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Archive for June, 2010

Fun Facts About The Players In The Last 16 Of The World Cup

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Just because I was curious, I thought I’d check to see which countries, leagues and clubs had produced the most First XI players among the countries who made the knockout stages of the 2010 World Cup.

Those 16 countries started a total (obviously) of 176 players in their round of 16 games. Among those 176 players:

  • 20 percent (35) play their club football in England. 16% play in Germany, 15% in Spain and 7% in Italy.
  • All but six play in the top division in those countries, but four of those six last played for clubs that were promoted to the top flight (while eight played for clubs that were relegated at the end of last season).
  • Among club teams, Barcelona (with 8), Bayern Munich, Liverpool and Real Madrid (7 each) had the most players starting in the Final 16.
  • England and Germany had all eleven of their starters playing in their domestic league. Spain had 10, Japan eight, Mexico five. All in all, 64 of the 176 (36%) starters play in the domestic league of the country they are representing in South Africa. Argentina and Brazil had just one each.

I’ll give you the charts later if you want them. I just thought it was interesting to see.

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June 29th, 2010 at 10:59 am

Revised US Men’s National Team TV Ratings Chart

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With the USA having set ESPN records twice in the span of a week, here’s the latest table of USMNT TV broadcast/cable ratings of World Cup matches since 1990.

Net Day Date Game Time Rtg TVHH
ESPN Wed 6/23/2010 USA/Algeria 10:00a 4.6 4,582,000
ESPN Fri 6/18/2010 USA/Slovenia 10:00a 3.9 3,906,000
ABC Sat 6/12/2010 USA/England 2:30p 7.3 8,391,000
ESPN Thu 6/22/2006 USA/Ghana 10:00a 3.2 2,900,000
ABC Sat 6/17/2006 USA/Italy 3:00p 4.4 4,824,000
ESPN2 Mon 6/12/2006 USA/Czech Rep. 12:00p 2.4 2,140,000
ESPN Friday 6/21/2002 QF: USA/Germany 7:25a 4.36 3,800,000
ESPN Mon 6/17/2002 R16: USA/Mexico 2:25a 2.29 1,980,000
ABC Sat 6/15/2002 USA/Poland (Tape) 1:00p 1.1 1,166,000
ESPN Friday 6/14/2002 USA/Poland 7:25a 1.88 1,630,000
ESPN2 Mon 6/10/2002 USA/South Korea 5:00a 1.62 1,360,000
ESPN2 Wed 6/05/2002 USA/Portugal 2:30a 1.19 998,000
ABC Thu 6/25/1998 USA/Yugoslavia 3:00p 2.2 2,156,000
ABC Sun 6/21/1998 USA/Iran 3:00p 3.5 3,430,000
ABC Mon 6/15/1998 USA/Germany 3:00p 3.4 3,332,000
ABC Mon 7/04/1994 R16:USA/Brazil 3:30p 9.3 N/A
ABC Sun 6/26/1994 USA/Romania 4:00p 6.8 N/A
ESPN Wed 6/22/1994 USA/Colombia 7:30p 4.3 2,710,000
ABC Sat 6/18/1994 USA/Switzerland 11:30a *5.8 N/A
TBS Tue 6/19/1990 USA/Austria NA 1.0 473,000
TBS Thu 6/14/1990 USA/Italy NA 1.2 555,000
TBS Sun 6/10/1990 USA/Czechslovakia NA 1.8 858,000
*Overnight only available

With the Ghana game coming on a Saturday afternoon in late June without a lot of competition, maybe this one will break the all-time record for a US national team, the 1999 Women’s World Cup final.

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June 24th, 2010 at 3:49 pm

Yeah, About That Foul Call….

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From Robert EvansFor The Integrity Of Soccer blog, this look at the goings-on during the disallowed third goal by the US in last Friday’s 2-2 draw with Slovenia:

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June 21st, 2010 at 4:45 pm

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Taking Attendance, 6/21/2010

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Major League Soccer will be back from its group stage break this weekend, but the other outdoor leagues have continued their seasons unabated (with drops in attendance, more on that later). Here’s a look at each league’s attendance figures through games of June 20. These are unofficial and incomplete (because many lower-level teams can’t be buggered, apparently) numbers based on boxscores, so take them for what they’re worth.

MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER G Total Average
Seattle Sounders FC 8 289,166 36,146
Philadelphia Union 2 59,908 29,954
Toronto FC 5 102,687 20,537
Los Angeles Galaxy 6 117,811 19,635
Houston Dynamo 7 116,798 16,685
New York Red Bulls 7 113,975 16,282
Real Salt Lake 6 94,899 15,817
DC United 7 103,139 14,734
Chivas USA 5 72,503 14,501
Chicago Fire 6 85,629 14,272
Columbus Crew 5 71,221 14,244
Colorado Rapids 5 63,935 12,787
FC Dallas 6 62,685 10,448
New England Revolution 6 61,914 10,319
Kansas City Wizards 6 59,374 9,896
San Jose Earthquakes 6 56,303 9,384
MLS TOTAL 93 1,531,947 16,473
 
WOMEN’S PROFESSIONAL SOCCER G Total Average
Boston Breakers 4 20,436 5,109
Atlanta Beat 3 13,949 4,650
Chicago Red Stars 6 26,214 4,369
Washington Freedom 6 26,034 4,339
Sky Blue FC 4 15,018 3,755
FC Gold Pride 6 20,384 3,397
Philadelphia Independence 6 19,480 3,247
Saint Louis Athletica 4 12,109 3,027
WPS TOTAL 39 153,624 3,939
 
USSF DIVISION II SOCCER LEAGUE G Total Average
Montreal Impact 6 74,841 12,474
Portland Timbers 8 69,562 8,695
Rochester Rhinos 6 32,722 5,454
FC Tampa Bay Rowdies 4 21,778 5,445
Vancouver Whitecaps 7 35,054 5,008
AC St. Louis 3 12,082 4,027
Austin Aztex 8 27,524 3,441
Puerto Rico Islanders 6 16,019 2,670
Carolina RailHawks 4 9,169 2,292
Minnesota NSC Stars 7 8,726 1,247
Miami FC Blues 8 9,668 1,209
Palace Baltimore 4 4,437 1,109
USSF2 TOTAL 71 321,582 4,529
 
UNITED SOCCER LEAGUES DIVISION II G Total Average
Charleston Battery 7 25,487 3,641
Richmond Kickers 6 12,090 2,015
Harrisburg City Islanders 5 8,011 1,602
Charlotte Eagles 5 4,230 846
Pittsburgh Riverhounds 3 2,271 757
Real Maryland Monarchs 6 3,602 600
USL-2 TOTAL 32 55,691 1,740
 
UNITED SOCCER LEAGUES W-LEAGUE G Total Average
New Jersey Wildcats 2 1,853 927
Atlanta Silverbacks 1 842 842
Long Island Rough Riders 2 1,358 679
Colorado Force 2 909 455
Hampton Roads Piranhas 4 1,635 409
Charlotte Lady Eagles 2 793 397
Ottawa Fury 1 363 363
Laval Comets 2 660 330
Quebec City Amiral 2 639 320
Hudson Valley Quickstrike Lady Blues 1 312 312
Rochester Ravens 2 565 283
Seattle Sounders 1 274 274
Northern Virginia Majestics 1 246 246
Colorado Rush 3 685 228
Kalamazoo Outrage 2 445 223
Toronto Lady Lynx 1 200 200
Buffalo Flash 2 367 184
Pali Blues 1 182 182
Hamilton Avalanche 3 525 175
Chicago Red Eleven 4 475 119
Tampa Bay Hellenic 2 223 112
London Gryphons 1 110 110
Washington Freedom Futures 4 270 68
Cleveland Internationals 1 60 60
W-LEAGUE TOTAL 47 13,991 298
 
UNITED SOCCER LEAGUES PDL G Total Average
Des Moines Menace 4 13,973 3,493
Carolina Dynamo 1 3,243 3,243
West Texas United Sockers 6 15,884 2,647
Fresno Fuego 3 7,468 2,489
Toronto Lynx 1 2,000 2,000
Forest City London 1 1,725 1,725
Dayton Dutch Lions 4 5,950 1,488
Victoria Highlanders FC 3 4,394 1,465
El Paso Patriots 2 2,555 1,278
Los Angeles Legends 2 2,500 1,250
Thunder Bay Chill 1 1,070 1,070
Laredo Heat 3 2,983 994
Western Mass Pioneers 1 991 991
Portland Timbers U23’s 5 4,117 823
Vermont Voltage 2 1,588 794
Cincinnati Kings 4 2,889 722
Indiana Invaders 1 707 707
BYU Cougars 4 2,795 699
Michigan Bucks 3 1,993 664
Mississippi Brilla 2 1,318 659
Ventura County Fusion 5 3,262 652
Long Island Rough Riders 3 1,708 569
Central Florida Kraze 3 1,385 462
Rochester Thunder 2 867 434
Hampton Roads Piranhas 2 838 419
Ironbound Express 6 2,123 354
St. Louis Lions 3 1,006 335
Yakima Reds 1 329 329
Bermuda Hogges 2 565 283
Southern California Seahorses 3 826 275
Ottawa Fury 4 1,036 259
Reading United 4 1,000 250
Dallas Fort Worth Tornados 3 735 245
Nashville Metros 2 478 239
Albany BWP Highlanders 4 950 238
Hollywood United Hitmen 2 469 235
Rio Grande Valley Bravos 1 225 225
Ocean City Nor’easters 1 216 216
Washington Crossfire 2 423 212
Springfield Demize 5 990 198
West Virginia Chaos 3 585 195
Kansas City Brass 2 365 183
Kalamazoo Outrage 3 520 173
Abbotsford Mariners 3 455 152
Lancaster Rattlers 1 150 150
Atlanta Blackhawks 3 434 145
MPS Portland Phoenix 3 398 133
Houston Leones 2 260 130
Brooklyn Knights 6 725 121
Ft. Lauderdale Schultz Academy 2 230 115
IMG Bradenton Academics 4 450 113
New Hampshire Phantoms 2 220 110
Orange County Blue Star 6 585 98
New Jersey Rangers FC 2 183 92
Westchester Flames 3 275 92
Vancouver Whitecaps Residency 3 224 75
Central Jersey 1 70 70
Chicago Fire 1 55 55
Real Colorado Foxes 1 50 50
Cleveland Internationals 2 80 40
PDL TOTAL 166 108,134 651

NOTES:

  • Every league that’s kept playing through the World Cup has seen a drop in average attendance during FIFA’s event. WPS has gone from 4,016 per game to 3,515; USSF2 has gone from 4,637 per game to 3,999; USL-2 has gone from 1,757 per game to 1,653; The W-League has gone from 330 to 235; and the PDL has gone from 695 per game to 477. That said, this is the time of year when things normally go down a bit, for a lot of reasons. It’s also a small sample (the World Cup has only been going on for 10 days). We’ll see if it continues and what happens afterwards (when attendance normally goes up a bit anyway).
  • WPS’ average continues to slip farther below the 4,000 mark. They haven’t had a crowd of over 5,000 in more than a month and only seven all season (39 games). Tough to spin this, it’s just not going well for them. And “the Stadium That Will Change Women’s Soccer?” Yeah, Atlanta has drawn 3,112 and 3,589 to their last two home games.
  • In USSFD2, Miami and Minnesota have each hosted nearly half their home games already and both are right around 1,200 a game. Minnesota’s fans expect things to pick up, but they have a long way to go and a short time to get there.
  • Speaking of the second division, FC Edmonton is playing friendlies this summer in preparation for joining the NASL (or whatever the second division league is) in 2011. They drew 2,106 against Montreal last Wednesday, then hoped for 10,000, would have settled for 7,000 and got 5,573 for Colo-Colo of Chile on Sunday. Considering they’re spending about a million dollars on player and coach salaries, they’re not getting tremendous return on investment. The stadium they’re almost going to have to use all the time next year (Foote Field) seats 3,000 people, so the upside isn’t that great. I honestly don’t know how many times someone has to fail in Edmonton before people stop trying there.
  • Speaking of things that make me wonder: I know about the player development aspect and everything, but, honestly, why do we bother with most of the PDL and W-League? They draw handfuls of people to most games.

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June 21st, 2010 at 1:36 pm

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Happy Anniversary, Pele

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It was 35 years ago today that The Black Pearl made his NASL debut for the New York Cosmos. Pele assisted on one goal and scored the other in a 2-2 friendly draw with the Dallas Tornado at Downing Stadium on Randalls Island in New York.



That was the start of Pele’s two-and-a-half year run in the NASL, which culminated with the 1977 Soccer Bowl title.

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June 15th, 2010 at 6:18 am

USA-England Ratings, Plus Numbers For All US World Cup Matches

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With the news that the USA-England match Saturday drew one of the biggest TV audiences for soccer ever in this country, I thought I’d update the list of ratings for US National Team games going back to their 1990 appearance in Italy. I don’t have every bit of data for this chart, and I welcome corrections or additions, but this is what I’ve compiled over the years from various sources:

Net Day Date Game Time Rtg TVHH
ABC Sat 6/12/2010 USA/England 2:30p 7.3 8,391,000
ESPN Thu 6/22/2006 USA/Ghana 10:00a 3.2 2,900,000
ABC Sat 6/17/2006 USA/Italy 3:00p 4.4 4,824,000
ESPN2 Mon 6/12/2006 USA/Czech Rep. 12:00p 2.4 2,140,000
ESPN Friday 6/21/2002 QF: USA/Germany 7:25a 4.36 3,800,000
ESPN Mon 6/17/2002 R16: USA/Mexico 2:25a 2.29 1,980,000
ABC Sat 6/15/2002 USA/Poland (Tape) 1:00p 1.1 1,166,000
ESPN Friday 6/14/2002 USA/Poland 7:25a 1.88 1,630,000
ESPN2 Mon 6/10/2002 USA/South Korea 5:00a 1.62 1,360,000
ESPN2 Wed 6/05/2002 USA/Portugal 2:30a 1.19 998,000
ABC Thu 6/25/1998 USA/Yugoslavia 3:00p 2.2 2,156,000
ABC Sun 6/21/1998 USA/Iran 3:00p 3.5 3,430,000
ABC Mon 6/15/1998 USA/Germany 3:00p 3.4 3,332,000
ABC Mon 7/04/1994 R16:USA/Brazil 3:30p 9.3 N/A
ABC Sun 6/26/1994 USA/Romania 4:00p 6.8 N/A
ESPN Wed 6/22/1994 USA/Colombia 7:30p 4.3 2,710,000
ABC Sat 6/18/1994 USA/Switzerland 11:30a *5.8 N/A
TBS Tue 6/19/1990 USA/Austria NA 1.0 473,000
TBS Thu 6/14/1990 USA/Italy NA 1.2 555,000
TBS Sun 6/10/1990 USA/Czechslovakia NA 1.8 858,000
*Overnight only available

Only 20 years ago, we couldn’t get a million households to watch our national team play in the World Cup. We’re not getting American Idol numbers, but the people who say nobody cares about soccer in this country are just flat-out wrong.

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June 14th, 2010 at 1:54 pm

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This Sort Of Thing Wouldn’t Happen In A Real Footballing Nation

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You know how Americans kvetch when EPSN or Fox Soccer Channel do anything that’s screwy when it comes to soccer on television (trust me, they do)? Good to know it happens in other countries, as well. Per Soccer Insider, here’s what the folks watching ITV in the UK saw just as England was about to score their goal today against the USA:



Jolly good there.

By the way, the US tied England 1-1, making their road out of the first round a whole lot easier. You’ll read a lot of things over the next 24 hours, but here’s as simple as I can make it: England is probably a better side overall, the US got some breaks, but getting a result is terrific. The objective is to get at least 4 points and get out of the group, and anything can happen after that. The US has some things to work on before Friday’s game against Slovenia, but so far, so good.

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June 12th, 2010 at 6:54 pm

A World Cup Preview From Someone Who Admittedly Has No Idea Who’s Going To Win

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I have no idea who’s going to win the World Cup. Neither does anybody else, but I’ve at least just admitted it. Some people’s predictions may, in fact, come true (when only seven countries have won the thing in 18 events, picking one of the usual suspects isn’t exactly Nostradamus-like), but nobody actually knows. Which makes it more interesting than, say, baseball, where it’s fairly obvious which handful of teams have a legitimate shot.

Anyway, because I don’t want to break it down by groups or do a bracket or anything like that, and because I have ADD, I’m just going to throw some thoughts out there and we’ll see afterward how I did.

  • I’m thinking New Zealand might be the worst team in the field. At first I thought South Africa, but the Kiwis have done nothing to show me they won’t be three-and-out without doing anything.
  • Can the US beat England? Sure, they can The thing about the Americans is that every once in a while they do something so completely out of character, so stunning, so…well, Worldly, for lack of a better term, that you think the USA has turned the corner and is finally ready to be one of Those Teams. Then they go all bipolar and you think, “Wait, what? Are the guys with the mullets back or what?” I could see England winning, and I could see the US playing out of their minds and getting a result. But I can’t see England taking the Yanks as lightly as the Brit tabloids do and letting the US have a dream start like against Portugal in 2002. By the way, I don’t think there’s any question Saturday’s game will be the highest-rated soccer telecast ever in this country, certainly the highest involving a US team (the ’99 Women’s World Cup has that distinction at the moment, I believe, with an 11.4 rating and 11.3 million viewers).
  • I think the US gets out of its group. They’d better. Else everybody gets broomed and we get Gus Hiddink as our coach or something.
  • I like Serbia. Don’t ask me why.
  • Okay, I’ll do my picks to get out of each group: Mexico and France in Group A, Argentina and Greece in Group B, England and the USA in Group C, Germany and Serbia in Group D, Holland and Cameroon in Group E, Italy and Slovakia in Group F, Brazil and Portugal in Group G and Spain and it doesn’t matter in Group H. Okay, Chile, who cares? I’d say Honduras, but any team with Amado Guevara as its captain can’t win anything.
  • Diego Maradona will say or do something incredibly inappropriate at some point. Like eat Lionel Messi or something.
  • I’m picking Spain. Spain’s not one of the seven countries that have won it, but they are the favorites, so I’m not going too far out on a limb here. But you can’t do one of these things without picking a winner, so there you are.

Oh, and the official World Cup song is crap.

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June 10th, 2010 at 2:09 pm

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Zizou Would Be Proud

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But Austrian TV officials weren’t, as they quashed a series of ads reminiscent of Zenedine Zidane’s infamous headbutt in the 2006 World Cup Final. To be honest, this was the best of the lot:



The Spoiler tells us the ads were kiboshed because “they convey that violence can be used to solve conflicts.” Next thing you know, they’ll tell us that drinking a certain beer really won’t attract hot bikini-clad women to you.

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June 9th, 2010 at 2:22 pm

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A Kicker Indeed

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It came from the third division….Sascha Goerres of the USL’s Richmond Kickers with a beauty last weekend against the Charleston Battery.



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June 9th, 2010 at 11:32 am

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