Saturday, June 03, 2006

Missing Out

In professional sports, luck has a big role in success. No matter how good the individual player, sometimes the stars just don't align in their favor. Everyone wants to win a championship, but depending on the circumstances and the quality of your team, you might not even get the opportunity. But at the very least, you'd like an chance to play for one on the field, right? Not everyone can do that, though. Andre Dawson (MLB-2,627) Rafael Palmeiro (MLB-2,831) Mike Gartner (NHL-1,432), Dale Ellis (NBA-1,209), and Gary Anderson (NFL-353) know that pain. They hold the records in their respective leagues for playing the most games without playing in a championship game/series.

Edit: It's Palmeiro instead of Dawson. See here.

So who is the Andre Dawson Rafael Palmeiro of MLS? That would be the recently retired Mark Chung. 284 MLS games as part of a great, consistantly underrated career. He reached the league semifinals three times with three different teams: KC-1996, NY-2000, and COL-2002. His best shot was probably last season with San Jose, but they blew it.

Counting a season as 32 games, Chung played about 9 full years of games. The other four men have all played at least 14 years worth of games. But I'm sure somebody will get there eventually in MLS, if we don't switch to single table.

Below you'll find the list of the top 25 MLS players for this statistic. Only 7 are active players. Jason Kreis is only 5 games away from tying Mark Chung, so if he plays every game, he should tie him on 6/28 and pass him on 7/4.

Most MLS Games Played Without Playing in an MLS Cup

(includes games through 5/31/2006)

1 Mark Chung 284
2 Jason Kreis 279
3 Mike Clark 221
4 Jeff Cunningham 217
5 Ritchie Kotschau 206
6 Oscar Pareja 189
7 Carlos Valderrama 175
8 Ivan McKinley 174
9 Brian Maisonneuve 172
10 Brian Dunseth 171
11 Chris Brown 170
11 Dante Washington 170
13 Mike Burns 169
14 Pablo Mastroeni 168
15 Bobby Rhine 165
16 Ted Chronopoulos 162
17 Brian McBride 161
18 Robert Warzycha 160
19 Richard Farrer 158
20 Ted Eck 156
21 Jorge Rodriguez 155
22 Mark Santel 154
23 Chad Deering 147
23 Eric Denton 147
25 Welton 144

Active players in bold.

Seems like this list is made of only Columbus, Dallas, and Colorado players.

I had to go 88 players deep to find the 25 for this list.

The next highest active player is Paul Broome at 127, followed by Matt Jordan at 117. It doesn't appear anyone else will join this list until next year.

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