While Toronto and Seattle are preparing to face off in MLS Cup, the rest of the teams in Major League Soccer are turning their attention towards next season. Most immediately, teams are making decisions about which players should return and which should be let go.
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
When Columbus and Portland face off this evening in MLS Cup, it will be a clash between two of the better passing teams in the league. Both feature midfields heavy on ball control, with international-caliber players pulling the strings supported by a back line that likes to get forward. In preparation for this game, I… Continue reading Exploring the passing tendencies of Columbus and Portland ahead of MLS Cup
This year’s American soccer season isn’t scheduled to end for a few weeks yet*, but my preparations for the off season have already started. Usually, the months between MLS Cup and the beginning of training camp are spent doing player scouting and filling in gaps in my data set. This year, however, I have something… Continue reading How I plan to spend the offseason
With the final weekend of the season coming up – dramatically branded Decision Day by the league office – this seems an appropriate time to update the Playing Time Evolution plots that I first published about a month ago.
The US Open Cup Final will be played tonight in Philadelphia. The game, between the hosting Union and Sporting Kansas City, will hopefully be an exciting finale to the 102nd edition of the tournament. This year’s event was the biggest in recent history, with 91 teams entering – including every American team from the three professional… Continue reading Taking it seriously: MLS and the US Open Cup
In my last post, I introduced a visualization that illustrates how playing time evolves as a season progresses. The feedback for that post was compelling enough that I decided to produce similar plots for every team in Major League Soccer.
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
The third home game of the Columbus Crew’s 2014 season is coming up this weekend. The team will play DC United – one of the team’s rivals in the early days of MLS, but a rivalry that has significantly faded in recent years.