Friday, January 18, 2013

So you're gonna play in MLS (Part 2 : The bloodening)

So we figured out (very very very very very roughly) how much you're gonna get paid after you get drafted. But maybe you don't care about money. You're a soccer player, dammit, you wanna know how much time you're actually gonna play.

Well I've got news for you buddy, we can math that up quick too. Unfortunatly, though, the picture is even less clear for a playimg time relation as it is for salary.

Of course its a little intuitive. Generally speaking, the higher you were drafted, the more you'll play, but oddly, playing time seems to peak around pick #10 instead of pick #1. Could that be because the first picks get taken for future potential rather than immediate impact? Could be, could be. Teams may be looking for the GA guys who they can sign without concern for roster space in hopes of getting a god developmental project.

I actually opted to go for a 4th order polynomial here, largely to get the shape looking about right. The big throw off were keeper Ryan Meara and defender Ray Gaddis. I think the hump can account for at least Meara. Keepers getting picked late is no surprise. Gaddis was probably the "steal" of the draft as far as salary and playing time go. Who knows what he'll develope into though.

Anyway, here's the chart.

So there you have it. Again, you're probably gonna see minutes if you wind up in the top 15 picks or so, but beyound that, while all hope is not lost, there are definitely outliers, it looks like you may need to wait a year before breaking into the starting XI.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

So you're gonna play in MLS.

Congratulations and I'm sorry.

Mostly just congratulations though. You've just been drafted. Awesome news! Time to start apartment hunting in your brand new town. So what's your budget? How much is your contract worth? Is it related to your draft position?

Why yes. Of course it is. That's why this post exists in the first place.

To help you out I took at look back at the last 3 years of the MLS SuperDraft (it's SuperDrafty in here) and plotted players selection order against their salary for that year, and boy is it a pretty graph. Take a look!

Not surprisingly, looks like the salary drops off in relation to draft order. Perhaps slightly upsetting is just how fast it drops off. Even before you've gotten below #10 we're already below six figures. The good news is it does look like it flattens out to a guarenteed salary pretty quickly! The bad news is, it bottoms out at the minimum wage.....

If you wanted to crank out your predicted salary by hand, you can! The formula would be this

Salary = -38,501 * ln(Draft Position) + $177,075

So let's just say you are, perhaps, SKCs new addition, Mikey Lopez. At #14, you're predicted starting salary would be $70,039.45. Not bad!

In actuality, if you've got a Generation Adidas contract you'll probably do a bit better than average. Without, perhaps a bit worse.

For reference, the average salary of an MLS draftee is $68,668.68. Lot's of sixes and eights. Nice. Average is a bit misleading though. The median salary paints perhaps a grimmer picture... Only $44,000 per year.

Still though, there's some players who manage to skirt the trend! At #8 in 2010, Dilly Duka pulled in $213,000, beating his predicted salary by $115,985.58.

Of course, on the flip side there's Zach Lloyd, who landed $57,985.03 below his predicted salary after being taken 5th in 2010. So, there's that.

Probably worth mentioning this is three years worth of draft data only and doesn't really try to correct for anything. The two interesting blurbs at the end of the curve are goalies, by the way. Sean Johnson and Brian Perk. Goalies tend to go late though, so that's not entirely news...