One of the lessons of football analytics is that the raw data, no matter how tailored, is only as useful as the club paying for it.
Enter Toronto FC. The above video details how, impressively, Toronto FC was a first mover on the ProZone technology (although there are well-known stories of Preki figuratively ‘tossing’ the data), but it’s not clear how exactly it’s being employed on a game-to-game basis, particularly with the recent (and manifold) changes in first team staffing which reveals there is no dedicated performance analyst.
There is also a lot of irony in ProZone’s promotion of the technology in player recruitment at the MLS Combine:
Holding the first and third picks in this year’s draft, Toronto have an excellent opportunity to significantly strengthen their squad ahead of the 2013 MLS season.
Having used our PROZONE3 platform for pre-match preparation and post-match analysis since 2008, Toronto have recently used our consultancy services to take an objective look at some of the strongest college prospects ahead of Thursday’s draft.
Speaking about the recruitment consultancy Prozone is providing to Toronto FC, Mairs said, “We’re looking at the college players and seeing how they stack up to what Toronto has already got, what they need and what we think [the players] will do in the future.
“[Recruitment analysis] is a two-way process, and our job is to make sense of that data for the guys at Toronto and help them to make better informed decisions moving forward.”
Toronto of course traded their 1st pick for allocation money, and took Kyle Bekker in third. What role the data made in that decision—if any—is anyone’s guess.