Sean Johnson

New York City FC 2019 Season Preview by Dummy Run

Here's the weird thing about New York City Football Club in the Year of Our Lord 2019: after all the autumnal sturm und drang, the late-season slide, the second-round playoff bounce, and Domènec Torrent's desastre of a postseason presser, the club had a whole offseason to clean house and bring in Torrent's team and they just kind of ... didn't. What you'll see on opening day is more or less the same lineup you know and love (or used to love last summer but now hate with a burning passion because they lost some soccer games). Even my boy Ben Sweat's still out there, which can be a beautiful thing as long as a foul pole’s obstructing your view of the defensive third.

So, uh, what gives? Allow me to resubmit to you the possibility that Dome’s team was maybe actually not that bad at soccer last season. That in fact their +0.55 expected goal differential per game was the second best in MLS during Torrent’s tenure, a marked improvement from under Patrick Vieira. And that their best run of games came without David Villa or Yangel Herrera, this offseason’s two major departures. Maybe Claudio Reyna wasn’t crazy to think all this team needed was a few new pieces for things to fall into place.

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Postseason Preview: NYCFC by ASA Staff

Article by @thedummyrun

Domènec Torrent is a fraud.

Just four months ago, when he took over New York City Football Club midseason from Patrick Vieira, the Catalan coach was hailed as some kind of tactical savant, fresh off a decade seated at the right hand of Pep the Father Almighty and come down to MLS to save us all. He promised to preserve Vieira’s system, which after all was vaguely modeled on Manchester City’s, and to make only incremental adjustments. He promised to compete for trophies—if not this season, okay, maybe next year. He promised us the pinaple would be pretty.

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Six Goalkeeping Narratives You're Dying to See Unfold by Bill Reno

Who Will Emerge in New England? - The biggest question mark within any team’s goalkeeper situation is easily New England. They appear to be leaning towards to Cody Cropper in preseason, which makes sense as Bobby Shuttleworth didn't exactly inspire confidence last season. It’s odd to think that New England was just in an MLS final a little over two years ago but they’re now trying to forget last season completely. Whoever they decide to start with, don’t be surprised if they give the second stringer a chance to win the job midseason. Cropper has looked good this preseason but a twenty-three year old goalkeeper has to be really outstanding to make it in this league.

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MLS Goalkeepers: Predictions for the 2016 Season by Bill Reno

It’s March and we all know what that means: every writer across the nation is baking up their hottest takes to ultimately not be held accountable at the end of the season. Well ASA is allowing me to put their upstanding reputation on the line with five predictions for MLS’s gloved men heading into the 2016 season. Make sure to bookmark this post so you can link it to everyone at ASA in eight months and give us a boost in hits come November!

1. Luis Robles and David Ousted will duke it out for Goalkeeper of the Year again - If there’s one thing that has proven consistent with the award, the goalkeeper on the team who wins their conference has a great shot of winning the award. Dating back to when the league split to two conferences, ten of the fourteen years GOTY winners have gone to goalkeepers whose teams finished first in their conference. This means Tim Melia (SKC) and Clint Irwin (Toronto) also have a decent shot but Robles and Ousted are the best bets. It’s a rare sight to see either goalkeeper costing their team points in a game and both of their teams are looking to challenge for the Supporters’ Shield again.

Four more predictions after the jump.

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2015 in MLS Goalkeepers, and looking ahead to 2016 by Bill Reno

2015 was an up and down year for MLS goalkeeping. We had some surprise seasons from Stefan Frei, Tyler Deric, and David Ousted, all of which had question marks going into 2015 but clearly did work during the offseason to prepare themselves for the year. Now moving forward, each club’s fan base is excited for their goalkeeper and is probably calling them “one of the best in the league”. Jesse Gonzalez matched the young blood theme in Dallas and gave a great performance against Seattle that went into penalties. David Bingham earned praise for finally taking over the starting role in San Jose and Old Man Saunders led the league in saves with New York City. Even Brek Shea notched himself a great save for the season.

Tim Melia returned from the abyss to start for Sporting Kansas City and won perhaps the most ambiguous MLS award: Comeback Player of the Year. But most notably, Luis Robles won Goalkeeper of the Year after winning the Supporters’ Shield with New York Red Bulls. He was rewarded with a USMNT call up and hopes to add on to his single cap with the upcoming friendlies.

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The Chicago Fire and Goal Mouth Data by Drew Olsen

This is merely a trial run. I say that because in the last two days I've limited the collection of data and then expanded it. It comes down to how it tickles my fancy. The data I have collected is limited for the time being to the Chicago Fire as just a means of comparing a club and its data to the league and trying to make sense of it. This hopefully will develop into the means of how I can some how attribute value to clubs and their keepers in the future. Below is a picture of the goal mouth, and the data has been collected from the website Sqwuaka.com. Coupled with a previously built image, you can see how Chicago compares to the rest of the league and how a majority of their goals have been scored this season. While numbers are always an important thing, remember that it's more about ratios and the average occurrence than pure accumulation at this juncture. Not all teams have played the same amount of games and they haven't had the same opportunities.  Shots+Goals and visuals

ChicagoFireHUD

In addition to the Goal Mouth visual, here is a field map diagram as it applies to the dimension of the field. This has already been provided in raw form in the data that Matty has collected and posted in the raw shot data tab, but I wanted to have another visual to compare the above data.

ChicagoFire-ShotField

The problem between the two is that there is no correlation between the fact that Chicago has allowed 4 goals in section 5 to the fact that they've also allowed 5 goals in SoT1 (for ease of the tally, I gave a numerical designation to each location on the goal mouth; starting at the top and working left to right). This is the next collaborative effort that I'm working on, gathering both the shot location of origin and placement on the goal, and from what specific individual at what time.

This is a very time-intensive task and it'll probably take me the rest of the week to complete it just for Chicago. However, I'm taking suggestions on how I could compile this data without hand jamming it into a flat file. An SQL dump of the current Opta database for the season would go a long ways to helping compile this data and would be nice. But I'm never above a bit of hard work.

Thoughts?