I am worried by the low numbers in some markets this season. Chivas USA for example is averaging 7,000 less fans per game than they did last season, and Red Bull New York, despite having an excellent team is averaging under 10,000 fans a match which is totally unacceptable in the nation’s largest sports and TV market. The more worrying issue is that traditionally MLS has used strong crowds between April and July to ride out the storm of declining crowds and media exposure once American Football season begins. This season it appears that the Beckham effect better be massive otherwise some markets like New York and New England are going to have their worst attendance since the league was formed.

It’s possible if the Beckham effect isn’t as large as currently assumed that some markets will have to be contracted as Tampa Bay and Miami were in 2001 and replaced by better soccer oriented markets like Portland, St Louis and a return to the SF Bay Area. Clubs like New England, Kansas City and Houston that have no future stadium plans in place are also hurting the league and overall attendance.

1- LA Galaxy 24,437
2- Toronto FC 19,771
3- DC United 16,511
4- Real Salt Lake 15,949
5- Houston 15,438
6- FC Dallas 14,584
7- New England 13,847
8- Colorado 13,593
9- Columbus 13,297
10- Chicago 13,078
11- Chivas USA 12,802
12- Red Bull NY 9,716
13- Kansas City 8,335