Jurgen Klinsmann looking to baseball for help with Bayern Munich
Beane, who has a very low budget by Major League Baseball standards, is incredibly good at finding unknown talent by using a large set of statistics (called sabermetrics) to evaluate them. Klinsmann and other soccer managers are very interested in finding a way to creating a similar system for soccer.
Of course the biggest problem for soccer in trying to replicate this model is the lack of statistics, but Beane wants to change all that.
Beane is interested in finding statistical models that can help soccer teams evaluate talent, much the way the A's have used stats to target players to draft and sign. Beane has talked to several Premier League officials, among other soccer bigwigs, about combining resources to find inequities in the market that might be exploited. Because the A's ownership group also controls Major League Soccer's San Jose franchise (an enterprise that will involve Beane somewhat), any findings would benefit the Earthquakes.If a stat system is every discovered for rating players, it would probably be a boom for the game, especially in developing markets like the USA where team's don't have a huge scouting budget. Not only would it give the team's a way on paper to compare players, but it would also give fans and sports writers endless numbers to throw around, which is one of the best things baseball has going for it.
That said, there is something really nice about not being able to reduce a player to a set of stats. I say that, but I don't have to run a team.