Saturday, April 30, 2011

Jack Edwards NHL rant

Found a link to this on Yahoo sports. He's been doing the Boston Bruins hockey games for the last few years, and he hasn't changed a bit. From what I've read online, he is still the same love/hate announcer with his own unique brand of catchphrases. This is classic Jack:

The man loves his history references.

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

CTL on How bad a red card hurts

This week's column:

Climbing the Ladder: How bad a red card hurts

How many goals per 90 will it cost your team to go down a man?

And I already realized that I missed the RSL-Columbus series for the article's second point, about drawing the away leg of the CCL first. Doh.

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Monday, April 25, 2011

Top Ten Most/Least Domestic MLS Teams

Recently, I looked at every team from the past five years in my April 1 column on the subject. I've since gone back and done it for every year and every team, though I'm still not 100% sure that I got every single nationality change. At least those from American to foreign, and vice versa.

There's Arturo Alvarez, Jeff Cunningham, Taylor Graham, Pablo Mastroeni, and Preki. Also possibly Martin Vasquez (wasn't capped during 1996 season, though he was called up), but I didn't count him.

Based on the percentage of minutes played:

Most Domestic MLS Teams

1 KC 2001 88.85%
2 COL 2003 87.99%
3 CHI 2003 87.15%
4 KC 2003 85.32%
5 CLB 2004 84.77%
6 KC 2000 84.21%
7 CLB 2003 84.16%
8 KC 2002 84.05%
9 KC 2007 84.01%
10 KC 2005 83.98%

Notice anything? Bob Gansler's KC teams relied heavily on American players. It's interesting that under Peter Vermes, the team has seen a steep drop in their percentage. The drop from 2009 to 2010 was 30 percentage points (79 vs 49), and 2011 is right at the same level as last year.

The 2001 Wizards are at the top of the list. They were a lot like the 2000 Wizards, but without Miklos Molnar's minutes. And no Preki, which lead to a much worse record. The only foreign players were Gary Glasgow, Mo Johnston, and Onandi Lowe. Hey, remember when Lowe came in and somewhat took the league by storm for half a year? He racked up the highest fouls suffered per 90 rate of all time.

Least Domestic MLS Teams

All right, you knew Toronto would dominate the top ten list, so I've expanded it to 14 to include 10 American teams.

1 TOR 2008 22.28%
2 CHV 2005 31.18%
3 TOR 2010 31.24%
4 TOR 2007 32.24%
5 NY 2010 33.29%
6 TOR 2009 36.22%
7 NY 2009 43.92%
8 DAL 2008 45.34%
9 NE 1998 46.88%
10 CHV 2010 47.27%
11 SEA 2009 47.41%
12 SEA 2010 48.55%
13 DAL 2006 49.04%
14 DC 2009 49.07%

The least domestic American team is the infamous 2005 Chivas USA expansion side. It was obvious from the preseason results and turmoil that things weren't going to be smooth for them (remember Ramon Ramirez and his nanny?). And to think, people were worried about them fielding a mostly foreign team.

Second to them among American teams is last year's New York Red Bulls. This year, they're on track to beat Chivas 2005 as the league's overall domestic percentage continues to decrease. Tim Ream and Juan Agudelo are the only American starters, and for the last two games it was only Ream.

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Friday, April 22, 2011

CTL on How MLS teams rank by age

This week's column:

Climbing the Ladder: How MLS teams rank by age

Features a list of the team ages so far this season. Interesting to see that the most foreign and most domestic teams, NY & SJ, are the two oldest so far this season.

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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Alternate History 3: NBA & Pro/Rel

I've already examined the NFL and NHL, so now it's time for professional basketball.

What if the NBA had implemented a system of promotion and relegation? There was no obvious point to start like with the NFL and NHL, so I settled on the 1967-68 season. That's when the league was expanded to 12 team, the same starting number I used for the NHL, and it also means that all three of these posts started right around the same time.


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Thursday, April 14, 2011

CTL on Winning PK shootouts

This week's column:

Climbing the Ladder: Winning PK shootouts

If the CCL final goes to one, everything is pointing to RSL having a great chance (knock on wood).

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Monday, April 11, 2011

OTFATT 2011: Update #1

In these updates throughout the season, I'll be keeping track of which MLS players have played every minute of every game in the regular season. That feat has been accomplished only 42 times in 15 seasons. Click here for the complete list.

This year, we started with 198 eligible players (18 teams times 11 starters). A month into the season, and the total now stands at exactly one-third of that: 66. More interestingly, two teams have both been wiped out already, and they just played each other on Saturday. RSL rested most of their starters (thank god MLS won't fine them like the EPL), while New England simply have been hit with injuries and needless ejections. They were down to two players going into the match: Shalrie Joseph and Pat Phelan, and you know what happened next. The Revs were also the second team out last year.

For rookies, there's Anibaba, Balchan, and Sapong left.

Of the three players who survived last year (Hesmer, Moor, Ream), two of the three remain in 2011. Ream was called up for the USMNT games.

Six teams have changed their goalkeeper so far. Of the survivors, I like Jimmy Nielsen of Kansas City to have the best chance to survive the whole year. He would've last year if not for being rested in the final weekend. From the field players, looking at the defenders obviously, I like Jason Hernandez. He lasted until July 31st a year ago, and seems less likely to be carded than several of the others.

Remaining Candidates (66)

5 CHI Anibaba, Gibbs, Johnson, Pappa, Pause
3 CHV LaBrocca, Pearce, Zemanski
5 CLB Balchan, Hesmer, James, Marshall, Miranda
6 COL Kimura, Larentowicz, Moor, Pickens, Smith, Wynne
4 DAL Ferreira, Hartman, Hernandez, John
1 DC Burch
5 HOU Boswell, Cameron, Hainault, Hall, Palmer
4 KC Besler, Espinoza, Nielsen, Sapong
4 LA Dunivant, Franklin, Juninho, Leonardo
4 NY Lindpere, Miller, Solli, Tainio
5 PHI Califf, Le Toux, Miglioranzi, Mondragon, Valdes
4 POR Brunner, Cooper, Jewsbury, Purdy
4 SEA Alonso, Gonzalez, Keller, Parke
7 SJ Busch, Convey, Cronin, Hernandez, Johnson, McDonald, Wondolowski
3 TOR Cann, Frei, Harden
2 VAN Leathers, Rochat

Order of teams being totally wiped out for 2011, with last surviving player:

1. RSL - Kyle Beckerman, Nat Borchers, Javier Morales, Nick Rimando, Chris Wingert (4/9)
2. NE - Pat Phelan (4/9)


Thursday, April 07, 2011

CTL on Dixon and The Name Game


Climbing the Ladder: Dixon and The Name Game

This week, I looked at the significance of Houston Dynamo academy signing Alex Dixon's debut, as well as a few more notes on the Champions League and the Rapids' excellent start. Check it out!

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Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Error in Lineup Database

I noticed a couple of errors yesterday relating to the LA Galaxy's games in the 2000 CONCACAF Champions Cup (played in January 2001, but still called the 2000 edition). They've been fixed, and the corrected version can be downloaded here (stats through 2010).

Brian Kelly & Zak Ibsen were each listed with two sub appearances. In reality, Kelly and Sasha Victorine should each have three for that tournament and Ibsen none (he started each match).

In addition, the minutes of the subs in game one were off, and Peter Vagenas was not subbed off in game two. Here's what the correct lineups should look like:

Kevin Hartman, Greg Vanney, Alexi Lalas, Paul Caligiuri, Zak Ibsen (Brian Kelly 74), Ezra Hendrickson, Simon Elliot, Peter Vagenas, Mauricio Cienfuegos, Cobi Jones, Adam Frye (Sasha Victorine 71)

Kevin Hartman, Ezra Hendrickson, Paul Caligiuri, Alexi Lalas, Zak Ibsen (Brian Kelly 88), Greg Vanney, Peter Vagenas, Mauricio Cienfuegos, Simon Elliott, Cobi Jones, Adam Frye (Sasha Victorine 62)

Kevin Hartman, Greg Vanney, Alexi Lalas, Paul Caliguiri, Zak Ibsen, Ezra Hendrickson, Simon Elliot, Peter Vagenas, Mauricio Cienfuegos (Brian Kelly 92+), Cobi Jones, Adam Frye (Sasha Victorine 60)

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Saturday, April 02, 2011

CTL on domestic/foreign minutes played by team

New column. Didn't get published on the normal day this week, so you might have missed it:

Climbing the Ladder: Playing percentages by nationality

I'll probably go back and figure out the rest of the years in the near future, though it can be tricky as certain players have changed nationalities (like Jeff Cunningham, domestic since 2002 but foreign before).

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