Daily news roundups

News roundup: Seba returns, xG exhaustion, win streaks, more

Photo: Earl Gardner

Philadelphia Union

If you haven’t heard, Sebastian Le Toux is returning to Philadelphia to retire a Union player. More from ESPN and MLS.

Stay tuned for a deep dive into Le Toux’s greatest moments from Dan Walsh later today.

Philadelphia have underperformed their xG (Expected Goals) more than other club in MLS. Yay?

Both Columbus and Philly have a busy week ahead of tomorrow night’s match.


Is Orlando City actually good?

Speaking of the Lions’ six-game win streak, here’s the longest winning streaks for every MLS team.

After interviewing for the U.S. Soccer General Manager gig, Peter Vermes has signed a contract to stay in charge at Sporting Kansas City.

Meanwhile, growing pains for first-year MLS coaches.

Your Week 10 league roundup.

Power rankings from Soccer America and MLS Multiplex.


The latest league power rankings.

The league set (another) single week attendance record.

U.S. Soccer

Why is Bruce Arena still talking?

Meanwhile, with the World Cup around the corner, players be sad.

Jesse Marsch is a strong candidate to take the USMNT job. (Agreed.)

A roundup of Yanks abroad. Most impressively, Matt Miazga captained Vitesse (on loan!) and scored to finish out Vitesse’s 2018 campaign.


  1. What does xG mean beyond quality chances created? How do we understand that #? Does it mean if we had the fortune to replace Sapong with Mo Salah, we’d score 5 to 6 goals per match? How does one judge a quality chance if it’s not finished? Is any cross that squirts across the box a quality chance?

    Here’s what I do know about Expected Goals: They don’t count the same as Actual Goals.

    • el Pachyderm says:

      Fucking spot on. I get analytics, I do. But who gives a shit about what a team should be doing as if the expectation makes something real or better or softer. I expect the Union to suck until certain other things happen… and guess what? They do. Find a damn formula for that. Make that visceral ache go away- and when I write, visceral ache I mean it. Deep in the soul, disappointment.
      “Do or Do not… There is no try.”
      “Walk on left side of road, okay. Walk on right side of road, okay. Walk in middle of road…SQUASH like bug.”

    • What this statistic means to me: the Union’s attacking players aren’t getting the job done and finishing their scoring opportunities.

    • From what I remember, xG looks at the location from which the shot is taken and how often shots from similar locations are goals. So a high xG means that a team is either taking a very high quantity of poor shots or taking a normal amount of good shots. If anyone else follows what baseball is doing with statcast, its similar to saying that a ball is hit with a certain velocity and launch angle is a hit xx% of the time. (Again if I’m remembering correctly) this stat doesn’t look at any other information, like was the shot off a rebound or were there any nearby defenders or if it’s Andre Blake or me in goal.
      According to the shot quantity and quality stats posted in a news roundup last week (I’ll look for the link again) the Union are taking a relatively high number of shots without sacrificing shot quality. So we can assume that the shots the union are taking are from good locations. But they aren’t scoring.
      For xGA, it would be done in the same way. From where are opponents taking shots? It doesn’t look at if someone left him onsides or didn’t mark him properly or made a stupid turnover.
      What these stats are staying is that yes, the Union have likely been unlucky. Yes this can also be framed as poor execution in front of both goals.
      What these stats are also saying is that the players are in the right positions on both ends of the field. The technical staff is putting the players in the right positions to succeed (braces for flying rotten fruit from other commenters), the players now need to execute. (Yes you can argue that the technical staff is also responsible for execution too).

    • It’s a measure of how deeply you’re allowed to be depressed by your team.

  2. Jesse Marsch for USMNT head coach? Why, so he can throw a ball at the El Salvador coach during CONCACAF qualifying?

    • I’m all for that actually.

    • The Truth says:

      Honestly, his antics would be a great addition to the already rich Concacaf competition. Purely for the theater, I’m supportive of this rumor.

    • lopezzzz says:

      Didn’t Marsch interview for job here? They ended up sticking with Curtin.

    • I’d take him for US or for Union. I think he’s a pretty good coach and isn’t too cool to show he gives a crap. I’d take his antics over the Klinsmann smear or the Arena smirk n whine…I guess I should include the Curtin sleepy eyed stare.

  3. John P. O'Donnell Jr says:

    How is Jesse Marsch a candidate for USMNT coach before they hire a GM? I don’t see how this works if the idea was to change the culture.

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