Exciting news! The guys over at American Soccer Analysis have invited me to join them as a contributor to their site, and featured this article yesterday. ASA is a great analysis site for all things MLS and US Soccer - check it out and follow them on Twitter @AnalysisEvolved.
College games largely follow the same pattern as MLS games in terms of passing numbers, just a bit lower – to be expected. But somewhere along the line during halftime, “college soccer falls off a cliff,” to use Will Parchman’s words. The huge number of substitutions and re-entries, as well as the intensely packed college schedule, could be potential contributors to this drop off.
In a brief follow-up, I found that although college games sometimes feel more hectic in the second half, stats such as interceptions, fouls, and cards do not increase or differ much from MLS games… leading to the idea that maybe college players resort to dumping more long balls as the game progresses. Now that we’re all up to speed, let’s explore that idea using actual numbers.