Take Me Out to the Ballgame – Week 17

Photo by Hernan Valencias
Photo by Hernan Valencias

After week 17 the numbers look like this…

  5 year comparison
  WK 15 124 GP YTD
  Avg +/- GP Avg +/- Avg +/- GP
 2005   13,835     9   14,547     14,675     116 
 2006   16,028   15.85%   7   15,716   8.03%   14,698   0.16%   113 
 2007   13,974   -12.82%   4   15,377   -2.15%   15,005   2.08%   111 
 2008   23,000   64.59%   5   16,518   7.42%   17,142   14.24%   116 
 2009   19,313   -16.03%   6   15,435   -6.56%   15,435   -9.96%   124 

Here are the attendance comparisons to 2008’s equal number of home games(124):

MLS Attendance Averages – Equal # of Home Games
  2008 2009
  Att Cap Att Att +/- GP % of Cap Cap
 Seattle  0   0.00%   29,984   NA  10   93.70%   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 
 ChivasUSA  14,286   52.91%   16,211   13.48%   9   60.04%   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 
 D.C. United  20,817   92.52%   14,811   -28.85%   8   65.83%   22,500 
 NE Revolution  17,582   78.14%   13,616   -22.56%   6   60.51%   22,500 
 Columbus Crew  12,881   64.40%   13,056   1.36%   8   65.28%   20,000 
 Chicago  16,251   81.26%   12,640   -22.22%   7   63.20%   20,000 
 Colorado Rapids  14,612   80.79%   12,431   -14.93%   8   68.73%   18,086 
 San Jose  16,752   85.56%   11,513   -31.28%   8   47.54%   10,300 
 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


All games were on Saturday. First up was a tasty matchup between Seattle and Houston, and not unexpectedly, over 32,000 were on hand. The other early game was an eastern conference tilt between the Wizards and the Revs in Foxboro that was part of a tripleheader. The USMNT were on hand as the last 2 Gold Cup Group B games followed the Revs match. In the one match that was in direct conflict with the USMNT, Chicago played host to the surging Crew and drew their biggest home crowd of the year. Go figure. A sparse crowd in Denver saw the Rapids and FC Dallas in a western conference matchup. Surprisingly, San Jose did not sell out for TFC’s visit. The Chivas USA/LA SuperClasico closed out league play for the weekend before over 23,400.

New England’s year to year attendance took a hit despite banking over 24,000 this weekend. That’s because last year’s 8th home game was part of a doubleheader with Brasil and Venezuela that drew over 54,000. That 54K is why the very healthy 19,300+ average for this week did not beat last year’s week 17 average. It also flipped the Rev’s numbers from 11% up to 22% down compared to ’08.

I suspect RBNY’s numbers will get whacked next week. The Gossipy Galaxy will be in town. It’s expected that Landycakes and Golden Balls will be on the field together for the first time this season. In 2007 this match drew 66,237(Aug 18), in 2008 46,754(Jul 19). Any guesses on Thursday’s attendance?

YTD – 124 Games
  Average Median %<10K %>20k
 2005    14,547     12,134    30.08%   16.26% 
 2006    15,716     13,036    22.58%   18.55% 
 2007    15,377     14,179    10.48%   22.58% 
 2008    16,518     15,274    11.29%   25.81% 
 2009    15,435     14,479    15.32%   18.55% 

Week 17 Games
Seattle 2 Seattle Times
Houston 1 Soccer y Fútbol – Barnard Fallas
New England 0 Revolution Soccer
Kansas City 0 Kansas City – Hillcrest Road
Chicago 0 Chicago – En Fuego Official Blog
Columbus 0 Columbus Dispatch – Crew XTra
Colorado 1 Undercurrent
FC Dallas 0 3rd Degree – Buzz Carrick
San Jose 1 Center Line Soccer
Toronto 3 TFC Connected
Chivas USA 0 Chivas USA – MLSNet
Los Angeles 1 LA – 100 percent soccer

Gold Cup and MLS

Gold Cup Rosters at CONCACAF
Players, League Games Missed Due to
Gold Cup Group and Quarterfinal Matches
  Players Opponent
     11-Jul  16-Jul  18-Jul
 Chicago   Busch, Pause. Segares(CRC)  Columbus    SJ
 Chivas USA   Bornstein*, Kljestan*
 Thomas(JAM)**, Harmse(CAN)
 LA    NE
 Colorado   Clark, Perkins, Casey*
 Ceus(HAI), Cummings(JAM)**
 Columbus   Rogers, Marshall  Chicago    RSL
 DC United   Quaranta, Jakovic(CAN)      Colorado
 FC Dallas   Cooper  Colorado    
 Houston   Ching, Holden, Hainault(CAN)  Seattle    TFC
 Kansas City   Arnaud, Conrad  NE    
 Los Angeles   Ricketts(JAM)**  Chivas USA  RBNY  
 New England   Heaps, Joseph(GRE)**  KC    Chivas USA
 RBNY   Pacheco(SLV)**
 Real Salt Lake   Beckerman, Johnson(CAN)
 San Jose   NONE  TFC    Chicago
 Seattle   Evans, Marshall(JAM)**  HOU    
 Toronto FC   Cronin, Gerba(CAN)  SJ    HOU

* – 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. Bornstein, Kljestan and Casey were with their clubs on July 11.

** – El Salvador, Grenada, Jamaica eliminated. Joseph missed all games due to injury.

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 ended on July 12. I will update the list as we go through the knock-out rounds.

Toronto’s new signing Gerba has now scored for Canada in its pre Gold Cup tuneup match, and in 2 Gold Cup matches, but TFC will have to wait as Canada are through to the quarterfinals.

Seattle will also have to wait a little longer for its new signing Gonzalez. Costa Rica has advanced to the Gold Cup quarterfinals.


End of Week Thoughts

  • No way Montero’s first goal completely crossed the line.
  • ESPN, FSC, CONCACAF, SUM, USSF – Beyond clueless.
  • Coming into the weekend, DCU, LA, and RSL had each scored 9 goals in the last 15 minutes.
  • Coming into the weekend, Seattle, RBNY, and San Jose had each scored 1 goal in the last 15 minutes.
  • I nearly gagged when I heard J.P. Dellacamara mention that Chicago’s attendance was down ‘a little’.
  • TFC rookie Sam Cronin got his first cap for the USMNT vs Haiti, as did fellow MLS’ers Jay Heaps and Colin Clark.
  • Blanco looked very ordinary against Columbus.
  • The Galaxy have won 3 games in a row, all by a 1-0 score, beating Houson, New England and Chivas USA.


  • Chicago is winless in 5.
  • Chivas USA is winless in 3.
  • RBNY is winless in 10.
  • Seven teams have not lost when scoring the first goal.
  • Six teams have not won when allowing the first goal.
  • Three teams, Houston, DCU and Columbus, are undefeated at home.
  • Two teams, RBNY and San Jose, are winless on the road.


    Just Some Stuff

    Chicago has won more road games than any team in the league. They’re also the only team with just one win at home.

    The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup semifinals are on Tuesday, July 21. The USL-1 Rochester Rhinos meet defending champions D.C. United at the Maryland Soccerplex in Boyds, MD. The other semi features Houston at Seattle at the Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, WA.

  • 10 thoughts on “Take Me Out to the Ballgame – Week 17”

    1. Whoever can figure out why Chicago can not win at home should win a Nobel Prize!

      The large attendance should not be a shock, all year long Fire fans on this blog have stated wait to you get great weather on a Saturday night. Finally, you had the combination and you saw what took place fans in the stand wise. Also, the Crew fans travel well and a lively group was on hand. The crew is the closet MLS team to Chicago, which helps. Look for good attendance on the remaining summer Saturday nights. More impressive is the # when you factor in that NASCAR was in town, the biggest MLB draw being the Cubs v. Cards where in town, the USMNT was on TV, and my friends left me to soccer to watch the big UFC card on pay per view last night. The Fire have also made an effort to get more local media attention for the team. Players have been appearing on local radio and tv stations like never before.

      Does one get the impression that Blanco wants to get out of town like yesterday. Few fans will be sorry to see him go at this point. Yet, will the Fire need a Mexican star player to keep it’s fan base?

    2. Mexican fans shouldn’t support the Fire or any teams from that league. They have their own, much more superior league

    3. Footyfan, you have serious issues that self-reflection and sensitivity training may help.

      Vince, why respond like that to a man who does not want to see. Stay above board.

    4. As a Fire fan, I love it when Blanco is on his game. On Saturday night he really looked like he could care less. Sure there were a couple of moments of passion, but for the most part he just looked like he gave up.
      Being a strong USMNT supporter, I was not thrilled when Blanco was signed originally, but his rapid transition to the MLS and the Fire’s gameplay changed my mind. Overall I think he has been a good addition to the team. His typical passion and ability exemplified the goal of the Beckham rule, but this season he looks ready for retirement. I say let the season play out and then go from there…
      Whether he has had an impact on increasing the team’s fanbase or not, I don’t know nore do I care. I understand if Mexican fans prefer to think of MLS as a joke compared to the Mexican league. At times the pace is slow and the matches are unispired, but overall I think that we have made great strides in the last 13 years. Considering MLS is one of the youngest pro leagues (Australia is the only one that comes to mind as being newer), I think more Mexican-American (and other immigrant) fans will start following teams.

    5. Mexico…

      Superior league.

      Inferior country.

      Ya know, the gates don’t close going the other way. For anyone who lives in America yet touts how great their own country is (Mexico, Canada, Azerbaijan, where ever), you are more than welcome to go back. No. Really. We won’t be mad. We won’t be jilted. We’re just tired of trying to flirt with you and give you everything while you’re going on and on and on about your ex who was SO GREAT AND WONDERFUL, you left. Wonderful logic, shared by stupid chicks and “Americans” who root for other countries.

      “I’m so proud of my job, I’m going to quit, and go work someplace else.” Doesn’t really make sense, no?


    6. Hey Vince, that doesn’t matter, you imbecile. The Mexican league has superior skill, entertainment value and tradition. It’s not just for Mexicans. You should give it a try, games are available every weekend. It would be worth your while.

      Hey epl, you’re the one who has issues. You’re so offended by me, you want me to be more sensitive? Hahaha! Grow a pair, you wimp. What I stated about both leagues and fans was the truth. Deal with it.

      Adam: No chance, Mexican-Americans know better than to waste their time on the mickeymouse league. Like you said, it is regarded as a joke. And always will be. You shouldn’t waste your time with it either.

      ryan: No, it doesn’t work that way. Mexicans are here to take your jobs and women. Just because they don’t follow your weak little football league doesn’t mean they don’t enjoy the salaries they earn and the American women they date. They aren’t going anywhere, they will only increase in number and influence. You can’t escape it.

      Future congratulations on your future Hispanic grandchild. It’s gonna happen.

    7. Adam, I think Blanco is mad about the money. IMHO the thing about him leaving Chicago was all driven by $$$$$$$$$$$$$. When he suggested he may leave the Fire, the team said ok, good luck. Blanco is the one Fire player that hauls in some good money from local ads. So he backed himself into a corner. It hasn’t helped that he has spent so much time with the Mexican national team and away from Chicago. So his lack of effort or at least the appearance of that maybe intentional.

      I want all people from whatever background to support the home team. The Mexican League is a great action packed league. I hope MLS will gain in popularity as it’s quality of play increases. That will lead to greater fan interest from all parts of the community.

      I reject the racial based comments made above and hope everyone here does also. I support free comment but see no need to attack other peoples countries or cultures which some people view as necessary to prove their false positions. I would ask Kartik to make a strong statement to discourage those who wish to write such things to post somewhere else.

    8. i emphatically concur with eplnfl regarding some comments in this thread.
      There is no place anywhere in society for racial based prejudices.
      Take it elsewhere.

    9. epl: If you read through the thread, you will see that I strictly talked about football, then your friends starting chiming in with comments about “you’re welcome to go back”, etc.

      Just as in other threads here, I merely stand up to all the nonsense being spewed about “classless” Mexicans, and so forth. If you’re a man of any education, you will know that nearly all Mexicans are respectable, educated people. The spotlight at the matches were on 2 fans who threw cups, but what about the 45,000 fans who didn’t? What about the fans that were studying the match intently, looking to apply the tactical knowledge towards their children’s Sunday league? They didn’t get the attention because they’re quiet, low key people. Yet there are idiots on this website, Kartik included (and he’s Indian, haha), who used the classless card. Because of .000000000000000001% of the Mexican fanbase. That is ignorant and pathetic. If I see any comments like that, I will definitely respond to them every time.

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