Introduction Pt. 2, From The Other Guy

Hello, it’s Writer Number Two. Yes, Ty is not the only one who will be producing material: my name is Austin Casel, and I am a contributor for Box-to-Box Analytics. I’m from the same small town as Ty, and happen to align quite well in statistical thinking and observation. We are two college students quite passionate about analysis, and have decided to create a blog to bring our intellect to soccer. Here’s where my perspective comes from…

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Looking for Greatness Part II

I did some work last week about stats to look at when you want to find consistent greatness. Some stats are incredibly fickle from year-to-year, and so doing well in that area one season may not be entirely indicative of improving to the caliber that the numbers would suggest. That piece only covered shooting and finishing goals, though – which is only part of a forward’s job.

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Looking for Greatness

One of the biggest purposes of numbers in sport is to separate players by their performance. While it’s really easy to tell the difference between the truly elite and the incredibly awful, things get a little blurry as you get more into a “middle ground.” Bill James, the famous baseball thinker and “father of sabermetrics,” once mentioned that the difference between hitting .300 (good for the sport) and .275 (average for the sport) is merely one hit every two weeks. While it’s quite easy to see the difference between a guy hitting .333 and .200, finding the difference between good and average or great and good becomes much harder is very hard to find simply by watch. That’s where statistics really can be helpful. They make that difference much clearer between two players. They “see” that hit every two weeks.

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Looking for a Defensive Creator

To start, I’d just like to do a simple piece, in which numbers are used in a not so emphatic way. This isn’t a piece to show why numbers are right, why they’re better than just watching, or why they should be used at all. It’s just a fun little exercise where numbers are used to find players that might not otherwise be recognized – and I think that’s a great start for anyone into a statistical analysis. Today’s search with numbers led me to in search of a special player. A player that beautifully combines defensive prowess and ability with offensive creation.

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