As the MLS season approaches, MLSsoccer.com 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.
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.
"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."
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.
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.
MLSsoccer.com continues to take a look back at the 2012 season that was for all 19 clubs in Major League Soccer, starting with Toronto FC and ending with the Supporters' Shield-winning San Jose Earthquakes. You can find the schedule and comprehensive reviews for each team here.
2012 record: 19-6-9 (66 points); 72 GF / 43 GA (+29 GD)