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
(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
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:
So the answer is Jason Kreis with Dallas.