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Take Me Out to the Ballgame – Week 30

soccer balls Take Me Out to the Ballgame   Week 30

After week 30 the numbers look like this…

  5 year comparison
  WK 30 209 GP YTD
  Avg +/- GP Avg +/- Avg +/- GP
 2005   18,417     6   15,969     15,108     192 
 2006   20,277   10.10%   6   16,247   1.74%   15,402   1.94%   192 
 2007   20,575   1.47%   7   16,600   2.18%   16,812   9.16%   195 
 2008   16,822   -18.24%   8   16,445   -0.94%   16,914   0.60%   203 
 2009   13,954   -17.05%   4   15,842   -3.67%   15,832   -6.40%   209 

YTD – 209 Games
  Average Median %<10K %>20k
 2005    15,969     14,452    16.12%   22.84% 
 2006    16,247     14,817    12.58%   24.50% 
 2007    16,600     15,264    9.65%   27.23% 
 2008    16,445     15,118    11.00%   24.88% 
 2009    15,842     14,516    15.79%   19.62% 


Here are the attendance comparisons to 2008′s equal number of home games(209):

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%   20,342   1.15%   14   92.55%   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  15,010   55.59%   15,349   2.26%   13   56.85%   27,000 
 Chicago  17,303   86.51%   14,485   -16.28%   14   72.43%   20,000 
 Columbus Crew  14,267   71.34%   14,279   0.08%   14   71.39%   20,000 
 San Jose  13,713   89.93%   14,114   2.93%   15   79.64%   10,300 
 NE Revolution  17,639   78.39%   13,422   -23.90%   14   59.65%   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 30 games drew 13,954. A light schedule, 4 games as the final round of World Cup Qualifiers are being played. San Jose’s last home game was not a sellout. That’s a big surprise(at least to me) in that it was a win or go home situation for the Quakes. I can understand why the proposed stadium’s capacity is significantly under 20,000. No such problems in Toronto where over 20,500 were on hand. A so-so crowd showed up in New England, just about on average for the season which hasn’t been great. Chivas USA booked passage to the playoffs in front of a smallish home crowd of under 13,000. Perhaps, like myself they were in a pub or at home keeping track of the US Men, who were playing at around the same time.


Week 30 Games
 
San Jose 1 San Jose Center Line Soccer
FC Dallas 2 3rd Degree – Buzz Carrick
 
Toronto 1 TFC Connected
San Jose 1 San Jose Center Line Soccer
 
New England 0 Revolution Soccer
Columbus 1 Columbus Dispatch – Crew XTra
 
Chivas USA 2 Chivas USA – MLSNet
Kansas City 0 Kansas City – Hillcrest Road




So How Are They Doing?

Points after 209 Games
  Pts GP  PPG GD H/A
 Columbus  49   28   1.75   12   1/1 
 Chivas USA  44   27   1.63   5   2/1 
 Houston  44   28   1.57   9   1/1 
 Los Angeles  44   28   1.57   3   1/1 
 Seattle  41   28   1.46   7   1/1 
 Chicago  41   28   1.46   4   1/1 
 Colorado  40   28   1.43   8   0/2 
 New England  38   28   1.36   -5   1/1 
 Dallas  36   28   1.29   3   1/1 
 DC United  36   28   1.29   -2   1/1 
 Toronto FC  36   28   1.29   -5   1/1 
 Real Salt Lake  34   27   1.26   4   2/1 
 Kansas City  32   28   1.14   -8   2/0 
 San Jose  29   28   1.04   -12   1/1 
 NY Red Bull  18   28   0.64   -23   1/1 


Playoffs: In: LA, Houston, Chivas USA, Columbus – Out: RBNY, San Jose.

Dallas eliminated San Jose while enhancing its own improbable run with a 2-1 win at Buck Shaw.
Toronto dropped 2 points at home when San Jose played spoiler with a stoppage time goal to draw level. This is a serious blow to TFC’s chances of making the post season.

New England fell behind on a freak goal and despite having a man advantage for much of the 2nd half, were unable to draw level. The Revs still control their own destiny, but have two tough matches remaining, against, the Fire and finishing against the Crew in Columbus .For Columbus, it’s a step closer to claiming its 2nd consecutive Supporters’ Shield and with it a berth in next year’s CONCACAF Champions League.

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 level on points with Houston and LA and have a game in hand. After losing to the goats, the Wizards are only mathematically capable making it to the final 8. They’re down 6 points with 2 games to play.

Final Faders

A few weeks ago the fight for the playoffs was a crowded affair. Now with just 2 games left for the contenders(3 for RSL), the playoff chasers(pretenders) have only themselves to blame after a period of poor results …

  • New England – 5 points gained from last 7 matches.
  • DC United – 3 losses in a row.
  • Toronto – 6 points gained from last 7 matches.
  • Salt Lake – 1 point gained from last 3 matches.
  • Kansas City – 2 points gained from last 3 matches.


And then there’s Dallas, who have earned 13 points in its last 6 matches. Gotta admit, I’m pulling for them.

Playoff Contenders Remaining Schedule Points
  Pts        Home  Away
 Seattle  41   KC  FCD    24   17 
 Colorado  40   FCD  RSL    29   11 
 New England  38   CHI  CLB    24   14 
 DC United  36   CLB  KC    23   13 
 Toronto FC  36   RSL  NY    25   11 
 Dallas  36   COL  SEA    25   11 
 Real Salt Lake  34   NY  TFC  COL  26   8 
 Kansas City  32   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 6 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

After the Portland Timbers were knocked out of the USL-1 playoffs, DC United signed former San Jose and Los Angeles GK Steve Cronin on a transfer for the last 2 games of the season.

The Dynamo defeated Mexican Primera club Monterrey in the first annual Charities Cup at Robertson Stadium.




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 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 14 the US Men play their final WC qualifer at 8pm ET. RBNY play Real Salt Lake in Utah at 10pm ET. Is there a legitimate reason this match couldn’t be played on the 13th? Both teams had the weekend off. The situation has only this past weekend become mitigated with the US victory over Honduras, making this match meaningless for the US, although not for Costa Rica.

FIFA U-20 World Cup – US Fails to Advance

The performance of the US U-20′s in Egypt has resulted in quite a few articles on the state of player development in the US. Several mentions about the lack of an MLS reserve league. More on that later in the week.