Chicago Fire: Castrol Index, A "Feel Good", And A "Thank You"
As Brad and I prepped for the Chicago Fire v Manchester United match, we were dilligently trying to find a website that stored advanced statistics for soccer basically its Fangraphs equivalent (though we would have settled for "SoccerReference.com" or something along those lines).
Advanced Stats (in Soccer)
Locating advanced soccer stats is harder than I thought (I'm still looking) but I did find something called the Castrol Index. Although it sounds like something for your automobile, this index is to evaluate soccer talent:
The higher the Castrol Index, the better the player. Sure, there is some subjectivity regarding point allocation but I think it does a decent job of measuring output. The Castrol Index combines offense and defense, it reminds me a lot of Win Shares (in basketball) or WAR (in baseball). You can watch more of the Castrol Index with Cristiano Ronaldo (that's for you, ladies) here.
According to the Castrol Index, out of the 412 MLS players, the Chicago Fire have one (1) player [Marco Pappa 8.71] in the top 5%. The Fire also have two players in the top 10% [Cory Gibbs 8.6, Yamith Cuesta 8.54].
(Side note: We are exploring embedding the Castrol Index widget.)
Dreams Do Come True
There was a feel good story during the Fire v. Man U match:
[Pari Pantazopolous] the Chicagoland product won the Fire’s open tryout this winter and then, improbably, won a roster spot during the preseason. He took another step on his unlikely journey Saturday afternoon, coming on in the final minutes of the Fire’s 3-1 loss to Premier League champions Manchester United in front of a sellout crowd in a Herbalife World Football Challenge match at Soldier Field.The Chicago Fire Product
It takes a little over an hour from downtown to Toyota Park (Orange Line to Midway->Shuttle Bus->TP) so plan accordingly. Overall, the Fire have a good product and we at Cubs Stats have never had a bad time attending a Fire game (regardless of the outcome). The Section 8 fans are wonderful and they show their passion for the Fire throughout the game.
We at Cubs Stats would like to thank the Chicago Fire for providing us with some 90 minutes of great soccer and for being gracious hosts.
Soccer Quote of Interest: "In soccer, space is king."