Tuesday, January 30, 2007

2010 MLS/USMNT Survey Results

After a week and posts on two Bigsoccer forums as well as here, the votes have slowed to a trickle. That means it's now time to take a look at the results. How do you, the American soccer fans, think the USMNT and MLS will be doing at the end of the new cycle?

USMNT/MLS in 2010

(184 responses. Percentages listed below.)

1. Will Bob Bradley coach the USA at the 2010 World Cup?


My answer: Yes. I don't think it's likely Bradley is replaced now, given that Gulati had half a year to find someone else. Plus, with the opponents we'll be facing in friendlies and the Gold Cup (all played at home), it's hard to see us doing poorly in his six months as coach. Unless someone amazing like Jose Mourinho were to come on the market and somehow decide to take the job, I doubt it'll happen. Personally I'm still hoping that things will be patched up with Klinsmann.

How will the USA do at the 2010 World Cup?

54-Round of 16
8-First round exit
1-Runners Up

My answer: Round of 16. Anything less would be a failure. That's the point we're at now as a soccer nation. We have too much money being invested into the game to settle for less. There's still a very good chance that we won't make it out of our group, something that 92% of you wishful thinkers didn't vote for. Realistically it's probably around 50/50. The good news is that every four years we should be improved, as our players start playing at younger ages and for better teams. In 2006, 17/23 guys on our World Cup squad played college soccer.

3. Assuming a standard two forward lineup, which of the following players will start up top for the USA in 2010? (select two)

60-Kenny Cooper
40-Josmer Altidore
30-Landon Donovan
21-Taylor Twellman
19-Eddie Johnson
13-Brian Ching
8-Chris Rolfe
7-Nate Jaqua
2-Conor Casey
1-Alecko Eskandarian

My answer: Cooper & Donovan. Altidore may have loads of potential, but at this point I would bet on the guys who have established themselves already, not those who have played 500 minutes of pro soccer. Of course, the odds are very good that someone outside of this group will make it, but I didn't want to have an "other" option because it's more interesting to see the opinions on the guys in the the picture now. Donovan may not play up top but he's going to be a key part of the 2010 team. As for the winning pairing, it doesn't surprise me that the voting turned out this way (although I thought Rolfe would be higher). It's obvious that the guys on the USMNT that we have now are not good enough. We need new players to worship, because we're certainly not going to win the World Cup with the ones we have now. At least with new guys, we don't know that they suck yet :P.

4. What will the average attendance for the 2010 MLS season be (current = 15,502)?

10-20,000 or above
1-14,999 or below

My answer: 18-19. First of all, in real attendance I have no doubts the league will go up. The moves to new stadiums in NY and COL will help those two clubs. They'll lose the big doubleheaders though. Toronto should help the average, and LA is going up too. The key thing is that attendance should be up in 2010. 92% of you agree with that. They'll need more than Beckham to keep the momentum. Or will they? The average soccer snob will probably be pleasantly impressed at the MLS level.

5. Which of the following cities will receive the assumed 3 spots for expansion by 2010? (select three)

64-San Jose
53-Saint Louis
15-New York City
7-San Diego

My answer: PHI/SJ/STL. Impossible to guess on this one really, unless you have behind the scenes knowledge. Those are the favorites as it stands now. San Jose has been in the news recently and should be number one by a mile. I also think Rochester should be much higher up, since they already have the necessary stadium. They're the perfect plan B. Seattle seems too high, maybe that's because people feel it would be a good market?

6. Which of the following players will be playing in MLS in 2010? (select as many as necessary)

84-Landon Donovan
65-Taylor Twellman
49-Dwayne De Rosario
39-DaMarcus Beasley
35-Carlos Bocanegra
22-Josmer Altidore
11-Freddy Adu
9-Thierry Henry

My answer: Altidore/Beasley/Bocanegra/Donovan/Ronaldo/Twellman. I think it's the most interesting question on the quiz. Donovan is a given. Twellman doesn't seem eager to leave also. Ronaldo should be on the way here after AC Milan if NY still wants him. Bocanegra and Beasley, I regret putting both of them. It'll probably just be one or the other. I bet they would come back for the right price after years in Europe. Altidore is interesting, and I feel that if he's going to be on the World Cup team in 2010, MLS will probably wait until August of that year or January 2011 to sell him. Worked for Dempsey.

7. Which MLS team will have the best regular season record over the next four years (2007-2010)?

35-DC United
22-Los Angeles
10-New York
5-New England
3-Chivas USA
2-Kansas City
0-Real Salt Lake

My answer: NY. Arena + money = good team. Winning titles is harder, however. I should note that the 0 for RSL is not a small percentage rounded down to zero, they really got zero votes. I threw out any votes for multiple teams.

8. Who will have the all time MLS goal scoring record after the 2010 season? (Name - current # of goals, current age)

39-Taylor Twellman - 75, age 26
23-Jeff Cunningham - 90, age 30
15-Jaime Moreno - 105, age 33
12-Carlos Ruiz - 74, age 27
8-Ante Razov - 98, age 32
3-Jason Kreis - 108, age 34

My answer: Moreno. He may be retired by then, but he should get past Kreis and be too far ahead for Twellman/Ruiz. If he scores 30 goals over the next four seasons, that puts him at 135. Twellman/Ruiz would need 60 over that same time period. That's 15 a year, which sounds simple but isn't that common any more. Don't forget national team callups too.

9. What will be the tv rating for the 2010 MLS Cup (1996-2006 avg = 0.9)?

35-1.0 to 1.4
35-1.5 to 1.9
18-2.0 to 2.4
5-3.0 or above
4-0.0 to 0.9
3-2.5 to 2.9

My answer: 3.0 or above. I think I deserve one overly optimistic answer. If the league does start to take off, then 1.5 seems like the very least we should expect. MLS got 1.4's in the first two years already. A superstar in the game, and more media attention from Sportscenter and more ads, it's not out of the question. The timeslot is the biggest problem. I don't think they could do it in the current timeslot opposite the NFL. But they could move it to say, Thursday night keeping in line with the new ESPN2 games. Although it would have to be on cable then. Maybe Friday, since it's wasteland for network tv? Anyway, with success they could earn a better slot. That's all I'm saying.

10. What will the MLS salary cap be in 2010, in millions of dollars? (2006 = $~1.9 million, 2007 = $~2.1 million)

41-3.0 to 3.4
27-2.5 to 2.9
13-4.0 or above
10-2.0 to 2.4
8-3.5 to 3.9

My answer: 3.0 - 3.4. Doesn't seem like they'll go crazy here. $2.1 milion is $117,000 per senior roster player. $3.0 million would be $167,000. The shirt sponsorships alone could make up the 900k per year. Actually, seeing that number makes me want to lower my guess one tier. But it's not too unlikely.


Well, there you go. This was a lot of fun to create, and the results are certainly interesting. They also give us perspective, so in the future we can look back and see what the average fan was thinking. Grant Wahl did something similar with MLS coaches in 2002, predicting the 2006 World Cup starting lineup. But it's harder to pinpoint what we as fans believed back then.

(BTW, that was the all too short post-Ricketts, pre-Adu era of internet fandom. Is this the post-Rossi, pre-Charles Renken era? Only time will tell.)

Anyway, I plan on having polls on a regular basis now. I expect to have ones for predictions of MLS, Gold Cup, and Copa America this year for sure. Thanks for participating.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Foreign Talent in MLS: Countries & Confederations

There have been a total of 1,006 players to have taken the field for MLS teams in competitive games. By my count, 399 (or 39.7%) have been foreign. I'm using a broad definition of foreign, the same as the Wikipedia article with a list of them:

"...born outside the United States and have not been capped for the U.S. national team on any level, or have been born in the United States and were capped by a foreign national team."

So using that definition, players like Chris Gbandi and Antonio Martinez are counted as foreign. I should also note that the Wikipedia list doesn't include the 10 players who have played for MLS teams in the Open Cup or international tournaments but not in the league or playoffs. Three of those ten players are foreign. My data does include them.

A lot of this data is hard to interpret, considering the broad definition as I mentioned earlier, and also the Superdraft/colleges. So in order to really see what talent was brought in, you would have to eliminate anyone went to college or was raised here in the USA. That's something I'll have to figure out in the future when I have more time.

With those things said, let's take a look at some stats:

Top Ten Countries

1 Mexico 32
2 Brazil 24
3 Argentina 23
4 Jamaica 21
5 Trinidad 20
6 Canada 18
7 Colombia 17
8 Costa Rica 15
9 England 14
10 Bolivia 10

The list is full of English speaking countries, and the Latin American powers...and also Bolivia. One thing that's very interesting is how important American colleges are to Jamaica and Trinidad, and the rest of the Caribbean. There needs to be a long feature article in Soccer America about that. Let's not forget the lesser African countries as well, who depend on college guys like Dipsy Selolwane.

Top Confederations

3 UEFA 92
4 CAF 54
5 OFC 5
6 AFC 4

AFC = Asia and CAF = Africa, if you didn't know. Thankfully there are no players from Australia to save me the hassle of figuring out how to handle that. If you want to test your MLS trivia, answer this: Which CONMEBOL country is the only one not without an MLS player? Also, can you name all four Asian players?

Top Ten Countries Without an MLS Player

(by FIFA rank)

18-Cote d'Ivoire

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

MLS' Most Frequent Surnames

Rodriguez 6 (Edmundo, Esmundo, Felipe, Jorge, Mario, Washington)
Brown 5 (Adin, C.J., Chris, Chris, Kyle)
Garcia 5 (Freddy, Johnnie, Juan Pablo, Nick, Sergio)
Hernandez 5 (Daniel, Jason, Luis, Nicolas, Ruben Dario)
Johnson 5 (Brian, Eddie, Rob, Ryan, Will)
Martinez 5 (Antonio, Chris, Joey, Rey Angel, Saul)
Moore 5 (Jason, Jeff, Joe-Max, Justin, R.T.)
Thomas 5 (Jacob, Keyeno, Roger, Shavar, Sheldon)
Alvarez 4 (Arturo, Byron, Leonel, Pedro)
Clark 4 (Colin, Jamie, Mike, Ricardo)
Gomez 4 (Christian, Francisco, Herculez, Julian)
Lewis 4 (Andrew, Darin, Eddie, Ricky)
Suarez 4 (Claudio, Juan Berthy, Ryan, Temoc)
Thompson 4 (Abe, Billy, Jason, Scot)
Wilson 4 (Brad, John, Kirk, Mark)

Out of 1,006 players (technically 995 if you count regular season only, 996 including playoffs), there's bound to have been a few surnames with more than one player. As it turns out, Rodriguez is number one, although their quality was definitely not. If you remember all six Rodriguezes, then consider yourself an MLS super fan. Only Jorge started more than 15 games and had a good career. You have four different nationalities in that group as well.

Wells Thompson, a Revs first rounder, is the only player in the 2007 Superdraft who has one of these last names.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

USMNT/MLS in 2010 Survey

Take the survey (10 questions).

Results will be posted in a few weeks. If this gets a good response, then maybe I'll make them on a regular basis. Personally I love doing stuff like this (but you probably already knew that).

Incidentally, I wish I had known about that free survey site when I was doing the BASAs. Next year it'll be easier.

Friday, January 19, 2007

MLS: Top 25 Goalscorers History - 2006

I finally remembered to update this! It's one of my favorite posts in this blog's short history. What follows is a list of the top 25 goalscorers in MLS history (regular season only) as of the end of the 2006 season. Now that is certainly interesting, but you can get a list of the all time leaders at MLSnet already. What's so exciting about that?

The answer lies in the series of posts made before this, and you'll find the links below. If you read them all in order, you can see the progression of the top 25 all time goalscorers after each of the eleven MLS seasons. It seems that so many people enjoy looking at statistics and records, but they don't necessarily tell the history of how they came to be. I was inspired by this Wikipedia page on the history of the all time home run leaders in MLB.

1996 - 1997 - 1998 - 1999 - 2000 - 2001 - 2002 - 2003 - 2004 - 2005

Looking through those posts, you can see the rise and fall of various players. Like Eduardo Hurtado, who was third after one season. So brilliant in the early years, he's now 25th and will fall off in 2007. His ranks after each season are 3-4-4-5-8-11-16-18-20-23-25.

1) Jason Kreis, RSL - 108

2) Jaime Moreno, DC - 105

I would expect him to finally pass Kreis this year, probably around three years to the day that Kreis passed Lassiter.

3) Ante Razov, CHV - 98
4) Jeff Cunningham, RSL - 90

Two guys who don't get a whole lot of credit (Razov especially), yet they're at the top of the all time rankings.

5) Roy Lassiter - 88
6) Raul Diaz Arce - 82
7) Preki - 79

8) Taylor Twellman, NE - 75
9) Carlos Ruiz, DAL - 74

At 27 years of age for the 2007 season, both of these guys should be the top two all time in five years or so. Assuming they don't leave for Europe, of course. The top three are all at least 33, while Cunningham is 30.

10) Ronald Cerritos, HOU - 71

Was waived during the 2006 season.

11) Cobi Jones, LA - 66
12) Brian McBride - 62
13) Mark Chung - 61
14) Josh Wolff, KC - 59
15) Steve Ralston, NE - 57
15) Diego Serna - 57

17) Landon Donovan, LA - 56

Should make it up to at least 11th place in 2007. It helps to have you know who serving crosses. The question I have is, will he still take penalties? Given Beckham's track record, he should.

18) Clint Mathis, COL - 53
19) Paul Bravo - 52
19) Dante Washington - 52
21) Wolde Harris - 51
21) Chris Henderson, NY - 51
21) Giovanni Savarese - 51

24) Edson Buddle, NY - 48

It seems that people are way down on him after a bad year. Despite that, he's now in the top 25, the only newcomer to the list. Doesn't really come to mind when you think of the great MLS strikers though, right? I expect him to bounce back with Toronto.

25) Mamadou Diallo - 47
25) Eduardo Hurtado - 47

Falling off the list

Ariel Graziani (25th, tie)
Stern John (25th, tie)

Other Active Players

38-De Rosario

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Playoff & Winning/Losing Streaks: January 2007

Updating this once again now that the NFL season regular season is over, this is the list of the USA's longest playoff streaks among major professional sports teams. This list is limited to the top 4 leagues, plus MLS and the WNBA. Below, you'll find the longest streaks of over/under .500 as well.

Playoff Streaks

1 Detroit Red Wings NHL 15
2 New York Yankees MLB 12
3 Colorado Avalanche NHL 11
3 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 11
5 Indiana Pacers NBA 9
5 San Antonio Spurs NBA 9
5 New Jersey Devils NHL 9
5 Ottawa Senators NHL 9
9 Sacramento Kings NBA 8
9 Los Angeles Sparks WNBA 8
11 Dallas Mavericks NBA 6
12 Colorado Rapids MLS 5
12 New England Revolution MLS 5
12 Detroit Pistons NBA 5
12 New Jersey Nets NBA 5
12 Indianapolis Colts NFL 5

Over .500 Streaks

1 New York Yankees MLB 14
1 Detroit Red Wings NHL 14
1 New Jersey Devils NHL 14
4 Colorado Avalanche NHL 11
4 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 11
6 Boston Red Sox MLB 9
6 San Antonio Spurs NBA 9
6 Dallas Stars NHL 9
9 Oakland Athletics MLB 8
9 Sacramento Kings NBA 8
9 Ottawa Senators NHL 8
12 St. Louis Cardinals MLB 7
13 Houston Astros MLB 6
13 Minnesota Twins MLB 6
13 Dallas Mavericks NBA 6
13 New England Patriots NFL 6

Under .500 Streaks

1 Pittsburgh Pirates MLB 14
2 Golden State Warriors NBA 12
3 Baltimore Orioles MLB 9
3 Tampa Bay Devil Rays MLB 9
5 Arizona Cardinals NFL 8
6 Atlanta Hawks NBA 7
7 Cincinnati Reds MLB 6
7 Colorado Rockies MLB 6
7 Detroit Lions NFL 6
10 New York Knicks NBA 5
10 Houston Texans NFL 5
10 Columbus Blue Jackets NHL 5
10 Florida Panthers NHL 5

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Soccer & Polling

Here are all the American polls involving soccer that I've found online, in chronological order. Please post links to others if you have them. Thank you. I look forward to seeing more upon Beckham's arrival.

Harris Interactive, November(?) 1993.

"According to the the Harris poll, only 13% of the US residents know that
WC94 will be held here. About 50-60% do not care enough to watch even one
game. Roughly the same percentage would not attend a game. "

Reported in LA Times, February 28, 1994. N=??. MoE ± ??

- Only 20% of Americans realize that World Cup will be played in USA.
- Only 25% of Americans know that the events involve soccer
- Only 8% are aware that it will be played in 1994.
- 53% of Americans said they're not interested in watching WC in TV
- and 62% said they have no interest in attending one of the games.

USA Today/CNN Gallup. June 3-6, 1994. N=1,000. MoE ± ??

1. Will you be watching the World Cup on TV ?

61% said they will not watch any at all
27% said they will watch some, but not a lot
11% said they will watch as much as possible

2. What is your interest in soccer ?

50% said they were not at all interested
20% said they were not too interested
20% said they were somewhat interested
9% said they were very interested

3. Where is the World Cup being held ?

66% said they didn't know
31% said in the U.S.
2% said the wrong country (other than the U.S.)

(Answers 1 & 2 included with other years later in this post.)

Roper, June 1994.

"Of the 1,034 Americans surveyed, nearly 90% were familiar with the
tournament and 84% were aware it's being held in the United States.
Almost 44% said they will watch World Cup matches on television and 80%
could correctly name a World Cup sponsor. "

Harris Interactive. June 17-22, 1998. N=1,000 adults. MoE ± ??

"...only 52 percent of Americans knew that the world cup was a
soccer tournament. Only 19 percent said they had watched a game on
television and only 25 percent knew that it was being played in France."

"while 74 ...percent of Americans said they had heard about the World Cup only 52 percent knew it was a soccer competition.

"Only 19 percent said they had watched a game on television and almost half of these people said they did not enjoy it, the poll said."

"The poll also found men had more soccer knowledge than women..."

FOX News/Opinion Dynamics Poll. July 14-15, 1999. N=900 registered voters nationwide. MoE ± 3.


"Which do you think is more exciting to watch: men's soccer or women's soccer?"

ALL Men Women

% % %

Women's 40 42 39

Men's 14 16 12

Both equal (vol.) 13 12 14

No soccer is interesting (vol.) 27 24 29

Not sure 6 5 6

Gallup. March 30-April 2, 2000. N=998 adults. MoE ± 3

What is your favorite sport to watch?

2000 Mar 1998 Nov 1997 Apr 1995 Apr 1994 Sep 1994 Aug
Football 33% 36% 30% 32% 37% 35%
Basketball 16 12 17 15 13 11
Baseball 13 16 14 16 16 21
Ice hockey 5 3 3 3 1 3
Golf 5 3 5 4 3 3
Auto Racing 5 3 7 2 2 2
Ice/ Figure Skating 4 2 2 2 3 3
Soccer 2 2 2 1 2 2
Boxing 2 1 2 1 1 1
Tennis 1 2 2 2 3 2
Wrestling 1 1 1 1 * 1
Gymnastics 1 1 1 0 0 *
Bowling * 1 * 1 * *
Fishing * 1 * 1 * *
Swimming * -- -- -- -- --
Horse Racing -- * 1 0 0 *
OTHER 3 6 6 7 5 5
NONE 8 9 6 10 12 10
No opinion 1 1 1 2 2 1

100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%

CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll. May 28-29, 2002. N=1,003 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3.


"Finally, thinking about sports: How interested are you in soccer? Are you very interested, somewhat interested, not too interested, or not at all interested?"

Very Somewhat Not Too Not At All No

% % % % %

5/02 9 17 21 53 -

6/94 9 20 20 50 1

4/90 4 19 17 49 11


"As you may know, the World Cup soccer tournament -- which is played every four years -- begins this week. How much of the World Cup matches do you plan to watch on television: as much as possible, some but not a lot, or none at all?"

As Much As
Some None At All No

% % % %

5/02 5 22 72 1

6/94 11 27 61 1

4/90 5 21 62 12

CNN/Time Poll conducted by Harris Interactive. June 19-20, 2002. N=1,003 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3.1.


"Are you following the World Cup of Soccer or aren't you following the World Cup?"


Following 26

Not following 72

Not sure 2

The Gallup Poll. Aug. 9-11, 2004. N=499 adults nationwide. MoE ± 5.


"What is your favorite Summer Olympic event?"


Track and field (net) 21

Swimming 21

Gymnastics 17

Diving 4

Basketball 3

Soccer 2

Other 9

Any/All 2

None 13

No opinion 8

GMI, 2006. Poll of soccer fans only.

Which of the following countries is hosting the 2006 soccer tournament?

Don't Know 56%
(other choices)

Link to graph.

"...only 11% of 1,000 respondents in the U.S. said they were ‘definitely’ going to watch the World Cup. An additional 23% said they were only ‘somewhat likely’ to do so."

"...American soccer fans selected Europe (39%) and South America (34%) over North America (6%) as regions that excel at soccer."

"Of the Americans who are definitely going to follow the World Cup, 78% said they would view it on TV while 40% will track team progress over the Internet."

Rasmussen Reports. June 19-20, 2006. N=1,000 adults. MoE ± 3

How closely have you watched the World Cup Tournament?

Very Closely 6%
Somewhat Closely 15%
Not Very Closely 31%
Not At All 47%

"Nine percent (9%) of men are paying close attention along with 3% of women."

"The Super Bowl remains the biggest sport championship in terms of fan appeal. Thirty-five percent (35%) of Americans say it’s their favorite championship to watch. The World Series is the only other championship to reach double digits—12% of adults say it’s their favorite."

"One-fourth of all Americans (25%) say they don’t want any sports championships."

"Fourteen percent (14%) of Americans say they played soccer in an organized league at some point in their life."

"Fifty-two percent (52%) of Americans believe there is a professional soccer league in the United States (and they’re right)."

"...just 5% of the nation’s adults thought it was very likely the U.S. team would win the tournament."

Harris Interactive. December 12-18, 2006. N=2,309 adults (1,219 who follow more than one sport), weighted to represent the national population. MoE ± ??

If you had to choose, which ONE of these sports would you say is your favorite?

  Base: All adults who follow more than one sport

1985 1989 1992 1993 1994 1997 1998 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 1985-
% % % % % % % % % % % % %
football 24 26 28 24 24 28 26 27 29 30 33 29 +5
Baseball 23 19 21 18 17 17 18 14 13 15 14 14 -9
football 10 6 7 8 7 10 9 9 9 11 13 13 +3
Auto racing 5 4 5 6 5 5 7 10 9 7 11 9 +3
Men's pro
basketball 6 7 8 12 11 13 13 11 10 7 4 7 +1
basketball 6 10 8 8 8 6 4 4 6 6 5 5 -1
Men's golf 3 4 4 6 5 6 4 4 5 4 4 4 +1
Hockey 2 3 3 3 5 4 3 3 3 4 5 4 +2
soccer 3 2 2 1 3 3 4 3 3 3 2 2 -1
tennis 5 4 4 4 3 3 4 1 2 1 1 2 -3
Track &
field 2 2 1 1 2 2 3 1 3 1 * 2 -
racing 4 3 3 2 2 2 2 1 2 1 2 1 -3
Boxing NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA 2 2 1 NA
tennis NA NA NA NA NA NA NA 3 2 2 1 1 NA
Bowling 3 5 2 2 1 1 2 2 1 1 1 1 -2
golf NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA 1 * * 1 NA
basketball NA NA NA NA NA NA 1 1 * 1 * 1 NA
Women's pro
basketball NA NA NA NA NA NA * 1 1 * * * NA
soccer NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA 1 * * NA
Not sure * 1 4 1 2 2 1 3 1 2 2 3 -
From the same annual survey, posted on Soccertimes in 1998:

"Soccer is followed by 17 percent of the nation's adults, compared with 10 percent in 1985 and 13 prcent in 1997".


(not in order)

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Friday, January 12, 2007

Elias Says...That They Suck

The Elias Sports Bureau are supposed to be knowledgeable on all things statistical. After all, they're the official statisticians for every major sports league in the USA, including Major League Soccer. So I couldn't help but notice on ESPN.com, the "facts" they had about David Beckham coming to MLS.

In the past year they've started to provide some interesting MLS stats on their "Elias Says" daily column, which is cool. But apparently they're not taking the job too seriously. Check it out:

Beckham has scored three World Cup goals. The only MLS players to score that many goals in World Cup play are Lothar Matthaus (6 for Germany), Hristo Stoitchkov (6 for Bulgaria) and Luis Hernandez (4 for Mexico).

Brian McBride has scored 3 goals in the World Cup. He's also one of the most famous and successful American players of all time.

He will be the first MLS player who also appeared for the English national team.

Apparently Stephen Guppy, Steve Howey and Chris Woods never played in MLS. Who knew? The first two only got a cup of coffee, but Woods was capped 43 times and made two World Cup rosters. Apparently, they're referring only to actual games played in a World Cup. If that's their intention, they certainly didn't make it clear.

We've seen dumb stat keeping in MLS' past, so it's hard to be confident about the official statistics in MLS when the people in charge get it wrong.

Thursday, January 11, 2007


A reported $250 million deal, if you believe the reports. Ives doesn't, and says the idea of that number being thrown around is idiotic. From what I read on Bigsoccer, his actual salary is around $9 million per year. Overpriced? No way. He's still incredibly talented and will be one of the best players on the field, if not the best. But it's not about that (He's not famous in America for his on the field exploits anyway). Quite simply, there is no other player in the world who can give the league this amount of publicity and news coverage. David Beckham is the one guy who is worth shelling out a ridiculous amount of money for. He's totally worth it. Nobody else in the world today could have as big of an impact on MLS, and that's why his signing is a good thing.

Just look at the media circus going on today. Financially, already the Galaxy are reporting 1,000 additional season tickets sold today. Thinking on a bigger scale, it really seems like we're in the middle of the turning point of MLS, where it begins its rise to major league status. We had the increased ratings and coverage of the World Cup, the ESPN tv deal, the rule changes aimed at improving play (DP, youth teams), several new owners (NY, KC, DC), and now this. It's been quite the amazing 12 months.

Are things going to be different now overnight? No, of course not. Don Garber said as much in the news conference today. This is just another step up the ladder, and we still have a lot of climbing to do.

(You don't think this is worth it? As of June 2006, only 52% of Americans believe that there is a professional soccer league in the United States.)


Here's a convenient post containing featuring the cool stuff I've made available. All comps are also available on my Youtube channel if you don't want to download them. If you find an outdated link, post in the comments and I'll re-up it.

2002 & 2006 World Cup commentary transcripts - Download (Rapidshare, 1 mb)

The opening games for the USA in both tournaments (vs Portugal, vs Czech Republic), in a Word document. See the analysis of the transcripts here.

2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup - All Goals - Download-wmv (Rapidshare, 43 mb)

All 64 goals from the tournament, set to music.

2006 World Cup chat logs - Download-wmv (Rapidshare, 9 mb)

Relive your disappointment. I saved the Bigsoccer chat logs from the Czech and Ghana matches, so if you want to know or remember what it was like to be a USA fan on those days, download it. The Ghana one is very entertaining, especially as the game ends and the US is eliminated.

Jack Edwards sound bites - Download-wmv (Rapidshare, 2 mb)

Included are: "climbs the ladder, ", "shock the world, ", "speed move," "that's why he's here,"
"torpedo header" and more. There's 15 clips, and one bonus Ty Keough clip (HAV-OCK!) Note: This is different from my original upload; I replaced two clips with better versions (no music in background).

2006 Year End Comps
- Download-wmv (MegaUpload, 161 mb)

Contains 12 comps, one for every MLS team. Each one is about 2.5 minutes long and contains the top ten goals scored by that team for th year, ranked in order (10 to 1) and accompanied by music. Also included is the comp for the best overall goals in the league, as well as two more comps, Best Goals 2005 and Best Goals 2004.

2006 MLS Lineup Database - Download (Rapidshare, 1 mb)

There are 17 files, one for each team, plus overall stats and notes. It contains the results, lineups, and goalscorers for every official game that every MLS team has played in. Plus, stats on the total number of appearances (sorted into starts/subs) and goals for each player, in all competitions. Then there's the all time records for each team. Just a ton of info that any hardcore MLS fan needs.

Note: Reuploaded May 12, 2007. In the DC and OVERALL spreadsheets, on the yearly stats tabs, one of Ben Olsen's 1999 playoff goals was being attributed to Roy Lassiter. The overall stats tabs were fine however.

MLS Players Photo Collection - Download (Rapidshare, 37 mb)

Contains a photo of every MLS player (except two) and coach in the league's history, who have played at least one meaningful game. That's over a thousand photos, making for an easy reference.

Brian McBride, US soccer legend - Download-mp4 (Rapidshare, 26 mb)

This compilation has goals from his time with the USA national team, Everton and Fulham of the English Premiership; also, there's even two from his time in MLS with the Columbus Crew.

Clint Dempsey goals - Download-mp4 (Rapidshare, 19 mb)

Featuring an appropriate song, this includes goals with the national team and MLS. Done right after the 2006 World Cup.

Christian Gomez goals - Download-wmv (Rapidshare, 7 mb)

Features some of his best and most memorable goals with DC United from 2004-2006 (and also the 2007 Champions Cup vs Olimpia).

Amado Guevara comp - Download-wmv (Rapidshare, 11 mb)

Features some of his best goals and passes with the Metrostars (later the New York Red Bulls)..