Narrative: Ambition Rankings
If there is one day on the MLS calendar that I dread with a clarity and purity often seen only in very expensive diamonds (let’s call them “diamonds of ambition”), it’s Grant Wahl’s annual musings on which MLS teams have proven their ambition the most. For those unaware, every year our nation’s preeminent soccer scribe sends out a questionnaire to every MLS team asking them to flex their financial bonafides and then ranks them according to how expensive their DPs are, whether or not they get good crowds, and that “it” factor that you can’t explain but Grant knows it when he sees it. Unsurprisingly, Atlanta tops this year’s list and Colorado pulls up the rear, but the middle is just gluttonously full of incisive takes. “We’ve invested 10 million dollars in our academy says one team”, “oh yeah well WE expanded our stadium so suck it” says another. “Tell me more” says Grant Wahl, and we’re left with a bunch of people squabbling over whether Jan Gregus or Pedro Santos is a more ambitious signing. Read More
We’ve got the three stars. We’ve had ourselves a ticker tape parade. And while I don’t think the celebration should end anytime soon, it’s been long enough since the final whistle blew in Vancouver to start thinking about the future of the USWNT.
Using logistic regression on data from all previous WWCs and factoring in position, age, and whether or not the player started the final competitive match in the previous World Cup*, I constructed a model that produces a very rough probability that a player that made the 2015 roster will make the cut for France 2019. Obviously, four years is a long time and a lot can change, so these probabilities are hardly precise and should be taken with a large grain of salt. I have not included goalkeepers, as the very small sample size makes things difficult to predict, and have also left out players that we already know will not play in 2019. Furthermore, I have included forwards but the sample size is also very small, making the probabilities even less precise than that of defenders and midfielders. So at the risk of getting way ahead of ourselves, here are the very rough probabilities that the members of the current squad will be back to defend the Cup in France: Read More