Major League Data on the Pitch: The Evolution of Analytics in MLS

Saturday Feb 24, 1:00-2:00 PM
Bill Walsh Room

Over the past few years, MLS has experienced rapid growth in viewership, social media engagement, attendance, merchandise sales and team valuations. The league which had 10 clubs and was contracting as of 2001 is now executing a plan to grow to 28 teams by 2020. Interest in the world’s most popular game is surging in the United States. Meanwhile, the importance of data-driven decision making by MLS clubs has also surged in recent years. Teams are employing analytics in several different ways, looking to gain every possible advantage over their opponents. Clubs are employing player-tracking capabilities to assess the development and health of their athletes. Data associated with players on the transfer market is being analyzed more than ever so that teams can be assured that they are targeting candidates that fit their needs and styles of play in the most efficient ways possible. Coaches are increasingly using video analysis and in-game data driven decision making to put their athletes in the best position to win. With data and analytics permeating multiple levels of the league, these quantitative methods are sure to play a big role in MLS’ continued rise to prominence.

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