I've stated that one of the goals for this site is the production of numbers, but also generally using them as book markers to bits of information. I haven't been too good about this second part but I'm going to try to get better. One thing that was pointed out to me this last week (h/t Brian Stern) was that WhoScored has at long last increased the information that they provide on MLS. We've had a link to WhoScored for sometime but generally speaking they haven't been very good about keeping the information updated, keeping it accurate or producing anything worth visiting it on a consistent basis. But the fact that they have some basic visuals and do have good content for most of the rest of the world makes it a worthy site. There was also the hope that they would finally find the time to spend on the American-based league.
Well, now they have and it's pretty awesome.
For instance; if I wanted to know who averages the most passes for the San Jose Earthquakes, I could go in real quickly and see that Sam Cronin averages 45.2 passes per game, almost a whole 8 above the trailer Ramiro Corrales (37.9), and that Cronin has completed 475 of 633 passes. The only thing at this point in time that could be better is for it to give a spray chart of where he likes to pass and to whom.
I could see that, according to the stats, Philadelphia has yet to score purely on a counter attack and seems to favor carrying the ball down the right side of the pitch, as they use that side 37% of the time. Alternatively we can see that DC United has taken 65% of its shots from the middle of the pitch. But mostly what it does is it allows us to do is put things in context.
Is it unusual that Houston attempts short passes 80% of the time, or is that normal? Well I can see that DC United and the Columbus Crew make short passes at 78%, but short passes make up 82% of the Montreal Impact's pass attempts. There isn't a wrong or right amount of short passes, but it does help us understand the specific influence of the style and attack.
You may or may not have already seen WhoScored and you may or may not have seen that they updated their American side site. That's cool. This is for those that didn't hear. We're trying to make it easier for people to conduct their own analysis and do so in the most educated way possible.
As a side note it looks like they further plan to expand the information they provide on the US Leagues as they have NASL section dated later on this year, probably anticipated for the second half of their season. That could further help us when attempting to gather information on some of the US Open Cup teams and some of the lesser known players who don't have an opportunity to have their name shine.