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.

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