Opta Spotlight: Statistically speaking, how MLS compares to soccer's biggest leagues

Opta Spotlight: How MLS compares to soccer's biggest leagues

Opta Spotlight: MLS vs the World

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EDITORS' NOTE: Due to a miscalculation of MLS's 2012 stats from an outside contractor, a previous version of this article displayed some errors in the statistics, including goals per game and passes attempted. They have been corrected.

By 2022, Major League Soccer hopes to count itself among the global soccer elite.

Castrol Index Weekly Top 20: LA Galaxy's Mike Magee, Robbie Keane ride to the top

Castrol Index: Galaxy's Magee, Keane ride to the top

Keane and Magee - Castrol

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USA Today

Mike Magee had a monstrous game to kick off the 2013 season, and as a result saw himself atop the year's first edition of the Castrol Index Weekly Top 20.

San Jose Earthquakes asking Shea Salinas to shoulder bigger attacking burden

Quakes asking Salinas to shoulder bigger attacking burden

Armchair Analyst: Why we often miss the point when we talk formations

Analyst: Why we often miss the point when we talk formations

2 days 'til MLS: History says the Montreal Impact's playoff chances are good in Year 2

2 Days 'til MLS: Is there a sophomore slump or bump in MLS?

As the MLS season approaches, marks each passing day with a different statistic, observation or talking point, setting the stage for March 2.

2 – Is there a sophomore slump or bump in MLS?

The Montreal Impact are entering their second season in MLS. It wasn’t a terrible season for the Quebecois side in Year 1. They were in the playoff hunt heading into September, but were undone by a six-game winless streak to close out the season.

Central Winger: Sifting through Opta data to sequence the soccer genome

Delving into the MLS Player Genome Project

This network is a visual representation of something I have jokingly begun calling the MLS Player Genome Project.

Using statistics from the Opta's MLS chalkboards and a heavy amount of number crunching, each player (having played at least the minimum minutes required by the high lord “sample size”) is compared to every other player in MLS. Their positional tendencies and statistical dispositions are each carefully compared and contrasted.

Central Winger: "Luck" vs. skill as it pertains to goals

Separting "luck" and skill when it comes to MLS' top goalscorers
Fortune Or Faculty?
Luck vs. skill

Central Winger: Luck and Kei Kamara

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"Luck" is a ubiquitous, catch-all term that seems to slip out of our mouths when describing a goalscoring scenario. Sometimes we characterize a a goal as resulting from a lucky shot or an advantageous deflection. Likewise, we are often caught talking about "unlucky" bounces and characterizing crossbar deflections as "deserving of a goal."

Central Winger: Can "luck" and skill be separated in soccer?

Is it possible to statistically distinguish between "luck" and skill?
Degrees Of Separation
"Luck" in Soccer

Lately, I've been captivated by a sports analytics concept called PDO. As James Grayson explains in his fantastic blog (where he explores PDO extensively), PDO is originally an ice hockey metric which takes its name from the person that developed it. In soccer, PDO is calculated by combining a team's shooting percentage and save percentage and multiplying by 1,000.

Central Winger: Draft remains an undervalued tool in MLS

Does a good draft translate to trophies? Here's cold, hard proof
Secret Of Success
Draft Analytics

Meyer and Wondo - Central Winger

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Major League Soccer has been and always will be a North American sports league, and with that geographic reality comes some ingrained attributes — one of which is the very non-European concept of the draft. No matter if they're in a rebuilding or a reloading phase, every North American sports franchise — yes, even the Yankees — is required to draft carefully in order to remain relevant. MLS and the implications of the SuperDraft is no exception.

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