Monday, July 31, 2006

Just How Good is D.C. United (and Dallas)?

(First of all, did you notice the new favicon? If you're using Firefox, that's the little symbol next to the site's name in the tab and the url. I think you can see it in IE only if you bookmark the site. It was really easy to add. If any of you other soccer bloggers want one, email me and I'll explain it.)

D.C. United, despite a roster than has largely been unaltered from 2005, is on pace to become one of the greatest MLS teams ever. That goes for FC Dallas too, who are now only six points behind with a game in hand. Dallas is also a team that has changed little.

So how are these teams dominating the league? Other than Kenny Cooper, neither has added anyone of consequence. Both have a number of talented young players who will only get better, especially DC. In addition, both have enjoyed the return of a healthy superstar (Alecko Eskandarian, Richard Mulrooney). That's like an acquisition in itself. But not much HAS changed. DC was a great team last year (21st best MLS team ever), while Dallas started off at an incredible pace only to suffer injuries and a Summer swoon. They were still three games over .500.

What I want to do now is show you how many points these two teams need to break into the top ten all time, and exactly how many they need to finish in each top ten position. As you can see in the link above, the greatest MLS team of all time is the 1998 Los Angeles Galaxy, with 2.19 PPG (or 70 points). Currently, DC and Dallas are at 2.14 and 1.95 respectively.

DC has 45 points from 21 games, Dallas 39 from 20. In order to break into the top ten, they need a PPG better than 1.82, or 59 points. Here's exactly what they need:

D.C. United

45-Current points total
11-Games remaining

From those games, points needed to finish:

1 26
1-tie 25
2 21
3 20
3-tie 19
4 18
5 17
5-tie 16
7-tie 15
8-tie 14

F.C. Dallas

39-Current points total
12-Games remaining

From those games, points needed to finish:

1 32
1-tie 31
2 27
3 26
3-tie 25
4 24
5 23
5-tie 22
7-tie 21
8-tie 20

Sunday, July 30, 2006

MLS 2006 - week 18 goal compilation

Youtube or Download (Ipod compatible)

Music: Paul Oakenfold f/Spitfire - "Feed Your Mind"


Steve Ralston
Carey Talley
Claudio Suarez
Chris Henderson
Andy Williams
Jonathan Bornstein
Dwayne de Rosario
Jaime Moreno
Ante Razov
Josh Wolff
Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham

Missing: Nicolas Hernandez, Bobby Rhine, Kyle Beckerman, Ramon Nunez, Ramon Nunez, Kenny Cooper

All my Youtube videos

MLS Weekly Compilations

2006 - Weeks 9-17 - download pack (124 mb)
2006 - Weeks 1-8 - download pack (97 mb)

Other Comps

RSL 2005 - YT - DL
Ante Razov - YT
Clint Dempsey - YT - DL
Brian McBride - YT- DL

Saturday, July 29, 2006

OTFATT 2006: Update #7

4/11 (85 players remaining)
4/24 (66 players remaining)
5/7 (46 players remaining)
5/26 (28 players remaining)
6/19 (18 players remaining)
7/9 (11 players remaining)

Jay Heaps suspended due to yellow cards, so we're down to 6 (and only 2 field players). This is of course the post where I keep track of which MLS players have played every minute of every game for their team. Since there's only a few guys left, I'll post from now on only when one of them is eliminated.

Dropped off (5):

Facundo Erpen
Jay Heaps
Ugo Ihemelu
Brian Mullan
Kerry Zavagnin

2006 Candidates (6)

CHI-Ivan Guerrero, Zach Thornton
COL-Kyle Beckerman
DC-Troy Perkins
HOU-Pat Onstad
NE-Matt Reis

Order of teams being totally wiped out, with last surviving player:

1. CLB-Jon Busch
2. DAL-Dario Sala
3. CHV-Jonathan Bornstein
4. NY-Danny O'Rourke
5. RSL-Chris Klein
6. KC-Kerry Zavagnin
7. LA-Ugo Ihemelu

Friday, July 28, 2006

Best & Worst Stretches

This post's title may lack imagination, but the content within is pretty good. After doing the work for Monday's Back 2 Back post, I was able to put this together. I have looked through every MLS result, and have come up with the best and worst sequences of 10, 25, 50 and 100 games for each team. Scroll down for that.

A lot of the records for the longer stretches shouldn't be a shock if you've seen my posts on the best and worst MLS teams over numerous seasons.

The expansion teams don't have as much variation due to their lack of games played. RSL and Chivas have barely played 50 games, while Houston is in its first season (yeah, I know). Miami played 122, Tampa Bay 187, Chicago's at 261, and all the others are over 300.

There were many ties, so I only listed the first time that the record best/worst sequence happened. Also, as always, shootouts are counted as draws. Bold means that it's an overall league high/low.

Chicago Fire

Begin End PPG
10 Game High 5/16/1998 7/1/1998 2.80
10 Game Low 6/5/2004 7/8/2004 0.60

25 Game High 8/2/2000 7/14/2001 2.20
25 Game Low 5/23/2004 4/2/2005 0.96

50 Game High 5/6/2000 9/1/2001 1.98
50 Game Low 8/30/2003 5/31/2005 1.26

100 Game High 8/15/1998 9/8/2001 1.82
100 Game Low 6/21/2003 7/22/2006 1.38

Chivas USA

Begin End PPG
10 Game High 5/27/2006 7/4/2006 1.90
10 Game Low 5/14/2005 6/25/2005 0.20

25 Game High 9/17/2005 7/26/2006 1.20
25 Game Low 4/16/2005 9/10/2005 0.52

50 Game High 4/9/2005 7/20/2006 0.86
50 Game Low 4/2/2005 7/15/2006 0.84

Colorado Rapids

Begin End PPG
10 Game High 7/4/2003 9/6/2003 2.50
10 Game Low 7/27/1996 9/8/1996 0.50

25 Game High 8/29/1998 7/31/1999 2.24
25 Game Low 7/10/1996 5/17/1997 0.80

50 Game High 5/23/1998 9/25/1999 1.78
50 Game Low 8/11/1996 5/23/1998 0.98

100 Game High 6/1/1997 6/10/2000 1.47
100 Game Low 8/18/1999 5/10/2003 1.16

Columbus Crew

Begin End PPG
10 Game High 8/4/1996 9/21/1996 2.30
10 Game Low 5/15/1996 7/4/1996 0.50

25 Game High 5/1/2004 10/6/2004 1.88
25 Game Low 4/13/1996 8/14/1996 0.96

50 Game High 6/16/2001 5/10/2003 1.68
50 Game Low 4/9/2005 7/19/2006 1.06

100 Game High 8/4/1996 9/4/1999 1.57
100 Game Low 6/14/2003 7/15/2006 1.28

D.C. United

Begin End PPG
10 Game High 7/2/1998 8/29/1998 2.60
10 Game Low 7/4/2002 8/25/2002 0.40

25 Game High 9/10/2005 7/15/2006 2.28
25 Game Low 10/6/1999 7/12/2000 0.76

50 Game High 5/22/1997 8/26/1998 1.96
50 Game Low 10/6/1999 7/7/2001 0.94

100 Game High 8/18/1996 9/10/1999 1.93
100 Game Low 10/6/1999 6/28/2003 1.01

F.C. Dallas

Begin End PPG
10 Game High 8/18/1999 3/18/2000 2.30
10 Game Low 7/2/2005 9/10/2005 0.30

25 Game High 5/15/1999 3/18/2000 1.84
25 Game Low 4/16/2003 9/27/2003 0.72

50 Game High 7/11/1998 4/8/2000 1.70
50 Game Low 9/1/2002 7/17/2004 0.92

100 Game High 4/18/1999 6/29/2002 1.55
100 Game Low 7/20/2002 10/1/2005 1.15

Houston Dynamo

Begin End PPG
10 Game High 4/22/2006 6/24/2006 1.90
10 Game Low 4/8/2006 6/10/2006 1.50

Kansas City Wizards

Begin End PPG
10 Game High 3/25/2000 5/17/2000 2.60
10 Game Low 9/17/1998 4/28/1999 0.20

25 Game High 3/25/2000 8/12/2000 1.80
25 Game Low 9/17/1998 8/8/1999 0.68

50 Game High 9/27/2003 6/29/2005 1.68
50 Game Low 4/18/1998 8/8/1999 0.92

100 Game High 6/22/2002 8/19/2005 1.54
100 Game Low 8/24/1996 10/9/1999 1.15

Los Angeles Galaxy

Begin End PPG
10 Game High 4/13/1996 6/9/1996 2.80
10 Game Low 5/6/2006 6/24/2006 0.20

25 Game High 9/7/1997 7/15/1998 2.60
25 Game Low 8/13/2005 6/24/2006 0.88

50 Game High 7/4/1997 3/20/1999 2.10
50 Game Low 9/18/2004 6/11/2006 1.16

100 Game High 9/7/1997 8/30/2000 1.96
100 Game Low 4/26/2003 6/3/2006 1.28

New England Revolution

Begin End PPG
10 Game High 10/2/2004 5/14/2005 2.50
10 Game Low 7/11/1999 9/4/1999 0.20

25 Game High 4/9/2005 9/10/2005 2.00
25 Game Low 5/1/1999 9/24/1999 0.80

50 Game High 10/2/2004 7/1/2006 1.72
50 Game Low 5/13/1998 8/28/1999 0.92

100 Game High 8/24/2002 4/8/2006 1.57
100 Game Low 9/12/1996 3/18/2000 1.08

New York Red Bulls

Begin End PPG
10 Game High 5/20/2000 7/5/2000 2.30
10 Game Low 6/5/1999 8/7/1999 0.10

25 Game High 6/24/2000 5/16/2001 2.04
25 Game Low 4/3/1999 9/5/1999 0.36

50 Game High 5/20/2000 3/23/2002 1.80
50 Game Low 8/9/1998 4/29/2000 0.66

100 Game High 4/22/2000 8/13/2003 1.58
100 Game Low 3/29/1997 4/19/2000 0.98

Real Salt Lake

Begin End PPG
10 Game High 5/6/2006 7/4/2006 1.20
10 Game Low 8/10/2005 10/5/2005 0.00

25 Game High 4/2/2005 9/3/2005 0.76
25 Game Low 5/21/2005 4/2/2006 0.36

50 Game High 4/9/2005 7/26/2006 0.56
50 Game Low 4/2/2005 7/22/2006 0.55

Miami Fusion

Begin End PPG
10 Game High 4/21/2001 6/16/2001 2.60
10 Game Low 5/16/1998 7/18/1998 0.30

25 Game High 7/19/2000 6/30/2001 2.04
25 Game Low 8/19/1998 6/26/1999 0.92

50 Game High 5/10/2000 9/8/2001 1.74
50 Game Low 5/16/1998 9/4/1999 1.00

100 Game High 7/26/1998 8/15/2001 1.42
100 Game Low 3/15/1998 4/21/2001 1.18

San Jose Earthquakes

Begin End PPG
10 Game High 7/20/2005 9/21/2005 2.80
10 Game Low 6/28/2000 8/16/2000 0.50

25 Game High 4/23/2005 9/21/2005 2.16
25 Game Low 4/26/2000 8/30/2000 0.76

50 Game High 4/20/2002 9/27/2003 1.76
50 Game Low 8/24/1997 5/27/1999 1.02

100 Game High 5/5/2001 8/14/2004 1.64
100 Game Low 7/20/1996 8/7/1999 1.08

Tampa Bay Mutiny

Begin End PPG
10 Game High 8/25/1996 4/12/1997 2.50
10 Game Low 4/28/2001 6/16/2001 0.10

25 Game High 6/5/1996 4/6/1997 1.92
25 Game Low 4/14/2001 9/1/2001 0.44

50 Game High 4/13/1996 7/6/1997 1.74
50 Game Low 5/13/2000 9/9/2001 1.02

100 Game High 5/4/1996 5/8/1999 1.49
100 Game Low 8/6/1998 9/9/2001 1.22

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

In Limbo: Arena, Gansler, and the Future of MLS

With Bob Gansler's dismissal from Kansas City and New York Red Bull's hiring of former Men's National Team coach Bruce Arena, a passing era of MLS both died and was reborn in a matter of a few days. Gansler's firing, particularly to those of us who don't actively follow the Kansas City Wizards, came as a shock, even if Arena's hiring by Red Bull did not. What ramifications, if any, do these moves have on MLS? Particularly, what does it mean that Arena was given general manager duties as well as head coaching responsibility?

Gansler, who had been the longest serving head coach in MLS history, had by last season certainly exhausted his time with the franchise. After failing to make the playoffs in 2005 in a system where eight of MLS' ten teams advance, some fans in Kansas City and across the league felt it was time for Gansler and the Wizards to move on. While Gansler was unfairly nicknamed "Bunker Bob" in reference to his 2000 MLS Cup winning team's defense-first strategy, the truth was that he was a smart coach with an eye for talent who guided a team with limited resources to two MLS Cup appearances and one win. Somewhere along the line though, Gansler lost his team. No more was this evident to the Kansas City front office though then this season. After getting off to a hot start, keeping pace with D.C. United in second place in the East, Kansas City began a perpetual freefall in the standings from which they are yet to recover.

While the firing of Gansler may signal an end of defensively-oriented but at times daring soccer in Kansas City, it also may signal the end of cosy coaching positions. When this season began, Gansler probably would have been among the least likely coaches to be fired by midseason. With his many years in Kansas City and with a Wizards front office that seemed more committed to selling the franchise than on-the-pitch results, Gansler's job appeared secure as any. For an ownership group as committed to conservative stability as the Hunt Sports Group, the firing is a pleasant surprise. That they will not begin an active search for a new coach, nor allow interim coach Brian Bliss to make changes to the assistant staff, seems more in keeping with their ownership history.

All of this is in stark contrast with New York Red Bulls. The Red Bull organization, as we all surely remember, entered the league with deep pockets and lots of promise. As crowds dwindled and as the team lost game after game, Red Bull seemed about as active as AEG, the club's former owners. Rumors of a Ronaldo-to-Red Bull move briefly breathed some life into the team's skeptical fan base. But New York's no stranger to star transfers. With Youri Djorkaeff AWOL, coach Mo Johnston fired, and the team continuing to struggle, the franchise was looking at its most dismal season in years. It was going to take more than a big player signing to prove Red Bull's committment to the franchise, the fans, and the New York soccer community.

New York, may I introduce your new head coach, Bruce Arena? Arena, no doubt itching to prove his World Cup critics wrong, reclaim his reputation, and turn around the sorriest franchise in the history of MLS (apologies to the two-year-old Real Salt Lake, you're not there yet), took up the Red Bull challenge as many MLS fans expected him to.

It's difficult to say whether Bruce's ego is as strong as ever or still a little bruised after the U.S.' disastrous early World Cup exit, but it's that pesky ego that no doubt made him take the job. Arena could have certainly taken any number of comfortable positions within the U.S. Soccer Federation, but he chose to take MLS' toughest coaching job, a job that has humbled some of world soccer's finest, including Carlos Alberto Parriera (former Brasilian national team coach) and Carlos Queiroz (former head coach of Real Madrid). That this decision came in light of Arena's comments that America's youngest players need to go overseas is ironic, but not surprising. The league needs Arena and vice versa.

That Arena was given general managing duties in addition to his head coaching responsibilities isn't much of a surprise. While Red Bull doubtless has its share of business and marketing people, it doesn't have anyone to soccer-smart enough to make MLS player moves. How exactly Arena is going to use this power remains to be seen, but it will be interesting to watch how this affects the current MLS structure in the coming years. Currently, it remains to be seen whether the corporate type can be effective as general manager and president of an MLS club. This model hasn't exactly worked according to plan in Chicago, where the team, thanks to John Guppy's front office leadership, has stagnated on and off the pitch, failing to draw the kinds of crowds in their new stadium that they drew for the 2003 playoffs in Soldier Field. This ongoing tension between the corporate and soccer interests in MLS will have a big outcome on the direction the league heads in the next five years. Arena is a big, big experiment.

Selling Peguero is the correct decision

So, the New York Red Bulls (or Red Donkeys?) are selling Jean Philippe Peguero to Brondby of Denmark. They already turned down several bids, including one for $800,000. So it's safe to assume that they're getting nearly a million dollars for him.

Naturally, the selling of the man who is possibly the team's best player has the fans upset. 'How can MLS be a major league if they sell their best players,' they say. That is a true statement. But, MLS is not in a position to be a major league any time soon. Let's not forget that the league has lost $300 million in 11 years. Only one team is actually is making a profit (or so I've read). A million dollars can pay for half of one team's salary for the entire season.

Furthermore, the foreign contingent in MLS is cheaper that it was five years ago, after contraction forced the I/O's to cut costs. But there hasn't been a huge dropoff in talent. I would argue that other than the forwards, there's not a big difference. Dwayne de Rosario, Christian Gomez, and Youri Djorkaeff are basically as good as Mauricio Cienfuegos, Marco Etcheverry, and Peter Nowak. There's a decline in the quality of foreign strikers, but the Americans are better and it's helped them develop.

It's just impossible financially for MLS to bring in top quality foreigners at every position, unless they're prepared to lose even more money. So if you're not going to have a bunch of great talent, then why hold on to a guy who breaks through from the usual glut of Central American/Caribbean players brought in every year?

MLS only sells a few players a year, and I don't think anybody is going to stop coming to games because one player on their team is sold. The quality of the league is already an issue for many soccer fans, but if you're going to MLS games, then you're probably fine with it already.

There's also free agency. Peguero was going to become a free agent, so if he didn't get sold he could have left for free. It doesn't appear that he wanted to, but MLS has already messed up on that before. See Clint Mathis and Carlos Bocanegra.

Finally, there's not a lot of people who consider Peguero to be a top player anyway. Why not sell him while he's hot? Clint Mathis again is the model. They could've sold him before the 2002 World Cup to Bayern Munich for several million. Plus, don't forget Eddie Johnson. January 2005, they could've got $5 million from Benfica, which sounds unbelievable at this point. All that for 12 goals in 2004, and scoring against El Salvador, Panama, and Jamaica. Would we really miss him? I dunno, it doesn't even feel like he's here as it is.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Back 2 Back

After Saturday's games, D.C. United and the Colorado Rapids have now gone 28 and 23 regular season games respectively without losing in consecutive games. Only ten times in MLS history has a streak lasted as long as a full season (32 games).

So if all goes well, DC will break into the top ten in August. But it would take them a full calendar year to match the top team, the Chicago Fire. After losing their first two games in 2000, Bob Bradley's team didn't lose two in a row again until the third game of 2002. That's 59 games.

Longest Streak Without Losing Consecutive Games

1 Chicago 2000-2 59
2 D.C. United 1997-9 50
3 Chicago 2002-4 44
4 New England 2004-6 40
5 Los Angeles 1998-9 38
5 Kansas City 2004-5 38
7 San Jose 2004-? 36
8 San Jose 2003-4 35
9 Dallas 1998-9 32
9 Los Angeles 2001-2 32

As always, all shootouts are counted as draws. If the expansion works out, the Earthquakes should get a chance to resume their streak, which is still active.

Now what about the flip side? Which teams have gone the longest without winning two in a row? Real Salt Lake hasn't even made it to 20, but Chivas did make the top ten.

Longest Streak Without Winning Consecutive Games

1 New York 1998-0 54
2 San Jose 1996-8 50
2 Colorado 1999-1 50
4 New England 1998-0 42
5 San Jose 1999-1 39
5 Chivas USA 2005-6 39
7 Dallas 2002-4 38
8 New England 2001-2 33
9 Tampa Bay 2000-? 32
9 D.C. United 2003-4 32

Ha. Sometimes I feel like the only point of this blog is to come up with new ways to say that New York and RSL really suck. We already know that the 1998-9 Metros are the worst team ever over two seasons, the 1997-0 Metros the worst over three seasons, and the 1996-9 Metros the worst over four seasons. Now we can add this to their long list of futility records.

The Mutiny ended their existence with their streak. The longest among active teams is 13, by Columbus.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

MLS 2006 - week 17 goal compilation

Youtube or Download (Ipod compatible)

Music: Blink 182 - "Reckless Abandon"


Alecko Eskandarian
Mike Magee
Jonathan Bornstein
Clint Mathis
Eddie Gaven
Abe Thompson
Jonathan Bornstein
Jacob Peterson
Peter Vagenas
Dedi Ben Dayan
Stuart Holden
Chris Henderson
Juan Francisco Palencia
Nate Jaqua
own goal (Craig Waibel)
Jerrod Laventure

MLS Weekly Compilations

2006 - Week 16 - YT - DL
2006 - Week 15 - YT - DL
2006 - Week 14 - YT - DL
2006 - Week 13 - YT - DL
2006 - Week 12 - YT - DL
2006 - Week 11 - YT- DL
2006 - Week 10 - YT - DL
2006 - Week 9 - YT - DL

2006 - Weeks 1-8 - download pack (~100 mb)

2006 - Week 8 - YT
2006 - Week 7 - YT
2006 - Week 6 - YT
2006 - Week 5 - YT
2006 - Week 4 - YT
2006 - Week 3 - YT
2006 - Week 2 - YT
2006 - Week 1 - YT


RSL 2005 - YT - DL
Ante Razov - YT
Clint Dempsey - YT - DL
Brian McBride - YT- DL

Saturday, July 22, 2006

One record tied, another safe

With Bill Gaudette starting in goal for the Crew today, they've now used 5 goalkeepers in a season, now tied with the 1998 Miami Fusion for the record. Click here for a list of the teams that used the most keepers.

The five guys are Jon Busch, Andy Gruenebaum, Dan Popik, Noah Palmer and now Gaudette. They need one more guy to break the record. So if they bring a veteran in like they've been rumored to do (Jeff Cassar anyone?), they could get to 6.

The Crew also scored in the first 10 minutes against LA, breaking the Galaxy's long defensive scoreless streak. They ended up about 160 minutes short. KC's record is safe.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Odds & Ends

Just a few various things today.

1) First of all, if you haven't read Peter Goldstein's World Cup statistics columns, then you need to do so. Part one and Part two.

2) You know what World Cup stat I'd like to see from this year? I have all the goals from 1998 on my computer. I was looking through them all, and I only counted about 6 times where defenders raised their hands looking for the offside call. I bet that in 2006, that number would be tripled.

3) I notice that the Elias Sports Bureau has been putting out some MLS stats on ESPN's site. Yesterday they had a good one:

The Red Bulls defeated the Crew 2-0 in Columbus. It was the 13th consecutive home game -- dating back to August 20, 2005 -- in which the Crew scored fewer than two goals, by far the longest streak in MLS history. The previous record of 10 was set by the Rapids spanning 1999-2000, and tied recently by the Galaxy.

Somehow I don't think adding another German lower division guy is going to solve this...

4) The percentage of draws this year in MLS is 27.1%, which is 4 percentage points higher than last season. That's not surprising because this is the year after expansion, and those teams have improved. It's still lower than 2004.

5) Goals per game is at 2.61, which is the lowest average in MLS history, just slightly worse than 2004. Last year was 2.87. I don't consider this a problem, though. More goals are still scored in MLS than in the top leagues.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

No longer a one man band

I'm happy to announce that the blogger behind In Limbo, Tim Froh, will be joining Climbing the Ladder. Due to school and work, he wasn't able to update his blog on a regular basis, but he will be posting here every Thursday starting tomorrow next week. I always enjoyed reading his blog, so I'm glad to have him on board. Like this one, it was also named one of Grant Wahl's Best XI American soccer blogs last September.

The name of his weekly post/column is likely going to be "In Limbo" as well. I was going to go with "Throwing Froh-Balls," but that's just a little too dumb, even for me.

EDIT: Yes, I re-designed the blog. Thanks to Thur's Templates for the new, non-generic template. This blog is about the information, so I wanted a minimalist look with little color. I had to keep the orange, though.

I still might need a banner. Give me another year and I'll get right on it. And yes, I realize that there's a gap between the title and the start of all the old posts now. That's because the previous template didn't have space there, so I used a break tag and made some. Now with the change, it looks dumb. Oh well.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The Ratings Game

Italy or France? Bah. Soccer fans may have watched a World Cup winner being decided on July 9, but the most important result would come in the days after the game had concluded. The future of the sport here hinges more on the number of people watching the game than the result.

The ratings came in, and the news was good. Around 17 million Americans watched the game on ABC and Univision, about 1 in 18 nationwide. That's better than the NBA Finals, Stanley Cup finals, or the MLB All Star game.

This was the first World Cup that has really been embraced by the media and especially ABC/ESPN, other than 1994 (I wasn't a fan back then so I really can't compare it). That had a lot to do with it. They had some motivation, too. In November, they bought the English-language rights to 2010 and 2014 for $50 million apiece (previously, SUM paid only $20 million each for 2002 and 2006). So the Disney networks are trying to build the game in this country for future benefit.

We like to complain about the coverage of soccer, but there's so much money invested in the game that it almost can't help but succeed. South Africa is in the same time zone as Germany, so for the first time we should have a very good idea of how much the interest is growing. Since the move to ABC from TNT in 1994, the time slots have been all over the place. Obviously this year would beat 2002 just because of the time slot, but the good news is that it beat 1998 as well. So we've got to keep improving.

Let's not forget that the afternoon time slot sucks for ratings. That makes this all the more impressive. Just imagine if it was in the evening.

World Cup final ratings: ABC

2006-7.0 (not sure if this is the final rating, but it appears to be)

One ratings point equals 1% of all the households with a television in the United States. For more on the Nielsen Ratings, check Wikipedia.

It's hard to compare it with American sports championships, because MLB/NBA/NHL have multiple games in their finals. But it's interesting to look at those ratings, as well as MLS Cup ratings, to see how they compare over the years. Here's a chart that does just that:

(click to enlarge)

The dots are the World Cup ratings, which only includes ABC. This also only includes games on network tv, not cable.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

MLS 2006 - week 16 goal compilation

Youtube or Download (Ipod compatible)

Music: Wyclef Jean f/Missy Elliot - "Party To Damascus (remix)"


Jeff Cunningham
Eric Vasquez
Bobby Rhine
Taylor Twellman
Ramon Nunez
Brian Carroll
Andy Herron
Kenny Cooper
Amado Guevara
Jason Kreis
Ben Olsen
Andy Herron
Christian Gomez
Chris Klein
Kei Kamara

Missing: Eddie Robinson, Josh Wolff, Brad Davis, Brian Ching, Jimmy Conrad

MLS Weekly Compilations

2006 - Week 15 - YT - DL
2006 - Week 14 - YT - DL
2006 - Week 13 - YT - DL
2006 - Week 12 - YT - DL
2006 - Week 11 - YT- DL
2006 - Week 10 - YT - DL
2006 - Week 9 - YT - DL

2006 - Weeks 1-8 - download pack (~100 mb)

2006 - Week 8 - YT
2006 - Week 7 - YT
2006 - Week 6 - YT
2006 - Week 5 - YT
2006 - Week 4 - YT
2006 - Week 3 - YT
2006 - Week 2 - YT
2006 - Week 1 - YT


RSL 2005 - YT - DL
Ante Razov - YT
Clint Dempsey - YT - DL
Brian McBride - YT- DL

Galaxy's defensive streak almost the best ever

Frank Yallop has been a difference maker. Taking over for the ineffective (title or no title) Steve Sampson, he's turned the Galaxy into a capable team once more. Landon Donovan's return from the World Cup has a lot to do with that, but the team is much better defensively, which can't be credited to Landon. Chris Albright has returned also, but other than him it's pretty much the same crew. Tyrone Marshall and Ugo Ihemelu in the center of defense. Troy Roberts has taken over the left back position in lieu of the traded Todd Dunivant, although he's not expected to hold the job much longer. Yallop has his Canadian man, Ante Jazic, ready to take over there once he gets a work permit. Meanwhile, teenage rookie Nathan Sturgis has been helping out in the center of midfield.

Overall, Los Angeles has shut out five consecutive opponents: HOU-KC-NY-RSL-CHV. Not since Jean Philippe Peguero's goal in the 28th minute on June 17th has their net been breached. That's 512 minute and counting.

They still need to go almost two more full games to break the all time record, which is held by the 2000 Kansas City Wizards, the greatest defensive team in MLS history. Their streak lasted 680 minutes, including 6 shutouts. They had a great backline of Brandon Prideaux, Peter Vermes and Nick Garcia, along with Matt McKeon and Kerry Zavagnin as defensive midfielders.

Each team's best defensive scoreless streak: