Introducing Marcotti-MLS

I’m pleased to introduce a new addition to Soccermetrics’ Marcotti family of sport database schemas: Marcotti-MLS.

On the field of play, Major League Soccer is similar to other soccer leagues around the world, but it is unique in its organization and operations.  For starters, there is a wide range of rules and procedures that govern the acquisition of talent into the member teams.  At the same time, there is much greater transparency in the compensation of the players than overseas leagues, which is in line with other North American sports leagues. Because of these practices, it is possible to perform the kind of research on talent acquisition and finance in football that is more difficult or impossible otherwise.  As always, collecting and organizing the data are critical issues.

Marcotti-MLS is used to build databases that track player acquisition into Major League Soccer and player contracts in the league.  These databases are more financial databases than player performance databases, although season statistics are collected.  I’ve created similar databases for my work on MLS Front-Office Efficiency ratings, and I’ve used that knowledge to design a database that will enable that work and other financial and demographic research as well.

As with the other Marcotti data schemas, Marcotti-MLS is defined in Python using the SQLAlchemy package.  This makes it possible to reuse other data models, build test suites, and focus on higher-level data analysis tasks.

As always, there are a few things worth mentioning:

  • Marcotti-MLS, and the other Marcotti data schemas, are used to BUILD databases.  They are NOT databases themselves!
  • Use of these models requires knowledge of Python.
  • If you feel that there are other values not listed in the data models that should be tracked, fork the repository and customize it yourself.  Pull requests will be considered with the exception of those that involve betting (e.g. odds).  In that situation, I encourage you to create your own fork.
  • There will be a Wiki that describes use cases in the near future.
  • No, Gab Marcotti has nothing to do with this, but he was flattered to have a piece of software named for him!

You can find the Marcotti-MLS repository on GitHub. It’s not complete at the moment, but more will be added very soon.