Gluck: Updated Possession with Purpose and the New Total Soccer Index

Much has transpired in the world of soccer statistics over the past four years since I first published: Possession with Purpose – An Introduction and some Explanations.

Here’s my NEW simplified update of Possession with Purpose the Total Soccer Index

  • The .pdf version should make it easier to print and use as reference material.

Within you’ll find:

  • Definition of TSI
  • Purpose of TSI
  • Premise of TSI
  • Parts of TSI
  • Leagues / competitions analyzed
  • Application of TSI and its parts
  • The data for leagues / competitions analyzed
  • Observations & conclusions by league / competition as well as reviewing TSI across leagues / competitions

My thanks to all for your support and kind words throughout the years.

For those who want to know:

The most comprehensive victory in the last four years of MLS has been Seattle Sounders beating FC Dallas last year 5 – nil.  Here’s some statistics from that game for your consideration:

Seattle        Dallas

Possession          62%           38%

Accuracy              87%           80%

Penetration          17%           13%

Creation               13%            7%

Precision              67%           0%

Finishing               63%           0%


In Summary:

  • The sum of the parts has greater correlation to points earned than the parts independent of each other.
    • Confirming for me that team performance, not individual performance    measurements, more accurately translate why a team gets a positive result.
  • Team A within one league operates (and sees greater or less correlation to points earned) differently than Team B, C, D, etc…
    • Confirming for me that individual statistics, used to create those team statistics (as part of TSI) do not have the same weight / value for all teams.
    • Meaning clearances or crosses (used as a measurement in fantasy soccer) for one player, on one team, DO NOT have the same weight/value of clearances or crosses for a different player on a different team.
    • Same can be said for passes or shots taken.
    • As such, what I’m submitting is that a calculations like Expected Goals and Expected Passes are inherently flawed (to some level) because they assumes the weight / value of all shots or passes from one location to another location are equal.
  • With the exception of the Women’s World Cup fewer shots taken, per penetration, sees teams earn more points.
    • Less means more…
  • Teams with more possession and greater passing accuracy are beginning to earn more points in MLS 2017 than in previous years.
    • More means more…
    • This trend seems to indicate technical skill levels of players in MLS are improving.
  • The lower the overall correlation of the Total Soccer Index to points earned the greater the parity within the league or competition; this also intuits those are less predictable.

Best, Chris





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