Take Me Out to the Playoffs – Week 1


The playoff numbers look like this…

5 year comparison
Conference Semifinals – 1st Leg
  Avg +/- Home Teams
 2005   12,147  NA  Chicago  NY  Colorado  Los Angeles
 2006   9,533   -21.52%   Chicago  NY  Colorado  Chivas USA
 2007   14,245   49.42%   Chicago  NY  Dallas  Kansas City
 2008   10,476   -26.46%   New England  NY  Salt Lake  Kansas City
 2009   19,985   90.77%   New England  Seattle  Salt Lake  Chivas USA


No big surprise that Seattle packed in over 35,000 for their playoff debut. But a bit of a surprise that Salt Lake only drew 11,499 compared to last year’s first leg,14,719. A pathetically small crowd showed up at Gillette Stadium for the Revs/Fire match. The Chivas USA home leg of the HDC Bowl drew a hefty 25,000+.

And just to pre-empt the inevitable comments like ‘well without Seattle’s home game…’, the 3 non-Seattle games averaged 14,711, still a significant increase over the 1st legs in ’08. My comment, get over it. Seattle is a part of the league, and a good part at that. We should only hope that Philadelphia, Vancouver and Portland come close to equally Seattle’s successful entry into MLS.

Fan Revolution Needed in New England

The Revs have played 15 home playoff matches, excluding the 2002 MLS Cup Final. Average attendance: 10,097. Games with under 10,000 in attendance: 8. Now I know the stadium is not readily accessible to many fans, but this is a 4 time MLS Cup finalist.

Playoff Games – 1st Leg
Seattle 0 Seattle Times
Houston 0 Soccer y Fútbol – Barnard Fallas
Real Salt Lake 1 RSL – Behind the Shield
Columbus 0 Columbus Dispatch – Crew XTra
New England 2 Revolution Soccer
Chicago 1 Chicago Fire Confidential
Chivas USA 2 Chivas USA – MLSNet
Los Angeles 2 LA – Official Blog

MLS Throw Ins

  • The 8 teams allowing the fewest goals are in the playoffs.
  • 3 of the top 8 scoring teams are not in the playoffs – Dallas(1), DC United(2), Colorado(4).
  • San Jose allowed the most goals this season(50), 12 fewer than last year’s 62 allowed by LA.
  • New England took the fewest shots, but Seattle had the fewest shots on goal.
  • Toronto were offsides more than any other team.
  • Chivas USA committed the most fouls.
  • Seattle suffered the most fouls.
  • 30.7% of the games ended in a draw compared to 27.1% in 2008.
  • New England rookie Darius Barnes played every minute of every game.
  • RSL scored the most goals in the final 15 mintues(18). TFC scored the fewest(2).
  • FCD allowed the most goals in the final 15 mintues(14). Colorado allowed the fewest(5).

    And …

    The US team advances to the round of 16 in the FIFA Men’s U-17 World Cup.

  • 13 thoughts on “Take Me Out to the Playoffs – Week 1”

    1. Why oh why couldn’t the Fusion have had an NFL owner? Come on MLS if NE keeps putting up these crummy numbers at the gates, and a SSS doesn’t materialize, move on and move out of New England.

      I mean the Fusion were comparable in attendance with NE, if not better, AND played in what was basically the first purpose-built(in Lockhart’s case purpose-renovated) MLS stadium. Let’s see, I have a struggling pro soccer league. I’m looking to fold one or two teams to stop the bleeding a bit. I know, let’s stick it out with Missouri, Dallas and New England over Miami! We don’t need that soccer crazy market and it’s fabulous TV ratings! Good job MLS!

      1. Derek, you nailed the reasoning. The Revs’ sharing an owner with an NFL team is a large part of the reason they remained in the league. Losing Miami (& Tampa for that matter) still sucks and makes little sense, but it’s all about the money. Kraft has it and will keep his team because of it. Too bad he does not sell the MLS squad better.

        The Seattle crowd was amazing. The game was great. I love seeing a packed Qwest on TV. Great for the sport. Even better when there are two quality teams playing in off-color jerseys (green & orange) rather than red, black, blue, or white. Increases visability. and uniqueness of the league. Hopefully Houston will draw a decent crowd when they host the Sounders in leg 2.

        Somebody needs to go purple…

      2. Derek,
        Sorry to burst your balloon, but the Fusion’s attendance was never close to New England’s. KC is another matter.

        ’98 Fusion – 10,284 — Revs – 19,188 — KC – 8,073
        ’99 Fusion – 8,689 — Revs – 16,735 — KC – 11,952
        ’00 Fusion – 7,460 — Revs – 15,463 — KC – 9,112
        ’01 Fusion – 11,177 — Revs – 15,654 — KC – 10,954

      3. New England averaged more people than the Fusion every season, but they had SEVERAL doubleheader or fireworks games to do so. I was told by a beat writer he once counted under 200 people in the stands at a Revs game when Zenga was the manager. KC, Miami, Tampa, Dallas never had that few people for any game that I recall.

        1. Kartik,

          Welcome home.

          I know you are a big supporter of South Florida, but the numbers simply don’t make your case.
          Even if there were several doubleheaders, and I haven’t taken the time to research that, over the 4 years of the Fusion they drew under 10,000 42 times, while NE had only 6 sub 10K games.

    2. “My comment, get over it. Seattle is a part of the league, and a good part at that.”

      Thank God someone said it. I am sick of people acting like Seattle’s success is a negative with those kinds of comments. The league went in there at the right time. The growth of the league overall helped stoke that fire for Seattle.

      Good to hear the context for the RSL number. That kind of surprised me as well because they have been doing a really nice job.

      1. That’s not what people mean with that comment. What they are saying is that if you want to make accurate attendance “COMPARISONS” you need SIMILAR SETS OF DATA. Comparing attendance from 08 to 09 regular season and including Seattle in 09 skews the data; it’s not an accurate picture. Comparisons for the play-offs is perfectly acceptable due to the fact that we’re looking at the same number of teams, games, etc. But for the regular season it is poor analysis, at best. Half the league saw huge drops in attendance this year but you throw in one new team and say “wow, attendance is stable!”. It wasn’t.

    3. Booo, Seattle doesn’t have a storied history (of three to five seasons) in MLS like MY team, and Seattle’s sharing a stadium or something, and Sounders fans probably call it soccer instead of football, and it’s not that their city supports their team more, Qwest Field has built in crowd illusion generators to go with its built in noise generators, it doesn’t really count when they actually have a successful fan base, and Montero’s unsporting in a league of utter gentlemen, and Keller and Ljungberg are old, and their 1st year successes don’t count because there was a USL team wth the same name and their fans voted that name in, and astroturf is EVIL and they wouldn’t put up with that in Europe, and scarves are FAKE and you’re just trying to be like Europe, and yes Europeans sneer at the whole league but as a wannabe Eurosnob I bet they sneer EXTRA hard at Sounders, and waaaaaah why won’t anyone come to my team’s games?

      I tried to cover all the bases, but let me know if I missed anything. After all, there’s unbelievable amounts of whining about the Sounders, so it’s hard to cover the spread.

    4. I just dont’ get why attendance would drop so drastically. Even the LA-Chivas number, it is home game for both….How does that NOT sell out ?!?!

      Is the poor attendance in the playoffs every year because of the base of many teams thinking they should only have a regular season ?
      If so does that base watch the UEFA PLAYOFFS ?….yes playoffs. No one can disagree that is more exciting than the EPL.

      I read this article a long time ago that said that the MLS teams have a dis-incentive to advertise ( expense ) because revenue is 1/2 shared, but expenses are not. I just wonder if the gap between big draws and small draws is going to be bigger before it is smaller.

      PS. You would think with all the reasons for MLS to want to have Seattle make it to the MLS Cup, the Sounders could get a play-on call at least.

    5. Every year fans like us find the play-off attendence numbers sobering. It shows much group sales and pre-planned packages drive MLS attendence. It is not the buzz of a big game, but the “Jordan’s soccer team are all going to a pro soccer game together” factor that matters. Hopefully, this will change over time. Also the NFL and college football, and youth sports ramp up in the fall.

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