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Fun With Graphs

Often graphs can tell us a lot more about certain data then just the numbers itself. At least they are usually easier to understand. I just downloaded Aaron Nielsen's (@ENBSports) amazing database from the 2010 MLS season and started playing around with it. Here are some interesting graphs I came up with:

This is probably a graph that already exists somewhere, but I made it anyways. It really highlights how much Seattle dominates attendance in the MLS. Also added in a bar for average attendance (between Chicago and Salt Lake) for comparison.

Another graph that highlights domination (in this case probably in a negative sense) of one team over all the others. All teams fall in the range of 1.4 to 1.8 cards per game. However, its clear that Toronto is an outlier with 2.17 cards per game.

This graph once again shows domination by one team in a certain statistic. Dallas scored almost 20% of their goals from PK's. That's 1 out of every 5 goals. This almost doubled every other team in the MLS last season, and was 10 times the percentage of Seattle. Hmm. Not exactly sure what the explanation here is. Is Dallas really good at diving? Are they being favored by refs? Are they just getting a lot of chances in the box? Something to look at in the future.

For the percentage of goals scored outside the 18, I took the 2 lowest, 2 highest, and the average. Dallas (likely from their massive share of goals from PK's) and Columbus have the lowest percentage of goals scored from outside the 18. New England and Chivas USA have the two highest percentage of goals scored from outside the 18. This shows not every team is scoring goals the same way in the MLS. Having a high percentage of goals from outside the 18 doesn't exactly mean the team is being creative or is better at long distance shooting. Instead, it more likely tells us that the team struggled in scoring goals within the 18, where the bulk of goals are scored. Dallas and Columbus were 4th and 5th last year, respectively, while New England and Chivas USA were 13th and 15th, respectively.

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