Saturday, May 31, 2008

MLS: List of Teenage Goalscorers

Part 4 of a series of posts on the ages of MLS players.

Part 1 - Top 25 Oldest Players
Part 2 - Top 25 Oldest Debuts
Part 3 - Top 25 Youngest Players

This only concerns regular season matches:

Gaven, Eddie 20
Altidore, Josmer 15
Adu, Freddy 12
Magee, Mike 9
Quaranta, Santino 9
Donovan, Landon 7
Johnson, Eddie 7
Convey, Bobby 6
Mapp, Justin 6
Beasley, DaMarcus 5
Nunez, Ramon 5
Barclay, Devin 3
Movsisyan, Yura 3
Vaca, Joselito 3
Alvarez, Arturo 2
Flores, Jorge (2) 2
Ibrahim, Abbe 2
Mansally, Kenny 2
Nyassi, Sainey 2
Quintanilla, Eliseo 2
Watson, Jamie 2
Beckerman, Kyle 1
Bradley, Michael 1
Buddle, Edson 1
Capano, Craig 1
Corrales, Ramiro 1

Definitely something to watch out for this season as Altidore gets closer to this mark. Can he break it before a possible transfer? The other three active players are unlikely to make much of a mark on this list, as they'll turn 20 next year (the two Revs during the offseason).

You pretty much have to be a phenom to make it into the double digits. As you can see in the youngest players post (link above), only 17 guys have even debuted before the age of 18. So there's precious little time to earn playing time and break out, and then scoring is not that easy.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Top 25 Oldest MLS Debuts

Also see:

EDIT 7/19/2011: This season so far: Faryd Mondragon became the oldest debuting player in league history on opening day with Philadelphia. Frank Rost's recent debut with NY made him the 5th oldest. As a result, Kalin Bankov, Paulinho McLaren, and Martin Zuniga fall off the top 25.

EDIT 8/19/2010: Two players who debuted in late July join the list: Blaise Nkufo entered at #21, knocking off Edwin Gorter. A week later, Eduardo Coudet came in at #15. No one exited, as two players are tied for 25th. We're getting very close to the point where all players on the list will be at least 35.

EDIT 4/8/2010: Pena's debut (8th oldest) added; Carlos Valderrama now is off the top 25.

EDIT 3/26/2010: Bumped for the new season. Former Brazilian international Andre Luiz debuted for the Earthquakes last August, and made the list at #17. Abel Xavier fell off the top 25 as a result. I expect to have to update this again shortly due to DC's signing of Juan Manuel Pena.

EDIT 4/11/2009: And Berhalter makes his regular season debut.

EDIT 4/8/2009: Gregg Berhalter debuted in an Open Cup qualifier and enters the all competitions list as the 15th oldest debutant. Blanco falls off the list. He should be entering the regular season chart at the same position very shortly.

EDIT: 3/24/2009: Kasey Keller finally made his MLS debut at the age of 39. He's now number one on the list ahead of Lothar Matthaus. Nice to see any record of Lothar's broken. Carlos Ledesma (34.37) leaves the list. No other player currently on a league roster is in position to make the list.

EDIT 7/20/2008: Francisco Lima became the 6th oldest player to debut, knocking off Lubik Kubik (34.17).

Top 25 Oldest MLS Debuts - REGULAR SEASON ONLY

Age Team Year
1 Mondragon, Faryd 39.74 PHI
2 Keller, Kasey 39.30 SEA 2009
3 Matthaus, Lothar 39.01 NY 2000
4 Ravelli, Thomas 38.60 TB 1998
5 Rost, Frank 38.04 NY 2011
6 Sanchez, Hugo 37.85 DAL 1996
7 Hislop, Shaka 37.58 DAL 2006
8 Suarez, Claudio 37.29 CHV 2006
9 Lima, Francisco 37.26 SJ 2008
10 Pena, Juan Manuel 37.21 DC 2010
11 Djorkaeff, Youri 37.10 NY 2005
12 Zenga, Walter 36.92 NE 1997
13 Waterreus, Ronald 36.62 NY 2007
14 Woods, Chris 36.49 COL 1996
15 Dooley, Tom 36.11 CLB 1997
16 Guppy, Stephen 36.01 DC 2005
17 Coudet, Eduardo 35.88 PHI 2010
18 Bishop, Ian 35.86 MIA 2001
19 Berhalter, Gregg 35.69 LA 2009
20 Herzog, Andreas 35.56 LA 2004
21 Luiz, Andre 35.56 SJ 2009
22 Ramirez, Ramon 35.32 CHV 2005
23 Onstad, Pat 35.24 SJ 2003
24 Nkufo, Blaise 35.17 SEA 2010
25 Gough, Richard 35.07 KC 1997

The cutoff is about 3 years younger for oldest overall players compared to oldest debuts.

Top 25 Oldest MLS Debuts - ALL COMPETITIONS

Age Team Year
1 Mondragon, Faryd 39.74 PHI
2 Keller, Kasey 39.30 SEA 2009
3 Matthaus, Lothar 39.01 NY 2000
4 Ravelli, Thomas 38.60 TB 1998
5 Rost, Frank 38.04 NY 2011
6 Sanchez, Hugo 37.85 DAL 1996
7 Hislop, Shaka 37.50 DAL 2006
8 Suarez, Claudio 37.29 CHV 2006
9 Lima, Francisco 37.26 SJ 2008
10 Pena, Juan Manuel 37.21 DC 2010
11 Djorkaeff, Youri 37.10 NY 2005
12 Zenga, Walter 36.92 NE 1997
13 Waterreus, Ronald 36.62 NY 2007
14 Woods, Chris 36.49 COL 1996
15 Dooley, Tom 36.11 CLB 1997
16 Guppy, Stephen 35.96 DC 2005
17 Coudet, Eduardo 35.88 PHI 2010
18 Bishop, Ian 35.86 MIA 2001
19 Berhalter, Gregg 35.68 LA 2009
20 Herzog, Andreas 35.56 LA 2004
21 Luiz, Andre 35.56 SJ 2009
22 Ramirez, Ramon 35.32 CHV 2005
23 Onstad, Pat 35.17 SJ 2003
24 Nkufo, Blaise 35.17 SEA 2010
25 Gough, Richard 35.07 KC 1997

Players in red have a different overall debut age compared to their MLS debut age.


Friday, May 23, 2008

DC Done For?

At 2-7-0, people are writing off DC United's chances for winning a fifth MLS championship. Oh sure, you still see quotes like this from Tom Soehn:

"I'll say this: As soon as this team gets it, I wouldn't want to play against us, and we're getting really close."

I don't think many of the DC fans expect much from this season, even with a possible coaching change. They're correct to feel that way, because no team has ever won the MLS Cup after going 5 games under .500. In fact, the worst off a future title winner has been is 3 games under .500, which has happened three times (1996 DC, 2004 DC, and 2007 HOU). Although, one team made it to the MLS Cup after going 7 games under: the 2002 New England Revolution.

There is a loophole here if you want to count shootout losses as equal to regular losses, which I don't do. Then, the 1996 United team was equal to the current team with a 2-7 record after 9 games. There is certainly a valid argument you could make about not changing them in this instance due to the fact that that's the way things were done in that season. I don't agree, however, because regardless of how the games counted in terms of points, either way they ended in a draw. If you want to count things that way, then a loss at home tomorrow to Toronto would send them to uncharted waters at -6.

Here is a table of former MLS Cup champions and runners up. You'll see three categories, which are as follows, from left to right: the last day of the season where the team was under .500, the team's record at that time, and the team's maximum # of games under .500 at any point of that season.

Teams with x's indicates that they were never under .500. Five of the twelve champions can make that claim.

MLS Champions

Date Record Max Under
1996 DC United 18-Aug 10-11-4 -3
1997 DC United xxx xxx xxx
1998 Chicago 16-May 3-4-1 -2
1999 DC United xxx xxx xxx
2000 Kansas City xxx xxx xxx
2001 San Jose 28-Apr 1-2-1 -1
2002 Los Angeles xxx xxx xxx
2003 San Jose xxx xxx xxx
2004 DC United 2-Oct 9-10-9 -3
2005 Los Angeles 21-Sep 11-12-6 -1
2006 Houston 15-Apr 1-2-0 -1
2007 Houston 7-Jun 4-5-1 -3

Runners Up

(note: 1997 COL & 2002 NE finished the season under .500)

Date Record Max Under
1996 Los Angeles xxx xxx xxx
1997 Colorado 28-Sep 12-15-5 -4
1998 DC United xxx xxx xxx
1999 Los Angeles 15-May 1-2-6 -1
2000 Chicago 3-May 3-4-1 -2
2001 Los Angeles 21-Apr 1-2-0 -2
2002 New England 21-Sep 12-14-2 -7
2003 Chicago xxx xxx xxx
2004 Kansas City 2-Jun 3-4-2 -1
2005 New England xxx xxx xxx
2006 New England 2-Sep 7-8-10 -1
2007 New England 7-Apr 0-1-0 -1

Monday, May 19, 2008

US Open Cup - Top Finish By State

While looking over the history of the 94 year old tournament, I wanted to know how many different states had produced winners. Then I figured, why not go a step further and list each state's best performance? I've done that here, at least the best that I could given the information available on the brilliant unofficial site, The Wikipedia pages have nice brackets to look at as well.

The data from many years are unavailable, and many more only have the last few rounds. So this data may not be 100% accurate. Although I will mention that most of the years were dominated by a small number of states (the "top six" below).

There have been 94 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup tournaments, with 95 winners (1940 had co-champions). During this time, the winners have come from 13 different states & DC, with the top six states responsible for 84 of them. Overall, I have listed 34 states and Washington D.C. with a team in the top 32. So that leaves 16 states unrepresented.

Best Finishes by State


(Number of titles on the left)
26 New York Brooklyn Field Club (1914), Brooklyn Robins Dry Dock (1921), New York Nationals (1928), New York Hakoah (1929), New York Americans (1937, 1954), Brooklyn St. Mary's Celtic (1939), Brooklyn Hispano (1943, 1944), Brookhattan (1945), German-Hungarian S.C. (1951), S. C. Eintracht (1955), New York Hungaria (1962), New York Ukrainians (1965), Greek American AA (1967, 1968, 1969, 1974), New York Hota (1971), Brooklyn Dodgers S.C. (1979), N.Y. Pancyprian-Freedoms (1980, 1982, 1983), New York A.O. Krete (1984), Brooklyn Italians (1991), Rochester Raging Rhinos (1999)
15 California Los Angeles Kickers (1958, 1964), San Pedro McIlvane Canvasbacks (1959), Maccabee S.C. (1973, 1975, 1977, 1978, 1981), San Francisco A.C. (1976), San Francisco Greek-American A.C. (1985, 1994), San Jose Oaks (1992), San Francisco CD Mexico (1993), Los Angeles Galaxy (2001, 2005)
14 Pennsylvania Bethlehem Steel F.C. (1915, 1916, 1918, 1919, 1926), Philadelphia German-Americans (1936), Gallatin S.C. (1942), Morgan Strasser (1949), Harmarville S.C. (1952, 1956), Ukrainian Nationals (1960, 1961, 1963, 1966)
11 Missouri Ben Millers (1920), St. Louis Scullin Steel F.C. (1922), Stix, Baer and Fuller F.C. (1933, 1934), St. Louis Central Breweries F.C. (1935), St. Louis Simpkins-Ford (1948, 1950), St. Louis Kutis S.C. (1957, 1986), St. Louis Busch Seniors (1988), Kansas CIty Wizards (2004)
9 Illinois Chicago Sparta (1938, 1940), Chicago Viking F.C. (1946), Falcons S.C. (1953), Chicago A.A.C. Eagles (1990), Chicago Fire (1998, 2000, 2003, 2006)
9 Massachusetts Fall River Rovers (1917), Fall River Marksmen (1924, 1927, 1930, 1931), Shawsheen Indians (1925), New Bedford Whalers (1932), Ponta Delgada F.C. (1947), New England Revolution (2007)
3 New Jersey Paterson Silk Sox (1923), S.C. Elizabeth (1970, 1972)
2 DC Washington Club Espana (1987), DC United (1996)
1 Florida St. Petersburg Kickers (1989)
1 Maryland Baltimore S.C. (1940)
1 Ohio Columbus Crew (2002)
1 Rhode Island Pawtucket F.C. (1941)
1 Texas Dallas Burn (1997)
1 Virginia Richmond Kickers (1995)


(position/round on the left)

2nd Colorado Colorado Rapids (1999)
2nd Connecticut Bridgeport Vasco de Gama (1978, 1992)
2nd Michigan Detroit Chrysler (1941)
2nd Washington Seattle Eagles (1987)
2nd Wisconsin Milwaukee Bavarian Leinenkugel (1994)
SF Indiana Indianapolis Inferno SC (1992)
SF Minnesota Minnesota Thunder (2005)
SF New Mexico New Mexico Chiles (1991)
SF North Carolina Carolina Railhawks (2007)
SF South Carolina Charleston Battery (1999, 2004)
QF Georgia Soccer City (1988), Atlanta Ruckus (1995)
QF Oregon Kells Celtic (1992)
QF Tennessee Nashville Metros (1998)
16 Iowa Des Moines Menace (2005)
16 Kansas Wichita Falls Fever (1991)
16 Kentucky Louisville Alliance (1993)
16 Louisiana New Orleans Riverboat Gamblers (1997)
16 Utah Flamengo SC (1992, 1993, 1994, 1995), Real Salt Lake (2006)
32 Arizona Arizona Sahuaros (1998, 1999)
32 Delaware Delaware Wizards (1998)
32 New Hampshire New Hampshire Phantoms (2003, 2006)


Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, Wyoming

You would think a Nevada team might make the list, hmm. Some of these are very unlikely to do anything in the near future, although Mississippi, Vermont, and West Virginia do have PDL teams.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

OTFATT 2008: Update #2

Previous Updates

#1 4/14 68 players remaining

OTFATT is short for "On the field, all the time." In this post and subsequent updates throughout the season, I'll be keeping track of which MLS players have played every minute of every game (regular season only). This feat has been accomplished a total of 29 times in 12 seasons. Click here for the full list of survivors.

We've lost 28 players in the past month, leaving us with 40 survivors. Last year, we were at 41 in the same week, so that's pretty consistent (although there is one more team this season, and the season started a week earlier). Every team currently has at least one player left, too.

Of course, national team duty will knock many players off. I'd expect about ten players to get eliminated because of that next month. No rookies left, but there are several attacking players which if history is any guide, won't be there for long. 11 keepers remain. We should start to see the first suspensions for yellow card accumulation in the next month, which makes this 'contest' very interesting.

Most surprising player remaining probably would go to Marco Velez, who wasn't expected to start for Toronto. The injury to Julius James opened up a spot for him, and he's ran with it. Kei Kamara is another guy I wouldn't have expected to be here. I suppose they don't really have many other options, but it's not as if he's so good that he can't be subbed. Also interesting to see the Crew with over half their lineup here. Obviously things are working for them.

Remaining Candidates (40)

3 CHI Blanco, Busch, Pause
1 CHV Guzan
6 CLB Carroll, Hejduk, Hesmer, Marshall, Moreno, O'Rourke
2 COL Coundoul, Erpen
2 DAL Davino, Sala
2 DC Namoff, Simms
3 HOU Boswell, De Rosario, Mulrooney
2 KC Conrad, Hartman
5 LA Beckham, Cronin, Donovan, Klein, Vanney
4 NE Heaps, Joseph, Parkhurst, Reis
1 NY Conway
2 RSL Borchers, Rimando
2 SJ Cannon, Kamara
5 TOR Brennan, Marshall, Robinson, Velez, Wynne

Friday, May 09, 2008

Great US Soccer Article Collection - Download

For the past year, I've been linking to soccer articles that I feel are quality writing and/or make good points on the left side of this blog. I've also linked to a few non-soccer sports articles when they deal with the business aspect of sports. I figure, I might as well link to them because I've already read them anyway. And then as new articles are added, they fall off the list of links and that's that.

Not necessarily. For the past few years, I've been keeping a Word file of some of the best and most interesting American soccer articles I've come across. I've also gone back and searched for some, like for example in Sports Illustrated's archives. This collection comes to 421 pages, featuring a lot of stuff from the pre-MLS era, all in chronological order. I think any reader of this blog would enjoy taking look at this stuff, so download it already!

Download links

Rapidshare or Filecrunch or Sendspace

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

No Playoff Appearances For Their Club

If you take a look at each of the MLS clubs, which player has made the most appearances for each team without taking the field in a playoff match? Obviously, RSL and Toronto can't take part in this post as they have yet to make the playoffs. I've also only included total appearances through 2007, because many of this year's players will in fact end up in a playoff match. What I mean is, putting in the appearances during the middle of the season doesn't seem right, since we know that in completed seasons, the player had a chance to play in a playoff game but didn't. Also, it's less work.

Most Games Played Without Appearing In A Playoff Game For That Team

CHI Henry Ring 39
CHV Orlando Perez 67
CLB Eddie Gaven 60
COL Scott Garlick 56
DAL Brad Davis 59
DC Brian Kamler 91
HOU Chris Wondolowski 31
KC Shavar Thomas 80
LA Gavin Glinton 61
MIA Roy Lassiter 30
NE Darren Sawatzky 55
NY Kerry Zavagnin 40
RSL xxx xxx
SJ Braeden Cloutier 58
TB Jan Eriksson 37
TOR xxx xxx

Ex-United player Kamler has the highest total for any team at 91 games, while Perez, Gaven, and Wondolowski are still with their clubs. Kamler was a bit player his first two years in DC (1996-97), starting only 5 times and coming on as a sub 20 times. Getting knocked out by Jake Dancy probably didn't help. Nevertheless, he came back from that mess and was a starter in 1998. However, he then hurt his foot down the stretch. He was traded halfway through 1999, and came back in another trade in 2001 but that team was horrible. So 5 seasons played with United, 91 appearances, but none in the playoffs for Brian Kamler. However, he wasn't shut out completely in his career, starting several playoff games for Miami and New England (including the 2002 MLS Cup).

Sunday, May 04, 2008

MLS 2008 - Week 6 Goals Video

Music: Armin van Buuren - "Going Wrong"

Week 6 Results:

Toronto FC 1:1 Red Bull New York
New England Revlution 0:3 Chicago Fire
Columbus Crew 2:1 Kansas City Wizards
Houston Dynamo 0:0 CD Chivas USA
Real Salt Lake 2:2 Los Angeles Galaxy
San Jose Earthquakes 0:0 FC Dallas
Colorado Rapids 2:0 DC United

Goals: (in order shown)

David Beckham
Chris Rolfe
Dave van den Bergh
Jacob Peterson
Fabian Espindola
John Thorrington
David Beckham
Marco Velez
Adam Moffat
Stephen King
Claudio Lopez
Facundo Erpen
Robbie Rogers
Kenny Deuchar

Friday, May 02, 2008

May 2, 2008 - Notes

1) No, Sigi Schmid does not have 100 wins. Sure, if you count shootouts the same as regular victories. But that's a poor way of looking at it, as I've talked about many times before. If you don't change it, then you can't compare the first four seasons of MLS to the rest and the records get all out of whack. Hopefully, the more years MLS racks up, the more likely they''ll be able to see those first four seasons as different and update the historical records accordingly.

Schmid only started coaching the Galaxy in the final year of the shootout, and he was only credited with one shootout win. So last Saturday's win over Houston should be considered his 99th. That may be a small difference, but whether it's one or one hundred, the issue remains the same.

2) BTW, by my count there are only 34 players who played in the shootout era (1996-99) left in MLS. All have 150+ appearances or more, except for Greg Sutton. The Canadian goalkeeper is also the likely record holder of the longest amount of time between MLS matches: 7 years. He played for Chicago in 1999 and 2000, last appearing for them on March 25th, 2000. His first appearance for Toronto last year was on April 7th, 2007.

3) The US Open Cup started for MLS this week. Well, qualifying anyway. Technically, that is different from the tournament proper. This means that I'm going to have to go into my stats and separate the number of appearances/goals between the "US Open Cup" and "Open Cup qualifying," which I didn't do last year (I should have). And since I'm doing that, I really need to make separate categories for each international tournament, rather than just a "continental" category like I've used in the past.

I didn't post my lineup database here after last season like I normally do, in part because I've been wanting to make these changes for a while now. I have to update 17 spreadsheets (16 franchises plus overall) by changing from 4 categories (MLS-Playoffs-Open Cup-Continental) to 14 (one for each international competition). Not hard, just time consuming.

I should note that the new CONCACAF Champions League is considered the same competition as the Champions Cup. However, the preliminary round before the group stage may pose a dilemma. It appears that it is considered part of the tournament proper, as they didn't use the word qualifying. Of course, the same stage in the UEFA Champions League is called qualifying and that data doesn't count in their official statistics. For example, Liverpool's Dirk Kuyt is listed as the 6th highest goalscorer with 5 goals, but that doesn't include his brace against Toulouse in the third round of qualifying.

But I suppose it's up to the confederation to make the decision, and all the teams currently in the tournament are considered qualified, so that's what I'll go by.

4) YA of the Year (not a real award, unfortunately) has to go to Michael Bradley, right? Yanks Abroad currently has a poll running where he takes 73% of the vote. I think only Oguchi Onyewu could make a case for taking it instead. He's part of a team that clinched the league championship without a loss, and has only allowed 19 goals in 32 games. Plus, the Belgian league is not much worse than the Dutch league. I'd say Bradley probably takes it though, barring any major awards for Gooch in the coming weeks. Of course, I have to judge this without seeing either one play outside of small clips.

Looking at that post, the interesting thing is that for this entire decade, a different YA has won every year. In this decade, I have the award going to Reyna, Stewart, O'Brien, Friedel, Howard, Beasley, Keller, McBride, and now Bradley (probably).