Monday, April 21, 2014

Rise of the MLS Diamond

The always excellent "March to the Match" podcast's most recent show focused on the rising use of the "diamond" midfield in 2014.  The episode (and MttM in general) are must-listens for MLS fans.  To the uninitiated, the "diamond" refers to the shape of the midfield.  Real Salt Lake runs a classic version of this formation, also called a 4-1-2-1-2.

Curious, I decided to look at what formations are the most popular in MLS and if there had indeed been a shift to the 4-1-2-1-2 diamond formation.  One thing to note is the data used (courtesy of Opta) refers only to how teams start a game and does not account for any in-game tactical changes.

It is still very early in the season, but there has indeed been a noticeable shift towards the 4-1-2-1-2.  This trend will certainly be worth watching as the season goes along.

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