Turnovers, Goals, and last week in MLS

Discussion in 'Statistics and Analysis' started by Nutmeg, Sep 13, 2003.

  1. Nutmeg

    Nutmeg Member+

    Aug 24, 1999
    On my "Stats Worth Tracking" thread I stated my theory (I guess it was technically a hypothesis) that the best teams are the ones who make the fewest mistakes in critical situations. I call them turnovers.

    Here is my definition of a turnover, laid out clearly so that others can help test my theory and see if it holds any water.
    1. A player is dispossessed of a ball on the dribble when only defenders and/or the gk is behind them.

    2. A player's pass is intercepted and the only thing between the ball and the goal are defenders and/or the gk.

    3. A player muffs a clearance on a set piece situation and the ball is received by the opponent.

    I thought it would be interesting to track what is the percentage of goals scored in MLS that began with a turnover, by the above definition. Here is what I found from the last week. Unfortunately, MLSNET.COM's video archive often does not include the entire sequence, so I hope others here can fill in for me.
    • Goals scored as a result of a turnover, or possibly as a result of a turnover
    • New England's Steve Ralston has a bad clearance leading to San Jose DeRosario goal sequence.
    • *Unclear* - I do not know what started Landon Donovan's goal sequence, but it was a breakaway/counterattack scenario that looked like a possible result of a TO
    • Kansas City midfielder (don't know which one) is stripped of the ball by Richie Williams. Only defenders between Williams and goal. Williams to Wolnyiec to Mathis for goal.
    • *Unclear* - Again a counterattack sequence sets up a PK for Preki, who finishes the PK. Do not know if a turnover began sequence.
    • *Unclear* - Brad Davis' sequence is much like Preki's. Counterattack situation led to a PK. Do not know if a turnover led to counter scenario.
    • Colorado's Henderson dispossesses a Dallas midfielder which leads to Carrieri goal sequence.
    • Henderson scores on a poor clearance from Dallas defender.
    Total # of goals scored = 14
    Goal sequences started by turnovers = 4
    Goals scored on set pieces = 4
    Goals scored as a result of buildup = 3
    *Unclear* = 3

    I am going to put myself on a limb here and bet that each of the "unclear" goal sequences began with a turnover. The video archive is there for anyone to review, but all three were break away/counterattack opportunities that looked very much like the result of turnover scenarios 1 or 2. Like I said earlier, I would love to have more accurate data, but you work with what you've got. Anybody can clear those up for me, I'd appreciate it.

    Even if they were not, turnovers had as big an impact in goals scored this week as did set pieces. To be honest, that surprised me. What didn't surprise me at all was to see that a build up attack did not lead to a large number of goals.

    I will continue to track this and see if these percentages stay roughly the same over time.
  2. Nutmeg

    Nutmeg Member+

    Aug 24, 1999
    [u][b]Goal_Scorer	Goal_Sequence	Game
    Wolynec  	Set Piece 	NY-CB
    Donovan  	Turnover 	SJ-KC
    Donovan  	Build Up   	SJ-KC
    Donovan  	Turnover  	SJ-KC
    Arnaud    	Build Up   	SJ-KC
    Robinson  	Short Corner	SJ-KC
    Johnson   	Build Up   	DA-CH
    Nhlenko   	Turnover  	DA-CH
    Ruiz        	Build Up   	DC-LA
  3. beineke

    beineke New Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    For the record, I wouldn't have said that any of these three goals fit the definition of a goal-causing turnover. Two of them were scored in transition, but both times the ball was lost, the ball was in SJ territory, and KC had all three defenders and at least two midfielders behind it.

    It seems like viewer judgment is a real difficulty here.

    [Thx for fixing the g.p.g. table, BTW.]
  4. Nutmeg

    Nutmeg Member+

    Aug 24, 1999
    And thank you for the correction. Unfortunately, I tried to quickly do this while watching my monster - I mean son - at the same time.

    Was the Dallas goal a TO?
  5. beineke

    beineke New Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    A classic hospital ball ... Curtin played a slow pass forward that Deering ran in nicely to intercept (uncharacteristic for both players involved).

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