Revisiting the repeatability of team success

Last summer, I published an article that examined the repeatability of success in Major League Soccer’s regular season. Using data from recent seasons, I concluded that “[a]n MLS team’s performance one year has very little relationship to its performance the following year.” With the 2016 season starting tomorrow, it seems appropriate to build upon that… Continue reading Revisiting the repeatability of team success

Columbus – Dallas, and the question of lineup stability

  Columbus Crew SC will play host to FC Dallas this weekend in a game that will be nationally televised on Fox Sports 1. While the game is still several days away, and will feature two clubs in third place in their conferences and fighting for playoff seeding, much of the conversation ahead of the game has instead… Continue reading Columbus – Dallas, and the question of lineup stability

Examining whether teams in MLS must spend big to succeed

There is a narrative about Major League Soccer that describes an emerging financial arms race between its teams. The Designated Player Rule, instituted in 2007 with the arrival of David Beckham, has allowed teams additional flexibility to spend larger sums of money on key players. Every team in the league has taken advantage of this… Continue reading Examining whether teams in MLS must spend big to succeed

League Parity, and Repeatability of Points Per Game

I was inspired the other day by something Steve Fenn (@StatHunting on Twitter) wrote about analytics in soccer: IMO it’d be better if a club’s analytics 1st made sure metric was predictive, or at least repeatable. — Steve Fenn (@StatHunting) July 28, 2015 This question of repeatability is something that resonated with me, so I… Continue reading League Parity, and Repeatability of Points Per Game

Comparing MLS Goalscoring Rates to Recent History

The week of the All-Star Game is upon us. Most teams in Major League Soccer hit the midway point of their season a few weeks back, the Gold Cup just finished, and the CONCACAF Champions League is starting soon. This seems a decent time to step back from the season, take stock of the trends… Continue reading Comparing MLS Goalscoring Rates to Recent History

Lineup Continuity and Points Per Game

  Several years ago, I wrote about the importance of continuity in a team’s lineup over the course of the season. The piece has since been taken down (it will soon be republished on this site), but the thrust of the argument was that the most successful teams in Major League Soccer were able to… Continue reading Lineup Continuity and Points Per Game