MLS Scorers, World Cup Bucks and Other Miscellaneous Stuff


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
   Team  GP  Goals  Playoffs  Team Goals
 Jeff Cunningham  DAL  28   17  N  50 
 Conor Casey  COL  24   16  N  42 
 Juan Pablo Angel  NY  25   12  N  27 
 Guillermo Barros Schelotto  CLB  24   12  Y  41 
 Landon Donovan  LA  25   12  Y  36 
 Robbie Findley  RSL  27   12  Y  43 
 Fredy Montero  SEA  27   12  Y  38 
 Dwayne De Rosario  TOR  28   11  N  37 
 Ryan Johnson  SJ  30   11  N  36 
 Josh Wolff  KC  27   11  N  33 
 Luciano Emilio  DCU  27   10  N  43 
 Eduardo Lillingston  CHV  25   8  Y  34 
 Brian Ching  HOU  19   8  Y  39 
 Kheli Dube  NE  26   8  Y  33 
 Brian McBride  CHI  22   7  Y  39 

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.

Wright Thompson, writing for ESPN’s Outside the Lines

    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.

This ESPN article by Tom Farrey on the NCAA looking at playing-with-pros rules has sparked a pretty good discussion on the possible effects on all levels of the US soccer pyramid.

Brant Parsons reports that the Mexican National team will play 3 of its 8 World Cup tune up matches in the US. More bucks for SUM(and MLS).

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.


  1. short passes December 23, 2009
  2. Charles December 23, 2009
  3. Berlin December 23, 2009
  4. nelsonc December 23, 2009
    • Peter C December 23, 2009
  5. LI Matt December 23, 2009

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