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Alecko Eskandarian

MLS attendance report: July 5, 2009


After week 16 the numbers look like this…

5 year comparison
WK 15118 GPYTD
 2005 23,776 6 14,568 14,807 107
 2006 13,158 -44.66% 6 14,724 1.07% 14,632 -1.18% 106
 2007 12,473 -5.21% 4 15,217 3.35% 15,043 2.81% 107
 2008 14,475 16.05% 5 16,565 8.86% 16,878 12.19% 111
 2009 16,142 11.51% 6 15,238 -8.01% 15,238 -9.72% 118

Here are the attendance comparisons to 2008’s equal number of home games(118):

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 25,348 93.88% 19,292 -23.89%  9 71.45% 27,000
 Real Salt Lake 15,101 71.96% 16,045 6.25% 8 71.15% 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 12,881 64.40% 13,056 1.36% 8 65.28% 20,000
 Colorado Rapids 14,017 77.50% 13,045 -6.93%  7 72.13% 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 9,596 92.40% 9,789 2.01% 8 94.26% 10,385
 FC Dallas 13,687 66.76% 9,306 -32.01%  9 45.40% 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 as you would expect on the holiday weekend. The league averaged just over 16,100. A decent week, not a great one.

The week began with RSL hosting the Quakes before a good Friday night crowd of 17,400+. An OK turnout, nothing special saw Columbus host east leaders DC United. Colorado continued its tradition of July 4th attendance highs with its best turnout of the year. The Wizards played to capacity against west leaders Houston. LA welcomed the injury stricken Revs and a crowd of 20,609.

YTD – 118 Games
 2005   14,568  12,043 31.36% 16.95%
 2006   14,724  13,036 22.03% 16.95%
 2007   15,217  14,130 11.02% 22.03%
 2008   16,565  15,274 11.86% 25.42%
 2009   15,238  14,406 14.41% 16.95%
Week 16 Games
Real Salt Lake1Behind the Shield
San Jose1Center Line Soccer
Columbus1Columbus Dispatch – Crew XTra
DC United1Soccer Insider – Steve Goff
Chicago2Chicago – Official Site
Kansas City0Hillcrest Road
Houston1Soccer y Fútbol – Barnard Fallas
FC Dallas23rd Degree – Buzz Carrick
RBNY1Red Bulls Reader
Los Angeles1LA – 100 percent soccer
New England0New England – Official Site

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   Bornstein*, Kljestan*
Thomas(JAM), Harmse(CAN)
 Colorado Rapids   Clark, Perkins, Casey*
Cummings(JAM), 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

* – Added when CONCACAF allowed the US to add 7 to the roster due to its participation in the Confederations Cup. These players will not travel with the team but are expected to join when the matches are geographically proximate.

** – Joseph in injured and didn’t play for club or country.

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.

Toronto’s new signing Gerba scored for Canada in its tuneup match and its Gold Cup opener.

Seattle’s new signing Gonzalez will join the Sounders after his participation in the Gold Cup for Costa Rica is completed.


End of Week Thoughts


  • RBNY’s road woes continue.
  • 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.
  • Chicago ends league losing streak with victory on the road, and a mile high at that.
  • Did Houston’s win at KC unmask the Wizards as pretenders?
  • Alecko nets game winner in Galaxy debut.
  • July 4th and a USMNT game. Tough call. 3 matches were played at the same time as the USMNT so that planned Independence Day fireworks could be wrapped into game packages.
  • 2 home wins, 2 road wins, 2 draws this week. I like symmetry.======

    Just Some Stuff

    Chicago has a better record on the road than at home. They average 1 point per game at Toyota Park, 2 points per game away from home.

    The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals are on Tuesday, July 7. MLS teams DC United, Houston, Kansas City and Seattle will play. Seattle was off this week, DCU is off next week, so Houston and KC will be playing 3 matches in 8 days during the July 4-11 time period.


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  1. eplnfl

    July 5, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    The Fire seem under Hamlet to be at it’s worst at home. I can’t seem to understand it and for 2 years now Hamlet hasn’t either. Kartik is correct that Hamlet plays to win on the road when many are happy to take a draw.

    The most I have been able to detect over the last two years is that the team seems to play at a lower level until they get behind at home or that they put on a spurt and then sit back.

  2. Jason

    July 5, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    While Cummings was missed, the Rapids missed Colin Clark more. The Rapids had no width last night and were completely inept on the left side of the pitch. It was disappointing he did not make the bench in Seattle last night, because he was greatly missed in Colorado. Just one more example to justify the real drain the Gold Cup puts on MLS.

  3. Kartik Krishnaiyer

    July 5, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    Good stuff as usual.

    One point however regarding Chicago: this is more of the same- last year was the same and the eventual undoing of Chicago.

    Unlike most MLS managers, Dennis Hamlet is aggressive and plays to win on the road. At home thought they struggle. Look at how many times they stole 3 pts on the road last year only to come home and draw or even lose. The same has happened this season.

    BTW, MLS isn’t alone in being affected by Gold Cup callups. Part of the reason I opted to skip Miami FC-Puerto Rico last night and watch the Gold Cup from home instead is that the Islanders were missing 3 starters/regulars thanks to the Gold Cup. MLS shouldn’t play period during a tournament like this (As I wrote two years ago MLS should break during Gold Cups but play during Confed and World Cups by scheduling smarter, like the league did during the 98 world cup when every team played basically every 10 days- the Gold Cup every two years is by far the largest drain on MLS players, more so than any other tournament) and USL should give a team the option to postpone a game if they have 3 or more callups as Puerto Rico has and I believe Vancouver may have also.

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