With Manchester City opening up its Opta-generated data, it appears as if soccer is finally ready to join the information revolution. As this article at none other than The Atlantic details, the decision to essentially crowd-source analysis has direct similarities to the "open-source movement" that has been fueling the light speed at which digital technology has been progressing.
One of the folks who will be helping lead this revolution, is none other than SB Nation soccer editor Graham MacAree, who's quoted extensively in the article. Although that data is far more valuable than it seemed to be when Bill James was starting baseball's stat revolution, MacAree believes there's still reason for this information to be freely available.
"now that we know how valuable data is, there's no reason for it to be [freely] given to us... but our contribution [community analysts'] can also be valuable. And we've always been about showing that we're worth giving that data to."
Up until now, the best soccer stats could do was really make nice illustrations of what has already happened, essentially acting as fancy anecdotes. The hope here is that predictive metrics may be found.
If the Internet age has taught us anything, it's that when enough people are attacking a problem, almost anything is possible.