FRI, 2:30PM ET
MET2
PSG3
FRI, 2:30PM ET
ATH3
ESP1
SAT, 10AM ET
WOL0
FOR3
SAT, 10AM ET
CHE2
WBA0
SAT, 10AM ET
MCFC2
SWA1
SAT, 12:30PM ET
ARS1
MUFC2

Take Me Out to the Ballgame – Week 29

soccer balls Take Me Out to the Ballgame   Week 29

After week 29 the numbers look like this…

  5 year comparison
  WK 29 205 GP YTD
  Avg +/- GP Avg +/- Avg +/- GP
 2005   18,417     6   15,959     15,108     192 
 2006   20,277   10.10%   6   16,235   1.73%   15,402   1.94%   192 
 2007   20,575   1.47%   7   16,587   2.17%   16,812   9.16%   195 
 2008   16,234   -21.10%   7   16,416   -1.03%   16,894   0.49%   195 
 2009   22,165   36.53%   7   15,878   -3.28%   15,868   -6.07%   205 

YTD – 205 Games
  Average Median %<10K %>20k
 2005    15,959     14,450    16.20%   22.83% 
 2006    16,235     14,806    12.67%   24.49% 
 2007    16,587     15,188    9.75%   27.25% 
 2008    16,416     15,038    11.22%   24.88% 
 2009    15,878     14,534    15.61%   19.51% 


Here are the attendance comparisons to 2008′s equal number of home games(205):

MLS Attendance – Equal # of Home Games
  2008 2009  
  Att Cap Att Att +/- GP Cap Cap
 Seattle  0   0   30,739   NA  14   94.87%   32,400 
 Toronto  20,110   91.50%   20,324   1.07%   13   92.47%   21,978 
 LA Galaxy  25,938   96.07%   19,946   -23.10%   14   73.87%   27,000 
 Real Salt Lake  15,773   77.50%   16,208   2.76%   13   76.04%   19,340 
 Houston  15,980   71.02%   16,160   1.13%   14   71.82%   22,500 
 D.C. United  20,061   89.16%   16,075   -19.87%   14   71.44%   22,500 
 ChivasUSA  15,029   55.66%   15,551   3.48%   12   57.60%   27,000 
 Chicago  17,303   86.51%   14,485   -16.28%   14   72.43%   20,000 
 San Jose  13,941   89.35%   14,478   3.86%   14   79.32%   10,300 
 Columbus Crew  14,267   71.34%   14,279   0.08%   14   71.39%   20,000 
 NE Revolution  17,542   77.97%   13,432   -23.43%   13   59.70%   22,500 
 Colorado Rapids  13,659   75.52%   12,331   -9.72%   15   68.18%   18,086 
 FC Dallas  12,946   61.09%   12,241   -5.45%   14   52.48%   21,193 
 N.Y./N.J. Red Bulls  15,741   62.49%   11,861   -24.65%   14   47.09%   25,189 
 KC Wizards  10,843   104.41%   10,022   -7.57%   13   96.50%   10,385 


My disclaimer about the capacity calculations – Additional disclaimer note: I factored in the Dallas game at the Cotton Bowl as 100% capacity of 51,012.

Observations

Week 29 games drew 22,165. No surprise as the Dallas’ doubleheader, with Mexico playing a friendly, drew 51,012 to the Cotton Bowl. This will likely prevent FCD from finishing the season with an average attendance under 10,000. I don’t have a problem with this type of scheduling. It is part of the solution for mid-week matches as MLS starts to honor FIFA dates more in the future. More on this in a few days. DCU had it’s largest crowd of the year, pulling in over 24,000. Columbus drew right on average. Colorado closed out its regular season home schedule with the 3rd largest crowd of the season and San Jose sold out Buck Shaw. Over 16,800 came out to Robertson for the Dynamo.


Week 29 Games
 
FC Dallas 1 3rd Degree – Buzz Carrick
New England 0 Revolution Soccer
 
Los Angeles 1 LA – Official Blog
Chicago 0 Chicago Fire Confidential
 
DC United 0 DCU – Steve Goff – Soccer Insider
Chivas USA 2 Chivas USA – MLSNet
 
Columbus 0 Columbus Dispatch – Crew XTra
Seattle 1 Seattle Times
 
Colorado 1 Undercurrent
New England 1 Revolution Soccer
 
San Jose 1 San Jose Center Line Soccer
RBNY 0 Red Bulls Reader
 
Houston 1 Soccer y Fútbol – Barnard Fallas
Kansas City 1 Kansas City – Hillcrest Road




So How Are They Doing?

Points after 205 Games
  Pts GP  PPG GD H/A
 Columbus  46   27   1.70   11   1/2 
 Los Angeles  44   28   1.57   3   1/1 
 Houston  44   28   1.57   9   1/1 
 Seattle  41   28   1.46   7   1/1 
 Chicago  41   28   1.46   4   1/1 
 Chivas USA  41   26   1.58   3   3/1 
 Colorado  40   28   1.43   8   0/2 
 New England  38   27   1.41   -4   2/1 
 DC United  36   28   1.29   -2   1/1 
 Toronto FC  35   27   1.30   -5   2/1 
 Real Salt Lake  34   27   1.26   4   2/1 
 Dallas  33   27   1.22   2   1/2 
 Kansas City  32   27   1.19   -6   2/1 
 San Jose  28   26   1.08   -11   1/3 
 NY Red Bull  18   28   0.64   -23   1/1 


RBNY remain the only mathematically eliminated club. LA and Houston joined Columbus, clinching playoff berths.

A wounded New England team dropped game-in-hand points in Dallas. The Revs were just what FCD needed to keep their improbable run going. New England has been at the bottom of the table in shots attempted all season. Losing Ralston(season ending knee injury) as well as Twellman seriously reduced the risk that the porous Dallas defense would be severely tested. On top of that for New England, they lost Wells Thompson for their 2nd game of the week in Colorado, which they ended up drawing. The Revs still control their own destiny but now their lead over playoff chasers looks tenuous. Taking only 1 point from 6 this week, with Columbus twice and Chicago upcoming in its last three will make a securing playoff berth a difficult task.

Once again, Los Angeles did what a playoff team needs to do, unless you’re Chicago, and that is to win at home. For the Fire, the loss means any slim hope they might have had for either the conference championship or the Supporters’ Shield are now just mathematical possibilities.
Seattle, which last week seemed the most vulnerable, came up with a huge unexpected win at Columbus, ending the Crew’s 24 match home undefeated run(against MLS teams). With a game in hand over Houston and LA though, Columbus still has the Supporters’ Shield within its grasp. Chivas USA, who a few weeks ago along with New England had the advantage of games in hand, has made the most of it(unlike the Revs) and have a legitimate chance to win the west. They are 3 points behind with 2 games in hand.

Playoff Contenders Remaining Schedule Points
  Pts          Home  Away
 Chivas USA  41   KC  SJ  CHI  HOU  26   15 
 Seattle  41   KC  FCD      24   17 
 Colorado  40   FCD  RSL      29   11 
 New England  38   CLB  CHI  CLB    24   14 
 DC United  36   CLB  KC      23   13 
 Toronto FC  35   SJ  RSL  NY    24   11 
 Real Salt Lake  34   NY  TFC  COL    26   8 
 Dallas  33   SJ  COL  SEA    25   8 
 Kansas City  32   CHV  SEA  DCU    16   16 
shaded = away game


Top 3 tiebreakers.(MLS 2009 Rules of Competition)

    1. The highest position shall be awarded to the team with the better win/loss record in current regular season games against all other teams equal in points. (head-to-head competition)
    2. If the teams are still equal in the standings, the highest position shall be awarded to the team with the greater goal difference against all other teams during the regular season. (goal differential)
    3. If the teams are still equal in the standings, the highest position shall be awarded to the team scoring the greatest number of total goals against all other teams during the regular season. (total goals)


Streaking

  • FC Dallas has no lost at home in 7(6 wins).
  • RBNY is winless on the road.
  • TFC has not lost home in 5 straight.
  • Colorado and TFC have not won on the road in 7 straight.
  • RSL is unbeaten in 8 home games.
  • Seattle is scoreless in last 4 home games.
  • Chicago is winless in 5(3 draws).


MLS Throw Ins

Rapids fans might be wondering if they will soon see Arsenal(EPL) players on loan in Colorado to keep sharp or recover from injury in the future as Don Garber backs Rapids owner Stan Kroenke’s possible buyout of Arsenal.

Goal scoring got off to a slow start this season, but had almost caught up to last year’s numbers. However as the playoffs beckon and sphincters tighten, the offenses have been offensive. After 205 games, nearly 60 fewer goals(-10.2%) have been scored. This week’s seven games saw 5 shutouts and 2 1-1 draws. No team scored more than 2 goals this week.





MLS In CONCACAF Champions League

In Group A, Houston lost at home to Pachuca. They need help in the last match to move on. Árabe Unido will have to lose on its visit to Pachuca while Houston must win at Metapan. Houston holds the tiebreaker over Árabe Unido. DC United stayed strong in Group B this week, with a win over San Juan Jabloteh(T&T). They also hold the tiebreaker advantage over Marathón. Columbus lost to group leaders Cruz Azul, ending its long undefeated(all competitions) home streak. For DCU and Columbus, advancement is in their own control, win and they’re in. Houston must win and Árabe Unido must lose in order to advance.

2.3 CONCACAF Tie-Breaker Procedures

In the event two teams are tied on aggregate goals scored at the end of Regulation time in the 2nd Leg (Preliminary Round or Championship Stage) or on points (Group Stage) the following tie-breaker criteria shall be applied, in order, to determine the winning team or ranking of teams.

Phase 2: Group Stage


  • Greater number of points earned in matches between the teams concerned
  • Greater goal difference in matches between the teams concerned
  • Greater number of goals scored away from home in matches between the teams concerned

CONCACAF Champions League
 A w d l pts diff
 Pachuca(MEX)  4   0   1   12   10 
 Arabe Unido(PAN)  3   1   1   10   5 
 Houston(USA)  2   1   2   7   2 
 Isidro Metapan(SLV)  0   0   5   0   -17 
 B          
 Toluca(MEX)  4   0   1   12   11 
 DC United(USA)  3   0   2   9   4 
 CD Marathon(HON)  3   0   2   9   -4 
 San Juan Jabloteh(T&T)  0   0   5   0   -11 
 C          
 Cruz Azul(MEX)  4   1   0   13   11 
 Columbus(USA)  2   1   2   7   -4 
 Saprissa(CRC)  1   2   2   5   -1 
 Puerto Rico(CFU)  0   2   3   2   -6 
 D          
 Pumas UNAM(MEX)  4   1   0   13   10 
 Comunicaciones(GUA)  2   0   3   6   -3 
 Real Espana(HON)  2   0   3   6   -7 
 W Connection(T&T)  1   1   3   4   0 

CONCACAF Champions League
Oct 21-22
Group Game 6
Columbus plays Oct 20
DCU plays Oct 20
Houston plays Oct 21


Columbus’ upcoming schedule is: Oct 11 MLS, Oct 17 MLS
DC United’s upcoming schedule is: Oct 17 MLS
Houston’s upcoming schedule is: Oct 18 MLS



USMNT/MLS Scheduling – FUBAR Once Again

On October 10, when the US plays its WC qualifier in Honduras, MLS once again has matches scheduled. San Jose at TFC at 4pm ET, Columbus at New England at 7:30pm ET and the Wizards at Chivas USA at 10:30pm ET. The time of the US match has been tentatively set for 8pm ET. It may not matter, however, for as of this writing, the game will be televised in the US on closed circuit Pay-Per-View in select bars only. Yeah, unbelievable, I know, but the rights are held outside of the US and therefore are beyond the control of anyone in the US soccer or broadcasting world.

Where to View the Match in English

Where to View the Match in Spanish

On October 14 the US Men play their final WC qualifer at 8pm ET. RBNY play Real Salt Lake in Utah at 10pm ET.

Of the MLS teams with players on the 22 man US squad, Conrad(KC), Bornstein(CHV) and Rogers(CLB) will miss Oct 10 league matches. Non US players that can be expected to miss matches include:

  • Guevara(HON) from TFC
  • Elliot(NZL), Alvarez(SLV), Sanchez(SLV) and Glen(T & T)(if he gets over his injury) from San Jose
  • Moreno(VEN) from Columbus
  • Espinoza(HON) from KC


    Other players have been called up, but a short MLS schedule mean many will not miss matches. Did I overlook anyone(who would miss a game)?

    FIFA U-20 World Cup – US Fails to Advance

    MLS Players on the US U-20 roster will return for next week:

    GOALKEEPERS (3): Josh Lambo (FC Dallas)

    DEFENDERS (6): Kyle Davies (FC Dallas)

    MIDFIELDERS (8): Danny Cruz (Houston Dynamo), Jorge Flores (Chivas USA), Gerson Mayén (Chivas USA)

    FORWARDS (4): Peri Marosevic (FC Dallas), Brek Shea (FC Dallas)

    In the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup, the U.S. opened against Germany, losing badly 3-0, but they came back with a big win over Cameroon 4-1, but lost 3-0 in the group finale to South Korea. They were finally eliminated after Saturday’s play, losing out to Costa Rica on the totals goal tiebreaker.

    FIFA U-20 World Cup

  • 4 Responses to Take Me Out to the Ballgame – Week 29

    1. Rex says:

      Good to seen Houston equal their attendance numbers from last year. Still have the Beckham game. Could be his first trip to Houston.

    2. The recession has hurt all commercial sports, but MLS continues to roll. Next year’s World Cup will bring another boost just as we saw in 2006.

    3. Vnice says:

      My dream is to see every team in MLS that has the capacity to average over 17 thousand in attendance. As a Buffalo native, I have a soft spot for Columbus, and I hate seeing their attendance well below their championship status. I want Columbus to not only do well, but stay put, and I hope marketing there can get better so more people come out to the games.

      Can someone please apply pressure to the Revolution front office to start operating their stadium the way Seattle does theirs? Tarps, disappearing gridiron lines, etc. Why is this such a problem?

    4. Berlin says:

      Not good to see the country’s largest markets with double digit declines. LA and Chicago can claim the end of the DP honeymoon, and NE/DC/NY can point to sub par [relatively] seasons, but are those really legit excuses for such a drop off?

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