Same lineup = wins?

Discussion in 'Statistics and Analysis' started by scaryice, Jul 10, 2005.

  1. scaryice

    scaryice Member

    Jan 25, 2001
    Ok, I was going to wait until I had done this for all teams, but I'll just show you guys what I did for Chicago.

    My next project is to make a list/database of every MLS team match, including league, playoff, open cup, and continental. In other words, matches that counted, so no friendlies (or Peace Cup/La Manga). I already have a listing of every goalscorer in all these games, but I didn't record anything else. I now am listing every match with date, home/away, score, goalscorers, and starting lineups/subs. Now I have a list of total appeances as well (although I did not check every lineup and make sure the total start/sub totals matched up. maybe later. 95% were from mlsnet so I don't think there would be a problem). I really should put attendance too but that's pretty easy to go back and do later.

    As I was doing this, I thought about how I heard RSL hasn't used the same lineup in consecutive games this year. And of course, they suck. Teams who use the same starting lineup are supposed to do better. So I checked all the Fire games and here is what they did when they used the same starting lineup for 2 games in a row or more, through 2004. I should note that I used MLS games only (once, an open cup game is in the middle, the loss in 2002). Also, if they used the same lineup from the end of one season to the start of the next, I don't know and I don't care about that.

    There have been 211 Fire games since they came into the league, and it's only happened 24 times (minus season openers, 204 possible times). No shootouts involved so I didn't have to worry about that.



    The total overall record for the Fire is 105-74-32. So that means using the same lineup, they did better. Using a different lineup, their record is 92-67-28. The winning percentage is 62.5% vs 56.7%.

    I also kept track of how many games in a row the same lineup was used:

    2 games: 8-6-3
    3 games: 2-1-1
    4 games: 1-0-0
    5 games: 1-0-0
    6 games: 1-0-0

    By year:

      	1998	1999	2000	2001	2002	2003	2004	Overall	Final
    2	2-1-0	2-1-0	0-0-1	1-1-0	0-2-2	2-0-0	1-1-0	8-6-3	13-7-4
    3	1-0-0	1-0-0	0-0-1			0-1-0		2-1-1	
    4	1-0-0							1-0-0	
    5	1-0-0							1-0-0	
    6	1-0-0							1-0-0	
    Of course, this doesn't take into account subs, and the Fire had a great team in 1998. And, the Fire have been good throughout their history. I'm working on Columbus next, so we'll see what happens there.

    Read my blog: Climbing The Ladder

    PS-MLS give me a job! :D
  2. Mr Hanki's Throne

    Mr Hanki's Throne New Member

    Mar 13, 2001
    Wellington, Colo
    Famously, DC United in their 1997 playoff run never used the same starting lineup in their regular MLS season.
  3. Elninho

    Elninho Member+

    Sacramento Republic FC
    United States
    Oct 30, 2000
    Sacramento, CA
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I've been tracking that data for 2005 already, for both first teams and reserves, and including some friendlies, and also have subs-not-used injuries/suspensions and national team callups listed so that reasons for not playing are known. (My purpose was originally to track evolution of starting lineups.) I started doing the same for the 2004 season, but I got bogged down looking for Chicago's CONCACAF Champions Cup lineups. I'll put my spreadsheets on the web as soon as I have time.

    What's your information source for matches prior to 2004?
  4. RichardL

    RichardL BigSoccer Supporter

    May 2, 2001
    Reading FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Not a lot of use stats-wise, but when Aston Villa won the league championship (as in what is now the premiership, not the "The Championship" in the football league) in 1980/1, they only used 14 players all season.
  5. kebzach

    kebzach Member

    Dec 30, 2000
    Greenfield, WI
    This topic can be addressed, in part at least, by common sense. If your lineup is playing well and staying healthy, you won't need to make changes and wins will probably follow. If not, then you will need to make changes.

    The same coorelations with regard to consistent soccer lineups and success can be made for baseball, basketball and hockey lineups too, I would imagine.
  6. scaryice

    scaryice Member

    Jan 25, 2001
    We should start a site where we can organize all this data, sort of like

    The Champions Cup matches I found just through some searching on Google. What's really annoying is that some of the older MLS games are missing on mlsnet, and those are harder to find. I'm almost done with Columbus, just missing a few old MLS lineups.
  7. kebzach

    kebzach Member

    Dec 30, 2000
    Greenfield, WI
    Media guides are going to be your best bet for game-by-game lineups. If you need any Fire lineups, from 1998 through present, let me know. I have each year's media guide.
  8. scaryice

    scaryice Member

    Jan 25, 2001
    I have all the Fire lineups already. I'm missing two Columbus lineups:

    4/13/96 vs DC (first match)
    5/17/97 @ COL
  9. scaryice

    scaryice Member

    Jan 25, 2001
    Ok, here's what Columbus looks like:

    	1996	1997	1998	1999	2000	2001	2002	2003	2004	Overall	Final
    2	0-1-2	2-0-0	1-2-1	1-3-2	1-1-1	1-0-0	0-0-2	1-0-1	2-0-2	9-7-11	10-7-11
    3		1-0-0								1-0-0	
    Five shootout games were counted as draws, their record was 1-4 in those shootouts.
  10. scaryice

    scaryice Member

    Jan 25, 2001
    Finished New England:

    	1996	1997	1998	1999	2000	2001	2002	2003	2004	Overall	Final
    2	4-0-3	1-1-1	2-1-0	1-0-0	1-0-0	0-1-0	1-1-0	1-1-1	0-2-1	11-7-6	11-11-7
    3	0-1-0	0-1-0					0-1-0	0-0-1		0-3-1	
    4	0-1-0									0-1-0	
    	7-2 SO	1-3 SO																			
    Overall MLS regular season record (through 2004, counting shootouts as draws):


    So I think this shows that it does help quite a bit. A summary so far:

    Records when using same lineup vs not (again, shootouts counted as draws):


    Same: 13-7-4
    Diff: 87-61-39

    PPG-S: 1.79
    PPG-D: 1.60


    Same: 10-7-11
    Diff: 98-91-57

    PPG-S: 1.46
    PPG-D: 1.43


    Same: 11-11-7
    Diff: 77-110-59

    PPG-S: 1.38
    PPG-D: 1.18

    So, while CLB didn't really play any differently, it looks like CHI and NE played much better. This is really fascinating to me.
  11. scaryice

    scaryice Member

    Jan 25, 2001
    Ok, the Metrostars and Miami both played worse with the same starting lineups. I just finished recording Kansas City's games, and I'm going to hold off doing any more analysis until I record all the other teams' games. I've decided on a bigger goal: I'm going to look at every MLS game, and determine how many starters were carried over. I think that's a better way to do it rather than just looking at whether or not all 11 returned. This is a lot of work, but it should be pretty exciting to look at the results.

    Left to do: COL, DAL, DC, LA, SJ, TB

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