Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Revere's Ride: Revs Below Average in Scoring Efficiency

Andrew Weibe of Major League Soccer's Web site has written an analysis of the league's most efficient teams in terms of converting shots into goals. Since the start of the 2011 season, the Revolution have converted 17% of their 209 shots taken inside the penalty box into goals, while converting 4% of their 182 shots taken outside the penalty box.

These two numbers--17% and 4%--are below the league average of 19% and 5%, respectively. The rest of the graph can be seen here: (Click on image to enlarge.)

- John C.L. Morgan

Recommended Reading: Pele's Entropy

Grantland's Brian Phillips on his ambivalence about Pele and the reason for why the superstar can't really help being the way he's been (corporate shill, cranky opiner, etc.) in retirement:
You make people feel good, which makes you feel good, and you see that this is a kind of lovely feedback loop, that if you just keep smiling and talking about yourself the whole tone of the room lifts. You're like a drug, essentially. Only then one day you retire, and the day after you retire you're exactly the same person, and the week after, and the month after, only somehow something is different, some underlying universe-dynamic has gone very slightly wrong, so of course you try harder to compensate.
- John C.L. Morgan

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Observance of a Sad Holiday

Three years ago to the day, the University of Maine announced it was suspending its struggling men's soccer team.

According to an April 15, 2009 Bangor Daily News article, the men's soccer program had a $145,580 operating budget and doled out $175,000 per year in scholarship aid.* Besides one head coach and a paid assistant coach, the program included 26 players with 6.5 scholarships spread among them.

The university's 2009 decision forced Maine to become one of 13 states in the U.S. without a Div. I soccer program playing within its borders, according to the sidebar of this December 2011 piece in the The Birmingham News.

- John C.L. Morgan

*Another victim of suspension that year was the women's volleyball team. That team--which included a head coach, a paid assistant coach, and 15 players with 12 scholarships--had an annual operating cost of $232,564 and scholarship aid worth $343,238.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Revere's Ride: Castrol Index (April 10)

Below is Major League Soccer's rankings of the Revolution's players, according to the league's version of the Castrol Index: (Click on image to make it larger.)

- John C.L. Morgan

Monday, April 2, 2012

On Location: Epping, New Hampshire

I drove down to Seacoast United's field complexes in Epping, New Hampshire yesterday to watch a couple games between the hosts and the New York Red Bulls youth academy teams.

I hadn't fully appreciated the quality of youth soccer that's played just 75 minutes away from my home in Maine until I saw the Red Bulls rout Seacoast's U-17/18 team 5-0. The U-15/16 teams were scoreless when I left with a couple minutes remaining in the first half.

The Red Bulls' U-17/18 team, which is ranked by Top Drawer Soccer (TDS) as the No. 45 team in the country, features four players on their roster who are recognized as being in the top 65 in the U.S. by TDS, and their U-15/16 team features a couple players ranked in the top 20 in their age group:

No. 22: Brandon Allen (Georgetown)
No. 51: Ross Tetro (Rutgers)
No. 52: Mael Corbez (Rutgers)
No. 62: Scott Thomsen (Virginia)

No. 7: Adam Nejam
No. 16: Alex Muyl

After my experience yesterday, I've circled June 16 on my calendar. The New England Revolution's youth academy teams (ranked at No. 14 and 19, respectively) will be traveling to Epping to take on Seacoast.

- John C.L. Morgan