Saturday, March 03, 2007

MLS 2007: Who Will Join the 200 Club?

A year ago, I blogged about the MLS players who had made 200 appearances for their clubs in all competitions. 22 such players met that criteria a year ago. Now it's time to check it again.

You may have noticed that today, Ryan Giggs made his 700th appearance for Manchester United, an absolutely incredible accomplishment (which also reminded me about my previous post). According to Wikipedia, the breakdown is 496 in the league, 118 in Europe, 56 in the FA Cup, and 30 in the League Cup. Overall, over 16 years that's about 44 appearances per year.

By contrast, only twice has an MLS team actually played 44 games in one season (1997 DC & 2000 CHI). So don't expect anyone to get to 700 for a long, long time in MLS. Cobi Jones leads MLS in this category, yet he's only slightly more than halfway to Giggs. To make the 200 club in MLS, you need to start pretty much every game for 6 years.

The most games any MLS club could play this year is 52 by my calculations. DC United or Houston could advance to the finals of the Champions Cup, Open Cup, Superliga, MLS Cup, and World Club Championship which would mean 22 additional games (6+4+5+4+3) after the 30 regular season games.

Most Games With One MLS Team

Cobi Jones 362 LA 1996-2006
Kevin Hartman 307 LA 1997-2006
Jaime Moreno 303 DC 1996-2002, 2004-6
Jason Kreis 287 DAL 1996-2004
C.J. Brown 282 CHI 1998-2006
Zach Thornton 272 CHI 1998-2003, 2004-6
Mauricio Cienfuegos 270 LA 1996-2003
Mike Clark 265 CLB 1996-2003
Jesse Marsch 260 CHI 1998-2005
Preki 254 KC 1996-2000, 2002-5
Chris Armas 244 CHI 1998-2006
Nick Garcia 242 KC 2000-6
Marco Etcheverry 241 DC 1996-2003
Kerry Zavagnin 238 KC 2000-6
Chris Klein 235 KC 1998-2005
Ben Olsen 222 DC 1998-2006
Jeff Cunningham 219 CLB 1998-2004
Bobby Rhine 213 DAL 1999-2006
Richie Williams 213 DC 1996-2001, 2002
Greg Vanney 212 LA 1996-2001
Brian Maisonneuve 208 CLB 1996-2004
Oscar Pareja 206 DAL 1998-2005
Chris Henderson 204 COL 1996-8, 2002-5
Brian McBride 200 CLB 1996-2003

(bold = still with club)

Ben Olsen (4/22 @ NY) and Bobby Rhine (8/12 @ HOU) joined the club last season. Rhine is barely hanging on to a roster spot in Dallas, while Olsen is a sure starter in DC. Brown is the only guy within reach of the even more elusive 300 game mark. So having seen this, which active players could join the club in 2007?

Closest Active Players

Peter Vagenas 193 LA 2000-6
Jay Heaps 192 NE 2001-6
Joe Franchino 190 NE 2000-6
Jim Curtin 175 CHI 2001-6
Steve Ralston 161 NE 2002-6
Taylor Twellman 156 NE 2002-6
Bryan Namoff 152 DC 2001-6
Diego Gutierrez 151 CHI 1998-2001, 2006

Steve Nicol's stability means that Heaps and Franchino look to make it very soon, as well as Vagenas in LA. Curtin has an outside shot, but it looks as three is the safe bet for 2007.

First to 200?

You might also be wondering, who is the first man to reach this milestone? Among the 24, I found that four men got to 200 appearances during the 2001 season: Cienfuegos, Clark, Kreis, and Vanney. After further research, the order goes like this:

Kreis 8/4 @ NE
Vanney 8/11 vs DC
Cienfuegos 8/18 vs TB
Clark 8/29 @ CHI

So the answer is Jason Kreis with Dallas.

Comments on "MLS 2007: Who Will Join the 200 Club?"


Blogger Kinney said ... (1:18 PM, March 04, 2007) : 

I know you usually take stats and go one step further than the normal analysis. But it would be a good post just to put up all the normal stats in one easy to find place. For example, you have most appearences with one team here, but I couldn't find most appearences total on your site. It may be there but I didn't see it. I assume it is Cobi, but how does the list change? I think one post with all of the regular stats, and links to your more in depth stats would be a great post.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:33 PM, March 04, 2007) : 

Yeah, I've been meaning to make a full-fledged web site. Haven't gotten around to it yet.



Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:01 AM, March 06, 2007) : 

When you say Giggs made his 700th appearance, does this include youth and reserve sides as well?


Blogger scaryice said ... (12:31 AM, March 07, 2007) : 



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