Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Records to Watch Out For

As we get deeper and deeper into the 2008 season, there are a few players and teams on the verge of making history. Let's take a look and see what interesting records and accomplishments could happen if things fell into place.

1) Currently, several teams are pace for their best ever years. New England is at 1.94 PPG, Real Salt Lake at 1.42, and Toronto at 1.29. Columbus is also just barely off the pace of theirs, by 0.009. On the flip side, San Jose is a 0.83, worse than their all time poorest team in 2000. They're also on pace for the fewest goals scored per game. Best & Worst teams listed here.

2) Lots of DC stats:

  • As mentioned by asitis on Bigsoccer, DC United is about to play their 500th game in official competitions. They'll be the first team to reach that mark, which should happen in early September.
  • DC also only has one draw through 16 games (7-8-1). Four teams have had only two draws, which is the all time low: 2001 DC/TB and 2002 NE/NY.
  • Over half the season is done, and DC United has yet to shut out an opponent in an MLS regular season game. They would be the first team in league history to fail to do that if they don't in the final 14 games.
  • The most goals scored by one player over two MLS seasons is 44 by Stern John of the Columbus Crew, in 1998-99. Currently, Luciano Emilio of DC has 30 with half the season to go. Breaking the record would be a huge feat, but entering the top ten should be a sure thing. He only needs 32 goals to achieve that.

3) FC Dallas only has 6 different goalscorers so far this season in regular season play. If that number stayed at 6, they would tie the all time record set by Colorado in 2002. Meanwhile, Chivas has already used 27 players, but that's a far cry from the 1996 Metrostars record of 36.

4) Only one MLS team has gone undefeated at home for an entire season. That would be the 2005 San Jose Earthquakes (9-0-7), though on a PPG basis it was only the 20th best home record of all time. RSL (6-0-5) and Toronto (5-0-4) are on the verge of joining San Jose. RSL would seem to be the more likely candidate for several reasons: they only have four more games, they will open their new stadium for the final two games, and the schedule seems easier. The hardest test should be vs Chivas USA on September 20th.

5) Soon to be MLS player Sebastien Le Toux of the Seattle Sounders (he's already under contract) could make history by winning the US Open Cup golden boot for the second straight season. No player in the modern era of the tournament (1995-present) has won it more than once.

Last year, he scored 5 goals in leading his USL-1 team to the semfinals. This year, he's in the same position: 5 goals and in the semifinals, thought this time the majority were scored in one game (4 vs Hollywood United).

The good news is that not only does he have a much easier semifinal game (@ Charleston), but he's also already in pole position and the only player within two goals of him is the Battery's Darren Spicer with 4. A shutout win should virtually guarantee him the accomplishment.

6) With the announcement of the 2008 Olympic roster, it's official. No American players will join a very exclusive club this summer. That would be the group of players who have been on a USA roster for the U17 World Cup, the U20 World Cup, the Olympics, and the full World Cup. By my count, only four players have done that: Mike Burns (respectively: 1987, 1989, 1992, 1994), Landon Donovan (99, 01, 00, 02), Tim Howard (95, 99, 00, 06), and John O'Brien (93, 97, 00, 02).

However, it does set some guys up to complete the set in 2010. On the roster, Brian McBride is the only player to have played in the World Cup. No one else has. But once several other players do, they'll join this exclusive club. Those players are Freddy Adu, Jozy Altidore, and Danny Szetela.

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