Weekend Recap: Tens are alive in MLS, the NWSL’s scheduling issue, and the USL’s imbalance

Quick
Hits
  • MLS: Diving into four interesting advanced stats at the halfway point of MLS’s regular season
  • NWSL: The NWSL has a scheduling problem
  • USL: Reserve teams from MLS are hurting the USL Championship’s competitive balance

We’re back with another edition of the Weekend Recap. Every Monday, we make it easier for you to keep up with the most interesting and important things in American soccer. 

Today, we’re taking you through some of the past weekend’s key storylines, including MLS stats at the halfway point of the season, the NWSL’s scheduling problem, and MLS reserve teams impacting the USL’s competitive balance.

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MLS

Lowery: Four interesting advanced stats from halfway through the MLS season

Now that we’re halfway through the 2022 MLS regular season, let’s look at a handful of advanced stats that tell us something about this year.

We’re going rapid fire this week, folks, so let’s get to it.

1. Jesus Ferreira is almost as fast as Cade Cowell

Yep. You read that right. Jesus Ferreira, the USMNT’s starting No. 9, is just behind Cade “The Superhuman” Cowell in terms of top speed in MLS this year[Subscribe]

NWSL

Cascone: The NWSL has a scheduling problem

The NWSL returned from their short international break this weekend with a full slate of six games, though several teams are still missing their international players. Despite the league’s break in games technically running from June 20-30, four of the the five major FIFA tournaments happening this summer haven’t even kicked off yet. 

Why does the NWSL play games during these big tournaments?

When the NWSL released the 2022 regular season schedule, a major highlight of their press release was that they managed to schedule “a significantly smaller number of contests during FIFA windows[Subscribe]

USL

Morrissey: MLS reserve teams are hurting the USL Championship’s competitive balance

Just a few short years ago in 2019, Real Monarchs won the USL Cup, marking the third time in four years that an MLS affiliate had appeared in the title game. The Real Salt Lake reserve team led a group of three MLS reserve teams that qualified for the playoffs. In 2019, affiliates earned 1.2 points per game compared to a 1.4 points per game amongst independent teams, symbolizing the minimal gap between the dueling models. 

In 2022, these “two teams” have earned just over 0.9 points per game compared to a 1.5 points per game mark for independents. The MLS affiliates aren’t entirely feckless, but their lack of quality deeply impacts the playoff hunt and the USL’s competitive balance [Subscribe]

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