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Take Me Out to the Ballgame – Week 15

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After week 15 the numbers look like this…

5 year comparison
WK 15112 GPYTD
 2005 19,065 8 14,710 14,274 101
 2006 15,853 -16.85% 12 14,821 0.75% 14,721 3.13% 100
 2007 14,650 -7.59% 6 14,907 0.58% 15,143 2.87% 103
 2008 18,529 26.48% 6 16,357 9.73% 16,991 12.20% 106
 2009 19,285 4.08% 6 15,189 -7.14% 15,189 -10.60% 112

Here are the attendance comparisons to 2008’s equal number of home games(112):

MLS Attendance Averages – Equal # of Home Games
AttCapAttAtt +/-GP% of CapCap
 Seattle 0 0.00% 29,715 NA 9 92.86% 32,000
 Toronto 20,144 91.66% 20,288 0.71% 10 92.31% 21,978
 LA Galaxy 25,142 93.12% 19,128 -23.92%  8 70.84% 27,000
 Real Salt Lake 15,549 73.28% 15,840 1.87% 7 68.84% 19,340
 Houston 16,566 73.63% 15,689 -5.29%  8 69.73% 22,500
 ChivasUSA 14,376 53.25% 15,312 6.51% 8 56.71% 27,000
 D.C. United 20,817 92.52% 14,811 -28.85%  8 65.83% 22,500
 Columbus Crew 12,268 54.39% 12,868 4.89% 7 57.05% 22,555
 Colorado Rapids 14,150 78.24% 11,940 -15.62%  6 66.02% 18,086
 San Jose 15,420 73.77% 11,774 -23.64%  7 44.93% 10,300
 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 17,679 70.18% 11,385 -35.60%  8 45.20% 25,189
 KC Wizards 9,483 91.32% 9,703 2.32% 7 93.44% 10,385
 FC Dallas 13,862 67.62% 8,679 -37.39%  8 42.33% 20,500

My disclaimer about the capacity calculations

For my calculations, I’ve taken the 4 teams playing in football stadiums, DCU in RFK, Houston in Robertson, New England in Foxboro, and RBNY in the Meadowlands and assigned maximum capacities as follows, DCU-22,500, Houston-22,500, New England-22,500 and RBNY-25189(the posted capacity of Red Bull Arena). I took the 22,500 from an approximate average of the soccer specific stadiums in use. Capacities have also been adjusted for the few games that were moved to larger venues, such as San Jose playing twice in Oakland Alameda Colliseum for 2 of it’s 7 matches in ‘08 and three times in ’09.
I’m now using 32,000 for Seattle’s capacity. Thier previous announced cap was 27,000. Since they haven’t drawn less than 28,000, I’ve recalculated all of the Sounders’ games to the new number.


Good crowds attended this week’s six matches. A big week for average attendance. The league averaged just under 19,300. A great week that could have been better(Colorado).

The week began with RBNY visiting BMO Field and its 20,000+ fans. The Rapids hosted FC Dallas before a modest 10,500+. Columbus continues to draw well, with over 15,500 watching a rematch of MLS Cup ’08. A terrific crowd of over 18,000 came to Rio Tinto to witness the Laker’s victory. Seattle exceeded thier new ‘official capacity’ of 32,000 as 32,526 saw the Rapids try to overtake Seattle in the west. Just under 18,000 showed up in LA to see the Gals end Houston’s 11 game undefeated streak.

Six of last year’s 14 clubs are now ahead of ’08 attendance, but only one by double digits. However 6 other clubs are each down over 22% from last year. Maybe MLS can catch some spillover joy from the USMNT. Jason Davis put it quite well.

YTD – 112 Games
 2005   14,710  12,106 30.36% 16.96%
 2006   14,821  13,064 22.32% 16.96%
 2007   14,907  14,130 11.61% 20.54%
 2008   16,357  15,274 11.61% 25.00%
 2009   15,189  14,377 15.18% 16.96%
Week 15 Games
Toronto2TFC Connected
RBNY0Red Bulls Reader
FC Dallas13rd Degree – Buzz Carrick
Columbus1Columbus Dispatch – Crew XTra
RBNY0Red Bulls Reader
Real Salt Lake3Behind the Shield
Toronto0TFC Connected
Seattle3Seattle Times
Los Angeles1LA – Official Blog
Houston0Soccer y Fútbol – Barnard Fallas

These young US players were away this week as the USMNT U-20’s prepare for the U-20 World Cup held later this year in Egypt.


  • Chivas USA – Gerson
  • FC Dallas – Marosevic
  • Houston – CruzConfederations Cup and MLS

    As we all know by now, the USMNT played in the Confederations Cup final, extending the US participation in the tourney. The MLS contingent; Bornstein, Kljestan, Wynne, Casey, Donovan and Clark missed matches(MLS or SuperLiga). After a terrible run of games, 3 straight strong performances against world class opponents on foreign soil: Congrats to the USMNT!

    Gold Cup and MLS

    Gold Cup Rosters at CONCACAF
    Players, League Games Missed Due to Gold Cup Group Play
     3-Jul 4-Jul 11-Jul
     Chicago Fire   Busch, Pause, Segares(CRC) Colorado Columbus
     Chivas USA   Thomas(JAM), Harmse(CAN) LA
     Colorado Rapids   Clark, Perkins, Ceus(HAI)
     Chicago FCD
     Columbus Crew   Rogers, Marshall DCU Chicago
     DC United   Quaranta, Jakovic(CAN) Columbus
     FC Dallas   Cooper RBNY Colorado
     Houston Dynamo   Ching, Holden, Hainault(CAN) KC Seattle
     Kansas City Wizards   Arnaud, Conrad Houston NE
     Los Angeles Galaxy   Ricketts(JAM) NE Chivas USA
     New England Revolution   Heaps, Joseph(GRE) LA KC
     RBNY   Pacheco(SLV), Richards(JAM) FCD
     Real Salt Lake   Beckerman, Johnson(CAN)
     San Jose Earthquakes   NONE RSL TFC
     Seattle Sounders FC   Evans, Marshall(JAM) HOU
     Toronto FC   Cronin, Gerba(CAN) SJ

    If I’ve missed anyone, hopefully our readers will let me know in the comment section.

    This list encompasses the MLS matches that coincide with Gold Cup group play which ends on July 12. I will update the list as we go through the knock-out rounds.

    Andy Williams declines Jamaican invite. Williams’ wife has been battling a rare form of leukemia, sparking a soccer nation ‘call to arms’ that resulted in heightened awareness of the need for bone marrow donors.

    Note that according to the AP, Busch will remain with the Fire unless Robles or Perkins are hurt or injured. This list does not conform exactly to the rosters listed at the CONCACAF site as drops and adds have occurred since they were posted.


    End of Week Thoughts

  • RBNY looks all but out of 2009 MLS playoffs. They are winless in 22 road games.
  • The Rapids will play without in form striker Omar Cummings(Gold Cup) for its July 4 match. For a while it looked like they might also be without Conor Casey, but he is not on the final list of 23 for the USMNT.
  • SuperLiga continued for Chivas USA, Chicago, Kansas City and New England. The next league game for each of them is on July 4.
  • Chicago advance to SuperLiga semifinals(July 15).
  • TFC’s roster is not pillaged like it was last year. De Rosario has opted out of the Gold Cup to stay with the club.
  • Was it too much to expect SUM to schedule the SuperLiga Saturday Matchday 3 games in the afternoon so as not to conflict with the 2 MLS tilts? A case of Mexican broadcasters dictating kick-off times?
  • Columbus have tied the league record: undefeated at home in 18 matches.
  • The Rapids 8 game unbeaten string was emphatically snapped by the Sounders.
  • Down almost 24% in attendance, ya think LA is looking forward to Beckham’s return?======

    Gettin’ Busy

    The Fire play their first U.S. Open Cup game Tuesday in Wilmington, NC. Then a July 4 league game in Colorado. If they win in 3rd round Open match, an Open quarterfinal match would be next on July 7. Back to league play with a home game July 11 against Columbus and then a SuperLiga semifinal on July 15th and another league match on July 18th.

    The four MLS SuperLiga clubs were not scheduled this week. The semifinals are on July 15 and the final is on August 15. Looking ahead, Chivas USA is scheduled to play on August 15, while Chicago and Kansas City play on August 16. There are no conflicts on July 15.


    Just Some Stuff

    Atlanta fans sent a shout-out to the soccer gods as over 51,000 came out for a friendly between Mexico and Venezuela. Perhaps some Mexican club owner will take the Silverbacks off of Arthur Blank’s hands and bring the team out of hiatus.

    Suddenly respectable FCD may lose Davies, Lambo, Marosevic, Shea and Anthony Wallace to the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Egypt, Sep 24 – Oct 16, potentially missing 4 league matches.

    Don’t be surprised at the number of players being released. July 1st is the deadline for terminating any contracts with guaranteed money. In other words, dump the player now or pay for the rest of the contract.

    Opposite ends of youth soccer in the US …while the U.S. Soccer Development Academy Playoffs are underway, sad news comes out of Brad Friedl’s Ohio based academy.


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  1. ryan

    June 30, 2009 at 8:48 pm

    I agree with Yoshou with Seattle’s cap. situation. since they will have listed two “official” capacities, you should compare game attendance with whichever capacity was listed for that game, not a blanket average, which creates a false answer to % of cap.

    and from what i heard, the reason the sounders have always been over 100% capacity is because the number listed is for seats in the bowl, not seats in the suites. and since nearly every suite is filled for every game, those people put the attendance over capacity. i could be wrong, but it does make some sense.

  2. Yoshou

    June 30, 2009 at 11:09 am

    I would do a rolling average on Seattle’s max capacity, so 7*28,000 + X*32,000/Total games where X is the number of games with the new 32,000 capacity, or else you’re going to get an incorrect calculation of the percent capacity. So far this season there have been two 32,000 capacity games, opening day and the Colorado game, so capacity would be 28,889 this week. I have no idea what is up with Seattle reporting 500-1000 people higher than capacity though.. Must be stacking them two deep in some areas or something.

  3. Peter C

    June 29, 2009 at 11:22 pm

    Right you are Lars.

    Kyle McCarthy reopens the reserve squad issue in this piece.

  4. Lars

    June 29, 2009 at 11:02 pm

    TFC’s roster may not be pillaged, but they only have 17 players who are actually capable of being put into a game right now. Things will change when Wynne gets back…they’ll have 18. The remaining three on the roster are hurt or ineligible. They also have no Central Midfielder backups.

  5. Peter C

    June 29, 2009 at 10:20 pm


    Thanks for reminding me.
    I had taken the 22,555 number from the Crew official website(which remains unchanged).
    Wilipedia lists the ‘normal’ capacity at 20,555 and a Columbus Dispatch article from Jan of 2008 lists the capacity at around 20,000.

    Think I’ll go with the 20,000 number from here on until they exceed that number for a regular season match.

  6. Davidge Partelwarl

    June 29, 2009 at 9:16 pm

    Columbus Crew stadium’s capacity is only 20,000. The stage, remember?

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