Photograph of OPTA folks hard at work documenting a Sporting KC game. Or not.
I've really been impressed with the Opta Chalkboards MLS has incorporated into its on-line Matchcenter this year. The chalkboards provide a wealth of information that can be interpreted and analyzed in many different ways.
For example, here are the locations of the three goals scored by Sporting KC in the Dayton Dutch Lions game. Graham Zusi's awesome goal is highlighted, documenting the goal's time, pace of play, foot used, location of strike, and location of finish.
Nice, huh? MLS has been working with OPTA to expand and improve the quality of the chalkboards over the season. Still, I was surprised how in-depth the information has become. I've provided a couple of interesting screen captures that prove these guys really do take down everything in Sporting KC games.
For example, here is one from the St. Patrick's Day game:
Another screen shot from the game at the Chicago Fire, but it could be from most any game, really.
Another capture below, this one from the recent Toronto game:
OPTA even records crowd reactions from teenage girls.
Finally, it's remarkably accurate with documenting a player's shot position and resulting emotional state:
Nice work OPTA!