For many reading this you will be used to my writing, and the site name. For those what is new about the site is the structure and relationship with SBNation.com and Daily Soccer Fix and more sites to come. Sounder at Heart is now part of a network. More than just the one site you are used to you will find news about the beautiful game, American soccer and many teams to come.
There is a slightly new logo to go with things, and as I familiarize myself with this software other changes will come apparent. I will also start doing live gameblogs, for road games I hope to add some context to plays as we see them develop.
For those that are unfamiliar with Sounder at Heart, you will see a very different kind of soccer blog. You'll notice I don't talk about form, or work-rate, but instead focus on the provable and the tangible, on the specifics of what has occurred. Because I think that form is a cop-out for bloggers that can't bother to look at the very items that indicate good form/bad form. Now, certainly some do use it as a short-hand and get into the details, but often the phrase is spit out and the reasons ignored.
Sometimes you will even hear/read a soccer journalist say that a player is showing poor form while they are dramatically outscoring their contemporaries. This is why I use statistics that I do. They may be new to most, but they show something tangible. For if a player is truly better than another shouldn't there be something that indicates it?
This also goes for teams. Does recent "form" really have a strong correlation to upcoming performance? Or do the details matter? Take the situation regarding the Los Angeles Galaxy; many just chalked their run of success up to good form. They didn't look at the defensive lineup change was the cause of success; they just saw the addition of Beckham. Their success did not start with the Super Model's return, but two matches prior when they settled on a regular back five (four defenders and a defensive midfielder). More recently they had "bad form," more accurately their defense had shifted and they lost that edge.
The devil truly is in the details. There is a significant part of me that thinks that part of what holds soccer back in America is that so many bloggers treat it as if it is something magical. You don't see this in coverage of the major sports. While passion is part of what makes players in the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL great, it is more their technique and skills that prove their worth day in and day out. It is like the joke of color analysis that you get (less often now then in the 80s) that praises poor players for good hustle.
Carlos will still be writing for me with this change. He will add discussions about tactics, his ideas for the business of the sport, as well as his unique perspective on the Sounders from afar. Look for the two of us to interact in comments as well as during gamethreads - which we will first try in a non-Sounders game.
Lastly, one of the things that I ask is that if you have questions about the terminology or statistics I use, just ask by email or in the blog. They aren't difficult concepts as you get to know them, but they are part of the key to gain a deeper understanding of the sport we love.