Take Me Out to the Ballgame – Week 32
The final regular season numbers look like this…
|5 year comparison|
|YTD – Games|
Here are the attendance comparisons to 2008’s full season of home games(210 v 225 games):
|MLS Attendance – Equal # of Home Games|
|Real Salt Lake||16,179||80.03%||16,375||1.21%||15||77.79%||19,340|
|N.Y./N.J. Red Bulls||15,928||63.24%||12,491||-21.58%||15||49.59%||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.
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|
|Chicago||1||Chicago Fire Confidential|
|Chivas USA||0||Chivas USA – MLSNet|
|RBNY||5||Red Bulls Reader|
|Kansas City||2||Kansas City – Hillcrest Road|
|DC United||2||DCU – Steve Goff – Soccer Insider|
|Real Salt Lake||3||RSL – Behind the Shield|
|FC Dallas||1||3rd Degree – Buzz Carrick|
|Los Angeles||2||LA – Official Blog|
|San Jose||0||San Jose Center Line Soccer|
|Chivas USA||2||Chivas USA – MLSNet|
|Houston||3||Soccer y Fútbol – Barnard Fallas|
|Columbus||0||Columbus Dispatch – Crew XTra|
|New England||1||Revolution Soccer|
So How Did They Finish?
|Points after 225 Games|
|Real Salt Lake||40||30||1.33||8|
|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
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.