Request for the more soccer/futbol literate among us

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Request for the more soccer/futbol literate among us

Post by jpswensen » June 10th, 2019, 3:57 pm

I haven't ever really followed the foreign leagues much. I never played soccer until my mission, and then we only played microfutbol (different names in different places, but a small hard ball on a basketball-sized court and a lot of touch passing). I have, however, watched most of the USMNT tournament games in the last 15 years and several of their qualifiers.

Well, lately I have been going to watch a lot of highlight from foreign leagues. Of course, a lot of this has been mostly goal scoring, but I feel like I am seeing a trend in the last couple of year, but want to bounce this off of people who follow the sport more closely.

To preface this, the era of the Splash Brothers in basketball has changed how NBA teams and players view the 3 pointer. You see advanced metrics now that explain how 3PT percentages are equivalent or higher than a corresponding 2PT percentage. Well, it feels like distance shooting in soccer has been increasing a lot. It feels like even 10 years ago that cross and score or set pieces accounted for 90% of the goals, with distance shots always making highlight reels. However, it feels like in the last 2-3 years that long distance shots on goal have increased in frequency A LOT. Is it purely in my imagination?

I tried to go search the internet for something to support my (potentially very wrong) observation, but all I could find was some recent advanced metrics, the expected goals, xG, model that suggest that close goals are more likely ( ... as-stoker/). This still doesn't answer whether people are shooting more from further and whether the ability to set up a further goal and the likelihood ends up making it as efficient as the hard to set up close goals.

Any insights from the soccer fanatics on this sub would be greatly appreciated (and whether there is a FiveThirtyEight of soccer somewhere on the internet).

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Re: Request for the more soccer/futbol literate among us

Post by Gretsch » June 10th, 2019, 9:16 pm

I dont watch much of premier or championship play but I have definitely seen an increase in attempts from outside the 18 in mls in the past couole seasons. What seemed to be a desperation one time go a few years ago now seems like a major part of attacking strategy lately. Honestly, while the closer you are gives you higher potential to score, striking from distance does allow you to catch a keeper flat footed and has the potential for more second chance attempts from a spilled ball. Also, most teams will see 10x more time with the ball between 18-20yards than they do inside the 18.

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Re: Request for the more soccer/futbol literate among us

Post by trombone_ninja » June 13th, 2019, 6:04 pm

I think it might just be that, just like every other sport, players are just better at it now than they used to be.

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