NEWS: #OptaProSoccer returns in 2019

Article by Ryan Bahia

#OptaProSoccer, OptaPro’s focused North American soccer analytics conference, returns in 2019, taking place in Chicago on January 9th. 

The invitation-only event showcases innovative applications of analytics relevant to this unique soccer landscape. The 2018 event saw over 60 people from across the industry in attendance.

Confirmed to present is U.S. Soccer, where Tyler Heaps (Manager of Analytics and Research) and Joris Bekkers (Data Scientist) will share insight on quantifying player development and discussing the impact of analytics in relation to the federation’s player pathway strategy.

Participating in a Q&A discussion, New England Revolution analyst Tim Crawford will talk through his experiences in this industry, how he sees analytics best implemented and how this world has evolved in recent years, along with how it will continue to progress in the future.

In sports analytics conferences around the world, a key area of discussion often centres on data visualisation. How can sophisticated, detailed analysis be presented and conveyed – concisely – to an audience that extends beyond those producing the analysis?

TruMedia Networks’ Paul Carr will deliver a session focusing on this area of analysis, providing applied examples, context and discussion to enhance and inform this process for clubs.

American Soccer Analysis – a leading group in the soccer analytics community – will also return to #OptaProSoccer, building on their work first conceived at the inaugural U.S. Soccer hackathon, which took place back in July.  The presentation will focus on player decision-making in the final third, focusing on Major League Soccer teams and players.

In addition, Ben Mackriell (Head of OptaPro) and Tom Worville (Data Scientist) will deliver a session underpinned by the Opta possessions and sequences framework. Focusing on quantifying playing styles, this presentation will apply this analysis to recent case studies across various competitions in North American soccer.

Also building on hackathon work, Jeremy Betz and Andrew Puopolo will share an analysis and strategy (poster presentation) around how international slots should be allocated across MLS teams.

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