In case you were still wondering, 2012 really was the year of the striker in MLS. Especially according to the Castrol Index.
Early this season, I investigated shooting efficiency within the context that not all shots are of the same relative difficulty. However, this analysis suffered from a small sample size, noisy findings and results that had not yet regressed to the mean.
As soccer analytics continues its slow growth from infancy to childhood, it's natural for the movement to look at strides made in other sports and try to emulate them. Bill James’ Pythagorean Expectation is no exception.
Notre émission de la semaine (à écouter ici) est entièrement consacrée à la première année de l’Impact de Montréal en Major League Soccer. Un bilan effectué avec des invités d’horizons très variés qui nous permettent de revenir sur la saison sous de nombreux angles différents :
There is a philosophical concept called “embodied cognition,” and it is the one thing I remember from a class I took during my junior year of college. It was one of those classes taught by an enthusiastic, intelligent young professor who encouraged the students to argue past each other like it was a presidential debate.
In other words, it was a complete nightmare. The four people who’d taken Rhetoric 101 dominated while the rest of us huddled at our desks, trying to avoid eye contact and occasionally dozing off.
About a year ago, I wrote this piece, titled “Will there be life after Landon?”
In chess, there is a concept called transposition which, according to Wikipedia, is "a sequence of moves that results in a position which may also be reached by another, more common sequence of moves.” In other words, it’s the road less traveled.
Looking at possible transpositions is important for chess computers because it reduces the amount of possible board variations that it needs to evaluate. For one particular board state – no matter the moves that came before it – the chess computer's move is always the same.
Intentionally or not, Jurgen Klinsmann threw the dogs – media and fans, in this case – off the real scent on Monday when he announced his 24-man roster for what amount to must-win World Cup qualifiers against Antigua & Barbuda and Guatemala.
Unless you've been living under a rock for the last decade, you understand that soccer is now rarely played in banks of four with two strikers hovering ahead of them. One major tactical byproduct of the modern game has been the introduction of players that "play between the lines."
Naturally, we adapted our previous naming convention to include more "banks" of players. Instead of just the 4-4-2 or the 4-3-3, we began to identify derivatives such as the 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-1-2 as their own formations.