Take Me Out to the Playoffs – Week 2

The playoff numbers look like this…

5 year comparison
Conference Semifinals – 2nd Leg
  Avg +/- Home Teams
 2006   15,938  NA  New England  Dallas  Houston  DC United
 2007   19,838   24.47%   New England  Chivas USA  Houston  DC United
 2008   19,444   -1.99%   Chicago  Columbus  Houston  Chivas USA
 2009   21,526   10.71%   Chicago  Columbus  Houston  Los Angeles
 2010   19,871   -7.69%   Salt Lake  Columbus  New York  Los Angeles
Quarterfinals Totals(both legs)
  Avg +/- Teams
 2006   12,736  NA  CHI, COL, DAL, DCU, LA, NE, RBNY, SJ
 2007   17,041   33.81%   CHI, COL, CHV, DAL, DCU, HOU, NE, RBNY
 2008   14,960   -12.22%   CHI, CHV, DAL, DCU, HOU, KC, NE, RBNY
 2009   20,755   38.74%   CHI, CHV, CLB, HOU, KC, NE, RSL, SEA
 2010   18,551   -10.62%   CLB, COL, DAL, LA, RBNY, RSL, SJ, SEA


More than 22,800 bought tickets for the Red Bulls/San Jose match. Looked like some didn’t make it to the arena on a damp and chilly Thursday evening. A terrible crowd of under 10,300 on a sunny Saturday in Columbus. A great crowd in Salt Lake, over 19,300. Los Angeles held up its end as their sellout made the LA/Seattle quarterfinal the only one that sold out both legs.

Colorado and Columbus

The Rapids have played 12 home playoff matches. Average attendance: 9,968. Games with under 10,000 in attendance: 7.
Columbus has played 14 home playoff matches. Average attendance: 13,413. Games with under 10,000 in attendance: 2.

Playoff Games – 2nd Leg
RBNY 1 Red Bulls Reader 22,839
San Jose 3 San Jose Center Line Soccer
San Jose advances – 3-2 aggregate
Columbus 2 Columbus Dispatch – Crew XTra 10,322
Colorado 1 Undercurrent
Colorado advances – 2-2 aggregate 5-4 PK’s
Real Salt Lake 1 RSL – Behind the Shield 19,324
FC Dallas 1 3rd Degree – Buzz Carrick
FC Dallas advances – 3-2 aggregate
Los Angeles 2 LA – Official Blog 27,000
Seattle 1 Seattle Times
Los Angeles advances – 3-1 aggregate

MLS Cup Semifinals

Colorado v San Jose – Sat Nov 13
Los Angeles v FC Dallas – Sun Nov 14

MLS Throw Ins

I presume that most of you are aware of the bombardment of bits being written, tweeted and otherwise disseminated about the state of the playoff system in MLS. Much of this crap has taken the form of something like, “The playoffs are a joke”, “Two western teams in the Eastern Conference final”, “We must have a single table”. You get the idea. Even our own Daniel Feuerstein, has chimed in.

I got so tired of seeing this drivel pass my eyes reading #MLS tweets(@SoccerTwit), I simply had to mention it in this post. For I’m sure we’ll see tons more as the week passes leading up to the Colorado/San Jose semifinal, and it’s going to make me even more baffled at the lack of understanding by most of the people spewing out the garbage.

First, as Daniel points out, the SoccerDon(Garber) has already stated that conferences will remain in MLS. Maybe 2, maybe 3, but no single table. And before I have to plug my ears to drown out the cries of Eurosnobs, I would ask… Did the top eight teams make the playoffs? Answer, yes they did.

Will it make it better if we call the first round the quarterfinals, followed by the semifinals? That’s what they are. Simple solution. Rename the conferences. Hunt and Kraft, Yin and Yang, Black and White, anything that doesn’t relate to geography. Feel better?

Next, and I’ll bet this will happen, seed the playoffs as we’d all like to see them, i.e.; 1 v 8, 2 v 7, etc. Problem solved with one caveat. I can see the top conference finishers getting the top two seeds, with everyone else seeded 3-8. Just a thought.

If you are interested in reading a few playoff suggestions worthy of your consideration, try Brian Straus’ idea which includes a group play scenario, or Beau Dure’s tweak of the Australian Rules Football Playoff system.

In the meantime, enjoy the playoffs. They’ve been fantastic.

And …

  • After suffering what some are calling the biggest upset in women’s soccer history, the US Women still have a chance to qualify for the Women’s World Cup.

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5 Responses to Take Me Out to the Playoffs – Week 2

  1. Robert says:

    MLS should just rename the groups, A & B. The #1 and #2 seed have to be placed in separate groups and the other 6 franchises are randomly drawn!

  2. Charles says:

    Great post Peter, as always. My suggestion get to 24 teams.
    Play one game against the other conference and two within your conference. Then keep the top four from each conference.

    Glad to see the playoffs draw so well. LA should sell out again next round.

    Sorry Euridiots ! THE PLAYOFFS ARE HERE TO STAY !

    ps Peter. Sounders did NOT sell out. Close but no Chocolate cigar during Trick or Treating. Shame they had the game at the time they did, I think Monday night would have sold 10-15k more tickets.
    Plus Red Bulls were not in the playoffs in 2009, that was the Sounders !

    • Peter C says:


      Thanks about ’09. Ooops.

      As for the Seattle ‘sell-out’, I was going by their announced capacity of 35,500. Did they open more seats for the playoff? I know they’re thinking about expanding capacity for next season.

      As for your schedule suggestion. I can see that. Alternating years for home games against the ‘other’ conference. I wrote that somewhere recently on another blog. So many possibilities, but I hope the leagues ‘rests’ at 20 for a few years.

      • Charles says:

        Sounders drew over 36k for every game this year. A different number for every “sellout”, not really sure what “capacity” is.
        Sounders would have opened up more seats in the upper bowl, but they wanted a critical demand to do that.

  3. Dan says:

    I like the Hunt Group vs the Kraft Group, and at the end of the season doing a draw. First a draw between 1 and 2 and then figure out who goes where from that angle.

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