Game of Throw ins – restarts integral to the game

Restarts are an underrated tactical area in soccer. I argue elsewhere that 5% of practice time on restarts will significantly improve efficacy. It is the 4th dimension in soccer (1st Dimension – verticality, 2nd Dimension – horizontal/possession, and 3rd Dimension – Arial). The article below says that in some MLS games 10% of completed passes are from throw ins. We spend very little practice time working on them. Should that change?

Throw-ins are an integral part of every soccer game. In MLS regular season play since 2015 almost 64,000 throw-ins were taken (all data is based on 2015-2018). They occur 44 times a game on average, accounting for almost 5% of all passes. Twice during the 2018 MLS season throw-ins accounted for over 10% of passes in a game. However, a search of MLS’ website brings up only the definition of “Throw-In”, a defunct regular column (with some words about early use of analytics in MLS), and some discussion of long throw-ins as scoring threats. Nobody, at least publicly, seems to be talking about normal run-of-the-mill throw-ins.

I got interested in looking at throw-ins for a couple of reasons. First, while sitting on the outfield berm at First Tennessee Park for a Nashville SC game wrangling my 3-year old son, I noticed that Nashville seemingly kicked the ball out of bounds from the opening kick off. While this is not a common tactic, it is well established. This forced New York Red Bulls II to take a throw deep in their own half that was ultimately won by Nashville.”

This entry was posted on Tuesday, December 11th, 2018 at 22:38 and is filed under Coaching, Soccer Statistics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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