The Houston Dynamo announced the hiring of SRC FTBL to build an analytics department for the club. I know what you’re thinking, the Dynamo didn’t have an analytics department in 2023? That’s right, they didn’t. The club had analytics staff in the past but has been without recently. American Soccer Analysis does a yearly look at MLS teams and their analytics and the Dynamo were in the bottom tier last year.
It’s pretty mind-boggling to think a sports team in a top flight league would have no analytics department in this day and age. So much of sports has become numbers and data and more importantly, what you do with that information. The Dynamo now are not only going to add an analytics department but they have some of the best people in the sport leading the build. Build is the key word here, however. It’s going to take some time to get a department built and operating at a high level.
So, who is behind SRC FTBL? The company was founded by three people, Ravi Ramineni, Sarah Rudd, and Cole Grossman. Ramineni helped build the analytics department of the Seattle Sounders, winners of two MLS Cups and last season’s CONCACAF Champions League. Rudd developed and lead the analytics department at English Premier League club Arsenal FC. Rudd has also published a seminal research paper on possession and the impact of direct and indirect actions in the final third. Grossman played for the Columbus Crew and Real Salt Lake, as well as overseas in Norway. He worked for English clubs Manchester United and Burnley before joining SRC.
What is SRC FTBL going to do for the Dynamo? The company is going to help the club build an analytics department with a focus on player identification and first team performance. Like I said earlier, this is going to take time. SRC FTBL is coming in and having to basically start from scratch. They’re going to have to hire a team and begin to have that team working with the front office and coaches to analyze the types of players they are looking to build the club with. This won’t be a quick fix but it’s a very welcome sign for the Dynamo to join the 21st century sports movement of data and analytics.
If you want some more information on the “nerdy” side of soccer, Ravi and Sarah both did episodes on the Expected Value Podcast, talking about analytics in the sport and much more. You can find those episodes here and here.