Sunday, February 10, 2013

The More Most Dangerous, MR Post

It's very possible that the 2nd darkest side of soccer statistics to be appearances and goals. You hear it all the time, 18 apps and 6 goals or whatever. Wikipedia uses this as standard - Year : Team : Apps : Goals and most people take that as measurement of quality.

Now, a step beyond that is the ABSOLUTE darkest side of statistics : Prediction. Lots of mathematical engineers have grabbed hold of the sport and clubs seem to buying in to it. More often then not these folks use their powers for evil then good. They can't seem to help themselves with the data they have. Check Zach Slaton's MLS playoff piece for an example of prediction gone horribly wrong.

"The Most Dangerous" post at Massive Report deals with the characteristics of an attacking player an those who have exhibited them. It's more of an evaluation. A measurement of who has performed well and who might not of. Evaluations don't predict the future - they measure the past and you can learn from that. That's what I've done with that post over a Massive Report.

One thing that got shorted due to the nature of the post is most dangerous by position. Here is that:

1 : Josh Gardner : 2011 : 20th Overall
2 : Josh Williams : 2012 : 24th Overall
3 : Andy Iro : 2010 : 26th Overall
4 : Sebastian Miranda : 2012 : 27th Overall
5 : Chad Marshall : 2010 : 28th Overall

Interesting how doing nothing much to the back line in the last three years would have yielded this line up. For a club that likes to remind fans of limited resources it's curious how much could have been saved by eliminating unnecessary change. Rule one in business and sports - yet one that continuously gets broken.

Eddie Gaven fills three of these spots so only going to use one of him.
1 : Eddie Gaven : 2012 : 7th Overall
2 : Justin Meram : 2012 : 8th Overall
3 : Dilly Duka : 2011 : 15th Overall
4 : Bernardo Anor : 2011 : 16th Overall
5 : Adam Moffat : 2010 : 17th Overall

Meram, who is more a forward but is proving to be a versatile MF piece, Duka and Anor have proven to be MLS level players and have won actual MLS games (whaaa, known entity that you can plan around? My word, man. Get a hold of yourself. Crazy talk). For whatever reason they are not trusted. Once Anor returns from injury I hope to see him getting starting minutes. He'll give you the the same production at $50k any new signing at $200k gives you.

1 : Jairo Arrieta : 2012 : 1st Overall
2 : Emilio Renteria : 2010 : 2nd Overall
3 : Guillermo Barros Schelotto: 2010 : 3rd Overall
4 : Andres Mendoza : 2011 : 4th Overall
5 : Steven Lenhart : 2010 : 5th Overall

Forward players in any league know they are walking through a revolving door. I think the Crew could have hung on to Renteria because they can afford him and also should have hung on to Steven Lenhart. Along with Arrieta the Crew would be much more settled and experienced. Again, unnecessary change. Hard not to be critical when the club is slipping down the table every year.


All of the players in the 15 above have made the playoffs except my number one guy. That sort of takes me back to the beginning of this post. These are measurements you should only find in the shadows of the sport. Shine a light on them and watch them scurry.

These type attacking stats should only be taken as one tiny piece of a much larger puzzle.

The Arrieta illustration was fun to work on. Lots of yellow. And here is the landing page at Massive Report at this moment.

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