After week 24 the numbers look like this…
|5 year comparison|
|WK 24||172 GP||YTD|
|YTD – 172 Games|
Here are the attendance comparisons to 2008′s equal number of home games(172):
|MLS Attendance – Equal # of Home Games|
|Real Salt Lake||14,889||72.85%||16,091||8.08%||12||74.91%||19,340|
|N.Y./N.J. Red Bulls||15,986||63.46%||12,070||-24.49%||12||47.92%||25,189|
Week 24 games drew 16,148, despite poor crowds at New England, Colorado and the Meadowlands(rain). RSL kept its playoff hopes alive against Chivas USA in front of over 14,700 in their midweek clash. Seattle had its usual full house for fellow MLS 2.0 club Toronto. Rain from Hurricane Danny kept the gate under 8,000 in New England. KC had a near sellout for its match with RSL. Over 16,300 at Toyota Park were disappointed by the continued poor play of their club at home. LA had its first sellout of the season(they had 7 at this point last year). Under 11,000 turned out for the Rapids’ matchup with league leaders Houston. And it was a little worse at the Meadowlands for a replay of the 2008 MLS Cup Final(Ok keep your laughing under control).
The only thing that could have been better for MLS publicity would have been an earlier start time for the SuperClasico at the HDC. Natural rivals vying for a guaranteed spot in the playoffs(I don’t see Houston being overtaken), a sellout atmoshere, and Beckham scores the game winner late in the game.
In 2009, RBNY has been the poster boy for disaster on the field. Off the field, FC Dallas holds that honor. The only club averaging less than 10,000 per game, FCD has played 10 different opponents at home. It comes as no surprise that for 8 of them it’s been the lowest road attendance of the season. As a sidebar, 7 of the 15 teams are drawing more on the road than at home. Last year, 8 of the 14 teams had higher attendances on the road than at home.
|2009||Home Avg||Away Avg||Home minus Away|
|Real Salt Lake||16,091||14,214||Home||1877|
|Week 24 Games|
|Real Salt Lake||4||RSL – Behind the Shield|
|Chivas USA||0||Chivas USA – MLSNet|
|New England||2||Revolution Soccer|
|San Jose||1||San Jose Center Line Soccer|
|Chicago||0||Chicago Fire Confidential|
|DC United||1||DCU – Steve Goff – Soccer Insider|
|Kansas City||0||Kansas City – Hillcrest Road|
|Real Salt Lake||1||RSL – Behind the Shield|
|Los Angeles||1||LA – Official Blog|
|Chivas USA||0||Chivas USA – MLSNet|
|Houston||0||Soccer y Fútbol – Barnard Fallas|
|RBNY||1||Red Bulls Reader|
|Columbus||0||Columbus Dispatch – Crew XTra|
Did you notice that 5 of the 8 games ended 1-0?
So How Are They Doing?
|Points after 172 Games|
|Real Salt Lake||33||24||1.38||8|
|NY Red Bull||16||24||0.67||-21|
Games in hand will be critical. RSL and Seattle might be the most vulnerable to being overtaken for playoff positions. DCU, unbeaten at home, will play 5 of its last 7 at RFK. Columbus is poised to overtake Houston for the Supporters’ Shield with its 2 games in hand.
Just Some Stuff
The CONCACAF Champions League group phase began last week. DC United, Houston and Columbus are representing MLS in the regional club championship. RBNY and Toronto FC were eliminated in the preliminaries.
After 2 group play matches in the CONCACAF Champions League Houston has 4 points, Columbus has 3 points, while DC United sit last in Group B with 0 points.
|CONCACAF Champions League|
|Sep 15-16||Sep 22-24|
|Group Game 3||Group Game 4|
|Houston plays Sep 15, 22|
|Columbus plays Sep 16, 23|
|DCU plays Sep 16, 24|
The finalists for the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup are DC United and Seattle. DCU looks to defend its crown while the Sounders are looking for their first hardware as an MLS club. The final is on September 2 at RFK stadium in DC.
They COULD HAVE Gotten it Right
Well, what can you say? First the good: MLS scheduled only 3 games this coming weekend, which is a FIFA International calendar period. That surely minimized any potential conflict for many possible USMNT’ers who might be called into service for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers. In fact, for US players, only Conor Casey, on September 5th, stands to miss a match if he’s selected. Not the solution many fans want, which would be no MLS matches during FIFA International periods, but a lot better than having a full slate of games on the schedule. Now the WTF!: The USMNT game v El Salvador is at 8pm ET, the three MLS matches start at 7:30, 8:00 and 10:00 ET. Are you kidding me? Wait, it gets better. On Wednesday, Sep 9, the US travels to Trinidad and Tobago and will play at 7pm ET. MLS has ONE midweek match scheduled, on you guessed it, Wed the 9th. Not only that, it begins at 8:00pm ET. There are no words.