Quick and Dirty: How many states have a goalkeeper in MLS?

Given the requirement that each state must have at least one goalkeeper in order to field a team in the USISSL, I thought I'd check just how many states actually have goalkeepers in their player pools. The result of that analysis is that 20 states currently have a goalkeeper in MLS, meaning that the USISSL cannot be larger than 20 teams. Of course, this could increase (or decrease) depending on roster developments as the MLS season continues.

Here is a table of those 20 states and the number of goalkeepers they each provide (click to enlarge):

To put this in slightly broader context, of the 50 states (and DC), 34 states (and DC) had at least 1 player in MLS prior to the start of Week 5, and of these 34 states (and DC), 20 states (but not DC) had at least 1 MLS goalkeeper.

California, New Jersey, and Virginia lead the way in MLS goalkeeper production. In fact, goalkeepers account for half of Virginia's 10 MLS players, which also means that Virginia doesn't have enough field players to have a team in the USISSL at the moment. Attentive readers of this blog will notice that the USISSL Table on the homepage was updated to reflect Virginia's removal from the league. Mid-season contraction already. Hopefully this will be temporary.

The packages and code I used for this Q&D project include the following:
> library(dplyr)
> library(gridExtra)
> USISSL_gk<-filter(USISSL, GK=="Y")
> GKStates<-count(USISSL_gk, Home.State) 
> names(GKStates)<-c("State", "# MLS GKs")
> grid.table(GKStates)

The gridExtra package is required for the grid.table function, which converts R's basic data frame output to the style of table above. Although I like this better than the basic R output, if the table doesn't appear in its entirety in the "Plots" window in RStudio, the top and bottom are cut off, even in the zoom window. Not optimal, but it will do for now.


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