Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Alternate History 2: NHL & Pro/Rel

Last week, I looked at what would've happened if the NFL had promotion and relegation. Today, I look at the NHL using the same rules.

Like the NFL, there's a clear point in which implementing it would've made sense. That's the 1967-68 expansion which saw the size of the league double, from the long-standing six teams to twelve. The league even put all six teams in a different division, and most were much weaker for many years.

Details after the jump.

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Monday, March 28, 2011

Countdown to 10k goals: Update #1

We were at 9,544 before the first competitive game of the season. With Open Cup qualifying and another CCL game on tap, it seems like a good time to update.

The CCL games involving Columbus and Real Salt Lake meant another 7 were scored (
RSL 4:1 CLB in the second leg, and RSL 2:0 Saprissa).

Now with 19 MLS games in the books, 48 goals have been scored in league action so far. Add that to the CCL 7, and that means:

Current total: 9,599

Still probably about three months away, but creeping up.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

CTL on #3 - Hidden milestones of Week 1

It can be read by clicking here.

Features notes on the longest amount of time between league games (Adin Brown is up there), new nationalities in MLS, Faryd Mondragon's debut, and more.

Previous Columns

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Alternate History: If the NFL had Promotion & Relegation

The year is 1970. The Kansas City Chiefs have just defeated the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl IV, evening the score at two wins each for the NFL and the AFL. It's now time for the merger between the two leagues to take place. But instead of the Baltimore Colts, Cleveland Browns, and Pittsburgh Steelers jumping to the new American Football Conference and making one 26 team league, the owners instead decide to take a cue from European soccer and institute pro/rel in a major American sport for the first time.

It's decided that the 10 AFL teams will be joined by the three worst NFL teams from 1969: the Chicago Bears, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Saint Louis Cardinals. Together, they would from a second division, the NFL-2. Meanwhile, the playoffs and Super Bowl would continue to settle the NFL league champion, but now there was drama at the bottom of the standings as well. Thus, a new era began for professional football.

How did everything turn out? Many, many details after the jump.

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

CTL on - Column #2

Climbing the Ladder: Home-field advantage

Something I've discussed before in years past. For the person who left the comment about whether or not I'd be able to count shootouts as draws, here's your answer. However, that doesn't mean I'm going to just act like my records are official and the league's aren't. I'll use the official stats unless there's a reason not to, like with this kind of analysis.

For further reading, I recommend this article on the possible causes of HFA.

The Harvard study referenced, which involved the EPL and attendance, can be found here (well, a summary of it).

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Saturday, March 12, 2011

MLS All Time Teams: Coaches

Last week, I picked 18-man all time rosters for each MLS team, with the stipulation of using each player only once. Why not do the same for head coaches? This won't be nearly as long or tough. Let's take a look.

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Thursday, March 10, 2011

CTL now on

Climbing the Ladder: Champs usually start hot

First column, which will appear weekly. Pretty cool, huh?


Thursday, March 03, 2011

The All Time Teams - MLS 1996-2010

It's a statement many people never thought would be made - MLS has now completed 15 seasons. Wow. Every 5th year seems to be an appropriate time to look back at the past, so before we enter season number 16, I'd like to take a look at the best players for each franchise through the first 15.

More specifically, I put together all time 18-man rosters for each club. But there's one catch: each player can only be used once. That means Carlos Ruiz can't be on both Los Angeles and Dallas, Joe Cannon can't be on San Jose and Colorado, and Eddie Pope can't be on DC and New York. This rule certainly punishes some teams more than others, but I felt like it made the exercise more fun and different than your usual bunch of all time lists.

Putting together the lists, I tried very hard not to give a player to a team just because they needed somebody. Rather, I looked at the player first, determined what his first team would be, then only if they had no room for him did I go on the second one.

I took into account overall talent, longevity, awards, and fan opinions. I also looked at whether or not they were a part of the best seasons for each team, and also how many important matches they took part in.

Each roster had 18 players: 2 goalkeepers, and preferably a 6-6-4 breakdown for defenders, midfielders, and forwards, though it wasn't essential. Besides, many players played multiple positions, even though I'm only listing them at one below. I didn't feel the need to break it down further into specific positions like left back.

Now, let's begin! I did rosters for every MLS team that played from 1996-2010, so that includes Miami and Tampa Bay. With 18 teams and 18 players each, 324 are listed below (out of 1,504 who have ever played in a competitive match for an MLS team).

Let's start with the more recent teams, and work our way backwards. Stats below refer only to time spent with that club (and years played only includes years where the player made an appearance).

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