Take Me Out to the Playoffs – Final

The playoff numbers look like this…

5 year comparison
Quarterfinals Totals(both legs)
  Avg +/- Teams
 2006   12,736   NA  CHI, COL, CHV, DAL, DCU, HOU, NE, RBNY
 2007   17,041   33.81%   CHI, CHV, DAL, DCU, HOU, KC, NE, RBNY
 2008   14,960   -12.22%   CHI, CHV, CLB, HOU, KC, NE, RBNY, RSL
 2009   20,755   38.74%   CHI, CHV, CLB, HOU, LA, NE, RSL, SEA
 2010   17,363   -16.35%   CLB, COL, DAL, LA, RBNY, RSL, SJ, SEA
Semifinals Totals
  Avg +/- Teams
 2006   21,330   NA DCU v NE – HOU v COL
 2007   20,645   -3.21%  NE v CHI – HOU v KC
 2008   17,348   -15.97%  CLB v CHI – RSL v RBNY
 2009   23,548   35.74%  LA v HOU – CHI v RSL
 2010   22,390   -4.92%  COL v SJ – LA v FCD
Finals Totals
  Avg +/- Teams Venue
 2006   22,427   NA NE v HOU Pizza Hut Park, Frisco, TX
 2007   39,859   77.73%  NE v HOU RFK Stadium, Wash DC
 2008   27,000   -32.26%  RBNY v CLB Home Depot Center, LA, CA
 2009   46,011   70.41%  RSL v LA Qwest Field, Seattle, WA
 2010   21,700   -52.84%  COL v FCD BMO Field, Toronto, ONT, CA
Playoff Totals  
  Avg +/-  
 2006   15,179   NA  
 2007   19,771   30.25%   
 2008   16,488   -16.60%   
 2009   23,559   42.88%   
 2010   19,535   -17.08%   


As I mentioned last week, the final numbers don’t hold up to last year. 3 of the 5 lowest drawing clubs were in the playoffs this year and the final location, BMO field is a relatively small venue. In addition to no ‘glamour’ teams in the final, the weather was cold, but not as bad as it could have been at this time of year. As I suspected the game was listed as a sellout, but with there were many empty seats come game day. All that being said, the playoff overall total was the 3rd highest in the 15 year history of the league. This bodes well for the future.

The swaths of empty seats in a small stadium was a public relations horror, made worse after half time as many TFC ticket holders left in protest at having to purchase a Cup Final ticket as part of their season ticket renewal. Despite the events of matchday, I’m still in favor of a neutral site for the final. I simply can’t see maximizing the spectacle that the league would like MLS Cup to be if ticket sales and travel plans as well as all the surrounding activities associated with MLS Cup week must be made with less than a week’s notice of where the match would be held.

Caveat: I’ve attended one MLS Cup, the ’08 game at the Home Depot Center. And truth be told, the final was also in the Galaxy ticket package and there were many empty seats at that sellout match, albeit they were on the non-television side of the stadium.

Two firm announcements were made at halftime. The Commissioner confirmed that next year’s 34 game schedule will be balanced. As to the announcement that the playoffs will expand to 10 teams next year, I say why? Just as the playoffs were gaining legitimacy with 50% of the teams qualifiying and the anticipation that less than half would make it in next year, we’re back to what I would call an unwelcome scenario of more than half the teams eligible to win the Cup. I won’t comment on anything else that Don Garber mentioned as none of it was conclusive. Speculation on the new playoff structure, moving the schedule, etc. will be addressed when we know something concrete. I’ll leave the speculation to others.

Rapids claim first Cup on own goal in overtime.
Colorado 2 Undercurrent 21,700
FC Dallas 1 3rd Degree – Buzz Carrick

MLS – What’s next

Mon Nov 22
Protected lists released prior to Wednesday’s expansion draft

Wed Nov 24
Portland and Vancouver select 10 players from unprotected lists

Wed Nov 30
The beginning of the process of the re-entry draft, explained here by our own Robert Hay.

MLS Throw Ins

Domestic Cups
  Supporters Shield MLS Cup US Open SuperLiga Total Years in MLS
 Chicago 1 1 4 0 6 13
 Chivas USA 0 0 0 0 0 6
 Colorado 0 1 0 0 1 15
 Columbus 3 1 1 0 5 15
 D.C. United 4 4 2 0 10 15
 FC Dallas 0 0 1 0 1 15
 Houston(SJ) 1 4 0 0 5 15
 Kansas City 1 1 1 0 3 15
 Los Angeles 3 2 2 0 7 15
 New England 0 0 1 1 2 15
 RBNY 0 0 0 0 0 15
 Philadelphia 0 0 0 0 0 1
 Real Salt Lake 0 1 0 0 1 6
 San Jose 0 0 0 0 0 3
 Seattle 0 0 2 0 2 2
 Toronto 0 0 0 0 0 4
 Miami 1 0 0 0 1 4
 Tampa Bay 1 0 0 0 1 6

As you can see, I am listing the ‘old San Jose’ accomplishments where they belong(IMO), with the Dynamo. I know the deal was that the Quakes would retain the ‘legacy’ of the original team, but I choose reality, i.e.; the franchise that won the cups resides in Houston.

They Qualified

2011-12 CONCACAF Champions League

  • Los Angeles – Supporters’ Shield – Group Stage
  • Colorado – MLS Cup Winner: – Group Stage
  • FCD – MLS Cup Loser – Preliminary Stage
  • Seattle – US Open Cup – Preliminary Stage

2011 NA SuperLiga – If the tourney is held. You just never know.

  • Real Salt Lake
  • RBNY
  • Columbus
  • San Jose

And …

  • The US Women defeated Italy in the first leg of the home and home vs Italy with a spot in the big dance at stake. The second leg is on Saturday in Chicago.

4 Responses to Take Me Out to the Playoffs – Final

  1. Charles says:

    I agree with you on the 10 playoffs teams. I can’t imagine there is anyone out there that is in favor of 10 teams making the playoffs ?

    Toronto fans are a bunch of crybabies. The opportunity of a lifetime being able to attend that game. MLS gives it to them inspite of Seattle ( and maybe a few others ) being an obvious choice and all they can do it cry.

    Am I pissed ? YES and anyone left sitting at home watching instead of being able to attend because MLS gave it to the cry-babies should be too.

  2. Sancho says:

    For 2012, there will be 20 teams. It would be interesting to have two conferences with two divisions each. And, being that the case, it would be better instead of Eastern and Western Conferences, to have Eastern and Western DIVISIONS within the conferences. Something like this:

    Conference 1 (to be named)
    Eastern Division: KC, Fire, Crew, Toronto and Montreal.
    Western Division: Galaxy, Chivas, SJ, Dallas and Dynamo.
    Conference 2 (to be named)
    Eastern Division: DC, Union, Revolution, NYRB and NY2 (to be announced)
    Western Division: Rapids, Real SL, Sounders, Timbers and Whitecaps.
    and Whitecaps.

    I. All the divisional champions have a spot in conference semis.
    II. The other two spots are through wild-card with the four teams with better record within the conference.
    III. The two conference champions play the MLS Cup Final.

    I believe they really should go in this direction…

  3. Charles says:

    Makes a LOT of sense Sancho.

    It keeps every team in the league in it for most of the season.

    Plus it is expandable. For instance the league goes to 24 teams, and you have 6 teams per division.

    Plus it gives you the divisional rivalries when the league gets bigger than a balanced schedule can accomidate which would be this year except MLS expanded the schedule…but very soon.

  4. Ultra says:

    I really don’t like the idea of the league expanding the playoffs. 8 teams would have been perfect even up to 24 teams in the league. Now they have to give out byes or have some kind of play-in game, totally pointless.

    They need to have a 2 legged-final. They won’t get the “event” atmosphere so to speak, but it will be better for the fans, players, and league. I’ve said it before the MLS Cup and Super Bowl are lame because they rob fans of a home game experience. I’d much rather have seen a half full stadium of energetic, passionate fans at games in Texas and Colorado than an almost full stadium of apathetic fans who don’t care either way in Toronto or anywhere else.

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