Analysis

Philadelphia Union

Postgame analysis: Philadelphia Union 4-1 Real Salt Lake

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Fafa Picault and Borek Dockal put in dominant performances as the Union once again showed they can play on the left side of the field after all. PSP's Dan Walsh has the postgame analysis.

The 2018 Union, in charts

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How have the Union compared, statistically, to average winners and average losers so far this year in Major League Soccer? PSP's Chris Sherman set out to find the answer.

Postgame analysis: Montreal Impact 0-2 Philadelphia Union

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The Union diverged from some season-long trends Saturday as they diverged from another trend and won their first road game in nearly a year. PSP's Dan Walsh explains.

All of the shots: Are the Union a bad attacking team… or what?

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The advanced metrics love the Union, but the results don't back that up so far. What's going on?

Change, Part 2: Analysis – Does stability improve results?

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In part 2 if our one-day series on change, Chris Sherman looks at the data to examine how having consistent managers and/or lineup correlates with match results.

The Union, the expansion draft, and a depth chart

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PSP guesses whom the Union will protect and expose in the LAFC expansion draft, within the context of its best understanding of the organization's current depth chart.

A creativity problem — the Union’s No. 10s

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PSP's Adam Cann breaks down the DEEP numbers that reveal what went wrong at the Union's No. 10 position this year.

Yaro and Rosenberry remain full of potential, in need of progress

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Keegan Rosenberry and Josh Yaro finally took the field together in 2017. The results? Much like 2016.

Investigating home field advantage in MLS, Part 4a: Aggregate Referee bias

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Home field advantage can be staggering in MLS. Chris Sherman breaks down the numbers to see if the referees have anything to do with that.

Investigating home field advantage in MLS, Part 3: Scheduling and short rest

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Chris Sherman looks at the impact of short rest on performance. He also looks at whether MLS schedules favor home teams with longer rest and if that could impact home field advantage.

Players to watch: players we watched, part III

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Before the season began, the staff at Philly Soccer Page identified a group of players that seemed likely to have a large impact on the 2017 side's success. Halfway through, it's worth taking a look how that group have performed.

The anatomy of an amazing save

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PSP breaks down Andre Blake's spectacular, game-defining save against D.C. United, looking at what led to it and how he did it.

How good is Andre Blake?

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Andre Blake is the reigning MLS Goalkeeper of the Year and one of the best shot-stoppers in the league. He is also such a conundrum in possession that he is holding the Union back from reaching their full potential.

Investigating home field advantage in MLS, Part 2: Crowd Size

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Chris Sherman continues to investigate potential causes for home field advantage in MLS using statistical analysis. This second article demonstrates home field advantage and studies the effect of the size of the home crowd on the home team's advantage.

Haris Medunjanin is hurting the Union

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Haris Medunjanin has been the Union's best offensive weapon. It's probably time to bench him. Why? A lesson learned in the NBA is illuminating.

Investigating home field advantage in MLS, Part 1: Traveling distance

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Chris Sherman investigates potential causes for home field advantage in MLS using statistical analysis. The first article demonstrates home field advantage and studies the effect of distance traveled on said advantage.

A business theory explains the Union’s season so far

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New insights about the Union's 2017 season, courtesy of a business theory from the London Business School called the Sigmoid Curve. (Yes, really.)

Philadelphia may have improved, but so has everyone else

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Philadelphia Union could be the most improved team in the Eastern Conference, but when teams like Toronto can pick up guys like Victor Vazquez, it means most teams are getting better thanks to TAM. PSP's Dan Walsh explains.

Deconstructing the “injury-prone” label

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Is Josh Yaro injury-prone or is something else at play? PSP's Dan Walsh looks at the different factors that lead to frequent injuries for certain types of players and hazards a guess on how this affects the sidelined Union defender.

Deconstructing the “injury-prone” label

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Is Josh Yaro injury-prone or is something else at play? PSP's Dan Walsh looks at the different factors that lead to frequent injuries for certain types of players and hazards a guess on how this affects the sidelined Union defender.

Union complete off-season with whirlwind of signings

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The Union hit for a hat trick of signings this week. PSP's Dan Walsh takes a closer look at each signing, changes that Incomplete grade for the off-season, and considers if these moves could pave the way for Roland Alberg's departure.

Union’s off-season grade: Incomplete

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PSP's Dan Walsh looks at some prospective new additions to the Union as they start preseason training today with their shopping list of off-season needs apparently incomplete.

Mark McKenzie

Youth development 2018-style: “Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more.”

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PSP has learned new things that reflect the Union's commitment to youth development broadly defined, above and beyond what we are all seeing this preseason.

An assessment a little past midseason: Bethlehem Steel FC

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PSP analyzes why the 2017 version of the Bethlehem Steel is better than that of the previous year. There are three clear reasons.

USL - Bethlehem Steel FC

Predicting the USL East

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Our foolishly fearless forecast is made without benefit of any on-pitch observations.

Pressure creates diamonds – the Steel’s 2018 schedule

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The newly-released USL game schedule for 2018 demands that the Steel improve markedly as spring progresses through summer into fall.

The Real, McKenzie signings’ implications for the Steel

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While Bethlehem will need to sign another player to replace Matt Real for practice and to fill its minimum USL roster, recovering McKenzie back into the defense on game days plugs a significant hole with a proven USL player since both men are likely to play their games with the Steel next season.

Roster-building: Bethlehem Steel 2018

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Lessons from Bethlehem's 2016 and 2017 rosters and 2018's partial list allows an incomplete guess at 2018 in the Lehigh Valley.

The Steel and the playoffs – it’s gonna be close

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PSP looks at the Steel's playoff chances, both the old-fashioned eyeball instinctual way and using Chris Sherman's statistics. the techniques both old and new say it will be extremely close against Red Bulls 2 for the final slot and the right to go to Louisville on Friday October 20th.

Steel playoff chances revisited

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At the three-quarter mark of the season, Bethlehem Steel FC are still in the playoff picture but are in a dogfight with four other sides for one of the bottom three qualifying slots. Here's our opinion of their chances.

USL hybrids, profits and imitating baseball

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As professional soccer evolves in the United States, it has begun to imitate the oldest of American pro sports. PSP's Tim Jones explains.

The Rest

Monday’s night’s player development lessons

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While Red Bulls did not win Monday night's first leg hosting Toronto in the playoffs, their excellent player development process was fully on display.

Chaos: The Canadian Premier League, NASL, and USL

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Soccer Canada has approved the Canadian Premier League for play in 2018. NASL met Friday to try to appeal from U. S. Soccer's demoting them from division 2. The only certainty about the future of minor league professional soccer in North America is that it won't be the same in 2018.

Distance, time and money: USL conference realignment

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PSP analyzes travel time and travel costs for the USL east and the USL west, and guesses what realignment into three conferences might look like.

What went wrong for USMNT Friday night

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Analysis and thoughts on the World Cup Qualifier between the USMNT and Costa Rica.

‘I’d Stick Them All On The Transfer List’ – Gary Neville Delivers Excellent, Venomous Post-Mortem Of Arsenal’s Meek Display Against Liverpool

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There's no two ways about it, Arsenal were at their gossamer-thin worst against Liverpool on Saturday, with Arsene Wenger's expensively-assembled melange of meek and mild succumbing to a 4-0 defeat at Anfield.

Of course, a palid Arsenal performance is nothing but good news for the pundits and co-commentators of the world who, wide-eyed and partially inebriated by their blood-thirst, were gifted yet another chance to clamber over themselves and begin tearing strips of easy meat off the carcass laid so readily before them.

I Was Close To Geordie Heaven Last Night – Very Close

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After we played so well last night and then threw away 2 points late in the game, many Geordie fans will be feeling a little frustrated this morning I certainly am more than I should be. We suppose the positive is that the lads played really well, but it's a bad feeling when [...]

On Advanced Stats in Soccer, Part One: Navigating the Soccer Data Desert

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Adam Schorr tries to dig into advanced statistics to explain the Union's 2016 fall, only to discover that soccer stats are awfully hard to come by.

Five Union preseason battles to watch

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As Phase Two of preseason heats up, PSP's Peter Andrews breaks down five key positional battles on what might be the deepest Philadelphia Union team ever.