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The Future, Analytics and Various Thoughts And Endevors for NetByNorthwest

So I’ve been operating roughly for about 15 weeks or 3 1/2 months with this site. I’ve put together some 92 posts and in general I’ve had a lot of fun just commenting and learning about soccer. I don’t claim to really be any smarter, but I have to think that it’s had some affect on how I precieve the game. The problem with all that is in general I’m a numbers guy. There is too much in life for me to really see every game. I can’t. I can’t watch every minute and I can’t remember every guy that I think “Hmm… he’s not half bad”.

Maybe you grow into that.

I enjoy the overseas leagues and our cousins. I’m follower of various Porto FC, Fulham and AS Roma related things. I try to watch their matches and I’m trying to learn. But my first love is American soccer. Because it’s ours and because I’m a native. I want to see our league grow and produce better talent.

The same with this site, I love it because it’s mine.  I go and read (and re-read A LOT) SounderAtHeart, I really appreciate what Dave and Jeremiah have done for the community and really driven awareness for all things Sounders related. There is no other comprehensive site that compares to what they’ve done in all of Seattle sports. It’s simply amazing. This site isn’t about competing with them.Same with ProstAmerika, who has a Sounders FC section to their site. It’s wonderfully written, informative and very soccer technical. It’s not about competing with them.

My site, and I’ve been very forward about this, is about bringing something specific to the table and having an emphasis on it more than other sites. MLS, more than most leagues in the world, are leading the way with statistics and data far above what has ever been provided before through Opta. I’m not here to say statistics are going to drive the game or the game is changing but let’s face it, we can’t continue to evaluate players within MLS the same way we did before. I’ve heard the name Jeff Larentowicz more this week than I had ever before. And some of that is heavily influenced by pieces like what was done by Devin Pleuler and what he has done over at “Central Winger”.

My goal for this site is strickley about the game and 1′s and 0′s that follow. I come from a baseball background and I’m sure there are times that people can point to and say that I can’t evaluate certian things the way I’m going too. Those are mistakes that have be made. I feel like everyone walks around on eggs shells when it comes to data and we need to start using these terms, we need to start educating our selves.

My goal is to do it through multiple mediums, using this site as a jump pad. I have, with the help of much smarter individuals, put together some data sets together and I hope with their help (as well as many others) to one day soon make it available to others. So we can talk, debate and even straight up argue about what works and what doesn’t when comes to bringing analytics to the American game.

Manchester City has a great program going on over there and they are doing some great work. But we have an equal opportunity to do the same thing but it takes effort and it takes partnership. I would like to as much as possible involve myself with other sites and smarter people. I try to keep tabs on things that are written by guys like Matt Doyle, Garaham MacAree and a few others because they are smart and the bring analytics into their analysis. But I’m new at this and I’ve been seeking this stuff out and I’m finding dead ends all over the place. I hope to turn NetByNorthwest into a location where people can find information on players production and value versus just simply antiquated jargon and team with other sites and point the way for educated growth and speak in soccer.

I’m not saying that other sites surrounding the Sounders are that at all. In fact I’m amazed by what guys like Sidereal and many others do over at SounderAtHeart But I’ve been quiet exhaustive with my search into MLS and other blogs and it surprises me how some people seem so stuck on things.

There is a player headed to the combine right now that one specific mock draft has the Sounders drafting. It may have been Tommy Muller out of Georgetown, I quiet forget how it is. But someone immedately dismissed him as not having the physical abilities to do everything the would maybe needed. But then in the same breath ranting and raving about his vision and passing out of the back. To me… and this is just me… you can’t just say a player can’t play due to size or speed or strength. We’re too intelligent as society to say that anymore. Even in a physical game like soccer.

Clearing dangerous passes, blocking shots and intercepting passes … really 3 of the most critical things about being a back line defender is what this young man does best, but let’s dismiss him for his size on headers and the fact he could be pushed off the ball due to strength. He could be and that very well could be a hole in his game that he’ll have to fix. But, we need to get to a point that we’re not just speaking about just physical abilities and instead we’re looking at what players can bring.

I should get back to work, but I woke up this morning feeling like I needed to start putting together a vision statement for this site. I want to bring in more writers that have this passion and people that share my view for this type of work. I’m not trying to undermined or dismiss what other sites are doing. I simply want to contribute something new to the Seattle Soccer scene and I want to give back to the American Soccer culture as a whole in a place that I feel has a need.

I’ll put up a call for additional site writers and an idea about a specific soccer statistics podcast later today. But I just want to sit and kind of stew with what I just wrote. Let me know your thoughts on this. I know there are at least a good 20 -30 people that read this site each day. Come on you, speak up!

 

Topics: Analytics

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  • Jim Elliott

    Don’t ask the writers about Mr. Mullers game but maybe his coach at Georgetown or the staff @ LA Galaxy or Anglehome FF in Sweden. On the athletic side at 5’11 and can dunk a basketball. He does not loose many headers.

    • Harrison_Crow

      I’ve got a bit of a different thought process on Centre backs and the importance of winning headers. I don’t doubt his ability but generally I’ve found the skill to be a bit over valued. Don’t tell Omar Gonzalez I said that.

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