Micheal Azira

Lowered Expectations: Katai is Fired Up by Harrison Crow

You may or may not remember that I like to write about how shots from good locations don’t become goals. This was, once upon a time, a weekly feature here. Drew has begged me to come and start writing again, so here we are back again.

Those of you who may not be familiar with this column of mine, please, allow me to introduce to you the idea of expected goals. It’s the probability a given shot attempt would be scored, taking into account specific criteria captured at the time of the shot.

In this column we like to talk about what the expected goals model sees, and also what it doesn’t, when arriving with the xG number. The theme of this column is to take the five highest probability shots from open play (i.e. excluding free kicks and set pieces) of the previous week that didn’t end with the ball in the back of the net.

It also often turns into me decrying terrible crosses into the box that the model likes but are in actuality terrible chances that are awful and stupid and should be outlawed. Okay, well... let’s get started!

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The Elusive Advanced Defensive Metric by Mark Asher Goodman

It all started with Micheal Azira.

At the conclusion of the 2017 MLS season, I sifted through the wreckage of the Colorado Rapids awful season, player by player, to see what could be learned. Who, among these players was actually a high-quality soccer player? Who should the team retain for next year? Who should be jettisoned? Why? How can I know the difference? And, most importantly for readers of a data-obsessive website like American Soccer Analysis, can I find a credible way of answering those questions using advanced metrics?

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