Why I love soccer
I became a soccer fan at the first ever Chicago Fire home game. This was back in 1998, and I had never followed soccer before then. After my first game I was hooked. That game, which was *so much fun*, was the genesis for why I love soccer. It’s why I follow MLS and advocate for it. For good and bad, it’s why I’m stuck with the Fire as my club. (Believe me… I’ve tried to find a different club)
I was never a hardcore fan with season tickets. My wife and I would follow the results and go to a couple games a year, always trying to sit with the rowdy fans at Soldier Field. My support for MLS has waxed and waned through the years. There was a house purchase and grad school and three kids. We moved across the country. Life gets in the way.
How I got into stats
Grad school kicked off my love of analytics. At the University of Chicago, I learned the value of asking, “where’s the data?”. For a long time, I have blogged and tweeted about college basketball analytics and Marquette, which is about as niche a blogging interest as you could imagine. If you’re curious, you can go look up my articles at Cracked Sidewalks or tweet at the Cracked Sidewalks account. Basketball statistics are more advanced, better understood, and more available than soccer stats. For those that don’t know, there is a website with data called www.kenpom.com that has advanced stats for every college basketball team going back years. I want a site like that available for soccer, going across North America (USL, NWSL), covering international leagues (La Liga, Bundesliga), looking at Cups (US Open Cup, Champions League), and then National Teams (USMNT, USWNT).
How I got into this website
The information I wanted wasn’t readily available online. It’s as simple as that. We started with manual data collection and manual updates, and have now expanded to automatic collection and multiple leagues.
What’s my purpose for doing this?
I love soccer, but life doesn’t revolve around it. I have a family that I love and enjoy spending time with, and a career that is necessary to support them. Some weeks it’s hard enough keeping up with the teams that I care about, let alone all the other teams in a league or all the leagues that exist. The soccer stats make it simple to stay informed.
Questions / Feedback?
Please don’t hesitate to ask questions or provide feedback. I’m available primarily via Twitter.