I was reading a piece on the Kansas City Wizards 2009 season and this line jumped out at me.
When your top scorer only scores 11 goals, you most likely will have trouble.
Being a numbers person, that led me to look up MLS’s top scorers for 2009(no, I don’t have that stuff memorized). Decide for yourself what it means for a team to have a top scorer with eleven goals.
|2009||Goals – Team Leaders|
|Juan Pablo Angel||NY||25||12||N||27|
|Guillermo Barros Schelotto||CLB||24||12||Y||41|
|Dwayne De Rosario||TOR||28||11||N||37|
What does this tell us in relation to the statement above? Well for one thing, the top scorer on 4 teams that made the playoffs scored 8 or fewer goals. So having a top scorer with 11 isn’t in itself a problem. The Wiz obviously had problems this year, but an 11 goal top scorer is not relevant in the discussion of why they failed to make the final dance.
Not a soccer story, but a very interesting read for those with an eye on the future of sports, especially a young MLS entering adulthood.
Ten years ago, it was cheaper to go to a baseball game than to a movie in half of the big league markets (take away parking at the game, and it was cheaper in every market). Today, there isn’t a single city in America where it costs less to go to a major league game than to a movie. Everywhere we turn, we see examples of the collapsing middle class. This is where that issue lives in the world of sports, and it has predictable consequences.
“The lower the income,” Luker says, “the less they’re enjoying sports.”
His August poll discovered a third of Americans are less interested in sports because of the declining economy. That’s bad news, made worse by a problem he first noticed in 2004 and which has continued since: For the first time, the largest number of sports fans aren’t 12- to 17-year-old boys. The baby boomers are the group that shows the greatest increase in a love of sports, and they’ll be dying soon.
“We have the first true sustained evidence of less interest in sports than there was 10 years ago,” he says. “It won’t happen overnight. It will take a generation. But in general, sports will not be what it is today. We’re burning out the love of sports.”
And oh by the way… in 2009 Major League Baseball saw a 6.6% decline in attendance while MLS had a 2.6% decline in average attendance, with a 4.4% increase in actual attendance due to the addition of Seattle.
Speaking of bucks and the World Cup, FIFA announced the amounts that the 32 World Cup finalists will receive. Here is the Guardian’s article outlining the payouts. US Soccer will earn a minimum of $9 million with $1 million paid up front to cover preparation expenses. Additionally, clubs will be compensated for the use of their players during the World Cup to the tune of $1,600 per player per day beginning 15 days before the start of the tourney until one day after the player’s participation ends. The overall prize money is 61% higher than for the 2006 World Cup.
Have you read any of Freddie Ljungberg’s articles on ESPNSoccernet? Terrific stuff.