Take Me Out to the Ballgame – Week 29
After week 29 the numbers look like this…
|5 year comparison|
|WK 29||205 GP||YTD|
|YTD – 205 Games|
Here are the attendance comparisons to 2008’s equal number of home games(205):
|MLS Attendance – Equal # of Home Games|
|Real Salt Lake||15,773||77.50%||16,208||2.76%||13||76.04%||19,340|
|N.Y./N.J. Red Bulls||15,741||62.49%||11,861||-24.65%||14||47.09%||25,189|
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.
Week 29 games drew 22,165. No surprise as the Dallas’ doubleheader, with Mexico playing a friendly, drew 51,012 to the Cotton Bowl. This will likely prevent FCD from finishing the season with an average attendance under 10,000. I don’t have a problem with this type of scheduling. It is part of the solution for mid-week matches as MLS starts to honor FIFA dates more in the future. More on this in a few days. DCU had it’s largest crowd of the year, pulling in over 24,000. Columbus drew right on average. Colorado closed out its regular season home schedule with the 3rd largest crowd of the season and San Jose sold out Buck Shaw. Over 16,800 came out to Robertson for the Dynamo.
|Week 29 Games|
|FC Dallas||1||3rd Degree – Buzz Carrick|
|New England||0||Revolution Soccer|
|Los Angeles||1||LA – Official Blog|
|Chicago||0||Chicago Fire Confidential|
|DC United||0||DCU – Steve Goff – Soccer Insider|
|Chivas USA||2||Chivas USA – MLSNet|
|Columbus||0||Columbus Dispatch – Crew XTra|
|New England||1||Revolution Soccer|
|San Jose||1||San Jose Center Line Soccer|
|RBNY||0||Red Bulls Reader|
|Houston||1||Soccer y Fútbol – Barnard Fallas|
|Kansas City||1||Kansas City – Hillcrest Road|
So How Are They Doing?
|Points after 205 Games|
|Real Salt Lake||34||27||1.26||4||2/1|
|NY Red Bull||18||28||0.64||-23||1/1|
RBNY remain the only mathematically eliminated club. LA and Houston joined Columbus, clinching playoff berths.
A wounded New England team dropped game-in-hand points in Dallas. The Revs were just what FCD needed to keep their improbable run going. New England has been at the bottom of the table in shots attempted all season. Losing Ralston(season ending knee injury) as well as Twellman seriously reduced the risk that the porous Dallas defense would be severely tested. On top of that for New England, they lost Wells Thompson for their 2nd game of the week in Colorado, which they ended up drawing. The Revs still control their own destiny but now their lead over playoff chasers looks tenuous. Taking only 1 point from 6 this week, with Columbus twice and Chicago upcoming in its last three will make a securing playoff berth a difficult task.
Once again, Los Angeles did what a playoff team needs to do, unless you’re Chicago, and that is to win at home. For the Fire, the loss means any slim hope they might have had for either the conference championship or the Supporters’ Shield are now just mathematical possibilities.
Seattle, which last week seemed the most vulnerable, came up with a huge unexpected win at Columbus, ending the Crew’s 24 match home undefeated run(against MLS teams). With a game in hand over Houston and LA though, Columbus still has the Supporters’ Shield within its grasp. Chivas USA, who a few weeks ago along with New England had the advantage of games in hand, has made the most of it(unlike the Revs) and have a legitimate chance to win the west. They are 3 points behind with 2 games in hand.
|Playoff Contenders Remaining Schedule||Points|
|Real Salt Lake||34||NY||TFC||COL||26||8|
|shaded = away game|
Top 3 tiebreakers.(MLS 2009 Rules of Competition)
- The highest position shall be awarded to the team with the better win/loss record in current regular season games against all other teams equal in points. (head-to-head competition)
- If the teams are still equal in the standings, the highest position shall be awarded to the team with the greater goal difference against all other teams during the regular season. (goal differential)
- If the teams are still equal in the standings, the highest position shall be awarded to the team scoring the greatest number of total goals against all other teams during the regular season. (total goals)
- FC Dallas has no lost at home in 7(6 wins).
- RBNY is winless on the road.
- TFC has not lost home in 5 straight.
- Colorado and TFC have not won on the road in 7 straight.
- RSL is unbeaten in 8 home games.
- Seattle is scoreless in last 4 home games.
- Chicago is winless in 5(3 draws).
MLS Throw Ins
Rapids fans might be wondering if they will soon see Arsenal(EPL) players on loan in Colorado to keep sharp or recover from injury in the future as Don Garber backs Rapids owner Stan Kroenke’s possible buyout of Arsenal.
Goal scoring got off to a slow start this season, but had almost caught up to last year’s numbers. However as the playoffs beckon and sphincters tighten, the offenses have been offensive. After 205 games, nearly 60 fewer goals(-10.2%) have been scored. This week’s seven games saw 5 shutouts and 2 1-1 draws. No team scored more than 2 goals this week.
MLS In CONCACAF Champions League
In Group A, Houston lost at home to Pachuca. They need help in the last match to move on. Árabe Unido will have to lose on its visit to Pachuca while Houston must win at Metapan. Houston holds the tiebreaker over Árabe Unido. DC United stayed strong in Group B this week, with a win over San Juan Jabloteh(T&T). They also hold the tiebreaker advantage over Marathón. Columbus lost to group leaders Cruz Azul, ending its long undefeated(all competitions) home streak. For DCU and Columbus, advancement is in their own control, win and they’re in. Houston must win and Árabe Unido must lose in order to advance.
2.3 CONCACAF Tie-Breaker Procedures
In the event two teams are tied on aggregate goals scored at the end of Regulation time in the 2nd Leg (Preliminary Round or Championship Stage) or on points (Group Stage) the following tie-breaker criteria shall be applied, in order, to determine the winning team or ranking of teams.
Phase 2: Group Stage
- Greater number of points earned in matches between the teams concerned
- Greater goal difference in matches between the teams concerned
- Greater number of goals scored away from home in matches between the teams concerned
|CONCACAF Champions League|
|San Juan Jabloteh(T&T)||0||0||5||0||-11|
|CONCACAF Champions League|
|Group Game 6|
|Columbus plays Oct 20|
|DCU plays Oct 20|
|Houston plays Oct 21|
Columbus’ upcoming schedule is: Oct 11 MLS, Oct 17 MLS
DC United’s upcoming schedule is: Oct 17 MLS
Houston’s upcoming schedule is: Oct 18 MLS
USMNT/MLS Scheduling – FUBAR Once Again
On October 10, when the US plays its WC qualifier in Honduras, MLS once again has matches scheduled. San Jose at TFC at 4pm ET, Columbus at New England at 7:30pm ET and the Wizards at Chivas USA at 10:30pm ET. The time of the US match has been tentatively set for 8pm ET. It may not matter, however, for as of this writing, the game will be televised in the US on closed circuit Pay-Per-View in select bars only. Yeah, unbelievable, I know, but the rights are held outside of the US and therefore are beyond the control of anyone in the US soccer or broadcasting world.
On October 14 the US Men play their final WC qualifer at 8pm ET. RBNY play Real Salt Lake in Utah at 10pm ET.
Of the MLS teams with players on the 22 man US squad, Conrad(KC), Bornstein(CHV) and Rogers(CLB) will miss Oct 10 league matches. Non US players that can be expected to miss matches include:
Other players have been called up, but a short MLS schedule mean many will not miss matches. Did I overlook anyone(who would miss a game)?
FIFA U-20 World Cup – US Fails to Advance
MLS Players on the US U-20 roster will return for next week:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Josh Lambo (FC Dallas)
DEFENDERS (6): Kyle Davies (FC Dallas)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Danny Cruz (Houston Dynamo), Jorge Flores (Chivas USA), Gerson Mayén (Chivas USA)
FORWARDS (4): Peri Marosevic (FC Dallas), Brek Shea (FC Dallas)
In the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup, the U.S. opened against Germany, losing badly 3-0, but they came back with a big win over Cameroon 4-1, but lost 3-0 in the group finale to South Korea. They were finally eliminated after Saturday’s play, losing out to Costa Rica on the totals goal tiebreaker.