Some stupid numbers from 2004

Discussion in 'MLS: News & Analysis' started by kenntomasch, Oct 19, 2004.

  1. kenntomasch

    kenntomasch Member+

    Sep 2, 1999
    Out West
    Club:
    FC Tampa Bay Rowdies
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Looking at 2004 vs. 2003:

    Biggest Improvement in wins........4 Dallas
    Biggest Decline in wins............7 Chicago
    Biggest Improvement in losses......7 Columbus
    Biggest increase in losses.........6 Chicago
    Biggest increase in draws..........5 Columbus
    Biggest decline in draws...........2 MetroStars, Kansas City
    Biggest gain in points............13 Dallas
    Biggest loss in points............20 Chicago
    Biggest gain in goals scored.......7 MetroStars, Los Angeles
    Biggest drop in goals scored......17 Chicago
    Biggest gain in goals allowed.....19 Dallas
    Biggest decline in goals allowed...9 MetroStars


    Columbus actually scored 4 fewer goals in 2004 than they did in 2003, but they allowed 12 fewer goals this year than last.

    Chicago actually only allowed one more goal this year than last year, but scored 17 fewer goals in 2004.

    Last year with overtime, there were 109 victories and 41 draws. This year without overtime, there were 104 victories and 46 draws.

    Last year 52 of 150 games (35%) were tied after regulation, with teams knowing they still had the extra session to try and get it. This year, 46 games were tied after regulation (31%).
     
  2. *futbolfan*

    *futbolfan* New Member

    Jul 16, 2004
    I would Imagine that if the league moved to a single table champion with promotion or relegation - or alter the current playoff format (less teams) you would see this # decline further. And the game would be that much more exciting. How does our current year % as far as games tied compare with other leagues?
     
  3. onefineesq

    onefineesq Member+

    Sep 16, 2003
    Laurel, MD
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Here we go again with the panacea of promotion/relegation and single table. oyyy veyyy. Anyway Kenn, I guess those numbers kinda mitigate against the argument that Chicago has collapsed because Zach and Bocanegra left. The truth of the matter is that the Razov loss really hurt them, and Beasley wasn't getting it done on the offensive end of the ball before he left. Those two players were never replaced adequately, until Herron got into the mix late. Pretty interesting numbers though. It shows you how bad Dallas was last year when you look and see how big of an "improvement" they made from last year to this, but still didn't make the playoffs with only 2 out of 10 not qualifying.
     
  4. Sanguine

    Sanguine Member

    Jul 4, 2003
    Reston, VA
    Another interesting tidbit.

    This year's Eastern Conference order of finish:

    Columbus, DC, NJ, NE, Chicago.

    Last Year's Eastern Conference Order of Finish:

    Chicago, NE, NJ, DC, Columbus.

    The conference standings exactly reversed themselves from last season.
     
  5. kenntomasch

    kenntomasch Member+

    Sep 2, 1999
    Out West
    Club:
    FC Tampa Bay Rowdies
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Wow. Good call.

    I think the Bocanegra departure did have a bigger impact than is shown strictly in the goals allowed category, but you kind of had to see the team the whole year for that to become apparent. His presence at the back was not only huge by itself, but he was also able to take pressure off the other defenders and could do some stuff offensively himself.

    But their biggest problem, as you can see from the numbers and you could tell if you saw the team the whole year, was that they just couldn't finish. Ralph had the same 11 goals he had as a rookie, but he probably should have had 20, considering how many chances he had. Razov's dropoff (even before the injury) was huge. They just couldn't finish a sandwich.
     
  6. bigredfutbol

    bigredfutbol Moderator
    Staff Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    Woodbridge, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Thanks for doing the legwork! This is interesting stuff.

    Kind of illustrates the Crew's unbeaten streak--biggest gain in draws AND biggest improvement in losses.

    Also shows what a heartbreaker not making the playoffs is for Dallas fans. Biggest gain in points and 19 fewer goals scored. All that for nothing, really.
     
  7. Onionsack

    Onionsack BigSoccer Yellow Card

    Jul 21, 2003
    New York City
    Club:
    FC Girondins de Bordeaux
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    It shows the massive improvment they have made, in fact it looks as if they had the biggest improvment of any team from last season...yet fans want Clarke out despite the dramitic turnaround this data seems to support.
     
  8. abw

    abw Member

    Nov 10, 1999
    Athens, GA
    Is it possible to figure the change in scoring draws?
     
  9. numerista

    numerista New Member

    Mar 21, 2004
    Fitting for a state where they dream about kissing their sisters. :)

    Stands to reason for a team that lost McBride and a couple of offensive-minded midfielders while gaining Fraser, Elliott, and Marshall.
     
  10. kenntomasch

    kenntomasch Member+

    Sep 2, 1999
    Out West
    Club:
    FC Tampa Bay Rowdies
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    You mean draws that weren't 0-0?

    Sure. Eventually. Though someone may beat me to it.
     
  11. PScott8502

    PScott8502 Member

    Oct 12, 2002
    50th state
    19 fewer goals can do that to a fanbase.
     
  12. mcontento

    mcontento Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Catalina Wine Mixer
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States

    You don't like a stout defense?
     
  13. retnicf

    retnicf Member

    May 7, 2001
    Mount Vernon, NY
    Just dusting off my April 12, 2004 MLS season preview from our friends over at Soccer America.

    They had six experts choose the order of finish for 2004. The experts were Bryan Alvarez, Scott French, Paul Kennedy, Will Kuhns, Ridge Mahoney, Mike Woitalla.

    Eastern Conference Consensus SA Prediction:
    1 New England
    2 Chicago
    3 Metrostars
    4 DC United
    5 Columbus (5 of the 6 had Columbus picked dead last)

    Reality:

    1 Columbus
    2 DC United
    3 Metrostars
    4 New England
    5 Chicago

    Western Conference Consensus SA Prediction:
    1 San Jose
    2 Colorado
    3 Los Angeles
    4 Dallas
    5 Kansas City

    Reality:
    1 Kansas City
    2 Los Angeles
    3 Colorado
    4 San Jose
    5 Dallas

    Their MLS Cup Prediction?
    San Jose over MetroStars.

    Can't wait until the 2005 season previews comes out.
    (Retnicf closes eyes and hopes the experts pick the Metrostars dead last)
    :D
     
  14. guamster

    guamster Member+

    Mar 30, 2001
    Winnetka, CA
    Club:
    --other--
    Nat'l Team:
    Guam
    Well, their MLS Cup prediction COULD still happen. ;)
     
  15. ElJefe

    ElJefe Moderator
    Staff Member

    Feb 16, 1999
    Colorful Colorado
    Club:
    FC Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Along the same lines, Dallas actually scored one fewer goal this year than last year, but allowed 19 fewer goals. Hence, their improvement. And considering how many of the goals they allowed were of the "opponent gets a breakaway while you're pressing for the tying goal" variety, an improved attack would've actually lowered the number of goals that they allowed.
    This is tough to quantify with actual numbers, but I think that the biggest difference between last year and this year is the rather drastic increase in the number of games where teams, particularly road teams, actually went into the final 10-15 minutes TRYING to lock in the draw and possibly counterattacking for the winner. I think that we saw a drastic decrease in positive play late in matches.
     
  16. kenntomasch

    kenntomasch Member+

    Sep 2, 1999
    Out West
    Club:
    FC Tampa Bay Rowdies
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Isn't that the opposite of what everybody said would happen with the demise of overtime? And did I say that it would take a fundamental change in the mindset that a draw was a good result (sometimes it is, but they seem to have taken it to the extreme)? If I didn't, I thought it, and should have said it.
     
  17. ElJefe

    ElJefe Moderator
    Staff Member

    Feb 16, 1999
    Colorful Colorado
    Club:
    FC Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    And it's not going to get any better.

    Dallas missed the playoffs this year by two lousy points and they had more wins that San Jose. Chicago missed the playoffs on a tiebreaker with New England. The Supporters Shield was won by Columbus on a tiebreaker and they had more draws than wins.

    If that doesn't send a message to coaches in this league that every point is golden, I don't know what will. You better believe that draws will continue to be a good result and will only become a better result.

    This is only my personal opinion, but to me, one of the worst things about soccer is that mindset that you talked about, that a draw is a good result. I hate that. I think that in almost all cases, a draw should be, at best, a neutral result. It should have, at best, the status of "well, it beats losing, but that's about it." About the only time to me that a draw is a good result is when a team was on the verge of losing and pulled the draw out of the hat. Maybe also when you're a team that is hopelessly outmatched by your opponent, but that doesn't happen too often in MLS. And the fact that draws are so often seen as a good result tells me that wins aren't nearly valuable enough.

    It's the reason why I'd like to see the number of points per win increased. Nothing fancy, just give teams more reason to fight for the winning goal. If they end up drawing, well, it happens and give 'em both a point. But give them more incentive to fight for a win. That's when soccer is at its best -- when both teams are playing positively and going for the win.
     
  18. kenntomasch

    kenntomasch Member+

    Sep 2, 1999
    Out West
    Club:
    FC Tampa Bay Rowdies
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Couldn't agree more. But I think it's an institutionalized mindset that goes back to the days of laces on the ball and heavy woolen shirts.

    USL did that with 4 points for a win. Either I haven't run the numbers or I did and I've forgotten, but I don't know if it resulted in fewer draws or not. I think that's an artificial way of doing it, but I don't know what wouldn't be. The NASL had 6 for a win and bonus points and I don't think anyone wants to go back there.
     
  19. crusio

    crusio New Member

    May 10, 2004
    Princeton
    Ridge Mahoney as a soccer expert.. Wow thats a stretch :)
     
  20. ElJefe

    ElJefe Moderator
    Staff Member

    Feb 16, 1999
    Colorful Colorado
    Club:
    FC Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Well, the biggest problem with looking at the USL is that you've got definite haves and have-nots in each of its leagues. And when you have mismatched teams, that definitely reduces the number of draws. Obviously not an analogous situation to MLS.

    The best you can do is assume that the percentage of mismatches stays the same over the years and look at how the percentage of draws has changed since they went from their 4-1-0 (+1) system a few years ago to their current 3-1-0 system. But even that isn't a particularly instructive comparison, since the USL still has overtime. (And that overtime is still up to 30 minutes, correct?) Still, here's the A-League's percentage of regulation draws over the years, for mere informational purposes:

    4-1-0 (+1)
    2000 - 16.0% (21 overtime winners and 35 draws in 350 games)
    2001 - 22.0% (35 overtime winners and 25 draws in 273 games)
    2002 - 27.8% (35 overtime winners and 35 draws in 252 games)

    3-1-0
    2003 - 27.1% (31 overtime winners and 41 draws in 266 games)
    2004 - 29.5% (31 overtime winners and 35 draws in 224 games)
    Absolutely not. Some of the ideas in that thread over in the MLS: General forum were beyond ridiculous. If it takes you more than five seconds to explain the standings system, it's probably not that great. Keep it simple, keep it to wins, losses, and draws. But try and reward teams for playing positive soccer.
     
  21. numerista

    numerista New Member

    Mar 21, 2004
    Ironically, I think the way to accomplish this is by switching from the carrot to the stick.

    Here's the concept:
    If a win were worth 0, a tie -2, and a loss -3, we would have a scoring system that's exactly equivalent to what we have now. However, the psychological response is completely different -- when you stall for a tie, you're no longer "playing for the point." (My reasoning here has been validated in experiments by Tversky.)

    I tend to think that the above system isn't too palatable, though. When you win, you don't receive anything in return. So here's a less radical proposal:
    win = +2
    tie = 0
    loss = -1

    Again, the numbers come out exactly the same. That's the beauty: we don't need to change the outcomes, just the way that people perceive them.
     
  22. crusio

    crusio New Member

    May 10, 2004
    Princeton
    I still can't figure out why a coach would play for ties in MLS. You don't need that many points to make it to the post season; roll the dice and go for it. Its a very forgiving league.
     
  23. ElJefe

    ElJefe Moderator
    Staff Member

    Feb 16, 1999
    Colorful Colorado
    Club:
    FC Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    This post made me laugh, right before it made me cry.
     
  24. scaryice

    scaryice Member

    Jan 25, 2001
    Right on. This will improve, though, as the league gets bigger starting next year. But when you guys talk about changing the points, I get upset because it's taken nine years to get in line with the international standards of the game and you guys want to throw that all away. It'll still be the same players and the same coaches no matter how many points you get for a win. Give it a rest.
     
  25. kenntomasch

    kenntomasch Member+

    Sep 2, 1999
    Out West
    Club:
    FC Tampa Bay Rowdies
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I've also wondered what would happen if you only gave the road team a point for a draw. Force the home team to do something. Or if neither team got a point for a scoreless draw.

    /talking out my ass
     

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