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Five key MLS stats from opening weekend: Drake Callender’s heroics, ball-playing center backs & more

Want to sound smart in the group chat? We’ve got you covered.

7 min read
Inter Miami

Welcome to the first edition of a regular column here at Backheeled, where former FC Dallas data analyst Arman Kafai breaks down a set of insightful stats from around MLS. Get ready to be the smartest person in your group chat.

The first weekend of MLS action is in the books, folks, which means we finally have some real data to sink our teeth into. Which stats stood out? And what do they tell us about this young 2024 season?

Let’s take a look.

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Drake Callender, +2.5

Inter Miami and the LA Galaxy played to a thrilling 1-1 draw on Sunday night, with Miami scraping a point via a last-minute goal from – you guessed it – Leo Messi. A quick look at FBref’s expected goals numbers, where the Galaxy produced 3.2 xG to Miami’s 0.6 xG raises this question: how on earth did Tata Martino’s team only allow one goal?

Enter, Drake Callender. 

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