Analysis of the winning probability and the scoring actions in the American professional soccer championship. [Análisis de la probabilidad de ganar y de las acciones que conducen al gol en la liga americana de fútbol profesional].

Albert Altarriba-Bartés, M.Luz Calle, Antonio Susín, Bruno Gonçalves, Marc Vives, Jaime Sampaio, Javier Peña



This study aimed to assess the effect of the scoring moment on the conditional probability of winning or losing a professional soccer match, as well as identified the most influential variables contributing to victory in Major League Soccer (MLS), the men’s professional league in the United States. Data from 680 matches played in the 2015 and 2016 regular seasons were analysed, by dividing the matches into fifteen-minute periods. Additionally, the influence of playing home or away on the match outcome and the type of technical-tactical actions that lead to a goal was also analysed. The temporal analysis revealed that scoring first increased the probability of winning the match significantly and showed dependency on the time in which the goal was scored. The two principal components of the principal component analysis (PCA) were counterattacks (PC1) and crosses (PC2). These were the most critical variables during open play to determine how MLS teams scored goals. Nevertheless, scoring first, playing as a home team always gave a better chance to win the game than scoring first and playing away (0.72 vs. 0.32 probability). As the match approached the end, winning or losing was even more determinant and less reversible (0.85 vs. 0.72 for the home and away team respectively when they were ahead on the score in the minute 75 or later). These findings can contribute to a better understanding of the performance indicators in professional soccer, helping coaches to determine the right strategies and improving the tactical patterns to succeed in competition.


Este estudio tiene como objetivo evaluar el efecto del momento de anotar un gol en la probabilidad condicional de ganar o perder un partido de fútbol profesional, así como identificar las variables más influyentes que contribuyen a la victoria en la Major League Soccer (MLS), la liga masculina profesional de los Estados Unidos. Se analizaron los datos de los 680 partidos jugados durante las temporadas regulares de 2015 y 2016, dividiendo los partidos en períodos de quince minutos. Además, también se analizó la influencia de jugar en casa o fuera en el resultado final del partido y el tipo de acciones técnico-tácticas que conducen a lograr marcar un gol. El análisis temporal reveló que conseguir marcar un gol antes que el rival aumentaba significativamente la probabilidad de ganar el partido y mostró dependencia del período de tiempo en el que se anotó éste. Los dos componentes principales del análisis de componentes principales (PCA) fueron los contraataques (PC1) y los centros (PC2). Estas fueron las variables más determinantes durante el juego abierto para determinar cómo anotan los goles los equipos de la MLS. Sin embargo, anotar primero, jugando como local siempre obtuvo mayores posibilidades de ganar el partido que anotar primero jugando como visitante (probabilidad 0.72 vs 0.32). A medida que el partido se acercaba al final, ganar o perder era aún más determinante y menos reversible (0,85 frente a 0,72 para el equipo local y visitante respectivamente, cuando se tenía ventaja en el marcador en el minuto 75 o posterior). Estos hallazgos pueden contribuir a una mejor comprensión de los indicadores de rendimiento en el fútbol profesional, ayudando a los entrenadores a determinar las estrategias correctas y mejorando los patrones tácticos para tener éxito en la competición.


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Palabras clave/key words

goals; principal component analysis; coaching; goles; análisis de componentes principales; entrenamiento; deportes de equipo., team sports.

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RICYDE. Revista Internacional de Ciencias del Deporte
Publisher: Ramón Cantó Alcaraz
ISSN:1885-3137 - Periodicidad Trimestral / Quarterly
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