Saturday, January 21, 2017

MLS Mins by Age

Finally getting back to checking in on MLS player minutes and age after touching on the lack of minutes played by young players in MLS a few months ago.

MLS teams finished the year not giving many minutes to young players. Spending a few weekends watching widely available on TV leagues in England, Spain and Italy will tell you, in general, that they are playing younger players more. Beyond that, a quick look up at or Squawka will tell you how MLS compares to many of the other top leagues out there. Going in on MLS regular season data it should be expected. With that, I'm not (nor do I have the time) going to data mine those figures. Safe to go with observation on this one.

Dropping the info into a spreadsheet it wasn't surprising to find that young male players in MLS aren't playing much. By young, we mean under 20 years old or so. That said; there was something else. Something... unexpected.

Click around. A gap has formed in MLS. Players in their prime aren't getting minutes. Mid to late twenties. Not sure why this is happening, but it shouldn't be what MLS wants. You want those guys. As it stands right now, you have a group of older (established-ish) players going up against college kids. It's like playing your EA FIFA game on a difficulty level a notch or two below what challenges you.

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