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MLS attendance report: June 7, 2009


This week’s eight matches averaged just over 13,100. Last year’s week 12 included a visit by Beckham to San Jose. The game was at Oakland Alameda and drew over 39,800.
After 92 matches, the league is drawing 1,479 fewer per game than the first 92 games last year, a 9.1% decrease. On the up side, the average was 2,000 better than the corresponding week in 2005 which also had World Cup Qualifiers. I’ll have more on that in another post.

This part of the season is where, as Kartik mentioned when I first began posting attendance numbers, this year might be better compared to 2005, the last World Cup Qualifying year.
On Saturday, June 4 2005 US v Costa Rica drew 40,586 at Rice Eccles as part of a doubleheader with RSL v FC Dallas, boosting RSL’s(and MLS) numbers.

Remember that the week 12 to week 12 comparisons are not the same as the calendar date comparisons. Last year’s week 12 games occurred one week later than this year.and in 2005 it was around 2 weeks later.

The games began with the Red Bulls visiting DCU. A steady rain kept the crowd to a tad over 11,200. On Friday, Houston came to Chicago on the eve of the USMNT’s match vs Honduras in the same city and had a so-so gate under 13,300.

On Saturday, when the USMNT faced Honduras at Soldier Field in Chicago at 8PM ET, four matches were played. The Fire had hosted the Dynamo on Friday night. At 4PM, Toronto hosted LA with its usual sellout. Kansas City also sold out for the visit of the reigning champs Columbus. The Rapids, without Conor Casey were at Rio Tinto for the next installment of the Rocky Mountain Cup. This match began with 1/2 hour left in the USA match but the draw of a David Archuletta concert gave the Lakers a sellout.

Third place Seattle came calling to the HDC to meet west leaders Chivas USA. This match began with 1/2 hour left in the Mexico match(which Mexico lost) and it showed at the gate. They had been averaging over 15,600 but only drew a little over 13,100.

FC Dallas hosted San Jose in a matchup of the two last place teams in the west. 5,724. Need I say more? Sell the team. Move the team. Sign Pele to play 2 minutes a game. Do anything!

The week ended with the Revs hosting the Red Bulls in a rare Sunday evening game and drew just under 11,200.

After week 12 the numbers look like this…

5 year comparison
 2005 11,142 8 13,883 14,348 79
 2006 12,309 10.48% 5 14,985 7.94% 15,169 5.73% 72
 2007 13,600 10.48% 7 15,058 0.49% 15,324 1.02% 79
 2008 18,426 35.48% 7 16,211 7.66% 16,595 8.30% 84
 2009 13,148 -28.65% 8 14,731 -9.13% 14,731 -11.23% 92

Here are the attendance comparisons to 2008’s equal number of home games(92):

MLS Attendance Averages – Equal # of Home Games
AttCapAttAtt +/-GP% of CapCap
 Seattle 0 0.00% 29,468 NA 6 92.09% 32,000
 Toronto 20,117 91.53% 20,267 0.75% 8 92.21% 21,978
 LA Galaxy 24,834 91.98% 19,228 -22.57%  6 71.21% 27,000
 Houston 16,704 74.24% 15,641 -6.36%  6 69.51% 22,500
 Real Salt Lake 16,419 76.25% 15,449 -5.91%  6 79.88% 19,340
 ChivasUSA 14,376 53.25% 15,312 6.51% 8 56.71% 27,000
 D.C. United 18,651 82.89% 14,303 -23.31%  7 63.57% 22,500
 Colorado Rapids 14,540 80.40% 12,410 -14.65%  4 68.61% 18,086
 Columbus Crew 12,383 54.90% 12,369 -0.12%  5 54.84% 22,555
 Chicago 16,440 82.20% 11,726 -28.67%  6 58.63% 20,000
 NE Revolution 10,289 45.73% 11,511 11.88% 5 51.16% 22,500
 N.Y./N.J. Red Bulls 13,525 53.69% 10,966 -18.92%  7 43.54% 25,189
 San Jose 16,483 72.70% 10,882 -33.98%  6 88.23% 10,300
 KC Wizards 9,602 92.46% 9,590 -0.12%  6 92.34% 10,385
 FC Dallas 13,232 64.54% 8,801 -33.48%  6 42.93% 20,500
YTD – 92 Games
 2005   13,883  11,828 32.61% 13.04%
 2006   14,985  13,148 22.83% 15.22%
 2007   15,058  14,226 13.04% 20.65%
 2008   16,211  14,837 11.96% 27.17%
 2009   14,731  13,736 16.30% 16.30%

Capacity Disclaimer

Thanks to Don M. for pointing out that RSL’s Rio Tinto capacity will be reduced from 20,008 to 19,340 to make way for a concert stage.(Capacity Dips With New Concert Stage)

Mid Week

Atlantic Cup
The week started off with the first of 2 road games for RBNY. Rojas was with RBNY for the DCU game, not with national team as previously posted as Venezuela were training at high altitude with a split squad. Played on a wet field, both came out in 3-5-2 formations. Early on, United were able to go wide finding space behind RB’s midfield, putting the 3 at the back under pressure. But a nice play by Fred led to a Quaranta goal in the 36th minute. RBNY pressured DCU in the 2nd half. Josh Wicks stopped an Angel volley shot in the 86th, diving low to his right to get a hand on what looked like a sure game tying goal. Moreno added a PK goal in the 93rd to seal the game for DCU.

Friday night brought Houston to Chicago. In addition to missing the injured Brian Ching(on international duty), Houston were also missing late USMNT callup Ricardo Clark. Clark was also named to the Confederations Cup sqaud, with Ching being left off the squad going to South Africa. Houston, on a 7 game unbeaten string, took an early lead on a beautiful play with Stuart Holden netting for the Dynamo. The score held up as Onstad got his 7th clean sheet and Chicago’s league leading offense failed to score for the 2nd game in a row.

Chicago were playing without Blanco, Segares and Soumare, all on international duty. With Conde injured, 3/4 of the Fire’s backline were not on the pitch. Robinson, Prideaux and Brown took the pitch in their places, with Akinbiyi and Ashe stepping in for Houston.


The Galaxy got off to a fast start when they uncharacteristically scored an early goal in Toronto. Of their 13 goals scored coming into the game, only 1 had been scored in the first 15 minutes. But Danny Dichio scored in the 64th to pull TFC even. Then in the 77th, Buddle scored for the 2nd straight game as he blew past Marco Velez, who had also failed to mark Gordon in the box on the first goal, as Los Angeles snagged an impressive away win.

Columbus came calling to KC in a match that for some reason known only in some back office began at 8;30PM, just as the US was facing off against Honduras. The Crew continued its recovery from a terrible start to clean sheet the Wizards 2-0 on a brace from Schelotto, despite going down a man at the 51st minute. The Crew have now gone 8 games without a loss and pulled even on points with the Wizards and Toronto with 16 and a game in hand.

The visiting Rapids, sans Casey and Mastroenni, played RSL in the 2nd leg of the Rocky Mountain Cup. RSL were looking to end a 7 game winless streak(5 losses, including a US Open match), while Colorado hadn’t lost in 5. Yura Movsisyan broke the scoreless draw in the 79th minute on an excellent move beating 2 defenders. 3 minutes later RSL went down a man when Russell got his 2nd yellow. In the 88th minute Omar Cummings made a great turn on Borchers and beat Rimando with a super strike to pull the Rapids level, which is how the game ended.

Chivas USA, playing without Kljestan and Bornstein, took a 1-0 lead over Seattle in the latter stages of the first half on a Lillingston tally. Jaqua’s 2nd yellow late in the match dampened any chance that the Sounders might have of stealing a draw and in the end they took their 2nd loss in two matches with Chivas USA.

The Quakes came into the game 15th in goals against and 12th in goal scored. They were also without their center mid pairing of Corrales, out on yellow card accumulation and Elliot prepping with New Zealand for the Confederations Cup as well as newly acquired Cornell Glen, away with Trinidad & Tobago. Dallas isn’t much better at 14th and 10th in the same stats, but were on a 3 game unbeaten string. David Ferreira, on horrific marking in the box, gave the Hoops a 29th minute lead in the struggle between the west bottom feeders. An own goal on a free kick got San Jose even at the 60 minute mark. The goal occured while FCD were down a man as Sanchez was off-field with an injury. He was subsequently subbed out(or rather, wheeled out), but the damage had been done. Then in the 82nd minute, Alvarez was allowed to turn in the left side of the box and he blew one by Burse for a go-ahead goal. Just 5 minutes later Brek Shea laid a ball at Cooper’s feet and after deking Cannon, he put the ball in the open goal and earned FCD a draw.

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  1. Kartik Krishnaiyer

    June 10, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    I should point out that Musa Otieno of the Cleveland City Stars in USL-1 captained and played a full 90 for Kenya in their 3-0 loss to Nigeria. Zanzan Atte-Odeyi was of Montreal was on the bench for Togo in their 3-0 loss to Gabon. A few other USL guys were called in for qualifying and will track down what they did in addition to the good list Peter C has provided on MLS guys.

  2. George H

    June 8, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    You’re spot on about Kinnear and Preki. It’s amazing how each of their clubs are able to withstand several injuries without missing a beat. They just plug other people in and keep getting results. Both teams are always so well prepared that sometimes their individual parts seem interchangeable.

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