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CONCACAF Champions League

Take Me Out to the Ballgame – Week 32


The final regular season numbers look like this…

5 year comparison
 Final WeekYTD
  Avg +/- GP Avg +/- GP
 2005  18,417   6  15,108   192 
 2006  20,277  10.10%  6  15,504  2.62%  192 
 2007  20,575  1.47%  7  16,770  8.17%  195 
 2008  17,338  -15.73%  7  16,460  -1.85%  210 
 2009  19,916  14.87%  8  16,037  -2.57%  225 

YTD – Games
 2005   15,108    12,619   27.08%  17.71% 
 2006   15,504    14,175   18.75%  18.75% 
 2007   16,770    15,353   8.21%  29.74% 
 2008   16,460    15,188   10.95%  24.76% 
 2009   16,037    14,686   14.67%  20.44% 

Here are the attendance comparisons to 2008’s full season of home games(210 v 225 games):

MLS Attendance – Equal # of Home Games
 AttCapAttAtt +/-GPCapCap
 Seattle 0  0.00%  30,897  NA 15  95.36%  32,400 
 LA Galaxy 26,009  96.33%  20,416  -21.50%  15  75.61%  27,000 
 Toronto 20,110  91.50%  20,344  1.17%  15  92.57%  21,978 
 Houston 16,939  75.28%  17,047  0.64%  15  75.77%  22,500 
 Real Salt Lake 16,179  80.03%  16,375  1.21%  15  77.79%  19,340 
 D.C. United 19,835  88.16%  16,088  -18.89%  15  71.50%  22,500 
 ChivasUSA 15,114  55.98%  15,092  -0.15%  15  55.90%  27,000 
 Chicago 17,034  85.17%  14,689  -13.77%  15  73.44%  20,000 
 Columbus Crew 14,622  73.11%  14,447  -1.20%  15  72.23%  20,000 
 San Jose 13,713  89.93%  14,114  2.93%  15  79.64%  10,300 
 NE Revolution 17,580  78.14%  13,732  -21.89%  15  61.03%  22,500 
 N.Y./N.J. Red Bulls 15,928  63.24%  12,491  -21.58%  15  49.59%  25,189 
 FC Dallas 13,024  61.45%  12,441  -4.48%  15  53.67%  21,193 
 Colorado Rapids 13,659  75.52%  12,331  -9.72%  15  68.18%  18,086 
 KC Wizards 10,686  102.90%  10,053  -5.92%  15  96.81%  10,385 

My disclaimer about the capacity calculations – Additional disclaimer note: I factored in the Dallas game at the Cotton Bowl as 100% capacity of 51,012.


The last week of the season drew a strong 19,916. A great crowd of over 17,500 braved cold and rain in Chicago. The last game played at Giants Stadium by the Red Bulls pulled in more than 21,000, also on a rainy night. The Wizards sold out their last game of the year. The playoff critical match in Salt Lake was seen by over 18,300. Seattle closed out the season with the largest crowd of the year, over 33,100. A full house at the Home Depot Center witnessed the Galaxy complete its run to first in the west while Chivas USA pulled in over 14,500 for its season ender. More than 16,700 Crew fans showed their support for the regular season champs.

It appears as though MLS has weathered the economy up until now. Average attendance was down only 2.57% compared to 2008. In comparison, the recently ended Major League Baseball season saw a 6.67% drop in average attendance. In absolute numbers, given the extra team(Seattle) and the 15 extra games, attendance was up 151,278. More analysis of this past season will be examined during the off season, including looking at how the NFL, NBA and NHL fare.

Week 32 Games
Chicago1Chicago Fire Confidential
Chivas USA0Chivas USA – MLSNet
RBNY5Red Bulls Reader
Toronto0TFC Connected
Kansas City2Kansas City – Hillcrest Road
DC United2DCU – Steve Goff – Soccer Insider
Real Salt Lake3RSL – Behind the Shield
Seattle2Seattle Times
FC Dallas13rd Degree – Buzz Carrick
Los Angeles2LA – Official Blog
San Jose0San Jose Center Line Soccer
Chivas USA2Chivas USA – MLSNet
Houston3Soccer y Fútbol – Barnard Fallas
Columbus0Columbus Dispatch – Crew XTra
New England1Revolution Soccer

So How Did They Finish?

Points after 225 Games
 Columbus 49  30  1.63  10 
 Los Angeles 48  30  1.60  5 
 Houston 48  30  1.60  10 
 Seattle 47  30  1.57  9 
 Chicago 45  30  1.50  5 
 Chivas USA 45  30  1.50  3 
 New England 42  30  1.40  -4 
 Real Salt Lake 40  30  1.33  8 
 Colorado 40  30  1.33  4 
 DC United 40  30  1.33  -1 
 Dallas 39  30  1.30  3 
 Toronto FC 39  30  1.30  -9 
 Kansas City 33  30  1.10  -9 
 San Jose 30  30  1.00  -14 
 NY Red Bull 21  30  0.70  -20 

MLS Playoff Matchups – Los Angeles v Chivas USA, Houston v Seattle, Columbus v RSL, Chicago v NE

What a great finish to the season. Dozens of permutations were possible for the final 3 playoff slots. Eduardo Lillingston’s own goal put the Fire into the playoffs and ended Chivas USA’s hope for the Supporters’ Shield. As a result, Columbus claimed its 2nd consecutive Shield and a berth in the next CONCACAF Champions League. Toronto looked to be in good shape with a final match at the heretofore hapless Red Bulls, only to get destroyed 5-0. DCU also looked to have the advantage playing against a demoralized KC but played to a draw. The marquee matchup of the week was RSL v Colorado. The Rapids controlled their own destiny while the Lakers were in the worst position heading into the week. So of course RSL pulled out the victory and with the other contenders help ended up making it into the big dance. The miracle run of Dallas came up just short as expansion Seattle finished on a high note with a win at home. Los Angeles completed its worst to first(in the west) season. This will be David Beckham’s first taste of MLS playoffs.

Three teams that didn’t make it to the party have only themselves to blame. Colorado were winless in their last 7. KC were winless in their last 5 and DCU won 1 of its last 5. After winning 22 straight regular season games at home Columbus lost its last two home games of the season. The last one, though was meaningless to their final position.

For more on the just ended season, read Eric Altshule’s post.


  • FC Dallas did not lose at home in its last 8(7 wins).
  • RBNY finished winless on the road(27 total).
  • TFC did not lose at home in 7 straight.
  • TFC did not win on the road in 8 straight.
  • Colorado did not win on the road in 9 straight.
  • RSL was unbeaten in their last 10 home games.

MLS Throw Ins

  • No team won 50% of its games.
  • Not surprisingly, Seattle set an MLS single season attendance record.
  • In 15 more games, 22 fewer goals were scored than in 2008(2.53 per game vs 2.81).
  • The Kansas City, Houston and San Jose prospective stadiums is a story to watch this off season.
  • Jeff Cunningham won his 2nd Golden Boot as the top regular season goal scorer.

    MLS In CONCACAF Champions League

    Another poor showing by MLS in the CCL. Houston was the biggest disappointment. Needing a victory in its final group play match, they travelled to Metapan(SLV), which had been winless with a -17 goal differential only to lose and be eliminated. DC United put up a good showing on the road at Toluca(MEX), earning a draw, albeit against a ‘B’ team, but were also eliminated. They just couldn’t recover from their poor start. Columbus barely got into the knockout phase as Saprissa(CRC) lost at home to Cruz Azul(MEX) while the Crew were tied by Puerto Rico who failed to win any of its 6 group play matches.

    Howard Hamilton of the HexagonalBlog has updated his CONCACAF coefficients which reflect Mexican club dominance in the region.

    The quarterfinal home and home matches will be played on March 9 and 16, 2010.

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    1. Mat

      November 24, 2009 at 9:23 pm

      To nitpick: Seattle should be “100%” since the capacity fluctuated due to demand. To pick the end of year number, and compare them all statically is improper. They sold out every match.

      • Peter C

        November 25, 2009 at 11:16 am


        Yeah, Seattle kept changing their capacity and the weekly attendance reported was never the same, unlike in other stadiums where a sold out number matched their reported capacity.
        I just used the posted soccer capacity of Qwest and let the numbers fall where they may. Kind of impossible to calculate 100% under those circumstances.

    2. vic

      October 27, 2009 at 2:55 pm

      perhaps you should have a “Strictly MLS Attendance” sheet that excludes friendlies with international clubs (SJ minus Barca vs. Chivas, or Dal minus Mex.vs Col) to give a sense of what the real draw of MLS is.

      • Peter C

        October 28, 2009 at 2:21 pm

        What is it you are looking for? The numbers posted are direct from MLSnet. They do not include friendlies unless the match was part of a doubleheader with an MLS match, in which case MLS does not segregate the numbers. The attendees to those doubleheaders saw two games for one ticket. As far as I am aware, that has been MLS’s attendance reporting policy since its inception.

        Out of curiosity, why address the question to Kartik? He didn’t write the post.

    3. Rex

      October 26, 2009 at 7:31 pm

      Dynamo’s performance made me sick. When you consider the entire last several months, the Dynamo are the worst I have seen them in their history. Defensive lapses and boring play with little energy.

    4. Peter C

      October 26, 2009 at 4:43 pm


      Yes, it’s sometimes not exactly correct to label a team ‘A’ or ‘B’, but in the case of DC, Namoff and Quaranta were hurt, so not an option. To me that means the ‘A’ team for DC would not include them. In any case, I think we can agree that MLS roster restrictions create major problems when a team plays in tourneys.
      Good point about the matchups.

      ta mere:

      Thanks for the update. I thought the stage was a permanent change. Will keep my eyes open for next year’s capacity.

    5. ta mere

      October 26, 2009 at 12:58 pm

      A small point: Rio Tinto Stadium capacity is 20,008. It was down for a few games this season when a temporary stage took the place of some of the south stand seats, but it’s back up to 20k now.

    6. Lee14

      October 26, 2009 at 12:20 pm

      Nice post but a couple of things….

      In the CCL if you are going to call Toluca’s “B” team then it was also DCUs “B” team(No Olsen, Moreno, Namoff, Quaranta, Wicks, etc…, Jakovic subbed on in the 2nd half). In my personal opinion I think that it is silly to say “B” or “A” teams as all these teams in this tournament play different lineups every week as they have to with games every 3-4 days.

      Also why I agree that Houston laid an egg against Metapan it wasn’t a foregone conclusion that they would win as they only beat them 1-0 at home so perhaps Metapan matched up with them well like Aribe Unido must have matched up against Pachuca well as they beat them in aggregate over the 2 games.

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