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Greatest attack in MLS history? San Jose Earthquakes, of course

06 February 5:29 pm

Greatest attack in MLS history? San Jose Earthquakes, of course

By Olivia Curran

Here's something that should be music to your ears:

According to MLSsoccer.com's recent Opta Spotlight, the San Jose Earthquakes are the most prolific attack in MLS history. 

The 2012 Supporters' Shield winners' 72 goals in a single season take the cake for the best goal-scoring team in Major League Soccer. Although the 1998 LA Galaxy scored a league-high 85 goals in 32 games, the guys over at MLSsoccer.com say that the game was vastly different in '98 compared to that of 2012. The early years of MLS saw a much more "open" game where goals came easily for the attack. The Galaxy may have seen more in the back of the net that year, but so did everyone. 

The article goes on to show a strategy recently used in a Grantland piece, differentiating teams by measuring how far each total is from a given year's scoring mean. This allows us to compare high-scoring teams to the average for that year. As shown below, the Earthquakes' 72-goal campaign compared to the 45 goal average for 2012 put the team at 2.54 standard deviations above the mean. Simply put, the Quakes' 2012 attack may have been hard to pull off for any other club, but you know those Goonies. They #neversaydie.  

There is a lot more to be learned from this week's Opta Spotlight. Check it out on MLSsoccer.com


*graph provided by MLSsoccer.com