Tuesday, January 30, 2007

2010 MLS/USMNT Survey Results

After a week and posts on two Bigsoccer forums as well as here, the votes have slowed to a trickle. That means it's now time to take a look at the results. How do you, the American soccer fans, think the USMNT and MLS will be doing at the end of the new cycle?

USMNT/MLS in 2010

(184 responses. Percentages listed below.)

1. Will Bob Bradley coach the USA at the 2010 World Cup?


My answer: Yes. I don't think it's likely Bradley is replaced now, given that Gulati had half a year to find someone else. Plus, with the opponents we'll be facing in friendlies and the Gold Cup (all played at home), it's hard to see us doing poorly in his six months as coach. Unless someone amazing like Jose Mourinho were to come on the market and somehow decide to take the job, I doubt it'll happen. Personally I'm still hoping that things will be patched up with Klinsmann.

How will the USA do at the 2010 World Cup?

54-Round of 16
8-First round exit
1-Runners Up

My answer: Round of 16. Anything less would be a failure. That's the point we're at now as a soccer nation. We have too much money being invested into the game to settle for less. There's still a very good chance that we won't make it out of our group, something that 92% of you wishful thinkers didn't vote for. Realistically it's probably around 50/50. The good news is that every four years we should be improved, as our players start playing at younger ages and for better teams. In 2006, 17/23 guys on our World Cup squad played college soccer.

3. Assuming a standard two forward lineup, which of the following players will start up top for the USA in 2010? (select two)

60-Kenny Cooper
40-Josmer Altidore
30-Landon Donovan
21-Taylor Twellman
19-Eddie Johnson
13-Brian Ching
8-Chris Rolfe
7-Nate Jaqua
2-Conor Casey
1-Alecko Eskandarian

My answer: Cooper & Donovan. Altidore may have loads of potential, but at this point I would bet on the guys who have established themselves already, not those who have played 500 minutes of pro soccer. Of course, the odds are very good that someone outside of this group will make it, but I didn't want to have an "other" option because it's more interesting to see the opinions on the guys in the the picture now. Donovan may not play up top but he's going to be a key part of the 2010 team. As for the winning pairing, it doesn't surprise me that the voting turned out this way (although I thought Rolfe would be higher). It's obvious that the guys on the USMNT that we have now are not good enough. We need new players to worship, because we're certainly not going to win the World Cup with the ones we have now. At least with new guys, we don't know that they suck yet :P.

4. What will the average attendance for the 2010 MLS season be (current = 15,502)?

10-20,000 or above
1-14,999 or below

My answer: 18-19. First of all, in real attendance I have no doubts the league will go up. The moves to new stadiums in NY and COL will help those two clubs. They'll lose the big doubleheaders though. Toronto should help the average, and LA is going up too. The key thing is that attendance should be up in 2010. 92% of you agree with that. They'll need more than Beckham to keep the momentum. Or will they? The average soccer snob will probably be pleasantly impressed at the MLS level.

5. Which of the following cities will receive the assumed 3 spots for expansion by 2010? (select three)

64-San Jose
53-Saint Louis
15-New York City
7-San Diego

My answer: PHI/SJ/STL. Impossible to guess on this one really, unless you have behind the scenes knowledge. Those are the favorites as it stands now. San Jose has been in the news recently and should be number one by a mile. I also think Rochester should be much higher up, since they already have the necessary stadium. They're the perfect plan B. Seattle seems too high, maybe that's because people feel it would be a good market?

6. Which of the following players will be playing in MLS in 2010? (select as many as necessary)

84-Landon Donovan
65-Taylor Twellman
49-Dwayne De Rosario
39-DaMarcus Beasley
35-Carlos Bocanegra
22-Josmer Altidore
11-Freddy Adu
9-Thierry Henry

My answer: Altidore/Beasley/Bocanegra/Donovan/Ronaldo/Twellman. I think it's the most interesting question on the quiz. Donovan is a given. Twellman doesn't seem eager to leave also. Ronaldo should be on the way here after AC Milan if NY still wants him. Bocanegra and Beasley, I regret putting both of them. It'll probably just be one or the other. I bet they would come back for the right price after years in Europe. Altidore is interesting, and I feel that if he's going to be on the World Cup team in 2010, MLS will probably wait until August of that year or January 2011 to sell him. Worked for Dempsey.

7. Which MLS team will have the best regular season record over the next four years (2007-2010)?

35-DC United
22-Los Angeles
10-New York
5-New England
3-Chivas USA
2-Kansas City
0-Real Salt Lake

My answer: NY. Arena + money = good team. Winning titles is harder, however. I should note that the 0 for RSL is not a small percentage rounded down to zero, they really got zero votes. I threw out any votes for multiple teams.

8. Who will have the all time MLS goal scoring record after the 2010 season? (Name - current # of goals, current age)

39-Taylor Twellman - 75, age 26
23-Jeff Cunningham - 90, age 30
15-Jaime Moreno - 105, age 33
12-Carlos Ruiz - 74, age 27
8-Ante Razov - 98, age 32
3-Jason Kreis - 108, age 34

My answer: Moreno. He may be retired by then, but he should get past Kreis and be too far ahead for Twellman/Ruiz. If he scores 30 goals over the next four seasons, that puts him at 135. Twellman/Ruiz would need 60 over that same time period. That's 15 a year, which sounds simple but isn't that common any more. Don't forget national team callups too.

9. What will be the tv rating for the 2010 MLS Cup (1996-2006 avg = 0.9)?

35-1.0 to 1.4
35-1.5 to 1.9
18-2.0 to 2.4
5-3.0 or above
4-0.0 to 0.9
3-2.5 to 2.9

My answer: 3.0 or above. I think I deserve one overly optimistic answer. If the league does start to take off, then 1.5 seems like the very least we should expect. MLS got 1.4's in the first two years already. A superstar in the game, and more media attention from Sportscenter and more ads, it's not out of the question. The timeslot is the biggest problem. I don't think they could do it in the current timeslot opposite the NFL. But they could move it to say, Thursday night keeping in line with the new ESPN2 games. Although it would have to be on cable then. Maybe Friday, since it's wasteland for network tv? Anyway, with success they could earn a better slot. That's all I'm saying.

10. What will the MLS salary cap be in 2010, in millions of dollars? (2006 = $~1.9 million, 2007 = $~2.1 million)

41-3.0 to 3.4
27-2.5 to 2.9
13-4.0 or above
10-2.0 to 2.4
8-3.5 to 3.9

My answer: 3.0 - 3.4. Doesn't seem like they'll go crazy here. $2.1 milion is $117,000 per senior roster player. $3.0 million would be $167,000. The shirt sponsorships alone could make up the 900k per year. Actually, seeing that number makes me want to lower my guess one tier. But it's not too unlikely.


Well, there you go. This was a lot of fun to create, and the results are certainly interesting. They also give us perspective, so in the future we can look back and see what the average fan was thinking. Grant Wahl did something similar with MLS coaches in 2002, predicting the 2006 World Cup starting lineup. But it's harder to pinpoint what we as fans believed back then.

(BTW, that was the all too short post-Ricketts, pre-Adu era of internet fandom. Is this the post-Rossi, pre-Charles Renken era? Only time will tell.)

Anyway, I plan on having polls on a regular basis now. I expect to have ones for predictions of MLS, Gold Cup, and Copa America this year for sure. Thanks for participating.

Comments on "2010 MLS/USMNT Survey Results"


Blogger The Manly Ferry said ... (3:37 PM, January 30, 2007) : 

It doesn't get said often enough, so I'll say it here. Great concept, great post. Wish I knew it was happening when it was going on.

My plugs aren't worth all that much, but I'll give it one over on my site.


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