20 years that can boast more than that, I'd love to hear it.
For a guy with a reputation for scoring big goals, he hasn't scored much against quality opponents. The highest ranked on De Ro's shit list is South Korea, who were ranked 42nd at the time of the Gold Cup in 2002.
In conclusion, Ali Gerba may be fat, lazy, and useless. But don't use such a bullshit argument to back it up.