Major League Soccer recently made waves with an announcement that they'd be partnering with Opta. For statistic junkies such as myself this is obviously great news. Opta is probably best known for the work they've done with the Bundesliga. If you're not familiar, I recommend checking out the Bundesliga statistics that currently exist. There's quite a bit you can currently do there which we can only hope means we'll see similar stats when the MLS gets the Opta treatment. If I had to guess though, we probably won't see much this year, as Opta is probably in the stage of gathering as much statistical data as they can right now.
While this is a huge step forward, I hope that this partnership with Opta allows us to push forward into new territory. I think it's interesting to quickly see who gets subbed off the most often in the Bundesliga, but there are still stats such as tackles complete and fouls committed which are missing. Hopefully we don't end up getting Bundesliga leftovers, and we can actually forge ahead to try out new things. Considering there's a smaller microscope on MLS, I'd hope that Opta would be brave enough to experiment.
I do have some concerns with Opta, but I'm overly optimistic. On the Bundesliga site, all the stats are displayed via Flash which means you can't check those stats via the website on an iPhone. They don't seem to easily provide their data to users via remote APIs. For most that's not a big deal, but if I wanted to do some programming with the data, I'm pretty much out of luck. We'll see what happens though. I'm pretty excited about where we're going with this, and glad to see that MLS apparently does listen to fans on occasion.