Monday, April 1, 2013

Team strength by age and club in WA

4-4-2013.  Updated to include B96 (U16)
This post is for 2012-2013. Click here to see the 2013-2014 Boys analysis and here to see the 2013-2014 Girls analysis

I was interested in the pattern of team strength across BU12 to BU16 across all clubs in Washington.  Which clubs are able to consistently field the strongest teams across multiple ages?  Are some clubs able to do this consistently across ages or did most clubs have stronger and weaker age groups?  Are RCL clubs able to field stronger A teams on average?

To look at these questions, I took all the WA clubs that have a team at least 4 ages from BU12 to BU16 and computed the maximum "B00 strength" at that age for the club.  "B00 strength" means that each age was scaled to the median strength of WA-OR B00 teams.  That put all ages on the same scale.  "maximum strength at that age for club" means that I took the maximum strength of all teams a club had at a particular age.  For example Crossfire Premier has 4 B00 teams, and I took the maximum of those teams' strengths.  For Crossfire Premier, this is simply the A team strength, but other clubs do not name their A, B, C teams consistently so I just took the maximum the teams a club has at a particular age.

There are 37 clubs in WA that have a select team at each age BU12 to BU16.  This is out of 109 WA clubs in my database. This plot shows all the B00 strengths for these 37 clubs.  Each line is a different club.  There are three clubs that stand out in being able to field an exceptionally strong team at each age BU12 to BU15 and form the outer edge of the strength by age plot: Crossfire Premier, Washington Premier FC, and Seattle United.  Eastside FC is a close 4th, with a couple slightly weaker age years (U13 and U14).  At U16, Crossfire, WPFC and Eastside form the outer edge of the plot, but SU has an unusually weak A team.  No other clubs had more than two teams between BU12-15 that were within 2 points of the red top lines below.  The green line in the graph is the median strength at age across all clubs.

Comment #1: I would assume this result is driven by the size of the player pool.  Crossfire Premier fields 4-5 teams at each age.  Seattle United has 2-3 full-year teams and 6-8 part-year (aka select) teams at each age.  WPFC fields 2 full-year teams and is associated with a very strong part-year (aka select) club, WPFC Fury.  However I'm not sure how seamless the player movement is between WPFC and WPFC Fury.  Clearly though, WPFC is not hindered by a limited player pool.  Eastside FC fields fewer teams at each age (generally 1-2 less than Crossfire) and is not integrated with a select club.  This slightly smaller player pool may account for the greater fluctuation in strength across ages for Eastside FC.

Comment  #2: I'm slowly collecting match data on the top west-coast teams in order to pencil in where the top of this curve is for the west-coast boys.  My sense right now is that the top CA teams are 2 strength points above the top WA teams.  Maybe 1.5 but data points to a higher difference.

Next I looked at each club individually to see if there were any patterns between, say, RCL and non-RCL teams in terms of strength of teams across ages.  For this I looked at the strength of the top team in RCL versus non-RCL clubs.  I plotted Crossfire Premier, WPFC, Seattle United and Eastside FC separately since they were outliers even among the RCL clubs.  The boxplot below shows the results with the box enclosing the middle 50% of clubs at each age and the whiskers showing the full range of strengths.  I also added the strengths of the best teams from smaller clubs that do not have a team at each age.  What we see is that the best RCL teams are usually better than the best non-RCL teams, but that there is quite a lot of overlap---the whiskers on the boxplots of the non-RCL clubs overlap the boxes for the RCL clubs.  The green line is the median across all clubs (none excluded so same green line as in plot above).

Which clubs have a top team with a strength above the median "best-team" line (green line) at each age BU12 to BU15?
[1] "3 Rivers SC"           "Crossfire Premier SC"  "Eastside FC"          
[4] "NW Nationals"          "Pacific Northwest SC"  "Seattle United"       
[7] "Snohomish United SC"    "Spokane SC Shadow"     "Washington Premier FC"

Ah, those are all big clubs. Ok, let's set the bar a bit lower. Which clubs field a team with a strength above -1 plus the median "best-team" line (green line) at each age? So their strongest team has to be no more that 1 point below the median "best-team" so could have a competitive game with that median team. I'll divide this into RCL and non-RCL. I define "RCL" as having a team that plays in the spring RCL, so clubs that played in the fall RCL via the Open Cup are non-RCL in my grouping.

RCL (13 out of 21 RCL clubs do)
[1] "3 Rivers SC"           "Crossfire Premier SC"  "Eastside FC"          
 [4] "Federal Way FC"        "Highline Premier FC"   "NW Nationals"         
 [7] "Pacific Northwest SC"  "Seattle United"        "Snohomish United"   
[10] "Spokane SC Shadow"     "Washington Rush SC"    "Whatcom FC Rangers"   
[13] "Washington Premier FC"

Non-RCL (5 out of 27 non-RCL bigger clubs do)
[1] "Cobra Premier Soccer" "FC Spokane"  "Franklin Pierce SC (WPFC Fury)"  
[4] "Issaquah SC"          "Kent United"

Next question was what clubs can field teams that can compete with the top RCL teams?  Here "compete with" was defined as "having a strength within 2 points of the median of the 4 top clubs".  The 4 top clubs are Crossfire Premier, Eastside FC, Seattle United, and WPFC.  Although Eastside FC has some "weaker" ages, those "weaker" ages are still within 2 points of the other top clubs.  In the boxplot above, this median "exceptionally strong" team was the median of the red boxes.

Which clubs can field two teams within 2 points of the "exceptionally strong" teams? Three clubs other than the top 4 can field two teams within 2 strength points of the top:  "Issaquah SC", "FC Alliance" and "PacNW".  No clubs except the top 4 clubs can field 3 teams within 2 strength points of the top. 

Which clubs can field at least ONE team within 2 strength points of the top? For this I included the smaller non-RCL clubs.

Non-RCL clubs with team within 2 strength points of the top.  Number of ages fielded noted.
"Central WA Soccer Academy (1 age)" "Cobra Premier Soccer (4 ages)" "Emerald City FC (3 ages)" "FC Spokane (4 ages)"  "Franklin Pierce SC (WPFC Fury) (4 ages)" "Issaquah SC (4 ages)" "Pacific FC (4 ages)"

RCL clubs with team within 2 strength points of the top
"3 Rivers SC" "FC Alliance"  "Highline Premier FC" "NW Nationals"          "PacNW" "Snohomish United"  "WA Rush SC"  "Whatcom FC Rangers" 

This result is especially interesting to me. 15 clubs (besides the top 4) can field 1-2 teams within 2 strengths points of the top. 8 are RCL and 7 are non-RCL, and of those 7 non-RCL clubs, 2 are small clubs that do not field a team at each age.

Finally, here are all the individual plots for clubs with a team at least 4 age between BU12-16.  The black line is the max strength of the club's teams at a particular age.  The red line is the median strength for Crossfire Premier, WPFC and Seattle United.  The dotted red line is -2 below that, so a team above that dotted red line could play a game with the red line and not be totally gutted by more than a GD of 4.  Franklin Pierce SC = WPFC Fury.

B00 at far left, B96 at far right.
1pt difference is about the length of this hyphen - on this graph. Yes, small.
Being 1 full pt stronger = scoring 2x as rapidly so is a significant advantage.  So being on the green line versus slightly above it indicates a big difference in strength.  The red line teams score about 80-100x more rapidly than the green line teams....




Finally here is a table with B00 team strengths.  The median strong 4 clubs is for reference:
med.strong
   B00    B99    B98    B97 
 6.155  8.410 11.290 12.545
 
 
                                                       club   B00   B99   B98   B97
1                                               3 Rivers SC  2.10  5.33  7.02 10.83
2                              Academy of Soccer Excellence -2.27  5.58    NA    NA
3                                          Avanti United FC -2.52    NA    NA  0.52
4                                      Bainbridge Island FC  2.36  3.51  5.38  8.02
5                                             Blackhills FC -0.37  4.82  9.01 10.27
7                                               Breakers SC  0.08  4.35  6.09  8.16
8                                                Cascade FC  2.95  0.73  4.80  8.20
9                                  Columbia Basin United FC -0.47  5.44    NA  4.99
10                                  Columbia Basin Youth SA -3.73  2.11    NA    NA
11                                Central WA Soccer Academy  4.57    NA    NA    NA
12                                          Cheney Storm FC -1.10  0.27  4.96    NA
13                                        Chehalis Youth SC    NA    NA    NA  5.54
14                                        Central Kitsap SC    NA  1.02    NA  4.10
15                                     Cobra Premier Soccer  3.26  7.54  6.00  9.98
16                                     Crossfire Premier SC  6.67  8.73 10.65 12.44
17                                      Crossfire Select SC  1.92  3.87  7.31  7.59
18                                         Cowlitz Youth SA    NA    NA    NA  5.83
19                                                 Desna SC -0.73    NA    NA  3.58
20                            Des Moines Midway Soccer Club    NA -1.99    NA    NA
21                                              Eastside FC  5.84  7.14 11.39 11.31
22                                          Emerald City FC    NA  4.53  6.51 11.29
24                                              FC Alliance  5.93  6.59  7.16  6.24
25                                                 FC Crush    NA  0.08    NA    NA
26                                               FC Edmonds  1.40  5.76  5.54  9.23
27                                                  FC Kent -4.80    NA    NA    NA
28                                 Futbol Club Salmon Creek -0.85  3.58    NA  7.45
29                                               FC Spokane  0.68  5.04  6.77 10.62
30                                  Fife Milton Edgewood SC  0.43  4.20  3.80  4.33
31                                       Franklin Pierce SC  2.09  4.22  6.90 10.81
32                                              Fircrest SC    NA    NA    NA  3.08
33                                           Federal Way FC  0.82  5.13  7.14  8.61
34                                                Harbor FC -0.36  3.98  7.09  9.09
35                                             Highlands SC    NA    NA  4.07    NA
36                                      Highline Premier FC  3.25  6.48  6.76  9.27
37                                               Cascade SC -0.64  5.74  6.20  6.61
38                                              Issaquah SC  5.35  6.85  6.53  9.21
39                                              Islander FC -1.86 -1.06    NA    NA
40                                              Kajumulo FC    NA    NA  4.70  8.03
41                                              Kent United  2.22  5.22  8.72  8.20
42                                                Kitsap SC    NA  5.75    NA 10.47
43                                Kittitas Valley Junior SA  0.29  1.94  3.69    NA
44                                            Lake Hills SC -0.90  5.33  3.97  8.68
45                                                Legacy FC    NA  3.97    NA  7.63
46                                  Lewis County Volcano SC    NA    NA  1.35    NA
48                   Lower Yakima Valley Soccer Association    NA  5.45    NA  9.21
49                                         Mercer Island FC -0.45  3.12  4.81  8.30
50                                                Monroe FC    NA  4.25  4.86    NA
51                                         Mount Rainier FC  0.32  3.65  7.16    NA
52                                          Maple Valley SA -0.31  3.57  5.16  7.52
53                          North County Youth Soccer Assoc    NA    NA  6.44    NA
54                                         Newport Youth SC -0.93  2.46  3.72  6.35
55                                          North Kitsap SC  0.06  2.59  4.74    NA
56                                         Normandy Park FC  3.41    NA    NA    NA
57                                              Norpoint SC    NA    NA    NA  4.64
58                                          North Tacoma SC  2.80  1.15  3.58  9.45
59                                            Northshore SC  0.04  3.87  4.93  7.60
60                                             NW United FC  0.58  5.87  6.94  7.38
61                                             NW Nationals  1.81  6.49  7.51  9.12
62                                         North Whidbey SC    NA    NA  5.05    NA
63                         Vancouver United Soccer Alliance  3.53  4.27  8.11  7.83
64                                                Orting FC    NA -0.50    NA  4.58
65                                               Pacific FC  0.56  6.71  5.94  9.24
66                                     Pacific Northwest SC  3.03  7.50 10.89  9.64
67                                              Puyallup SC -1.19    NA  3.26  5.67
68                                               Pullman SC -0.47  2.85  5.47    NA
69                                            South Hill SC  1.70  4.72  3.42  7.19
70                                        Spokane Sabers FC -0.52 -0.14  4.88  6.37
71                               Soccer Club of Renton East -0.30    NA    NA    NA
72                                           Seattle Celtic  0.57  0.69  4.74    NA
73                                           Seattle United  5.95  8.09 11.19 12.65
74                            Spanaway Graham Eatonville SC -2.68  2.14    NA    NA
75                                                Silver FC -5.26    NA    NA    NA
76                                           Silver Lake SC    NA  2.03    NA  5.10
77                                          South Kitsap SC -0.84    NA    NA    NA
78                                  Rainier Valley Slammers -0.39  3.77    NA  5.97
79                                       Snohomish Youth SC  3.15  5.76  7.13 11.75
80                                     Sparta NorTac Select -1.52  3.12  5.21  6.70
81                                         Spokane Pumas FC -3.09  1.56    NA    NA
82                                         Spokane Scotties -1.52    NA  3.90    NA
83                                        Spokane SC Shadow  3.87  5.40  6.86 10.00
84                                        Spokane Shadow SC -6.43    NA    NA    NA
85                                            Storm King SC -0.69  3.54    NA  7.85
86                                                Sumner SC    NA -0.61    NA    NA
87                                        Sun City Strikers -1.10  5.99    NA  5.71
88                                 Spokane Valley United SC -2.02    NA  2.03    NA
89                                         Tacoma United FC -1.12  5.21  9.24  8.36
90                                        Terrance Brier SC    NA    NA  7.25    NA
91                                   Thurston County United -3.16    NA  3.78  5.26
92           Cowlitz Youth Soccer Association Timber Barons -1.52  3.70  3.63  9.97
93                                              Tracyton SC    NA  3.43  0.58    NA
94                               Tukwila Skyway Soccer Club    NA    NA  7.18    NA
95                                        Tukwila Skyway SC -0.27    NA    NA    NA
96                                            Tynecastle FC  4.14  4.32  4.97  8.86
97                             University Place Soccer Club -0.98  2.55  5.93    NA
98                                         Vashon Island SC    NA -0.30    NA  5.15
99                                       Washington Rush SC  3.70  4.01 11.31  9.54
100                                      Washington East SC    NA  4.17  8.19  9.87
101                                       Wenatchee Fire FC  0.04  6.41  6.76    NA
103                                            Westsound FC  0.79  3.92  8.04    NA
104                                        West Highline SC -2.07    NA  0.99  4.50
105                                      Whatcom FC Rangers  1.55  5.70  7.20 10.94
106                                   Washington Premier FC  6.36  9.10 11.43 12.89
107                                         West Seattle SC -0.37  3.34  4.51  9.04
108 Camas Washougal Soccer Club (Washington Soccer Academy)  0.60  0.65  8.71  8.89
109                                            XiFA Academy -0.19  3.92  7.38 10.45



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