Sad: USMNT Berhalter References Expected Goals

You have to be an analytical expert to recognize that Expected Goals has ABSOLUTELY NO CORRELATION to earning points, either by draw or through winning.

Statistically, Expected Goals correlation to earning points is: .3012 – translated for the common person that means the correlation is ZERO.

On the other hand – pure possession with purpose – working from the back, moving forward, in a deliberate pace (not hurrying ALL THE TIME) correlation to earning points is a stunning .9245 (on average). Data captured and measured to attain that average comes from the last two World Cups for men, the women’s World Cup 2015, the 2014 UEFA Champions League, English Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, and every measured Major League Soccer season from 2012 to 2016.

And no, pure PWP does not preclude playing counter-attacking football. What it does show is teams who consistently win play PWP ALONG with counter-attacking (packing); but it’s only those teams who can FIRST play PWP that sit at the top of all the league tables.

My same data analyses also showed the single, best, (American) MLS Head Coach carrying that mantra was Jesse Marsch. I wonder if Marsch would have accepted that position at RB Leipzig a couple of months before Berhalter was selected to head the US Men’s National Team.

PWP is NOT some fly-by-night statistical process; it garnered strong attention at two World Conferences on Science and Soccer (2014 and 2016) and led to the creation of Prozone’s latest possession categorizations.

So, Gregg Berhalter, you’re talking bollocks when you continuously reference Expected Goals; what’s really pathetic is none of our current sports pundits, like Alexi Lalas, Taylor Twellman, or Stu Holden are calling him out for it.

By the way, if you don’t believe me here’s the latest from Berhalter:

And a blurb from that article: “While they bested both of their first two opponents in expected goals – a statistical category Berhalter has repeatedly referred to – the Yanks have been cumbersome and unproductive in attack, often failing to convert long stretches of possession into clear, high-quality scoring chances, let alone goals. Their approach to fixing that was a prime topic of conversation on Tuesday, especially in light of Honduras’ stingy defending.”

Best, Chris

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