Archive for June, 2010
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.
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.
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.
From Robert Evans‘ For 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:
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|
|Los Angeles Galaxy||6||117,811||19,635|
|New York Red Bulls||7||113,975||16,282|
|Real Salt Lake||6||94,899||15,817|
|New England Revolution||6||61,914||10,319|
|Kansas City Wizards||6||59,374||9,896|
|San Jose Earthquakes||6||56,303||9,384|
|WOMEN’S PROFESSIONAL SOCCER||G||Total||Average|
|Chicago Red Stars||6||26,214||4,369|
|Sky Blue FC||4||15,018||3,755|
|FC Gold Pride||6||20,384||3,397|
|Saint Louis Athletica||4||12,109||3,027|
|USSF DIVISION II SOCCER LEAGUE||G||Total||Average|
|FC Tampa Bay Rowdies||4||21,778||5,445|
|AC St. Louis||3||12,082||4,027|
|Puerto Rico Islanders||6||16,019||2,670|
|Minnesota NSC Stars||7||8,726||1,247|
|Miami FC Blues||8||9,668||1,209|
|UNITED SOCCER LEAGUES DIVISION II||G||Total||Average|
|Harrisburg City Islanders||5||8,011||1,602|
|Real Maryland Monarchs||6||3,602||600|
|UNITED SOCCER LEAGUES W-LEAGUE||G||Total||Average|
|New Jersey Wildcats||2||1,853||927|
|Long Island Rough Riders||2||1,358||679|
|Hampton Roads Piranhas||4||1,635||409|
|Charlotte Lady Eagles||2||793||397|
|Quebec City Amiral||2||639||320|
|Hudson Valley Quickstrike Lady Blues||1||312||312|
|Northern Virginia Majestics||1||246||246|
|Toronto Lady Lynx||1||200||200|
|Chicago Red Eleven||4||475||119|
|Tampa Bay Hellenic||2||223||112|
|Washington Freedom Futures||4||270||68|
|UNITED SOCCER LEAGUES PDL||G||Total||Average|
|Des Moines Menace||4||13,973||3,493|
|West Texas United Sockers||6||15,884||2,647|
|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|
|Western Mass Pioneers||1||991||991|
|Portland Timbers U23’s||5||4,117||823|
|Ventura County Fusion||5||3,262||652|
|Long Island Rough Riders||3||1,708||569|
|Central Florida Kraze||3||1,385||462|
|Hampton Roads Piranhas||2||838||419|
|St. Louis Lions||3||1,006||335|
|Southern California Seahorses||3||826||275|
|Dallas Fort Worth Tornados||3||735||245|
|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|
|West Virginia Chaos||3||585||195|
|Kansas City Brass||2||365||183|
|MPS Portland Phoenix||3||398||133|
|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|
|Vancouver Whitecaps Residency||3||224||75|
|Real Colorado Foxes||1||50||50|
- 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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
It came from the third division….Sascha Goerres of the USL’s Richmond Kickers with a beauty last weekend against the Charleston Battery.