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Updated: How FC Dallas fits into the overall 2013 MLS Schedule

Breaking down FC Dallas schedule by months.

Richard Wolowicz

Update: per recommendations in comments and on twitter I made changes to the visualization while using the same data. Displayed below the original viz.

My latest for The Shin Guardian aimed to present interesting findings about the 2013 MLS schedule that would be interesting to everyone who follows any MLS club. Please check it out. Today I want to focus an the FCD schedule just a bit more. Daniel did a nice job going over a few things soon after the schedule was released, and I'll try to avoid redundancy here.

This was my first time tinkering with a visualization tool called Tableau, and my favorite of the graphics I produced broke down the number of matches played and the average difficulty of per match in each month:

<script type="text/javascript" src="http://public.tableausoftware.com/javascripts/api/viz_v1.js"></script><div class="tableauPlaceholder" style="width:784px; height:610px;"><noscript><a href="#"><img alt="Sheet 1 " src="http:&#47;&#47;public.tableausoftware.com&#47;static&#47;images&#47;HT&#47;HT732TQW7&#47;1_rss.png" style="border: none" /></a></noscript><object class="tableauViz" width="784" height="610" style="display:none;"><param name="host_url" value="http%3A%2F%2Fpublic.tableausoftware.com%2F" /><param name="path" value="shared&#47;HT732TQW7" /><param name="toolbar" value="yes" /><param name="static_image" value="http:&#47;&#47;public.tableausoftware.com&#47;static&#47;images&#47;HT&#47;HT732TQW7&#47;1.png" /><param name="animate_transition" value="yes" /><param name="display_static_image" value="yes" /><param name="display_spinner" value="yes" /><param name="display_overlay" value="yes" /><param name="display_count" value="yes" /></object></div><div style="width:784px;height:22px;padding:0px 10px 0px 0px;color:black;font:normal 8pt verdana,helvetica,arial,sans-serif;"><div style="float:right; padding-right:8px;"><a href="http://www.tableausoftware.com/public?ref=http://public.tableausoftware.com/shared/HT732TQW7" target="_blank">Powered by Tableau</a></div></div>

You can hover over any data point to see the actual figures for strength of schedule and number of matches for that club month.

EDIT - per requests in the comment section I created an alternate viz of the same data:

<script type="text/javascript" src="http://public.tableausoftware.com/javascripts/api/viz_v1.js"></script><div class="tableauPlaceholder" style="width:676px; height:418px;"><noscript><a href="#"><img alt="Sheet 1 " src="http:&#47;&#47;public.tableausoftware.com&#47;static&#47;images&#47;ML&#47;MLS2013difficultyandmatchespermonth&#47;Sheet1&#47;1_rss.png" style="border: none" /></a></noscript><object class="tableauViz" width="676" height="418" style="display:none;"><param name="host_url" value="http%3A%2F%2Fpublic.tableausoftware.com%2F" /><param name="site_root" value="" /><param name="name" value="MLS2013difficultyandmatchespermonth&#47;Sheet1" /><param name="tabs" value="no" /><param name="toolbar" value="yes" /><param name="static_image" value="http:&#47;&#47;public.tableausoftware.com&#47;static&#47;images&#47;ML&#47;MLS2013difficultyandmatchespermonth&#47;Sheet1&#47;1.png" /><param name="animate_transition" value="yes" /><param name="display_static_image" value="yes" /><param name="display_spinner" value="yes" /><param name="display_overlay" value="yes" /><param name="display_count" value="yes" /></object></div><div style="width:676px;height:22px;padding:0px 10px 0px 0px;color:black;font:normal 8pt verdana,helvetica,arial,sans-serif;"><div style="float:right; padding-right:8px;"><a href="http://www.tableausoftware.com/public?ref=http://public.tableausoftware.com/views/MLS2013difficultyandmatchespermonth/Sheet1" target="_blank">Powered by Tableau</a></div></div>

As you can see, FC Dallas' season gets more difficult as the season progresses. March is by far their easiest slate, and October should be the hardest. This might be an advantageous shape to the season, as they may grant some time to round the squad into form. Then again, FCD could be in major trouble if they enter September and October without a bit of a cushion in the standings.

Also noteworthy is that the red stripes shouldn't get overworked during any one month. They are one of only 3 teams who will play only 4 or 5 matches during each individual month. If Schellas can rotate the squad just a little bit, hopefully we won't be seeing players break down anywhere near as often as in 2012.

The Shin Guardian piece goes into more detail, and as always I'd appreciate any feedback. If you'd like to play with the schedule yourself, click here to download the Excel version that was the basis of the TSG piece. The formatting may look a little weird to you, but all the info is spread over the tabs.