Friday, March 28, 2008

MLS 2008 Survey Results

A few days have passed, and it's time to look at the results. A link to the survey was posted here, as well as on the MLS General forum at Bigsoccer. Results are from March 24-28, 2007, up through about 6 am on the 28th.

I asked a lot of the same questions that I asked in last year's survey (link at the end of the post), as well as in other surveys. I like to get a sense of how opinions change over time.

MLS 2008 Survey

(268 responses. Percentages are rounded.)

1. Do you approve or disapprove of the job Don Garber is doing as MLS commissioner?

Approve 87%
Disapprove 3%
Unsure 10%

One year ago, the results were 85-2. Last August, it was 87-6. Obviously you guys are still huge fans of the Don. In all three times I've asked the question, he has a net approval rating of over 80 percent. A year ago I said that apparently there's little he can do wrong, and that's still true.

2. Do you approve or disapprove of the job ESPN2/ABC is doing with their MLS broadcasts?

Approve 53%
Disapprove 29%
Unsure 18%

One year ago: 55-22. Last summer: 45-37. Now it seems to have gone back up, and I believe I know the reason why. The August survey was right after the first Beckham game, which was probably the low point in ESPN coverage in recent years. Still, there's only a small majority who approve of the coverage. Last year they hyped a bunch of changes in the broadcasts which didn't amount of much. This year, nothing on that front but the commentators have changed. Will that affect your opinions either way? On one hand, no more DOB, but on the other the interesting Eric Wynalda is gone as well.

3. Do you approve or disapprove of the job Telefutura is doing with their MLS broadcasts?

Approve 50%
Disapprove 4%
Unsure 46%

I asked this question for the first time, and it's interesting to compare it to the previous one. Basically the same number of people approve, but with virtually no disapproval. I suppose that many people responding don't understand Spanish, which leads to the high number of unsures. That and the fact that not everyone gets the network. I suppose it's important to point out that the Spanish thing probably means that most people aren't judging based on the commentary, but rather the broadcast itself.

4. One year later: Do you approve or disapprove of the signing of David Beckham?

Approve 91%
Disapprove 4%
Unsure 5%

No change from last year (91-4-4). Hardcore MLS fans still overwhelmingly support this move.

5. For MLS teams, do you prefer "American style" nicknames (Galaxy, Rapids, Wizards) or traditional "soccer names" (United, FC, Real)?

"American style" nicknames 27%
Traditional "soccer names" 48%
Unsure 25%

Last year I did not include an unsure option, and the results were 36-64. This year, if you take only the people who picked one or the other, the percentage for traditional is exactly 64%. So again, no change. People still prefer the traditional names, which is good for MLS since that's the path we're traveling.

6. Do you feel that MLS as a whole is too "traditional," too "Americanized," or just right?

Too traditional 1%
Too Americanized 30%
Just Right 62%
Unsure 7%

Last year's results: 2-24-55-19. Less undecided, but they broke evenly to either side. While the majority thinks that it's just right, nobody thinks that it's too traditional.

7. Which foreign signing will have the greatest impact on MLS this season?

Mauricio Castro, NE 0%
Duilio Davino, DAL 6%
Kenny Deuchar, RSL 6%
Oscar Echeverry, NY 2%
Tomasz Frankowski, CHI 5%
Marcelo Gallardo, DC 50%
Claudio Lopez, KC 25%
Gonzalo Martinez, DC 2%
Ivan Trujillo, KC 3%
Raphael Wicky, CHV 2%

Gallardo takes first over Lopez, and the margin is surprising to me. I expected it to be much closer, with maybe even Lopez winning. You have nobody else even close, though. Castro did get one vote, so it wasn't exactly zero for him.

8. Which team has the nicest soccer-specific stadium?

BMO Field (Toronto) 16%
Columbus Crew Stadium (Columbus) 3%
Dick's Sporting Goods Park (Colorado) 16%
Home Depot Center (Los Angeles) 43%
Pizza Hut Park (Dallas) 5%
Toyota Park (Chicago) 17%

The most expensive SSS is number one. No love for the Hunt parks.

9. Assuming that it was feasible, would you prefer a multi-division MLS with promotion and relegation, or an NFL style large league with playoffs?

Multi-division with promotion and relegation 56%
Large league with playoffs 39%
Unsure 5%

Same question was asked last year, without the unsure option but with virtually the same results: 56-44. Some people said on Bigsoccer that this question kind of tripped them up. My line of thought here is that there is no way MLS will stop at 20 teams, so eventually we'll be at the size of the other major leagues and then this will become an issue. I probably should've explained that better in the question.

10. Who is the best MLS player at this moment in time?

Juan Pablo Angel, NY 22%
David Beckham, LA 9%
Cuauhtemoc Blanco, CHI 9%
Dwayne De Rosario, HOU 29%
Landon Donovan, LA 9%
Luciano Emilio, DC 10%
Shalrie Joseph, NE 5%
Michael Parkhurst, NE 1%
Guillermo Barros Schelotto, CLB 3%
Taylor Twellman, NE 2%

DeRo, really? Not my choice. Obviously it was hard to pick only ten guys. I wanted to have at least one defensive player on there so that's why I chose Parkhurst. My personal answer for this question is Beckham. He's the most talented player in the league, even if he hasn't had much of a chance to show it yet. I really didn't go by performances but rather by talent.


Not much has changed in the questions that I've asked multiple times, and that's fine. I'm going to keep asking them, so we can get a nice timeline going that future fans can look back on. Also, I really should've asked a question on the other tournaments that MLS takes part in. I remember an interesting thread on Bigsoccer asking people to rank them by importance. I think a US Open Cup poll in a few months time would be good.

Previous Surveys

January 30, 2007 - 2010 MLS/USMNT
April 6, 2007 - MLS 2007
August 5, 2007 - MLS/USMNT Summer Survey
November 17, 2007 - MLS Cup 2007

Comments on "MLS 2008 Survey Results"


Blogger Brian said ... (11:51 AM, March 28, 2008) : 

BMO has the best atmosphere hands down and perfect central city location, but I couldn't vote for it because of the crap turf. I voted for Toyota Park instead.


Blogger Unknown said ... (9:14 AM, March 29, 2008) : 

I voted for DeRo as best player. Beckham needs to do something in MLS to be the best in MLS.

If there's one player in MLS I'd want to get to improve any team it's DeRosario.

He's got a fantastic engine, which is unmatched by any of his positional competitors. Donovan might be his closest competition in that regard. DeRo's more likely to pull the opposition out of shape the way he drifts inside and outside.

He's been clutch in more than a few big games - too often to be a fluke.

His free kicks are fantastic, and again occur to often to be a fluke.

The real kicker for me was last year when I started noticing DeRo popping up in the defense making plays.

Others might beat him for resume or pretty moments, but all around he's the best player in MLS. The guys with the better resumes have to unseat him by being better than he is in MLS play.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:56 AM, March 31, 2008) : 

I agree with De Ro being the best player in the league. Hands down, no one has played better the last 5 years.


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