Thursday, December 29, 2005

Exact season ticket figures

I am looking for exact season ticket totals for MLS teams. I'm not talking about estimates, or guesses. So if you access to this information, please email me. Thanks. Here are the ones I have already, culled from newspaper and online articles:

MLS Overall


2005-48,300 (league average was 4,025)



























Saturday, December 24, 2005

Opening eyes?


"Two days after announcing that it would add Spanish-language network Univision to the six broadcast networks for which it provides ratings data to advertisers, Nielsen Research announced Wednesday that it would also include Telemundo, the NBC-owned Spanish-language broadcaster, in the group."

Currently, the average audience of Univision is 3.2 million viewers and Telemundo 1 million (source). One ratings point is 1.096 million viewers households, so respectively that would mean that their ratings would be 2.9 and 0.9. Here's how they compare for the (primetime only) season to date (Zap2it):


Univision is very respectible. Any added popularity of the Spanish networks can only help us as soccer fans. Although, it won't really help us gain any fans. The important thing is the advertising dollars.

Overall, this should allow more people to become aware of just how popular soccer is in the hispanic community. They always release lists of the top broadcast network sports shows of the week, and stuff with really low ratings gets on there, so that means that there should be a decent amount of soccer on the list now. But, we still probably won't make the overall top ten list: Last time the World Cup final got a 3.9 in English and about a 1.7 in Spanish (a 1.7 equivilant...I believe previously they measured the Spanish networks different). It appears that it doesn't include the replay. That's about six million viewers, and last year during that time of year you needed nine million to make the top ten. But, the USA-Mexico game did about 8 million viewers overall, so we're not that far off...except that the total is split between two network. And, I just realized it wouldn't be on the list anyway because it's not in prime time. But I expect there to be a few more viewers next year, and every World Cup after this.

Here's some links if you want to research this yourself:

News Multichannel

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Subs per game (MLS coaches)

A few weeks ago, I looked at subs per game in MLS, and more specifically which teams had used the most and fewest subs all time. Now, I've organized the data by coach so we can take a look at how they rank in their usage of substitutes.

There are 47 men who have managed at least one MLS game (using the official registry at mlsnet, which includes interim coaches). I only included the 24 who have managed at least 50 games.

Average Games
1 Jeffries Mike 2.91 78
2 Andrulis Greg 2.83 124
3 Fitzgerald Tom 2.79 144
4 Clarke Colin 2.75 68
5 Dir Dave 2.70 160
6 Myernick Glen 2.63 128
7 Quinn Brian 2.63 76
8 Zambrano Octavio 2.62 143
9 Nowak Peter 2.58 62
10 Schmid Sigi 2.58 164
11 Clavijo Fernando 2.56 98
12 Sarachan Dave 2.55 92
13 Arena Bruce 2.50 96
14 Bradley Bob 2.47 240
15 Gansler Bob 2.46 204
16 Osiander Lothar 2.38 79
17 Hudson Ray 2.36 108
18 Hankinson Tim 2.36 195
19 Wortman Ivo 2.34 53
20 Rongen Thomas 2.27 190
21 Newman Ron 2.22 100
22 Yallop Frank 2.19 84
23 Nicol Steve 2.17 115
24 Kinnear Dominic 2.03 62

Right now, Sampson (40 games, 2.74) and Ellinger (32, 2.63) would both place in the top ten.

It's interesting that the men coaching the two best teams last year (regular season, anyway) rank dead last here. Maybe when you have a good team, you don't want to mess with it. Kinnear and Yallop had some good teams to manage, but Nicol's Revs haven't been good for his entire tenure.

It also seems that when the reigns are passed to the assistant, the subs per game doesn't change much. Just look at Fitzgerald (2.79) to Andrulis (2.83) to Warzycha (2.94, not on the list). Or Yallop to Kinnear.

Like I mentioned previously, it seems that foreigners are more likely to be at the bottom, while the Americans dominate at the top. That's something worth looking into further. It would be interesting to see which nationalities use more subs.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Open Cup final: goalscorers

A few interesting factoids for today:

1) In the 10 years since the league was formed, no MLS player has scored more than one goal in an Open Cup final.

2) Jaime Moreno, Jerzy Podbrozny, and Eddie Pope are the only players to score in both an MLS Cup and an Open Cup final. Podbrozny and Pope both did it in the same year.

3) The average goals per game in the last ten years:

2.9-MLS Cup
1.8-Open Cup final

4) There have been 18 MLS teams in the Open Cup final out of a possible 20. Rochester made it in 1996 and 1999, the latter a 2-0 win over the Rapids. So 16 of the 18 Open Cup final goals were scored by MLS teams. Discounting the 1 own goal, that makes 15.

But here's the interesting thing: only 4 were scored by Americans. Eddie Pope in 1996, Frank Klopas in 1998, Danny Califf in 2001, and Herculez Gomez in 2005. In the MLS Cup, Americans have scored more often.

Open Cup finals

1996-DC United 3:0 Rochester (Diaz Arce, Pope, Moreno)
1997-Dallas 0:0 (5-3 pks) DC United
1998-Chicago 2:1 (OT) Columbus (Podbrozny, Klopas; John)
1999-Rochester 2:0 Colorado (Miller, Allnut)
2000-Chicago 2:1 Miami (Stoitchkov, own goal; Welton)
2001-Los Angeles 2:1 (OT) New England (Hendrickson, Califf; Harris)
2002-Columbus 1:0 Los Angeles (Garcia)
2003-Metrostars 0:1 Chicago (Ralph)
2004-Kansas City 1:0 (OT) Chicago (Simutenkov)
2005-Los Angeles 1:0 Dallas (Gomez)

Home teams listed first, except for 1997 and 1999 which were played in neutral venues.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Playoff streak: Galaxy among star studded lineup

Every MLS fan knows that the Galaxy are the only team to make the playoffs each season of the league's existence, a total of 10 consecutive seasons. That's a very impressive statistic, even when at least two-thirds of the league has made it every year. The next best current streak in the league is was the San Jose Earthquakes at 5. So now, the second longest current streak is shared by the Rapids and Revs at 4 seasons.

The Galaxy's streak puts them in elite company among major sports teams in this country. Looking at MLS plus the big four (MLB, NBA, NHL, NFL), as well as the WNBA, only 4 teams have longer playoff streaks. The top ten:

1 St. Louis Blues NHL 25
2 Atlanta Braves MLB 14
2 Detroit Red Wings NHL 14
4 New York Yankees MLB 11
5 Colorado Avalanche NHL 10
5 Los Angeles Galaxy MLS 10
5 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 10
8 Indiana Pacers NBA 8
8 New Jersey Devils NHL 8
8 Ottawa Senators NHL 8
8 San Antonio Spurs NBA 8

I did not count the strike year in baseball (1994), as there were no playoffs. No surprise that the NHL makes up the bulk of the list, but you would think the NBA would have more teams. Some of the traditional powers have declined though in recent years (Jazz, Lakers). The NFL is built on parity, and after this season Indianapolis will lead the league with only 4 consecutive playoff appearances. The WNBA's Los Angeles Sparks have made it 7 straight times.

It looks like one of the teams above the Galaxy will certainly be gone from the list soon. The Blues (the FC Dallas of hockey...always decent, never great) are overwhelmingly number one in this category, but are dead last in the NHL a third of the way through the season.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Houston: We have liftoff

Tthe saga is over. The Earthquakes are moving south to Texas. There will be a team naming contest announced today (link), and I think we should continue the trend of "soccer names." After all, this is the perfect time to use wanderers or rovers.

Garber said that the while the Quakes are moving to Houston, they will keep their name and history, just like the NFL's Cleveland Browns did a decade ago. San Jose may get an expansion franchise, but who knows if that will happen. With that in mind, let's take a look at some of the Quakes' alltime records, thanks to my handy lineup database.

Alltime W/L/D Records (counting shootouts as draws)

MLS: 115-105-86
Playoffs: 10-8-1
Open Cup: 8-6-4
Continental: 5-3-0

Overall: 138-122-91

Alltime Leading Goalscorers


1 Ronald Cerritos 66
2 Landon Donovan 45
3 Dwayne DeRosario 33
4 Brian Ching 28
5 Jeff Baicher 22
6 Manny Lagos 21
6 Eric Wynalda 21
8 Lawrence Lozzano 16
8 Ariel Graziani 16
10 Ekelund/Mullan 15

By Competition:

MLS-Cerritos, 61
Playoffs-Donovan, 10
Open Cup-Cerritos, 4
Continental-Donovan/Lagos, 2

Most Games Played


1 Richard Mulrooney 189
2 Wade Barrett 163
2 Ronald Cerritos 163
4 Ian Russell 161
5 Ramiro Corrales 151
6 Troy Dayak 149
7 John Doyle 140
8 Dwayne DeRosario 137
9 Eddie Lewis 122
10 Ronnie Ekelund 116

There were 111 players who played for the club in at least one game, in all competitions. If you only include starts, then Agoos and Cannon would replace DeRosario and Lewis.

By Competition:

MLS-Mulrooney, 163
Playoffs-Agoos/Donovan, 14
Open Cup-Conway, 12
Continental-Corrales, 8

Finally, as we reminisce (or thank god that we don't have to hear about it anymore...guess which category I'm in), I'll leave you with a trivia question for the hardest of hardcore Quakes fans. Who are the only two players to only play for the Earthquakes once? One was in 1998, and the other in 2000.

Scroll down to see the answer:

Alberto Montoya and Ryan Edwards

Thursday, December 15, 2005

1990 World Cup media guide

I got one of these off Ebay a while ago. I wish I had a scanner so I could show you some of the pics; maybe some other time. There's nothing too earthshatterting, but there's a few interesting things I'd like to share.

First, only 24 of the 52 1990 World Cup games were shown on English television (TNT). 12 first round games, and 12 of 16 in the knockout stage. I wasn't a fan back then, but I believe that they also had commercials during play.

I never knew that Bob Gansler was born in Hungary, and moved to the USA at the age of 11 from Germany. I know almost all of the "American" coaches in MLS were born elsewhere, but I never really heard anything about him though. There are only four American born MLS coaches: Bradley, Ellinger, Sampson, and Sarachan.

The players. Your 1990 US national team was made of mostly young college kids, and it's interesting to see what their profiles said about them. Some highlights:

Kasey Keller: Favorite food is popsicles.

John Harkes: Enjoys eating baked ziti and listening to U2.

Paul Caligiuri: Favorite movie is "Born on the 4th of July."

John Stollmeyer: Uncle played cricket for Trinidad & Tobago (so there's a another white Trinidad athlete besides Birchall).

Chris Sullivan & Mark Dodd: Both love Luther Vandross.

Desmond Armstrong: "Accomplished illustrator" who has drawn portraits of his teammates.

John Doyle: Hobbies include "collecting automobiles when I'm rich."

I also never knew that Tony Meola's first name is Antonio.

Fun stuff. I also have a 2002 media guide from Ebay, and a 1994 guide which is not the same type as the others, more about the whole event rather than the USA.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

2005 MLS team MVPs

The OFFICIAL team MVPs, that is. They were announced a while ago, and I forgot to post it until now. You really never hear anything about them though. That could be a good thing, since last year Henry Ring somehow won the Fire award. No idea who won the Chivas award; I never saw anything about it. Someone post it in the comments if you know.

CHI-Ivan Guerrero
CLB-Simon Elliot
COL-Joe Cannon
DAL-Ronnie O'Brien
DC-Christian Gomez
KC-Josh Wolff
LA-Herculez Gomez
MET-Youri Djorkaeff
NE-Shalrie Joseph
RSL-Andy Williams
SJ-Dwayne DeRosario

These are voted on by the players, and possibly others involved with the club. It's interesting that Taylor Twellman won the league MVP award, but not the one for his own team. And Jaime Moreno was nominated for league MVP, yet is also absent. The other one that really stands out is Herculez Gomez, who had a good year but was not the player that Landon Donovan was. Only three Americans out of eleven.

Monday, December 12, 2005

World Cup 2006: Favorites to advance?

One thing you'll immediately notice in any analysis of the World Cup draw is how many of the European teams are favored to advance out of the group stage. Going just by the odds at Will Hill, (to win the group, since I couldn't find odds just to advance), 13 of the 14 UEFA teams are favored to advance. The only non-UEFA teams favored to advance are Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico. Serbia is the odd team out.

I also found this page which has the 2002 odds to win each group. 10 of 15 UEFA teams were basically favored then. Although, Belgium and Ireland were basically even with another team, and Denmark was close too. The only teams definitely not favored to advance were Slovenia and Sweden. So while they were not the same teams that were favored, 9 of 15 did advance.

Of course, there is no way all those UEFA teams will advance. Last time, 9 advanced. I would say about 9 is realistic again. I know the fact that it's being held in Europe is supposed to help, but only 10 of 15 advanced in France 1998. And I know that all the best teams qualified this time around. But some of those "favored" teams will have to fall. Which ones will it be?

Usually one of the seeded teams fails to advance. That's hard to predict though. I think the second tier UEFA teams are getting way too much credit. What has Poland done to be favored over Ecuador? Or Switzerland over South Korea? Or Croatia, which has much lower odds than Australia and Japan? I would not be surprised to see all three of those teams fail to advance.

Another team that I'm not very high on is the Ukraine, but they got a really easy draw. Tunisia and Saudi Arabia are experienced at this level, but haven't done much so far. But I also would not be surprised if either of them gets the runner up position. Ukraine reminds me of Poland last time around: An Eastern European team that qualified easily on the back of a prolific striker. Look at what Ukraine has done against the other top teams in World Cup qualifying:

Denmark     1-1 Ukraine
Ukraine 1-1 Greece
Turkey 0-3 Ukraine
Ukraine 1-0 Denmark
Greece 0-1 Ukraine
Ukraine 0-1 Turkey
Good results, but they don't score many goals. In fact, they have rarely score more
than one goal in Euro and World Cup qualifying against decent teams. Same thing with
Switzerland. If their offense sucks in qualifying, then how can they expect to do
better in the actual World Cup? Tunisia should give them a run for their money.

The Czech Republic too aren't a great offensive team, at least by the numbers.
They may have led UEFA in goals scored, but most of those came at the
expense of weaker teams. Just for a comparison:

Netherlands 2-0 Czech Republic
Czech Rep. 1-0 Romania
Czech Rep. 4-3 Finland
Romania 2-0 Czech Republic
Czech Rep. 0-2 Netherlands
Finland 0-3 Czech Republic

Armenia 0-3 Czech Republic
Macedonia 0-2 Czech Republic
Andorra 0-4 Czech Republic
Czech Rep. 8-1 Andorra
Czech Rep. 6-1 Macedonia
Czech Rep. 4-1 Armenia

So that's 8 goals in 6 games against decent opposition, including 7 in two games
against Finland. We really should not be afraid of them.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

12/2005: Most tenured MLS players, by team

One of the first posts when I started blogging regularly was on this subject (hey, it's been six months now), and recent moves have prompted me to update it. Three teams have recently gotten rid of their leader in this category. We could see a few more before the season starts.

I am working on doing timelines for each team, throughout their history in this category. Not too much work, about five players per team. I just look up the dates on Soccer America's web site, which has a lot of early MLS articles. Although it's hard to find certain dates. Well, I'll get around to it eventually.


Jesse Marsch, 1/5/98.

Chivas USA

Arturo Torres, 11/19/04.


Ritchie Kotschau, 6/29/01.

Pablo Mastroeni, 1/11/02.

Kotschau was traded to the Crew for Cornell Glen. Mastroeni now becomes the Rapids longest serving player, picked in the allocation draft after the Fusion and Mutiny folded. Kyle Beckerman was picked later on in the dispersal draft (which followed the allocation draft), on the same day. So he misses out by an hour or so.


Duncan Oughton, 2/6/01.

DC United

Ben Olsen, 1/28/98.

FC Dallas

Oscar Pareja, 8/15/98.

Bobby Rhine, 2/7/99.

With Pareja's retirement, Rhine becomes the new leader for Dallas.

Kansas City

Chris Klein, 2/1/98.

Los Angeles

Cobi Jones, 3/7/96.


Mark Lisi, 5/9/02.

New England

Joe Franchino, 5/6/00.

Real Salt Lake

Jason Kreis, 11/17/04.

San Jose

Jon Conway, 2/6/00.

Ian Russell, 2/6/00.

Conway was traded to the Metrostars for a draft pick. Russell was selected in the 2000 draft just like Conway, but in a later round.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

World Cup draw: Update (or, let's just get this over with already)

They announced the seeds today, which came as expected, although they did change the formula. The big news was that the CONCACAF teams will be grouped with the AFC (Asian) teams, rather than the CAF (African) teams. That is good news for us, because the African teams should be worse. Let's take an updated look at who we want to draw:

Pot 1 (seeded teams)


Once again, we want Spain. Marc Connolly makes a good pitch for Germany, though. I think Brazil and Argentina are the only two you really need to avoid.


Cote d'Ivoire

The switch will work out good for us. We could've drawn Ecuador, Paraguay, or Australia before, so that doesn't change. I believe that the Africa teams are much weaker than Asia. Angola and Togo are the weakest teams in the tournament. Hopefully we get one of them. The other three are better, but I would rather face them than South Korea or Japan. Paraguay is the number one team to avoid here, with Australia right behind. Ecuador is manageable. So in summary, we need an African team here to make things easier.

Pot 3 (UEFA)

Czech Republic

Serbia & Montenegro will be in a special pot, to be drawn with Argentina, Brazil, or Mexico. They will be drawn in lieu of a team from our pot, so we can't draw them.

This pot is split into two groups from our perspective. Czech Republic, Netherlands, Portugal, and Sweden will make things very difficult, while Croatia, Poland, Switzerland, and the Ukraine will make it pretty easy. So it's a coin flip here. This is what will make all the difference between an easy draw and a hard draw.

Final Thoughts

The seeded team will be tough no matter what. We need an African team and one of the easier Euro teams. The odds of that are 5/8 and 1/2 respectively, giving us a 31.25% chance of getting both and having a really easy group. Actually, because Argentina/Brazil can't play Ecuador/Paraguay, it's probably a little better worse than that. I'm not gonna sit here and figure it out though. Let's hope for the best.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Subs per game (MLS)

Which teams have used the most and least subs in a single year? Before I post the lists, I should point out that a fourth sub was allowed for goalkeepers only from 1996-2003. Thankfully, the Eddie Gaven incident showed the league how ridiculous the rule really was, and they conformed to the world standard after that. It wasn't used very often though. Subs per game, by year:



The elimination of the fourth sub hasn't made much of an impact. The year that stands out is 1996. I can only assume that the level of talent wasn't the greatest, and teams had to stick with their starters. Plus, the coaches at the time may have had something to do with it. The two World Cup years are the highest.

Highest Subs Per Game

1 1999 NE 3.00
2 1998 CLB 2.94
2 2005 CLB 2.94
4 2003 DAL 2.93
5 2002 CLB 2.93
5 2002 DAL 2.93
7 1999 DAL 2.91
7 2000 DAL 2.91
9 2004 CLB 2.90
10 2001 DAL 2.85

I think you can see here that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, with only two teams taking up 9 of 10 spots. Tom Fitzgerald is on here, then he gave way to his assistant Greg Andrulis. Dave Dir was fired, then Mike Jeffries was hired and continued to sub frequently. I don't know if there's anything to that one because Jeffries came from the Fire. Former Burn player Brian Haynes was hired as an assistant though.

Walter Zenga, currently managing Red Star in Serbia, was a player/coach for the Revolution in 1999 and apparently liked the subs.

Lowest Subs Per Game

1 1996 COL 1.56
2 1996 TB 1.84
2 1997 KC 1.84
4 2004 NE 1.87
5 2003 COL 1.90
6 2005 SJ 1.97
7 1996 NE 2.03
8 2002 CHI 2.04
9 2001 SJ 2.08
10 2000 MIA 2.09

I find it very interesting that this list is made up of almost all foreign coaches, while the previous list only had one. Is it an American trait to sub more often?

Bob Bradley's 2002 Fire team is probably on here only due to the sheer number of injuries suffered during that campaign. Thomas Rongen coached the Mutiny in 1996, and it seems that he doesn't sub frequently no matter where he goes. I'm going to break it down by coach next, so look for that next week or so.

As for the 1996 Rapids and Revs, they were coached by Bobby Houghton and Frank Stapleton, English and Irish respectively. They both only lasted one season with the two teams who missed the playoffs. Houghton is coaching Uzbekistan while Stapleton is on Bolton's staff.

Friday, December 02, 2005

CONCACAF Player of the Year?

Does anyone else find it strange that CONCACAF is the only confederation not to have some kind of a Player of the Year award? That's pretty ridiculous. Not as ridiculous as the AFC (Asia) and what's going on with their award, but there really should be an award because we all know CONCACAF players are looked down on compared to the big two. The added exposure could only help.

If there was an award, it should be one for all players from CONCACAF countries, no matter where they are playing (rather than the European approach where all players who play in Europe are eligible). I think it would be fun to go back and see who hypothetically should've won the award in previous years, but I haven't been a big soccer fan for that long. I know Dwight Yorke and Hugo Sanchez probably would have mutiple wins, and that Brad Friedel deserved it in 2002.