When MLS announced a partnership with OptaSports before the beginning of the 2011 season, there were hopes that a new level of statistical and tactical analysis would be on the horizon. Those days are here.
Now on MLSSoccer.com, if you access the match reports from each game, you will find a tab that says “Chalkboard.” Click on that, and you will find a similar tool to that which the Guardian Online offers for the English Premier League.
You can now find out how many passes Brian Carroll failed to complete, or take an overall look at the positional play of Davy Arnaud. A full display of a variety of data points are laid out in front of you, which also includes heat maps when you roll over specific players. Add to that the ability to narrow the time frame you would like to question, and this is a wonderful tool for both fledgling fans and experienced tacticians to learn more about their favorite (or least favorite) players, where things went right, and often more importantly, where things went wrong.
I know that personally I find this exciting, and I believe this upgrade in data available will enhance our coverage of the league for you, the consumer.