Take Me Out to the Ballgame – Week 16


After week 16 the numbers look like this…

  5 year comparison
  WK 15 118 GP YTD
  Avg +/- GP Avg +/- Avg +/- GP
 2005   23,776     6   14,568     14,807     107 
 2006   13,158   -44.66%   6   14,724   1.07%   14,632   -1.18%   106 
 2007   12,473   -5.21%   4   15,217   3.35%   15,043   2.81%   107 
 2008   14,475   16.05%   5   16,565   8.86%   16,878   12.19%   111 
 2009   16,142   11.51%   6   15,238   -8.01%   15,238   -9.72%   118 

Here are the attendance comparisons to 2008’s equal number of home games(118):

MLS Attendance Averages – Equal # of Home Games
  2008 2009
  Att Cap Att Att +/- GP % of Cap Cap
 Seattle  0   0.00%   29,715   NA  9   92.86%   32,000 
 Toronto  20,144   91.66%   20,288   0.71%   10   92.31%   21,978 
 LA Galaxy  25,348   93.88%   19,292   -23.89%   9   71.45%   27,000 
 Real Salt Lake  15,101   71.96%   16,045   6.25%   8   71.15%   19,340 
 Houston  16,566   73.63%   15,689   -5.29%   8   69.73%   22,500 
 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  12,881   64.40%   13,056   1.36%   8   65.28%   20,000 
 Colorado Rapids  14,017   77.50%   13,045   -6.93%   7   72.13%   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  9,596   92.40%   9,789   2.01%   8   94.26%   10,385 
 FC Dallas  13,687   66.76%   9,306   -32.01%   9   45.40%   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 as you would expect on the holiday weekend. The league averaged just over 16,100. A decent week, not a great one.

The week began with RSL hosting the Quakes before a good Friday night crowd of 17,400+. An OK turnout, nothing special saw Columbus host east leaders DC United. Colorado continued its tradition of July 4th attendance highs with its best turnout of the year. The Wizards played to capacity against west leaders Houston. LA welcomed the injury stricken Revs and a crowd of 20,609.

YTD – 118 Games
  Average Median %<10K %>20k
 2005    14,568     12,043    31.36%   16.95% 
 2006    14,724     13,036    22.03%   16.95% 
 2007    15,217     14,130    11.02%   22.03% 
 2008    16,565     15,274    11.86%   25.42% 
 2009    15,238     14,406    14.41%   16.95% 

Week 16 Games
Real Salt Lake 1 Behind the Shield
San Jose 1 Center Line Soccer
Columbus 1 Columbus Dispatch – Crew XTra
DC United 1 Soccer Insider – Steve Goff
Colorado 1 Undercurrent
Chicago 2 Chicago – Official Site
Kansas City 0 Hillcrest Road
Houston 1 Soccer y Fútbol – Barnard Fallas
FC Dallas 2 3rd Degree – Buzz Carrick
RBNY 1 Red Bulls Reader
Los Angeles 1 LA – 100 percent soccer
New England 0 New England – Official Site

Gold Cup and MLS

Gold Cup Rosters at CONCACAF
Players, League Games Missed Due to Gold Cup Group Play
  Players Opponent
     3-Jul  4-Jul  11-Jul
 Chicago Fire   Busch, Pause, Segares(CRC)    Colorado  Columbus
 Chivas USA   Bornstein*, Kljestan*
 Thomas(JAM), Harmse(CAN)
 Colorado Rapids   Clark, Perkins, Casey*
 Cummings(JAM), Ceus(HAI)
   Chicago  FCD
 Columbus Crew   Rogers, Marshall    DCU  Chicago
 DC United   Quaranta, Jakovic(CAN)    Columbus  
 FC Dallas   Cooper    RBNY  Colorado
 Houston Dynamo   Ching, Holden, Hainault(CAN)    KC  Seattle
 Kansas City Wizards   Arnaud, Conrad    Houston  NE
 Los Angeles Galaxy   Ricketts(JAM)    NE  Chivas USA
 New England Revolution   Heaps, Joseph(GRE)**    LA  KC
 RBNY   Pacheco(SLV), Richards(JAM)    FCD  
 Real Salt Lake   Beckerman, Johnson(CAN)
 San Jose Earthquakes   NONE  RSL    TFC
 Seattle Sounders FC   Evans, Marshall(JAM)      HOU
 Toronto FC   Cronin, Gerba(CAN)      SJ

* – Added when CONCACAF allowed the US to add 7 to the roster due to its participation in the Confederations Cup. These players will not travel with the team but are expected to join when the matches are geographically proximate.

** – Joseph in injured and didn’t play for club or country.

If I’ve missed anyone, hopefully our readers will let me know in the comment section.

This list encompasses the MLS matches that coincide with Gold Cup group play which ends on July 12. I will update the list as we go through the knock-out rounds.

Toronto’s new signing Gerba scored for Canada in its tuneup match and its Gold Cup opener.

Seattle’s new signing Gonzalez will join the Sounders after his participation in the Gold Cup for Costa Rica is completed.


End of Week Thoughts

  • RBNY’s road woes continue.
  • The Rapids will play without in form striker Omar Cummings(Gold Cup) for its July 4 match. For a while it looked like they might also be without Conor Casey, but he is not on the final list of 23 for the USMNT.
  • Chicago ends league losing streak with victory on the road, and a mile high at that.
  • Did Houston’s win at KC unmask the Wizards as pretenders?
  • Alecko nets game winner in Galaxy debut.
  • July 4th and a USMNT game. Tough call. 3 matches were played at the same time as the USMNT so that planned Independence Day fireworks could be wrapped into game packages.
  • 2 home wins, 2 road wins, 2 draws this week. I like symmetry.


    Just Some Stuff

    Chicago has a better record on the road than at home. They average 1 point per game at Toyota Park, 2 points per game away from home.

    The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals are on Tuesday, July 7. MLS teams DC United, Houston, Kansas City and Seattle will play. Seattle was off this week, DCU is off next week, so Houston and KC will be playing 3 matches in 8 days during the July 4-11 time period.

  • 3 thoughts on “Take Me Out to the Ballgame – Week 16”

    1. Good stuff as usual.

      One point however regarding Chicago: this is more of the same- last year was the same and the eventual undoing of Chicago.

      Unlike most MLS managers, Dennis Hamlet is aggressive and plays to win on the road. At home thought they struggle. Look at how many times they stole 3 pts on the road last year only to come home and draw or even lose. The same has happened this season.

      BTW, MLS isn’t alone in being affected by Gold Cup callups. Part of the reason I opted to skip Miami FC-Puerto Rico last night and watch the Gold Cup from home instead is that the Islanders were missing 3 starters/regulars thanks to the Gold Cup. MLS shouldn’t play period during a tournament like this (As I wrote two years ago MLS should break during Gold Cups but play during Confed and World Cups by scheduling smarter, like the league did during the 98 world cup when every team played basically every 10 days- the Gold Cup every two years is by far the largest drain on MLS players, more so than any other tournament) and USL should give a team the option to postpone a game if they have 3 or more callups as Puerto Rico has and I believe Vancouver may have also.

    2. While Cummings was missed, the Rapids missed Colin Clark more. The Rapids had no width last night and were completely inept on the left side of the pitch. It was disappointing he did not make the bench in Seattle last night, because he was greatly missed in Colorado. Just one more example to justify the real drain the Gold Cup puts on MLS.

    3. The Fire seem under Hamlet to be at it’s worst at home. I can’t seem to understand it and for 2 years now Hamlet hasn’t either. Kartik is correct that Hamlet plays to win on the road when many are happy to take a draw.

      The most I have been able to detect over the last two years is that the team seems to play at a lower level until they get behind at home or that they put on a spurt and then sit back.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *