FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Diego Fagundez has yet to turn up on the scoresheet for the New England Revolution this season, but his game is evolving anyway.
The team’s leading scorer from a year ago is showing a penchant for dropping deeper into the defensive third over the last four games, a stretch in the which the club has, not coincidentally, gone 3-0-1.
Is it too early in the season to hit the panic button?
Chicago, Chivas USA, New York, Philadelphia, and Portland have all failed to reach eight points by their seventh game of the 2014 season, while Houston and San Jose are also in danger of missing that mark (the Dynamo have played six matches and the Earthquakes five). Check out the latest MLS standings here.
Let's start with a thought experiment. Suppose for a moment that you were given an additional MLS Fantasy team to manage alongside your current one. An expansion club, so to speak. Would you manage your B team the same way you would manage your first team?
Back in June 2012, Central Winger introduced the concept of the "secondary pass," one of the many current methods of augmenting raw passing data. It's a part of the general ethos of this series to challenge raw numbers and rates and ask if we're accounting for an adequate amount of context to provide meaningful – if not yet actionable – results.
Our explorations into secondary passing is an exercise in just that.
Since 2011, there have been 1,151 shots taken in MLS directly from free kicks. Of them, 61 of these shots resulted directly in goals – giving MLS an overall free kick conversion rate of 5.3 percent.
Of the free-kick goalscorers, David Beckham leads all players since 2011 with an impressive tally of five goals in 44 shots – nearly doubling the league's overall conversion rate over the same period. Impressive, no doubt.