Thursday, May 31, 2012

I'll just leave this here

I'll let my twitterpation with this die off, but this seems to be as good a summary as any of what's happening with Cal FC prior to Portland. Who knows what's next.

Major League Soccer’s errant son returns to teach it a lesson

Must watch

For those who missed the match, it looks like the full game is still up on YouTube. I'm gonna try to download it when I get home in case they take it down, but really, if you've got the time, this was just a hilarious, hilarious game.

I don't even know if congratulations are in order to Cal FC or what, but I haven't had this much fun watching a game at 1:00 AM in... well... ever.

The magical Wynalda trololol eff you road tour side show 1 : Portland Timbers 0

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Is this thing on?

Why not. I wasn't planning on doing player ratings since this wasn't an MLS game and the stats aren't really available, but I figured it's not that hard to assign points and since I'll be doing it uniformly for both teams, it really doesn't matter where they come from.

However, I don't really know Orlando's players, so it's possible I misidentified some one or just plain forgot some of the action, of which there was plenty. I'll likely get a seprate USOC "Night of the Cupsets" post later on. If any one out there from Orlando thinks I got a player wrong feel free to let me know.

Also, yeah, this rating system is a bit hard to the subs, Graham Zusi and CJ Sapong especially. The reason is, essentially, it's time weighted, and so if a player plays less than the average player (for this game 79.1 minutes) his score is reduced accordingly in order not to completely blow up his points per minute rating. So unless a sub records a goal or an assist (or an ejection or a penalty save or something) they'll likely be rated lower than they should be. Zusi really turned things around, along with Sapong in this one. I rated Sapong slightly higher as he notched an assist.

All that aside, the numbers :

Oralndo City FC
Miguel Gallardo
Kieron Bernard
Erik Ustruck
Luke Boden
Robert Valentino
Charlie Campbell
James O'Connor
Anthony Pullis
Kevin Molino
Dennis Chin
Jamie Watson
Ian Fuller

Sporting Kansas City
Jon Kempin
Chance Myers
Aurelien Collin
Konrad Warzycha
Seth Sinovic
Matt Besler
Paulo Nagamura
Lawrence Olum
Jacob Peterson
Peterson Joseph
Graham Zusi
Dom Dwyer
Soony Saad
CJ Sapong

It should be no surprise that man of the match goes to Saad for his brace, plus his effort that hit the post. I thought he looked a bit out of place in the first half. Everyone for SKC did really, but he turned it on in the second half with some great skill and a brace that included the game winner. Lots of upside for him I think, and he's gonna be a lot of fun to watch. More than anything, he just looks like he wants to score goals out there. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come. I should note that Dennis Chin had a really good game too, for the most part, but his decision making in the final third was suspect at best. Both keepers were brilliant as well. Really excited to see what Kempin has to offer.

Monday, May 28, 2012

I bet he's a hit on the club scene

Too funny not to post. Seth Sinovic, playing with a broken(?) hand already, went over the video baords and needed to get stiches on his other hand. This is the result.

Harcore, for sure. Props to James for finding it on Twitter, and to Dom Dwyer for putting it up in the first place. Just awesome.

Player of the month? Player of the month.

I guess I could wait until tomorrow's Open Cup match is over, but no one will be compiling fantasy stats for this one, and since that's how I've tried to baselines these ratings, it wouldn't make much sense. Also, so far, the numbers are pretty clear and, given the goals that were leaked this month, the defense isn't likely to win anything (though offense wasn't stellar either).

So, with that out of the way, here's how the ratings for May worked out.

Player Rating
Jimmy Nielsen 5.2

Aurélien Collin 5.6
Matt Besler 4.4
Seth Sinovic 4.6
Chance Myers 4.4
Lawrence Olum 3.6
Michael Harrington 5.4

Graham Zusi 6.3
Julio César 5.0
Bobby Convey 6.0
Roger Espinoza 5.0
Jacob Peterson 3.6
Paulo Nagamura 4.0
Peterson Joseph 3.4

Kei Kamara 6.7
C.J. Sapong 5.4
Teal Bunbury 6.3

Kei Kamara played every minute of every game and had a huge game against San Jose, being involved in both goals for the win. He's getting a well deserved trip back home to Sierra Leone and I wish him all the best. Happy to send him off as this month's Sporting Player of the Month. I should have my wife bake him a cake or something. Heart shaped hands all around.

Pretty pretty pictures

And now some snapshots from the San Jose game. In typical me fashion I don't have much to say about the game analysis wise. Great first half for Kansas City, two really good run of play goals. Felt bad for Seth getting taken off so quickly but I'd laugh a bit to see him play the next game with two club hands (though I think it was more a bad cut than anything so unless he needs serious stiches I'd think he'll be fine). After San Jose scored they looked like a much better team, but the reversal point to me was the weird play where Zusi gets taken down right at the box and the ref waves play on while the AR flags for a foul, so the two discuss it for a few minutes, decide there was no foul, and award a drop ball, which Zusi launches into the crowd.

Then, of course, there was the Busch slap of the ball kid. Not really a slap to me. From my vantage point he seemed to swat at the ball while it was being handed to him and got more of the kid than he meant, but it was still a hot headed and stupid thing to do, even if the ball kid was stalling a bit, which I also think is not cool. But still, no excuse to ever act like that towards a kid and I wouldn't be surprised to see a bit of a fine and maybe a one or two game suspension.

Really a fun game to watch though. Goals, controversary, drama, blood. All in all an excellent MLS game, and a great result for Kansas City.

Oops, I did it again...

I'm making a concious effort to not start my posts with the word "So," but it's been hard. I really need to expand my vocabulary.

Speaking of which, it's once again time to consult the not-so-oracular spreadsheet and get some power ratings spat out. SLC fans will be pleased to see that they're finally in the top spot, and I say well earned. There was a fair amount of movement this week actually. Toronto's win really helped them out and sort of flattened out the curve, so to speak. Up until now the system has basically just calculated ratings for 18 teams and then stuck Tortono on the bottom, but this week they actually won a game. Good for them. Can't wait to beat em in the next game.

Kansas City climbs up to second, which is a bit surprsing really, but I would point out that their 2.08 points per game average is the best in the league right now, so maybe not that surprising at all.

At any rate, here's the full table.

Team Rank Weekly Δ Rating Weekly Δ
Salt Lake City 1 +1 6.071 +0.262
Kansas City 2 +3 7.143 +0.107
San Jose 3 -2 7.357 -1.440
DC 4 +2 7.714 +0.869
New York 5 -1 7.714 -0.964
Seattle 6 -3 8.071 -1.655
Colorado 7 +1 9.500 +0.500
Vancouver 8 -1 9.714 -0.548
Houston 9 +1 9.929 +1.155
Chicago 10 -1 10.357 -0.107
Columbus 11 0 10.357 +1.393
Chivas 12 0 13.286 -0.119
Dallas 13 0 13.643 -0.310
LA 14 0 13.643 -0.310
Portland 15 +1 13.714 -0.048
New England 16 -1 14.000 -0.583
Philadelphia 17 +2 14.071 -0.238
Montreal 18 -1 14.214 -0.381
Toronto 19 0 17.929 +1.988

And let's put up RSLs crest here too, so it looks pretty.


Once more through the meat grinder, eh? Anyway, what a game that was, really exciting stuff. Goals, controversy, blood, ball kids getting beat down, edge of my seat stuff. Had a blast, and I'll post more later, but for now, I'll just dump some player ratings.
San Jose
Jon Busch5.3
Justin Morrow4.6
Steven Beitsashor4.3
Ramiro Corrales5.3
Jason Hernandez4.3
Ike Opara4.3
Rafael Baca4.6
Mavin Chavez5.0
Khari Stephenson4.6
Simon Dawkins6.4
Tressor Moreno4.3
Brad Ring5.0
Alan Gordon4.3
Cesar Diaz Pizzaro4.3

Sporting Kansas City
Jimmy Nielsen4.6
Aurelien Collin5.0
Matt Besler5.0
Chance Myers4.6
Seth Sinovic4.3
Michael Harrington6.1
Lawrence Olum3.9
Graham Zusi5.3
Roger Espinoza5.3
Julio Cesar5.0
Paolo Nagamura4.3
Kei Kamara8.9
CJ Sapong6.4
Teal Bunbry4.6

Shouldn't really be a big surprise that Kei Kamara gets man of the match. Dominant performance by him this game, and here's top hoping he does well with Sierra Leone.

Thursday, May 24, 2012


Sure, MLS isn't the greatest league in the world, but where else can you see a red card, three goals in the last 20 minutes of the game to win it, and Pirate Beckham getting a yellow for a handball in the box to give up the tying goal on a PK. Great stuff from LA this week, and I love watching them fall to pieces.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I calls it likes I sees it

So a very slight uptick in last weeks prediction success rate. 5 correct out of 11, with 1 completely wrong and 5 mixed draw results. Correct percentage creeps up slightly to 44.9%. Of course, the downside to all this guess work is that in MLS, the home team has a winning % of 49.5%. So, if you just always pick the home team to win, you'll do slightly better than I would.

The flip side is the "experts" over at MLS haven't figured this out either. As far as I can tell, the best expert picks have gone at 45.8%. Make of that what you will, I guess? Callups are gonna be crazy I think though. Hard to tell who's gonna be hurt and who's gonna be helped...

At any rate, I guess what I'm trying to say is... here's this weeks predictions!

Team       ResultGDConfidence
New YorkWIN+281.65%
San JoseDRAW088.13%
New EnglandLOSS-192.54%
Real Salt LakeWIN+2100.00%
Kansas CityWIN+189.54%
San JoseLOSS-189.54%

Monday, May 21, 2012

Okay, power rankings are coming out...

I was actually ahead of the game this week and got everything setup early so I could just dump results in. I actually did that because I wanted to setup a hypothetical situation for SKC to see if it was possible for them to regain the top spot. I think a win with a +2GD combined with an SJE loss might have been enough, but that didn't come to pass. Anyway, it made it alot easier to just "plug and chug", and I actually think the rankings worked out quite well this week. Don't know that I could objectively rank them any better. Of course I'll have to wait and see what other people come up with to compare (and, yes, I am actually tracking comparisons too), but I think it adjusted itself very well this week.

*eep, edit - I had made a small mistake in calculating Torton and Vancouver this week. It didn't change any of the rankings, but the ratings got tweaked slightly. Apologies...

So, without Freddy Adu (get it!?!?!?@!# F)...

Team       RankWeekly Δ       RatingWeekly Δ
San Jose105.917-0.46
Salt Lake City2+26.333+0.30
New York4+16.750+0.52
Kansas City5-27.250-0.98
New England15+213.417+1.04

One thing that I think is interesting to note is just how close the bottom third is. Everyone sitting around a rating of about 13, so barely worth even trying to differentiate. A lot of movement though. Maybe LA should be above Dallas, but it's always nice to put LA a bit lower since MLS always seems to keep them in the top 10 no matter what.

Also interesting is just how bad Toronto is. A rating of 19 means they'd average being in 19th position. They are currently sub 19, which means they're actually worse than would be possible. This is because in the ratings I include two hypothetical baseline teams (An average of 2 points per game and +1 GD team and a 1 poing per game +0 GD team). But still. Toronto is barely worth talking about. Of course the same could probably be said of SKC last year, except they had actually earned points and a very friendly second half schedule. I think Toronto is setting a new bar for futility, though I'd love to see them prove me wrong.

Anyway, SKC is home to SJE next week and that should be a super important game for both teams.

Must win? Must win.

Also, as the top team, here's a picture of San Jose's crest. Yay San Jose!