Soccer Statistics Can Be Painful

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Soccer BallOne thing I love about my soccer league is that they have a kick butt website. The design isn’t much to look at, but the site is chock full of useful information both current and historical.

For example, you can see how my team (Westside Rovers) did last season. Tied for fourth isn’t such a bad showing for our first season in the league, but check out the GF and GA column.

Ouch! That is 24 goals we scored while there were 54 goals scored against us in fourteen games. That means we scored an average of 1.7 goals per game, while being scored on an average of 3.9 goals a game. When we got beat, we really got beat. Notice that LA Blues, the lead leaders scored 19 goals on us. We played them twice. Double ouch!

There’s no lesson here other than sometimes, you really are better off not knowing the detailed stats. At least we have an easy target to beat for the upcoming season.

The reason for the disparity becomes apparent when you read the following blurb on the front page.

FORMER PROFESSIONAL PLAYERS ARE PLAYING ON SOME OF OUR TEAMS: Some of the teams in our league have former professional players from the Major League Soccer (MLS) in the United States and from Professional Teams from around the world. One team even has a former World Cup Champion from France 1998 on its squad. Thus the level of play can be very high at times. Come, watch and enjoy the competitive level of play.

None of those players are on our team.

In really bad news, we had a pre-season friendly this past Saturday against another team in the league. They had a new player who was trying out for the team who made a vicious sliding tackle (no slide tackles allowed in our league due to the fields policies) on my teammate, breaking his tibia and fibia. The sound of the contact made a sickeningly loud crack! and bent his leg in an unsightly manner. It may take a while, but I hope he has a speedy recovery. Meanwhile, I am looking into better health insurance.

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