The Beautiful (Computer) Game: How Data Science Will Revolutionize the World's Most Popular Sport
Data science is taking over sports, and soccer is no different. While having lagged behind other sports in the data revolution, soccer is beginning to put an emphasis on making data-driven decisions. This thesis addresses the ways in which professional soccer teams can begin to make use of advancing data acquisition technology to aid teams in preparation/strategy, in-game decisions, and scouting. First, the thesis provides an overview of how data science has been used in other sports. Next, the thesis investigates what professional soccer is currently doing and why they have lagged behind, followed by various proposals of data science models and techniques that could begin to be used in the game. Lastly, the thesis provides an example model of its own, used to predict player value based on personal performance statistics from the 2020-2021 season.