Want to Advance out of Pool Play? Win your Opener

We are in soccer tournament season, and with the World Cup approaching and the United States firmly seated in this year’s Group of Death for pool play, I found myself thinking about their odds of advancement. For that matter, what are any given team’s odds of advancement out of pool play if they don’t win their first game? Let’s get some facts and data behind that question with data from HTGSports.

Anyone who has been around youth soccer tournaments knows that there are a few possible group formats based on the number of teams who apply and are accepted. It doesn’t often end up that the format has a perfect eight teams: two pools of four teams, three pool games, a semi-final and final. In fact that’s a rarity. Sometimes there are six teams, or four, even 10 or 12. One thing that they all have in common is an important first game. From the vast data in HTGSports’ coffers here are some of the odds:

  • Of those who advanced out of pool 71% won their first game, 20% tied and 8% lost.
  • Of the winners of tournaments of any format, 74.5% won their opening game, 14.1% tied and 9.1% lost.
  • 79% of girls champions won their first game while only 71% of boys won their first game.  However, 12% of boys champions lost their first game while only 4% of girls champions lost their first game of pool play.

The graph below compares the results of game one between teams that advanced out of the group and teams that won the tournament.


The second graph shows the results of game one of pool play for the eventual tournament champions.

pie graph 2

So as the US goes up against Ghana in the opener on June 16 and the odds of advancing out of group or winning the tournament are firmly against us, one thing is clear. Want better odds? Treat that first game as if it is a final.

Using iSports Venue Details and Games by Field Feature

We’ve recently added the ability to view games by fields. This feature can be particularly helpful if:

  • you are walking by a game and  just want to know what 2 teams are playing on a particular field
  • you are a field marshal or a tournament director; you need the ability to quickly see what two teams are playing or scheduled to play for various reasons

To access this feature from the mobile app (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/isports-2/id490130279?mt=8) first locate the event and click on it. From the main event page then tap on the “Venues” button on the bottom.


Click on the red marker to display the info window of the venue you are wanting details on.  Then click on the info window. Note: if you click on the “i” you will be taken directly to driving directions.


On the iPad clicking on the info window selects the venue in the venue list in the sidebar. From the sidebar you can click on “Details”.


From the venue details window you will then see information about the venue and a list of fields. Click on the field of interest.venue-detail

On the iPhone you will be taken to the results window.


On the iPad the results are shown on the right side of the venue detail window.


On the results list you will then see a list of games for the field of interest.  Find the appropriate game time and click on the game to display the game detail page.



The game detail page contains a lot of information.  Included is the game date, time, team names, coach, location, primary colors, scores, field, and division.  From this page you can optionally add it to your calendar or share the information via text.