Take Me Out to the Ballgame – Week 14

Supporters' Shield Trophy
Supporters' Shield Trophy

After week 14 the numbers look like this…

  5 year comparison
  WK 14 106 GP YTD
  Avg +/- GP Avg +/- Avg +/- GP
 2005   9,538     6   14,692     13,862     93 
 2006   10,494   10.02%   7   14,814   0.83%   14,602   5.34%   88 
 2007   15,376   46.52%   12   15,035   1.49%   15,174   3.91%   97 
 2008   17,581   14.35%   7   16,448   9.40%   16,888   11.30%   100 
 2009   16,192   -7.90%   6   14,957   -9.07%   14,957   -11.43%   106 

Here are the attendance comparisons to 2008’s equal number of home games(106):

MLS Attendance Averages – Equal # of Home Games
  2008 2009
  Att Cap Att Att +/- GP % of Cap Cap
 Seattle  0   0.00%   29,364   NA  8   91.76%   32,000 
 Toronto  20,133   91.61%   20,220   0.43%   9   92.00%   21,978 
 LA Galaxy  24,876   92.13%   19,298   -22.42%   7   71.47%   27,000 
 Houston  16,566   73.63%   15,689   -5.29%   8   69.73%   22,500 
 Real Salt Lake  16,419   76.25%   15,449   -5.91%   6   65.41%   19,340 
 ChivasUSA  14,376   53.25%   15,312   6.51%   8   56.71%   27,000 
 D.C. United  20,817   92.52%   14,811   -28.85%   8   65.83%   22,500 
 Columbus Crew  12,270   54.40%   12,417   1.20%   6   55.05%   22,555 
 Colorado Rapids  14,556   80.48%   12,211   -16.11%   5   67.52%   18,086 
 San Jose  15,420   73.77%   11,774   -23.64%   7   44.93%   10,300 
 Chicago  16,440   82.20%   11,726   -28.67%   6   58.63%   20,000 
 NE Revolution  10,289   45.73%   11,511   11.88%   5   51.16%   22,500 
 N.Y./N.J. Red Bulls  17,679   70.18%   11,385   -35.60%   8   45.20%   25,189 
 KC Wizards  9,483   91.32%   9,703   2.32%   7   93.44%   10,385 
 FC Dallas  13,862   67.62%   8,679   -37.39%   8   42.33%   20,500 

My disclaimer about the capacity calculations

For my calculations, I’ve taken the 4 teams playing in football stadiums, DCU in RFK, Houston in Robertson, New England in Foxboro, and RBNY in the Meadowlands and assigned maximum capacities as follows, DCU-22,500, Houston-22,500, New England-22,500 and RBNY-25189(the posted capacity of Red Bull Arena). I took the 22,500 from an approximate average of the soccer specific stadiums in use. Capacities have also been adjusted for the few games that were moved to larger venues, such as San Jose playing twice in Oakland Alameda Colliseum for 2 of it’s 7 matches in ‘08 and three times in ’09.
I’m now using 32,000 for Seattle’s capacity. Thier previous announced cap was 27,000. Since they haven’t drawn less than 28,000, I’ve recalculated all of the Sounders’ games to the new number.


Good crowds attended this week’s six matches, except of course in Dallas. The league averaged just under 16,200. A decent week brought down by Dallas and Colorado.

The week began with DC United visiting Qwest Field and its 29,000+ fans. The Galaxy played San Jose in a match played at Oakland Alameda. The Quakes 2 home matches vs LA drew over 59,000 in ’08. This year’s two matches drew a total of just under 33,000. I wonder if they had to pay more for the stadium and if the extra 12,000(vs sellouts at Buck Shaw) was worth it. Not a bad turnout of over 14,300 in the rain at the Meadowlands. Dallas. Over 17,000 showed up in sultry Houston, but only 11,416 saw the Rapids continue their strong play.

If you’re wondering why San Jose’s capacity percent fell from 72.70% last week to 44.93%, it’s because their 3 matches at Oakland Alameda with a capacity of 47,416 are now fully factored into the Quake’s numbers.

The Red Bulls numbers took a hit as it’s 8th game last year was Beckham’s visit, drawing over 46,700.

YTD – 106 Games
  Average Median %<10K %>20k
 2005    14,692     12,167    30.19%   16.04% 
 2006    14,814     13,064    22.64%   16.98% 
 2007    15,035     14,194    11.32%   20.75% 
 2008    16,448     15,415    10.38%   25.47% 
 2009    14,957     14,248    16.04%   16.04% 

Week 14 Games
Seattle 3 Seattle Times
DC United 3 Washington Post – Steve Goff
RBNY 1 Red Bulls Reader
Seattle 1 Seattle Times
Houston 1 Soccer y Fútbol – Barnard Fallas
Real Salt Lake 1 Behind the Shield
Colorado 3 Undercurrent
DC United 0 Behind the Badge
FC Dallas 2 3rd Degree – Buzz Carrick
Columbus 1 Columbus Dispatch – Crew XTra
San Jose 2 Mercury News
Los Angeles 1 LA – Official Blog

End of Week Thoughts

  • ESPN – !$&*!##$!*&^&$!!!!
  • FC Dallas, yes FCD is only 6 points out of the last playoff spot.
  • SuperLiga began this week for Chivas USA, Chicago, Kansas City and New England. The next league games for all of them is on July 4.
  • The fun of MLS and International conflicts continues its consecutive run of weeks that won’t end until the Gold Cup final on July 26. The next round of World Cup qualifiers is the 2nd week of August.
  • Ryan Johnson had a heckuva day for the Quakes.
  • The Dynamo remain top of the table with games in hand.
  • The Crew’s undefeated streak of 9 snapped by FCD!?!
  • No need to choose between club and country as MLS was ‘dark’ on Sunday, when the USMNT played Egypt.
  • RBNY are 9 points out of the playoffs with all of its competition having games in hand.
  • Montero is back on form.

    Confederations Cup extended callups, OH My!

    The stranger than fiction conclusion of group play in the Confederations Cup has extended the US participation in the tourney. They face current #1 Spain in a semifinal on Wednesday. MLS players will miss another week of matches(MLS and SuperLiga).

    Gold Cup possible callups

  • Chicago – Segares(Costa Rica), Thorrington(USA)
  • Chivas USA – Thomas(Jamaica), Jazic(Canada), Bornstein(USA)
  • Colorado – Cummings(Jamaica), Ceus(Haiti), Casey(USA), Mastroenni(USA)
  • Columbus – Gaven(USA), Rogers(USA)
  • DCU – Jakovic(Canada)
  • FCD – Cooper(USA)
  • Houston – Hainault(Canada), Clark(USA), Holden(USA)
  • KC – Espinoza(Honduras), Arnaud(USA)
  • LA – Ricketts(Jamaica), T. Marshall(Jamaica)
  • NE – Joseph(Grenada)
  • RBNY – Richards(Jamaica), Pacheco(El Salvador)
  • RSL – W. Johnson(Canada), Alexandre(Haiti)
  • SEA – T. Marshall(Jamaica)
  • TFC – De Rosario(Canada), Serioux(Canada), Harmse(Canada), Attakora-Gyan(Canada), Wynne(USA)

    USMNT U-20’s callups for Egypt trip: June 22-30

  • Chivas USA – Flores, Gerson
  • FC Dallas – Marosevic
  • Houston – Cruz


    SuperLiga 2009

    The first round of the N.A. SuperLiga 2009 was played this weekend. The MLS teams are Chivas USA, Chicago, Kansas City and New England. These are considered 2008’s ‘2nd tier’ MLS teams. The new eligibility rules for the CONCACAF Champions League and SuperLiga do not permit an MLS team to participate in both tournaments, a welcome change to clubs that were overwhelmed with fixtures and short rosters in previous years. So with the ‘top’ clubs, i.e.; Supporters’ Shield Champion, MLS Cup finalists, and the Lamar Hunt US Open Champion going to the CCL, the ‘best of the rest’ go to SuperLiga. This year, with Columbus winning the Supporters’ Shield and being an MLS Cup finalist, the extra CCL slot went to Houston, with the next most points in the regular season. That meant that the next best teams(points in the regular season) got the SuperLiga slots.

    The four MLS clubs were not scheduled this week, nor are they scheduled next week. But they will each play 3 SuperLiga group matches in 8 days. The semifinals are on July 15 and the final is on August 15. Looking ahead, Chivas USA is scheduled to play on August 15, while Chicago and Kansas City play on August 16. There are no conflicts on July 15.

    SuperLiga 2009 – Matchday 1
    Group A
    Game Score Pts  
    Chicago 1 3 Chicago – MLSNet
    San Luis 0 0 San Luis – Wikipedia
    Chivas USA 1 0 Chivas USA – MLSNet
    Tigres UANL 2 3 Tigres UANL – Wikipedia
    Group B
    Kansas City 0 1 Kansas City – Hillcrest Road
    Atlas 0 1 Atlas – The Offside
    New England 4 3 Revolution Soccer
    Santos Laguna 2 0 Tigres UANL – Wikipedia


    The Lamar Hunt US Open Cup continued with the 2nd round. The Ocean City Barons won $10,000 as the last amateur team standing. The eight MLS clubs will enter the competition in the 3rd round on June 30. Joining them will be the PDL Barons, 2 USL-2 teams, Wilmington and Harrisburg, and 5 USL-1 clubs, Charleston, Rochester, Minnesota, Austin and Portland.


    In case you missed it, Toronto pulled off a stunner in the Canadian Nutrilite Championship, beating Montreal 6-1 and becoming the 5th MLS team in the 2009-10 CONCACAF Champions League. Toronto came into the game needing a 4 goal margin to overcome Vancouver and win the title.TFC will face USL-1 side and CFU Championship runner-up Puerto Rico in the preliminary round of the CCC, beginning in late July.

  • 15 thoughts on “Take Me Out to the Ballgame – Week 14”

    1. Good stuff as always.

      A bunch of USL call ups to the Gold Cup also. I’ll try and list those soon although the extended US run in the Confederations Cup has me focused on that.

      Additionally, I’m working on a story and an interview potentially with Musa Otieno of the Kenyan National Team and Cleveland City in USL-1. Otieno is the captain of the Kenyan team currently chasing a world cup bid in the final stage of African qualifying. It’s quite neat to have a captain of a decent foreign national team (non CONCACAF) from an American based team. I’m not sure if their are any other captains based in MLS or USL from outside CONCACAF. If anyone knows of one please list it here in the comments and I will attempt to interview them as well for MLS Talk.

    2. Good stuff on the agenda Kartik.

      For those of us who sit back and say I wish soccer in the US was something like England with all the various action going on, well it’s here.

      Think about this:
      1. Superliga- complain if you will but who here will watch the Carling Cup with delight and it’s free online and carried on Spanish language stations
      2. MLS regular season- ESPN had two games on this last week and the Seattle game was a classic.
      3. USMNT- Confed Cup, qualifications and Gold Cup still ahead, much of it has been on ESPN and FSC has the Gold Cup.
      4. US Open Cup
      5. USL regular season-game of the week on FSC and free online.

      Guys we have it good here and do not appreciate it!

    3. very true lou- we do have it good especially over the summer when these eurosnobs complain about missing football. WTF are they taking about? On FSC alone you get USL Friday, MLS Saturday and WPS Sunday. That’s three live football matches every weekend in addition to all the online MLS and USL games.

    4. You have Joseph from NE as a possible call up during the Gold Cup, which is true, but you have it listed as a call up for Honduras, which is not. Shalrie is from Grenada, ya man.

    5. TFC is screwed once again because of the Gold Cup. Looks like 5 call ups for the Canadian MNT, and 1 for the USMNT.

    6. Lars,

      re: TFC

      MLS scheduled matches on Jul 11, 18 and 25, so…

      baby screw if Canada doesn’t advance out of group
      moderate screw if they go down in semis
      sit on it and rotate screw if they make it to the final(Jul 26)

    7. This is good stuff. Thanks for putting it together.

      Re: Seattle attendance, capacity was 32k at the first game then went down to 28k then up to something a little over 29k. Beginning July 11th against Houston, capacity will be back up to 32k when they open the upper section behind the supporters club at the south (or ‘Brougham End’) of the field. SSFC will tell you they’ve sold out every game thus far, so the capacity numbers should be something closer to 100%.

    8. JamieA:

      Yeah, Seattle kept changing the numbers, to the extent that some early games attendance exceeded their posted capacity, so I just said the heck with it and am using the 32K number for the season. Either way, there’s no doubt that the Sounders have set the bar high and that’s a good thing.

    9. Great job once again Peter C! Quite possible the best post ever for MLStalk. Good job to Kartik and eplnfl for recognizing what is transpiring before our eyes. It is remarkable! Quite possibly, summer of 2009 is Soccer’s greatest triumph for the U.S., only hope its not spreading itself too thin. This may be the summer to look back on as a turning point.

    10. Superliga is a fraud and a joke. It’s in June this year after starting in July last year and was in August the year before. The Mexican teams just finished their season a few weeks ago and have basically brought their youth squads. All four FMF teams in this event missed last season’s playoffs.

      It’s completely laughable that this tournament is being played while the US is in a major FIFA competition. But the fact that this website and other English language ones do not critically look at this as merely an exhibition tournament that is designed to make money for Soccer United Marketing and will treat the sure MLS victory as some sort of proof that the American league is up a high standard is just so funny but it borders on criminal.

      Sorry but if you cover Superliga at all you cannot be taken seriously.

    11. Nice article Peter and a valid point Lawerence but keep in mind that it isn’t only MLS in this. The FMF is getting a nice pay day as well and it is there decision to play those players not the MLS. D.C. United has been in the Superliga the 2 previous seasons and they didn’t field their top team or had mostly reserves playing in those games and even in CONCACAF Champions league. So MLS teams don’t field their best 11 either getting beat by the FMF teams in SuperLiga or CCL. Lots of people come down on how bad the MLS teams did in the inaugural CCL but in DCU’s case they didn’t have the depth to compete and therefore had beat up/subpar teams competing in those tourneys. The FMF teams definitely have more money and depth to deal with these types of tournaments. Hopefully MLS is working towards getting type of depth…baby steps.

      I also believe that when Pachuca won in 2007 they got to keep all the prize money for the players that earned it while New England players didn’t get to keep that same ratio of the winnings last season. I think the prize money was a million bucks.

    12. Lawerence:
      SuperLiga is what it is, a moneymaker for SUM, which for all intents and purposes is the entity that keeps the league alive. In that sense, anyone who ignores it completely is not a serious MLS observer.

      That’s not to say that I disagree with your opinion of the quality of play.

      In my view, from a non-business perspective, young players get international club experience, which is better than none at all. And who knows, maybe some decent teen not starting for Mexican team, after seeing a few US cities, says, ‘this would be OK with me’, and reaches out to an MLS squad. Ya never know. OK, I reaching here but stranger things have happened.

      If SUM can keep the tourney going on TV and sponsorship revenues, that’s fine. They’re certainly not going to draw major attention in terms of its competitiveness except perhaps in the participating cities. This is a revenue vehicle and other benefits to ‘the game’ are incidental.

      Yes, all other issues aside, the handling of the players’ share by MLS was a real blemish on management. Last I saw, and this is in no way verifiable, the players’ share is in the neighborhood of 15%. Split 24 ways gives you $6,250 per player. Paltry for the top earners, certainly a help to the middle level and a definite boost for the low earners. That said, 15% for the players is not equitable.

      Bernard Fallas some interesting ideas on SuperLiga… http://blogs.chron.com/soccer/archives/2009/06/superliga_is_un.html

      Speaking for myself, I see it as part of the financial bucket that is SUM. As of the last report I saw, 3 teams made money in ’07, with 2 close to running in the black. I think we can safely add Seattle to the list so now we can imagine that 4-6 clubs out of 15 will be in the black this year. Anything that makes a profit outside of league play is something to be considered.

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