Richard Whittall

Football Writer


Richard Whittall

Soccer features writer. Guardian US, 21st Club, BettingExpert, Foreign Policy, Howler magazine, ESPNFC. Focus on Football Analytics and Finance.



DC United out for Red Bulls revenge: MLS weekend preview

It’s safe to say that MLS may be garnering more than a few curious fans this season in Blighty, what with a Manchester City-owned team debuting in New York, plus the option for night-crawlers to catch football in the wee weekend hours on Sky Sports. And, as every year, there are sure to be a few more North American fans interested in seeing what the fuss is about.
The Guardian Link to Story

Turf war escalates as New York City FC makes home debut in week two

Around the 18th minute of New York City FC’s home debut on Sunday at Yankee Stadium, the New York Red Bulls’ Twitter account posted a link asking “Who are the best 20 players in 20 years of metro soccer?”. As an attempt to remind New Yorkers that there was another area team with two decades of history, rather than two matches, it was a reasonable jibe, but as it turned out, rather ill-timed.
The Guardian Link to Story

Hope springs eternal: Five things to look for during MLS opening weekend

After some major doubts over whether the 2015 Major League Soccer season would start on schedule after collective bargaining agreement talks went down to the wire, news broke Wednesday evening that a deal had been reached. No doubt fans will be relieved to no longer have to think about age cut-offs, hard caps and free agency.
The Guardian Link to Story

2015 MLS team previews: San Jose Earthquakes to Vancouver Whitecaps

Players in: D Paulo Renato, Marvell Wynne; M Leandro Barrera, Sanna Nyassi, Fatai Alashe; F Innocent Emeghara, Mark Sherrod. Out: GK Jon Busch, Billy Knutsen; D Jason Hernandez, Andreas Gorlitz, Tommy Muller, M Atiba Harris, Yannick Djalo, Sam Cronin; F Billy Schuler. Summary: San Jose will be hoping the opening of their new Avaya Stadium will help fans to forget the misery of 2014, when they sank to a club-record 16 defeats and a last-place finish in the Western Conference.
The Guardian Link to Story

2015 MLS team previews: New York Red Bulls to Real Salt Lake

Players in: GK Kyle Reynish; D Andrew Jean-Baptiste, Damien Perrinelle, Ronald Zubar; M Sal Zizzo, Sean Davis, Leo Stolz, Felipe Martins, Sacha Kljestan; F Mike Grella. Out: GK Ryan Meara; D Kosuke Kimura, Damien Perrinelle, Ibrahim Sekagya, Richard Eckersley, Jamison Olave, Ambroise Oyongo; M Bobby Convey, Marius Obekop, Eric Alexander, Tim Cahill, Eric Stevenson, Ian Christianson; F Thierry Henry, Saer Sene.
The Guardian Link to Story

2015 MLS team previews: Houston Dynamo to New York City FC

Players in: GK Joe Willis; D Raul Rodriguez, Oumar Ballo, Taylor Hunter; M Zach Steinberger, Memo Rodriguez, Nathan Sturgis, Leonel Miranda, Rob Lovejoy; F Chandler Hoffman. Out: GK Tally Hall; D Eric Brunner, Anthony Arena; M Servando Carrasco, Andrew Driver; F Omar Cummings, Brian Ownby, Bryan Salazar, Mark Sherrod.
The Guardian Link to Story

2015 MLS team previews: Chicago Fire to FC Dallas

Players in: GK Jon Busch; D Matt Polster, Patrick Doody, Adaílton, Eric Gehrig; D/M Joevin Jones; M Michael Stephens, Collin Fernandez, Shaun Maloney; F Kennedy Igboananike, David Accam, Guilherme do Prado. Out: GK Kyle Reynish; D Marco Franco, Patrick Ianni, Hunter Jumper, Steven Kinney, Gonzalo Segares, Bakary Soumare; M Benji Joya, Victor Pineda, Logan Pause, Grant Ward, Sanna Nyassi; F Juan Luis Anangono, Robert Earnshaw, Matt Fondy, Florent Sinama-Pongolle.
The Guardian Link to Story

Zardes shines while Yedlin struggles: what we learned from USA v Panama

Let’s state the obvious caveat to all this: it was a February friendly against Panama, a team that the United States is expected to regularly beat in competitive qualifiers, let alone end-of-winter camp runabouts. Moreover, home-field advantage clearly applied in a sunny, full-voiced StubHub Center in Carson California.
The Guardian Link to Story

Why risk isn't always the enemy in player recruitment

Let’s pretend for moment you’re a technical scout, preparing to add to a dossier of reasonable transfer targets for your club to cover the next three seasons. Being an analytics minded person, you are armed in your search with statistics on the effects of age on performance, advanced metrics that measure innate skill in individual players, informal data on player “agreeability”, and filters for realistic transfer fees etc. etc.

Messiah complex: why it's a joy to sing Handel's classic every Christmas

It is a gorgeous, contemplative moment in the centre of George Frideric Handel’s beloved oratorio Messiah. It is a passage as beautiful as it is haunting. Yet, if at that moment you look past the conductor and orchestra to the ranks of singers in the back row, you may catch several yawns, perhaps even an eye roll or two.
The Guardian Link to Story

MLS Cup: how LA Galaxy crushed dreams of the Revolution

It was, on the surface, a classic Hollywood ending. After one of Landon Donovan’s best seasons in recent years, he retired a champion in front of a home crowd. Fireworks, fanfare and fade to black. And yet Donovan was not the star of the show against the Revs on Sunday; his team-mate and captain Robbie Keane yet again proved his MVP status, scoring the winner in the second period of extra time.
The Guardian Link to Story

MLS Cup final: LA Galaxy v New England Revolution – which team is stronger?

LA Galaxy are clear favourites to win another MLS Cup on Sunday – but is the match a mere formality? Our writers assess each team’s strengths and weaknesses. New England Revolution: Bobby Shuttleworth. When veteran Matt Reis (so veteran he was in goal the last time these two met in the final in 2005) retired at the end of last year, Shuttleworth got the full-time promotion from deputizing for the big man, as he’d done ably in Reis’s absence the previous season.
The Guardian Link to Story


Richard Whittall

Richard Whittall is an award-winning writer, researcher, and editor with a special focus on football analytics and finance. He wrote a column (“The State of Analytics”) for that was weekly reading for industry professionals, leading soccer journalists, and the general public. Richard’s work has appeared in publications including the Guardian, ESPN, and Howler magazine, and he has also coordinated research at Rethink Management for a report commissioned by the CSA.



  • Writing
  • Online Journalism
  • Editing
  • Research