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TruMedia Networks is a software engineering firm focused on powering sports analytics platforms.

In the News

News about TruMedia and articles featuring TruMedia data and analysis.

Filtering by Tag: soccer

No. 10s are dying breeds in soccer

Rafe Anderson

Mesut Ozil's Arsenal decline shows that the classic No. 10 position is dying in soccer, as ESPN’s Ryan O’Hanlon explains, with the help of TruMedia’s ProVision product…

“Across 35 games [in the 2015-16 Premier League season], Arsenal's Mesut Ozil created 146 total chances -- 20 more than any other player since 2010, according to TruMedia data. His 19 assists are the high-water mark in the Premier League this decade, as are the 28 Big Chances (defined by Opta as "a situation where a player should reasonably be expected to score") he created. From Sept. 26 through Nov. 21, Ozil recorded an assist in seven straight games, something no Premier League player had ever done before and no one's done since. In fact, only 18 other players in the league that year even reached seven assists across the entire season.”

Full article: ESPN.com

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Could Mbappe run down his contract?

Rafe Anderson

ESPN’s Ryan O’Hanlon uses TruMedia’s ProVision product to contextualize the accomplishments of Kylian Mbappe at age 20, and what might happen if Mbappe runs down his contract…

“According to TruMedia data, which goes back to the 2010-11 season, Mbappe's 33 Ligue 1 goals last season were the most of any player age 20 or under in Europe's big five leagues in that time period. When they were in the same age bracket, Lionel Messi topped out at 14 goals, while Cristiano Ronaldo never got above nine.”

Full article: ESPN.com

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Is Barcelona over-reliant on Lionel Messi?

Rafe Anderson

ESPN’s Ryan O’Hanlon uses TruMedia’s product to examine the numbers around Barcelona’s reliance on Lionel Messi…

“According to TruMedia data going back to 2010, Messi created a career-high 24.2% of Barcelona's chances (assists plus key passes) when he was on the field in 2017-18. Barca were even more reliant on him to put the ball on goal, as he accounted for 39.2% of their shots, his second-highest proportion since 2010. This past season, Messi upped his importance as a creator (28.3%) while maintaining a similar proportion of shots (37.9%). If you add both numbers, Messi was responsible for 63.4% of Barca's total shots in 2017-18 and 66.2% last season. This is unprecedented, as the previous high was 55.5% in 2012-13.”

Full article: ESPN.com

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U.S. Soccer Uses ProVision at Women's World Cup

Rafe Anderson

U.S. Soccer uses ProVision to prepare before, after and during the Women’s World Cup…

“The U.S. Soccer Federation has embraced data. In recent years, the USSF has hired more data scientists and, in 2017, it partnered with OptaPro on a three-year deal to collect and manage match data at all levels, from senior national teams on down to under-16 players.”

Full article: SportTechie

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Le Sommer scores earliest WWC goal in opener

Rafe Anderson

The first goal of this year’s Women’s World Cup was one for the record books…

“[Eugénie Le Sommer’s] finish was hardly immaculate, but goalkeeper Kim Jung-mi got only a soft hand to it and the ball pinged the underside of the bar and went into the net for the earliest goal in a Women’s World Cup opener, per TruMedia Sports.”

Full article: Yahoo Sports

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Carli Lloyd's scoring rate remains high

Rafe Anderson

Anger fuels Carli Lloyd, as she still produces goals and assists while coming off the bench…

“And she has remained productive, even as her minutes have diminished. By the time 2016 ended, Lloyd had started 176 games in 202 appearances for the US. Since the calendar flipped to 2017, she has been a substitute in 28 of 42 matches. And yet she has held steady, notching a goal or an assist every 88 minutes, according to TruMedia analyst Paul Carr. That is nearly the same level of production as Alex Morgan, the team’s designated starter in Lloyd’s striker spot.”

Full article: The Guardian

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TruMedia's Paul Carr moderates soccer panel at Sloan

Rafe Anderson

TruMedia’s Paul Carr hosted the soccer panel at this year’s Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in Boston, to discuss soccer analytics and youth development. Panelists included Brian Biello (New England Revolution president), Ben Mackriell (Head of OptaPro), Kristine Lilly (former USWNT star) & Isaac Guerrero (Technical Director of Barcelona’s Football School).

Video link

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Inside the numbers of Wu Lei, Espanyol's new signing

Rafe Anderson

For the OptaPro blog, TruMedia’s Paul Carr wrote about Wu Lei, Espanyol's new signing whose stellar numbers in China may be deceiving.

“Wu’s surface-level statistics look great. After scoring 20 goals in 2017, he led the CSL with 27 goals last season, as his club won the championship and ended Guangzhou Evergrande’s streak of seven straight titles.

Wu has surpassed his expected goals total in six straight seasons, so the 27-year-old may possess above-average finishing ability.  However, Wu’s success in 2018 was fueled by an impossible-to-maintain finishing rate.”

Full article: OptaPro blog

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WHY TIMBERS ARE UNDERDOGS AND HOW THEY'VE BEATEN THE ODDS

Rafe Anderson

TruMedia Networks’ Paul Carr contributed to Caitlin Murray’s piece for The Athletic, on why the Portland Timbers have been big underdogs according to predictive models, and how they’ve been able to beat those odds.

“Two things models often struggle with are how two teams’ styles match up, and adjustments that might be made on a given day,” Carr says. “Portland has done well at both these things in the playoffs, by clogging the middle against SKC and by pressing higher against Seattle, among other ways. Plus there’s the eternal randomness of playoffs, like Blanco’s wonder strike.”

Full article: The Athletic

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Playing styles of MLS conference finalists

Rafe Anderson

For Sports Illustrated, our Paul Carr analyzes the four MLS conference finalists and their vastly different playing styles.

Measuring playing style by where a team begins possession and how long a team maintains possession, the quartet could not have been much more different this season.

New York and Sporting Kansas City began the most possessions in the attacking third. Sporting Kansas City and Atlanta had longer possessions than any other teams. Atlanta and Portland rarely gained possession in the attacking third. Portland and (especially) New York had some of the shortest average possessions in the league.

Full article: Sports Illustrated

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HOW U.S. CAN FILL PULISIC-SHAPED HOLE

Rafe Anderson

TruMedia’s Paul Carr uses ProVision to explore how Julian Green and Jonathan Amon might be able to fill the void left by Christian Pulisic’s absence from the United States attack.

“Pulisic won’t participate in the two October friendlies because of a torn calf muscle, meaning he'll have gone more than a calendar year playing just 89 minutes for the national team. The U.S. will miss him most in the center of the midfield, where he has no obvious replacement as a chief attacker and playmaker. In his absence, a Pulisic-shaped hole has appeared in numerous U.S. touch maps, including the team’s year-long heat map.”

Full article: Sports Illustrated

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ANALYZING CANADIAN STAR ALPHONSO DAVIES AS HE HEADS TO BAYERN

Rafe Anderson

As 17-year-old Canadian winger Alphonso Davies heads to Bayern Munich after this MLS season, TruMedia’s Paul Carr used ProVision to compare him with his MLS peers and other young stars in Europe.

“Should his progression continue, Davies will be the first Canadian international to play in the Bundesliga for Bayern. The eye test, past and present stats, and Bayern’s transfer fee all suggest Davies has a ceiling unmatched by an MLS academy product.”

Full article: OptaPro blog

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Previewing Arsenal-Man City with sequence data

Rafe Anderson

Using ProVision to preview the big game of the Premier League's opening weekend by analyzing sequence data for Arsenal and Manchester City:

"City averaged 5.3 passes per sequence last season, which may not sound impressive but was 26% better than the second-best Premier League team, which was Arsenal at 4.2 passes per sequence. This gap is about the same as the difference between Arsenal and Southampton, who ranked seventh in this metric and narrowly avoided relegation.."

Full article: OptaPro blog

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Numbers Behind Kante, Modric's World Cup Dominance

Rafe Anderson

This SI.com article goes beyond the box score to examine how France's N'Golo Kante and Croatia's Luka Modric powered their teams to the World Cup final.

"[Modric] does defensive work, as he’s tied with Kante for most recoveries at this World Cup (48), and no player has won possession more times in the middle third of the field (31).

Modric is also the offensive talisman, with 16 chances created, double the total of any teammate."

Full article: SI.com (by Paul Carr, TruMedia Director of Content Development)

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The effect of delays on penalty conversion

Rafe Anderson

For FiveThirtyEight, TruMedia's Albert Larcada analyzed how waiting time affects penalty conversion, revealing that longer delay appear to increase the likelihood of a miss. 

"The success rate of penalties with a wait time of less than 150 seconds is 76 percent, while the success rate of penalties with a wait time of greater than 150 seconds is 73 percent. With the relatively large sample of penalties we have, the difference is statistically significant."

Full article: FiveThirtyEight (by Albert Larcada, Director of Analytics)

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Possession doesn't equal World Cup success

Rafe Anderson

"Possession hasn’t necessarily been helpful here in Russia. According to TruMedia Networks, the top six teams in average possession at this World Cup already have gone home. Interestingly, Croatia, England, France and Belgium rank 7th through 10th, respectively. Uruguay, the CONMEBOL side that held the ball the least, still stands 19th overall. Four years ago, Germany finished second in the possession standings at 60%, but none of the other semifinalists were in the top eight."

Full article: Sports Illustrated

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Likelihood of Benjamin Pavard's wonder goal

Rafe Anderson

TruMedia provided data to The Washington Post for this article and visualization on Benjamin Pavard's stunning strike against Argentina.

"...the shot had an “expected goals” of just 0.03, meaning it would be expected to produce a goal three percent of the time. This figure is calculated from 10 different variables, but the two most significant for this particular shot are pretty straightforward. It was taken from 22 meters away from the goal line – pretty far out. And it was taken from 15 meters off the center line – a very bad angle."

Full article: Washington Post

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World Cup quarterfinalists by the numbers

Rafe Anderson

TruMedia's Paul Carr wrote a Sports Illustrated piece with a stat and graphic for each of the World Cup quarterfinalists. The article highlighted contributions by Romelu Lukaku, Neymar and Luka Modric, along with potential issues for Russia and England.

"Despite playing four games, England ranks 22nd in the tournament with 23 shots from open play and 17th with 2.22 expected goals from open play. Only three of those shots were worth at least 0.2 xG each, which is about double the average shot quality."

Full article: Sports Illustrated (by Paul Carr, Director of Content Development)

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Mexico's young World Cup stars

Rafe Anderson

For the Washington Post, Albert Larcada wrote on how Mexico's young stars shined in the first two group games.

"Perhaps the biggest name of Mexico’s under-23 contingent, [Hirving] Lozano put in a performance against Germany that ranks among the best in recent World Cups. Here is the full list of players over the past six World Cups with a goal, an assist and a pass-completion rate of better than 90 percent in their team’s first two matches: Lionel Messi (2006) and Lozano. That’s it."

Full article: Washington Post (by Albert Larcada, Director of Analytics)

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