Posts Tagged ‘USL-Pro’

Taking Attendance 9/13/2013: Final USL Pro Numbers

Sunday, September 15th, 2013

Thanks to the assistance of front office folks in several cities and other intrepid attendance wonks, I can present to you the final(ish) attendance numbers for USL Pro teams for 2013. Standard caveats apply, but I will list them again: These are announced numbers, I don’t know how much of a relationship they bear to reality but they’re probably no worse than any of the numbers from years past in most cases, I’m not going to do stadium capacity percentages because the true capacities are neither consistently available nor agreed upon (and some teams use more than one stadium), I don’t have NPSL numbers because they’re rarely reported and I do not keep NCAA attendance numbers because these are not lists of college teams’ attendance figures (except for BYU in the PDL, which doesn’t play in the traditional NCAA soccer season anyway).

With all that in mind, please to enjoy:

Team G Total Avg. Median High Low
Orlando 14 112,784 8,056 7,930 10,697 5,985
Rochester 14 82,576 5,898 5,919 7,334 4,361
Charleston 14 49,760 3,554 3,393 5,111 2,057
Pittsburgh 14 45,816 3,273 3,328 4,000 1,664
Wilmington 14 44,269 3,162 3,056 5,017 1,769
Richmond 14 35,381 2,527 2,203 4,921 1,694
Phoenix 14 21,454 1,532 1,440 4,198 327
Harrisburg 14 20,386 1,456 1,521 2,170 730
Charlotte 14 11,297 807 718 1,336 332
Dayton 14 10,540 753 690 1,621 250
Los Angeles 14 10,049 718 542 3,000 176
Tampa Bay 14 5,295 378 295 1,032 139
MLS Reserves 10 15,116 1,512 613 8,263 100
USL PRO TOTAL 178 464,723 2,611 1,898 10,697 100

NOTES:

  • So now the only games I am missing are a few hosted by MLS Reserve Teams in the first year of the partnership. Without the MLS teams’ home games, USL Pro averaged 2,676 per game, right around what last year’s average was (2,658). Pittsburgh (up 233% thanks to Highmark Stadium) and Orlando (up 22%) were gainers, while Wilmington (down 26%), Charleston (down 10%) and Rochester (down 6%) didn’t reach last year’s averages. The rest of the teams had modest gains.
  • The expansion teams (Phoenix and Tampa Bay) didn’t help things, averaging 1,532 and 378, respectively. Phoenix fell off the face of the Earth faster than I’ve ever seen a club that got off to a good start. From selling out its opener to playing at a youth field with no actual seating to having its former president pushed out and sue the other owners, all in about 150 days, well, you don’t see that every year.
  • If you’re curious, without Orlando (which it appears USL Pro may be by 2015), the league averaged 2,187 a game. Which is still miles ahead of where D3 used to be.
  • Orlando’s 20,886 crowd for the final was (obviously) the biggest crowd in D3 history, but the regular season record of 11,255 for a Milwaukee-Minnesota match in 1995 still stands.

Taking Attendance 9/3/2013: Everybody Ranked 1-137

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

For the first attendance update of the unoffical start of Fall, here are all the teams in the US and Canada who play in MLS, the NASL, USL Pro and the PDL on the men’s side and the NWSL and W-League on the women’s side, ranked from number one (no surprise) to number 137. An asterisk (*) means I am missing some data from those teams, so if you have them or any other corrections, leave them in the comments or send them my way.

Rk
Team
League
 
G
Total
Average
1 Seattle Sounders MLS   11 472,593 42,963
2 Los Angeles Galaxy MLS   12 266,181 22,182
3 Montreal Impact MLS   13 272,133 20,933
4 Portland Timbers MLS   12 248,088 20,674
5 Houston Dynamo MLS   12 241,362 20,114
6 Vancouver Whitecaps MLS   14 278,350 19,882
7 Sporting KC MLS   14 277,672 19,834
8 Toronto FC MLS   13 251,199 19,323
9 Real Salt Lake MLS   14 265,260 18,947
10 New York Red Bulls MLS   13 244,182 18,783
11 Philadelphia Union MLS   14 247,517 17,680
12 FC Dallas MLS   13 207,216 15,940
13 Columbus Crew MLS   13 203,382 15,645
14 Colorado Rapids MLS   14 213,155 15,225
15 Chicago Fire MLS   14 203,714 14,551
16 DC United MLS   13 176,853 13,604
17 New England Revolution MLS   13 176,149 13,550
18 San Jose Earthquakes MLS   13 175,400 13,492
19 Portland Thorns FC NWSL   11 146,521 13,320
20 New York Cosmos NASL   2 18,781 9,391
21 Chivas USA MLS   13 110,545 8,503
22 Orlando City SC USL   14 112,784 8,056
23 San Antonio Scorpions NASL   9 62,084 6,898
24 Rochester Rhinos USL   13 75,900 5,838
25 Minnesota United FC NASL   8 43,546 5,443
26 Atlanta Silverbacks NASL   9 42,042 4,671
27 Carolina RailHawks NASL   9 42,027 4,670
28 FC Kansas City NWSL   11 50,884 4,626
29 Western New York Flash NWSL   11 49,334 4,485
30 Tampa Bay Rowdies NASL   8 34,370 4,296
31 Fort Lauderdale Strikers NASL   8 32,413 4,052
32 Washington Spirit NWSL   11 39,816 3,620
33 Charleston Battery USL   14 49,760 3,554
34 Pittsburgh Riverhounds USL   14 45,816 3,273
35 Wilmington Hammerheads USL   14 44,269 3,162
36 Des Moines Menace PDL   7 21,961 3,137
37 Fresno Fuego PDL   7 19,785 2,826
38 Richmond Kickers USL   14 35,381 2,527
39 Portland Timbers U-23s PDL   7 17,106 2,444
40 Boston Breakers NWSL   11 26,697 2,427
41 Seattle Reign FC NWSL   11 25,365 2,306
42 FC Edmonton NASL   9 19,634 2,182
43 Washington Spirit Reserves W-L   6 12,194 2,032
44 Carolina Dynamo PDL * 5 8,897 1,779
45 Chicago Red Stars NWSL   11 18,817 1,711
46 Sky Blue FC NWSL   11 18,309 1,664
47 Victoria Highlanders FC PDL   7 11,462 1,637
48 Phoenix FC Wolves USL   14 21,454 1,532
49 MLS Reserve Teams USL   10 15,116 1,512
50 Harrisburg City Islanders USL   14 20,386 1,456
51 Austin Aztex PDL   7 10,063 1,438
52 Ventura County Fusion PDL   7 9,474 1,353
53 Oklahoma City PDL   7 8,499 1,214
54 Forest City London PDL   7 8,024 1,146
55 BYU Cougars PDL   7 7,952 1,136
56 Seattle Sounders Women W-L * 5 5,417 1,083
57 Western Mass Pioneers PDL   7 7,404 1,058
58 West Texas Sockers PDL   7 6,765 966
59 Long Island Rough Riders PDL * 6 4,941 824
60 Charlotte Eagles USL   14 11,297 807
61 FC Tucson PDL   7 5,599 800
62 Thunder Bay Chill PDL   7 5,595 799
63 Dayton Dutch Lions USL   14 10,540 753
64 Michigan Bucks PDL   7 4,808 687
65 Long Island Rough Riders W-L   6 3,913 652
66 Laredo Heat PDL   7 4,306 615
67 Kitsap Pumas PDL   7 4,232 605
68 K-W United FC PDL * 3 1,810 603
69 Mississippi Brilla PDL   7 3,945 564
70 Virginia Beach Piranhas PDL   7 3,877 554
71 Los Angeles Blues USL   11 5,965 542
72 Virginia Beach Piranhas W-L   6 3,245 541
73 Charlotte Lady Eagles W-L   5 2,701 540
74 Sounders FC U23 PDL   7 3,769 538
75 Ocean City Nor’easters PDL * 6 3,199 533
76 Panama City Beach Pirates PDL   7 3,201 457
77 SW Florida Adrenaline PDL * 5 1,998 400
78 Reading United AC PDL   7 2,703 386
79 VSI Tampa Bay FC USL   13 4,957 381
80 Houston Dutch Lions PDL   7 2,650 379
81 Atlanta Silverbacks W-L   5 1,875 375
82 St. Louis Lions PDL   7 2,511 359
83 Ottawa Fury W-L   6 1,979 330
84 SC United Bantams PDL * 6 1,950 325
85 Colorado Rapids Women W-L * 3 960 320
86 CFC Azul PDL   7 2,196 314
87 El Paso Patriots PDL   7 2,150 307
88 Carolina Elite Cobras W-L * 4 1,215 304
89 Northern Virginia Royals PDL * 5 1,475 295
90 Ocala Stampede PDL * 6 1,685 281
91 K-W United FC W-L * 3 770 257
92 Ottawa Fury PDL   7 1,793 256
93 New Jersey Wildcats W-L * 5 1,274 255
94 LA Strikers W-L * 4 1,017 254
95 WSA Winnipeg PDL   7 1,730 247
96 North Sound SeaWolves FC PDL   7 1,640 234
97 Dayton Dutch Lions W-L   5 1,137 227
98 New York Magic – F.A. Euro W-L   6 1,348 225
99 Colorado Rush W-L * 5 1,040 208
100 Vermont Voltage PDL * 2 411 206
101 North Jersey Valkyries W-L   6 1,224 204
102 Fredericksburg Impact W-L   6 1,204 201
103 S.California Seahorses PDL * 3 600 200
104 NJ LUSO Rangers FC PDL * 4 795 199
105 Bay Area Breeze W-L   6 1,149 192
106 Pali Blues W-L   6 1,142 190
107 Kansas City Brass PDL * 5 942 188
108 Real Boston Rams PDL   7 1,301 186
109 Baltimore Bohemians PDL   7 1,249 178
110 Laval Comets W-L   6 1,019 170
111 Real Colorado Foxes PDL   7 1,150 164
112 Jersey Express PDL   7 1,127 161
113 Santa Clarita Blue Heat W-L * 3 476 159
114 S.West Va. King’s Warriors PDL   7 1,068 153
115 New York Magic – F.A. Euro PDL * 5 730 146
116 GPS Portland Phoenix PDL * 5 725 145
117 Toronto Lynx PDL   7 1,000 143
118 VSI Tampa Bay FC PDL * 2 278 139
119 West Virginia Chaos PDL   7 965 138
120 Quebec City Amiral W-L * 5 685 137
121 Washington Crossfire PDL   7 897 128
122 London Gryphons W-L * 5 640 128
123 Orlando City U23 PDL * 1 127 127
124 Chicago Inferno PDL * 5 527 105
125 OC Blues Strikers FC PDL * 5 525 105
126 Springfield Demize PDL   7 719 103
127 River City Rovers PDL   7 638 91
128 VSI Tampa Bay FC W-L * 5 430 86
129 Seacoast United Phantoms PDL   7 580 83
130 Vancouver Whitecaps U23 PDL   7 569 81
131 Toronto Lady Lynx W-L * 5 391 78
132 Westchester Flames PDL   7 465 66
133 LA Misioneros FC PDL * 6 325 54
134 Chicago Fire PDL * 5 206 41
135 Central Jersey Spartans PDL   7 245 35
136 IMG Academy Bradenton PDL * 6 160 27
137 Ft.Laud.Schulz Academy PDL * 1 15 15

Taking Attendance: 8/12/2013 (Everybody)

Monday, August 12th, 2013

I haven’t done a full update of every team’s attendance in a month and a half, so here’s a look at all the main leagues north of the Rio Grande through this past weekend’s games. You’ll see I’m still missing several figures in USL Pro, the PDL and W-League, so if you have those numbers (or are actually with one of the teams, like Robin Waite of the Kitsap Pumas, who graciously sent me what I was missing), send them my way or leave them in the comments. Standard disclaimer on all of these, and (once again) I actually did start an NPSL spreadsheet but tracking down numbers was so tough that I’m at the mercy of you, the loyal readers. If you have NPSL attendance numbers, send them to me or leave them in the comments and I’ll endeavor to include them in a future update.

With that said, here are the numbers through August 11:

MLS G Total Average
Seattle Sounders 10 405,208 40,521
Los Angeles Galaxy 10 214,944 21,494
Montreal Impact 11 230,531 20,957
Portland Timbers 10 206,740 20,674
Houston Dynamo 11 219,073 19,916
Vancouver Whitecaps 12 238,583 19,882
Sporting KC 13 258,093 19,853
Toronto FC 12 232,676 19,390
Real Salt Lake 12 226,610 18,884
New York Red Bulls 11 201,455 18,314
Philadelphia Union 13 229,178 17,629
FC Dallas 12 192,296 16,025
Colorado Rapids 13 197,125 15,163
Columbus Crew 11 166,638 15,149
Chicago Fire 12 168,821 14,068
San Jose Earthquakes 12 164,875 13,740
DC United 12 162,926 13,577
New England Revolution 11 148,988 13,544
Chivas USA 11 95,371 8,670
MLS TOTAL 219 3,960,131 18,083
 
NASL G Total Average
New York Cosmos 1 11,929 11,929
San Antonio Scorpions 7 50,093 7,156
Minnesota United FC 7 37,912 5,416
Atlanta Silverbacks 7 35,018 5,003
Carolina RailHawks 7 32,730 4,676
Tampa Bay Rowdies 7 31,252 4,465
Fort Lauderdale Strikers 7 29,177 4,168
FC Edmonton 7 14,101 2,014
NASL TOTAL 50 242,212 4,844
 
USL Pro G Total Average
Orlando City SC 13 102,533 7,887
Rochester Rhinos * 13 75,900 5,838
Charleston Battery 13 46,259 3,558
Pittsburgh Riverhounds # 11 36,554 3,323
Wilmington Hammerheads 12 39,187 3,266
Richmond Kickers 13 30,460 2,343
Phoenix FC Wolves 13 20,941 1,611
Harrisburg City Islanders 14 20,386 1,456
Charlotte Eagles 14 11,297 807
Dayton Dutch Lions 13 9,669 744
Los Angeles Blues & 10 7,150 715
VSI Tampa Bay FC )( 8 3,770 471
MLS Reserve Teams $ 10 15,116 1,512
USL PRO TOTAL 157 419,222 2,670
 
PDL G Total Average
Des Moines Menace 7 21,961 3,137
Fresno Fuego 7 19,785 2,826
Portland Timbers U-23s 7 17,106 2,444
Carolina Dynamo # 5 8,897 1,779
Victoria Highlanders FC 7 11,462 1,637
Austin Aztex 7 10,063 1,438
Ventura County Fusion 7 9,474 1,353
Oklahoma City 7 8,499 1,214
Forest City London 7 8,024 1,146
BYU Cougars 7 7,952 1,136
Western Mass Pioneers 7 7,404 1,058
West Texas Sockers 7 6,765 966
Long Island Rough Riders * 6 4,941 824
FC Tucson 7 5,599 800
Thunder Bay Chill 7 5,595 799
Michigan Bucks 7 4,808 687
Laredo Heat 7 4,306 615
Kitsap Pumas 7 4,232 605
K-W United FC $ 3 1,810 603
Mississippi Brilla 7 3,945 564
Virginia Beach Piranhas 7 3,877 554
Sounders FC U23 7 3,769 538
Ocean City Nor’easters * 6 3,199 533
Panama City Beach Pirates 7 3,201 457
SW Florida Adrenaline # 5 1,998 400
Reading United AC 7 2,703 386
Houston Dutch Lions 7 2,650 379
St. Louis Lions 7 2,511 359
SC United Bantams * 6 1,950 325
CFC Azul 7 2,196 314
El Paso Patriots 7 2,150 307
Northern Virginia Royals # 5 1,475 295
Ocala Stampede * 6 1,685 281
Ottawa Fury 7 1,793 256
WSA Winnipeg 7 1,730 247
North Sound SeaWolves FC 7 1,640 234
Vermont Voltage )( 2 411 206
Southern California Seahorses $ 3 600 200
NJ LUSO Rangers FC & 4 795 199
Kansas City Brass # 5 942 188
Real Boston Rams 7 1,301 186
Baltimore Bohemians 7 1,249 178
Real Colorado Foxes 7 1,150 164
Jersey Express 7 1,127 161
Southern West Virginia King’s Warriors 7 1,068 153
New York Magic – F.A. Euro # 5 730 146
GPS Portland Phoenix # 5 725 145
Toronto Lynx 7 1,000 143
VSI Tampa Bay FC )( 2 278 139
West Virginia Chaos 7 965 138
Washington Crossfire 7 897 128
Orlando City U23 ** 1 127 127
Chicago Inferno # 5 527 105
OC Blues Strikers FC # 5 525 105
Springfield Demize 7 719 103
River City Rovers 7 638 91
Seacoast United Phantoms 7 580 83
Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-23 7 569 81
Westchester Flames 7 465 66
LA Misioneros FC * 6 325 54
Chicago Fire # 5 206 41
Central Jersey Spartans 7 245 35
IMG Academy Bradenton * 6 160 27
Fort Lauderdale Schulz Academy )( 1 15 15
PDL TOTAL 391 229,494 587
 
NWSL G Total Average
Portland Thorns FC 11 146,521 13,320
FC Kansas City 10 45,974 4,597
Western New York Flash 10 43,023 4,302
Washington Spirit 10 35,575 3,558
Boston Breakers 11 26,697 2,427
Seattle Reign FC 10 21,510 2,151
Chicago Red Stars 11 18,817 1,711
Sky Blue FC 11 18,309 1,664
NWSL TOTAL 84 356,426 4,243
 
W-League G Total Average
Washington Spirit Reserves 6 12,194 2,032
Seattle Sounders Women * 5 5,417 1,083
Long Island Rough Riders 6 3,913 652
Virginia Beach Piranhas 6 3,245 541
Charlotte Lady Eagles 5 2,701 540
Atlanta Silverbacks 5 1,875 375
Ottawa Fury 6 1,979 330
Colorado Rapids Women & 3 960 320
Carolina Elite Cobras * 4 1,215 304
K-W United FC & 3 770 257
New Jersey Wildcats * 5 1,274 255
LA Strikers # 4 1,017 254
Dayton Dutch Lions 5 1,137 227
New York Magic – F.A. Euro 6 1,348 225
Colorado Rush * 5 1,040 208
North Jersey Valkyries 6 1,224 204
Fredericksburg Impact 6 1,204 201
Bay Area Breeze 6 1,149 192
Pali Blues 6 1,142 190
Laval Comets 6 1,019 170
Santa Clarita Blue Heat & 3 476 159
Quebec City Amiral * 5 685 137
London Gryphons * 5 640 128
VSI Tampa Bay FC * 4 387 97
Toronto Lady Lynx * 5 391 78
W-LEAGUE TOTAL 126 48,402 384
*=Missing 1 game
#=Missing 2 games
&=Missing 3 games
$=Missing 4 games
)(=Missing 5 games
**=Missing 6 games

NOTES:

  • Once upon a time, the heart of the summer was a really bad time for MLS attendance. In fact, if you took out the Independence Day holiday boost, you got a graph that was smile shaped, with the high points for monthly averages at the beginning and end of the season. MLS has turned that around, with July its high point (43 games averaged 19,323, a league-record for the month) and June and August (so far) both averaging over 18k. With a Portland at Seattle match coming up in two weeks that will likely draw 65k+, this August might be one of the highest-attended months in league history.
  • Right now, MLS projects to draw about 5.8 million, down a shade from 2012′s high-water mark (thanks, Chivas).
  • The New York Cosmos have returned, and in drawing a season-high (and near league-record) 11,929 for their home opener, have gone to the top of the NASL charts. With five of their six remaining home games on Saturdays and with nostalgia still having not worn off, they should draw strong crowds the rest of the way. Their presence in St. Petersburg contributed to an Al Lang Stadium-record sellout crowd of 7,032 Saturday for what was a pretty spirited 0-0 draw. The Spring champions, Atlanta, were just under capacity for their Fall home opener that was plagued by lightning, Ft. Lauderdale drew an ehhh 3,295 for Minnesota and Edmonton got 1,745 for its first Fall home match. Glad they put those extra seats in up there.
  • Orlando’s 10,697 crowd for its match on Sunday against the Seattle Sounders Reserves was a team regular-season record and (near as I can tell) the second-highest attendance for a regular-season third division match ever (Minnesota drew 11,255 for a match against Milwaukee in 1995). The Lions have already drawn about 10 times as many fans as Dayton, Los Angeles and Charlotte and they have one home match left. And with their stadium funding having cleared another hurdle, it appears their dreams of moving to a higher level might become reality.
  • At the other end of the spectrum, Phoenix FC drew an announced 420 for its penultimate home match, which is appropriate, given you’d have to be high to believe what their chairman is saying.
  • Only four games remain in the inaugural NWSL season and the good news is the league’s average crowd is about 21% higher than in the final year of WPS in 2011. The bad news is that every market that had a team in the old league is down (some substantially) from their former averages, while Portland and Kansas City are thriving. Chicago’s down 58% from 2010 (their last year in WPS), Boston’s off 45%, Western New York is down 12% and Sky Blue FC (one of the best teams in the league) finished with a home average of 1,664 (down 23% from 2011). I’m sorry, those are trouble spots that need to be addressed, even if USSF, CSA and FMF are paying the freight for the star players. Forty-one percent of the people who have attended NWSL matches this year have done so in one city (Portland) and the Thorns might not even get a home playoff game.
  • And it happened over a week ago, but the Austin Aztex drew 3,062 and 4,253 for their semifinal and final in the PDL as they won the title.

Taking Attendance: 7/1/2013 (Everybody)

Monday, July 1st, 2013

The year 2013 is half-over and all the various outdoor soccer leagues are in full swing, so we can now look at attendance numbers for everybody in MLS, the NASL, USL Pro and the PDL on the men’s side and the NWSL and W-League on the women’s side. Additions and corrections are always welcome.

THE MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER G Total Average Median
Seattle Sounders 6 249,009 41,502 38,989
Los Angeles Galaxy 7 153,642 21,949 20,124
Montreal Impact 8 170,271 21,284 18,734
Portland Timbers 8 165,392 20,674 20,674
Sporting KC 9 175,538 19,504 19,470
Houston Dynamo 8 155,725 19,466 19,422
Toronto FC 8 154,779 19,347 18,788
Vancouver Whitecaps 8 154,726 19,341 19,895
Real Salt Lake 9 166,931 18,548 18,962
New York Red Bulls 9 165,616 18,402 18,029
Philadelphia Union 9 158,319 17,591 18,160
FC Dallas 9 135,541 15,060 15,063
San Jose Earthquakes 9 133,300 14,811 10,525
Colorado Rapids 8 117,615 14,702 15,070
Columbus Crew 8 113,184 14,148 13,055
New England Revolution 8 109,356 13,670 13,189
DC United 10 136,450 13,645 13,381
Chicago Fire 8 101,784 12,723 12,685
Chivas USA 9 79,299 8,811 8,219
MLS TOTAL 158 2,796,477 17,699 17,675
 
NORTH AMERICAN SOCCER LG G Total Average Median
San Antonio Scorpions 5 34,975 6,995 6,889
Minnesota United FC 5 25,521 5,104 4,825
Atlanta Silverbacks 6 30,251 5,042 5,000
Carolina RailHawks 6 28,242 4,707 4,560
Fort Lauderdale Strikers 6 25,882 4,314 4,393
Tampa Bay Rowdies 5 19,186 3,837 3,575
FC Edmonton 6 12,356 2,059 2,207
NASL TOTAL 39 176,413 4,523 4,463
 
USL PRO G Total Average Median
Orlando City SC 8 62,549 7,819 7,930
Rochester Rhinos 8 45,030 5,629 5,548
Charleston Battery 8 27,901 3,488 3,294
Pittsburgh Riverhounds 8 25,899 3,237 3,404
Wilmington Hammerheads 7 22,330 3,190 2,898
Phoenix FC Wolves 8 17,670 2,209 2,005
Richmond Kickers 11 23,909 2,174 2,031
Harrisburg City Islanders 9 11,980 1,331 1,179
Dayton Dutch Lions #6 5,646 941 859
Charlotte Eagles 8 6,387 798 718
Los Angeles Blues #6 4,248 708 728
VSI Tampa Bay FC &6 2,767 461 340
MLS Reserve Teams #6 12,960 2,160 1,058
USL PRO TOTAL 99 269,276 2,720 2,031
 
PREMIER DEVELOPMENT LG G Total Average Median
Des Moines Menace 5 15,292 3,058 2,969
Fresno Fuego 5 15,105 3,021 2,736
Portland Timbers U-23s 6 16,394 2,732 2,699
Carolina Dynamo *4 7,008 1,752 1,855
Victoria Highlanders FC 6 9,115 1,519 1,378
Ventura County Fusion 5 7,383 1,477 1,117
Austin Aztex 5 6,664 1,333 1,205
Oklahoma City 6 7,308 1,218 1,157
West Texas Sockers 5 5,077 1,015 925
Forest City London 4 4,027 1,007 979
Western Mass Pioneers 5 4,659 932 1,011
BYU Cougars 4 3,440 860 892
Long Island Rough Riders 6 4,941 824 548
Thunder Bay Chill 5 3,859 772 728
Michigan Bucks 5 3,601 720 612
K-W United FC *2 1,410 705 705
FC Tucson 5 3,516 703 747
Sounders FC U23 6 3,521 587 341
Mississippi Brilla 5 2,896 579 592
Virginia Beach Piranhas 3 1,722 574 641
Kitsap Pumas *3 1,613 538 502
Ocean City Nor’easters 2 1,027 514 514
Laredo Heat 4 1,832 458 493
Reading United AC 5 2,244 449 507
SW Florida Adrenaline *3 1,300 433 386
Panama City Beach Pirates 6 2,390 398 427
Houston Dutch Lions 4 1,500 375 375
El Paso Patriots 5 1,840 368 425
St. Louis Lions 5 1,586 317 321
SC United Bantams *5 1,550 310 300
Vermont Voltage *1 300 300 300
Northern Virginia Royals 3 890 297 315
CFC Azul 6 1,762 294 295
WSA Winnipeg 5 1,330 266 150
Ocala Stampede *2 504 252 252
NJ LUSO Rangers FC &2 480 240 240
North Sound SeaWolves FC 4 855 214 80
Ottawa Fury 5 1,002 200 190
Southern California Seahorses &3 600 200 200
Real Boston Rams 6 1,136 189 210
Real Colorado Foxes 3 550 183 150
New York Magic – F.A. Euro *3 530 177 150
Jersey Express 6 1,032 172 125
Toronto Lynx 5 830 166 150
S.West Va. King’s Warriors 5 813 163 128
Kansas City Brass #2 321 161 161
GPS Portland Phoenix *3 475 158 150
West Virginia Chaos 6 855 143 140
Baltimore Bohemians 5 696 139 135
VSI Tampa Bay FC &2 278 139 139
Washington Crossfire 6 787 131 115
Orlando City U23 ^1 127 127 127
Chicago Inferno 4 427 107 94
OC Blues Strikers FC *5 525 105 45
Springfield Demize 6 621 104 99
River City Rovers 6 527 88 92
Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-23 5 429 86 77
Seacoast United Phantoms 4 280 70 65
Westchester Flames 4 270 68 68
Chicago Fire #3 180 60 50
LA Misioneros FC 6 325 54 50
Central Jersey Spartans 4 161 40 41
IMG Academy Bradenton 5 140 28 20
Fort Lauderdale Schulz Academy &1 15 15 15
PDL TOTAL 276 163,873 594 291
 
NATIONAL WOMEN’S SOCCER LG G Total Average Median
Portland Thorns FC 6 77,142 12,857 12,460
FC Kansas City 7 30,648 4,378 4,186
Washington Spirit 5 21,278 4,256 4,569
Western New York Flash 6 21,793 3,632 3,258
Boston Breakers 7 15,692 2,242 2,124
Seattle Reign FC 6 11,694 1,949 1,848
Sky Blue FC 7 12,234 1,748 1,439
Chicago Red Stars 6 8,499 1,417 1,198
NWSL TOTAL 50 198,980 3,980 2,929
 
W-LEAGUE G Total Average Median
Washington Spirit Reserves 5 9,601 1,920 538
Seattle Sounders Women *4 4,045 1,011 999
Long Island Rough Riders 5 3,739 748 532
Charlotte Lady Eagles 3 1,410 470 374
Virginia Beach Piranhas 5 2,343 469 486
Atlanta Silverbacks 3 1,300 433 400
New Jersey Wildcats #1 389 389 389
Colorado Rapids Women #3 960 320 275
Carolina Elite Cobras *4 1,215 304 292
LA Strikers #3 862 287 295
Ottawa Fury 3 794 265 265
Colorado Rush 4 1,040 260 230
New York Magic – F.A. Euro 4 1,033 258 226
North Jersey Valkyries 4 978 245 196
K-W United FC &2 450 225 225
Fredericksburg Impact 6 1,204 201 178
Dayton Dutch Lions 4 799 200 194
Pali Blues 3 581 194 259
Laval Comets 5 924 185 195
Bay Area Breeze 4 581 145 128
London Gryphons 4 517 129 130
Quebec City Amiral *4 436 109 108
VSI Tampa Bay FC *4 387 97 100
Toronto Lady Lynx 4 319 80 80
Santa Clarita Blue Heat &2 126 63 63
W-LEAGUE TOTAL 93 36,033 387 229

^=4 games missing
&=3 games missing
#=2 games missing
*=1 game missing

NOTES:

  • Almost halfway through its season (they’re three games shy of the halfway mark), Major League Soccer is still at a healthy 17,699 per game, even with Chivas USA dragging things down a bit. Eight teams are averaging over 19k per game, which is terrific. Thanks to a 50,028 crowd for their game against the Galaxy at Stanford this past weekend, San Jose is at a robust 14,811 for the season (they won’t be able to keep it, but they’ll wrap up their stay at Buck Shaw Stadium with no doubt that their product resonates with the market again). The quick projection math (seeing what would happen if everyone held their average the rest of the way) puts the league at around 5.7 million for the season, a bit off last year’s record 6 million.
  • Atlanta, Carolina, Edmonton and Ft. Lauderdale all finished their Spring Season home slates in the NASL this past weekend, and all are ahead of last year’s averages through the same number of home games. Minnesota is, too, but will play its first game of the season at its ancestral home, the NSC Stadium in Blaine, on the 4th.
  • Rochester announced a season-high 7,334 for Hall of Fame Night against Phoenix FC on Saturday, but the Rhinos are still a shell of the club that used to average over 10k per game a decade ago. Orlando, which saw its 25-match home unbeaten streak snapped by Richmond, still leads USL Pro with a 7,819 average. The league average is actually being brought down a bit by the MLS Reserve clubs, as the full-time USL Pro teams are averaging a collective 2,756.
  • Des Moines is back on top of the PDL chart, as Portland and Fresno have slipped a bit. First-year Oklahoma City FC is averaging a promising 1,218 (one of ten PDL teams in four figures). The PDL average is about where it has been historically, with some teams (like Bradenton) making no bones about their player development agenda, to the exclusion of worrying about ticket sales.
  • The NWSL is just past its halfway point, and has three teams (including its best team, Sky Blue FC) averaging under 2,000 a game. Portland still sets the pace, with Kansas City and Washington drawing good numbers. It’s odd that Rochester loved Abby Wambach as an opposing player, but has been largely indifferent to the local girl making good now that they can see her every other week.
  • The Washington Spirit Reserves lead the W-League in attendance with numbers that are ( a ) bolstered by a pair of doubleheaders with their NWSL team and ( b ) apparently bollocks anyway, based on a comment from the last update. It’s tempting to say the loss of all the US Women’s National Team stars has hurt the Seattle Sounders Women, but the presence of Hope Solo hasn’t made a big difference to the Seattle Reign (to be fair, she was hurt and the team is terrible).

Taking Attendance 6/10/2013: Almost Everybody

Monday, June 10th, 2013

Now that (nearly) everybody in the six primary outdoor soccer leagues in the US and Canada has had a home match, we can take our first comprehensive look at 2013 at attendance figures. I’ve added medians to the chart this time. (These are through games of Sunday, June 9 and, as always, corrections and additions are welcome.)

THE MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER G Total Average Median
Seattle Sounders 6 249,009 41,502 38,989
Montreal Impact 6 132,194 22,032 18,439
Los Angeles Galaxy 6 129,967 21,661 20,098
Portland Timbers 6 124,044 20,674 20,674
Vancouver Whitecaps 6 118,480 19,747 19,895
Sporting KC 8 155,410 19,426 19,229
Toronto FC 7 133,938 19,134 18,355
Houston Dynamo 7 133,686 19,098 19,004
Real Salt Lake 8 147,083 18,385 18,628
New York Red Bulls 8 140,133 17,517 16,927
Philadelphia Union 7 121,094 17,299 17,182
FC Dallas 8 119,180 14,898 14,701
Colorado Rapids 7 102,598 14,657 15,122
DC United 7 96,333 13,762 13,612
New England Revolution 8 109,356 13,670 13,189
Chicago Fire 7 90,435 12,919 12,813
Columbus Crew 6 75,240 12,540 11,645
San Jose Earthquakes 8 83,272 10,409 10,525
Chivas USA 7 57,405 8,201 8,219
MLS TOTAL 133 2,318,857 17,435 17,415
 
NORTH AMERICAN SOCCER LG G Total Average Median
San Antonio Scorpions 4 28,486 7,122 6,971
Minnesota United FC 5 25,521 5,104 4,825
Atlanta Silverbacks 5 24,540 4,908 5,000
Carolina RailHawks 4 19,588 4,897 4,560
Fort Lauderdale Strikers 4 18,134 4,534 4,443
Tampa Bay Rowdies 4 14,591 3,648 3,494
FC Edmonton 4 6,659 1,665 1,676
NASL TOTAL 30 137,519 4,584 4,493
 
USL PRO G Total Average Median
Orlando City SC 7 53,707 7,672 7,466
Rochester Rhinos 4 22,522 5,631 5,640
Charleston Battery 7 22,790 3,256 3,262
Pittsburgh Riverhounds 5 15,437 3,087 3,344
Wilmington Hammerheads 5 15,426 3,085 2,898
Phoenix FC Wolves 6 13,831 2,305 2,005
Richmond Kickers 9 19,872 2,208 2,031
Harrisburg City Islanders 6 8,281 1,380 1,402
Dayton Dutch Lions 3 3,528 1,176 1,436
Charlotte Eagles 6 4,310 718 659
Los Angeles Blues 5 3,436 687 657
VSI Tampa Bay FC 5 2,517 503 423
MLS Reserve Teams 5 12,647 2,529 1,055
USL PRO TOTAL 73 198,304 2,716 2,031
 
PREMIER DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE G Total Average Median
Portland Timbers U-23s 3 12,948 4,316 3,681
Fresno Fuego 3 10,767 3,589 3,414
Des Moines Menace 2 5,940 2,970 2,970
Ventura County Fusion 3 5,627 1,876 1,865
Victoria Highlanders FC 5 7,736 1,547 1,376
Carolina Dynamo 1 1,432 1,432 1,432
Oklahoma City 3 3,698 1,233 1,177
Austin Aztex 3 3,574 1,191 1,205
K-W United FC *1 1,080 1,080 1,080
West Texas Sockers 4 4,152 1,038 921
Long Island Rough Riders 3 2,781 927 532
BYU Cougars 3 2,577 859 920
Michigan Bucks 3 2,564 855 904
FC Tucson 3 2,415 805 747
Forest City London 2 1,587 794 794
Virginia Beach Piranhas 1 715 715 715
Kitsap Pumas *1 691 691 691
Thunder Bay Chill 3 2,069 690 697
Sounders FC U23 5 3,276 655 437
Laredo Heat 2 1,198 599 599
Western Mass Pioneers 2 1,161 581 581
Mississippi Brilla 3 1,653 551 592
El Paso Patriots 3 1,580 527 525
Reading United AC 3 1,334 445 507
SW Florida Adrenaline 3 1,300 433 386
Houston Dutch Lions 3 1,150 383 400
St. Louis Lions 2 766 383 383
Panama City Beach Pirates 4 1,448 362 383
SC United Bantams *3 1,050 350 300
North Sound SeaWolves FC 2 695 348 348
WSA Winnipeg 3 1,030 343 330
CFC Azul 2 629 315 315
NJ LUSO Rangers FC *1 300 300 300
Vermont Voltage 1 300 300 300
Real Boston Rams 2 455 228 228
Northern Virginia Royals 1 210 210 210
SWVa King’s Warriors 2 410 205 205
Jersey Express 4 802 201 200
New York Magic – F.A. Euro *2 380 190 130
Real Colorado Foxes 3 550 183 150
Toronto Lynx *3 480 160 150
GPS Portland Phoenix 3 475 158 150
West Virginia Chaos 4 625 156 163
Ottawa Fury 3 445 148 155
Baltimore Bohemians 2 288 144 144
VSI Tampa Bay FC 2 278 139 139
Kansas City Brass 1 138 138 138
Washington Crossfire 3 343 114 120
Springfield Demize 3 282 94 96
River City Rovers 3 270 90 103
Seacoast United Phantoms 2 175 88 88
Chicago Inferno 2 166 83 83
OC Blues Strikers FC 4 325 81 43
Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-23 3 235 78 77
Chicago Fire 2 150 75 75
Westchester Flames 3 210 70 75
LA Misioneros FC 4 250 63 50
Central Jersey Spartans 2 90 45 45
IMG Academy Bradenton 2 75 38 38
Fort Lauderdale Schulz Academy *0 0 0 0
Ocala Stampede 0 0 0 0
Ocean City Nor’easters 0 0 0 0
Orlando City U23 #0 0 0 0
Southern California Seahorses *0 0 0 0
PDL TOTAL 154 99,330 645 300
 
NATIONAL WOMEN’S SOCCER LG G Total Average Median
Portland Thorns FC 5 63,340 12,668 12,446
FC Kansas City 4 19,396 4,849 4,274
Washington Spirit 4 16,709 4,177 4,298
Western New York Flash 4 12,082 3,021 2,945
Boston Breakers 4 9,117 2,279 2,379
Seattle Reign FC 5 9,376 1,875 1,377
Chicago Red Stars 4 6,568 1,642 1,292
Sky Blue FC 5 8,106 1,621 1,439
NWSL TOTAL 35 144,694 4,134 2,855
 
W-LEAGUE G Total Average Median
Washington Spirit Reserves 3 4,701 1,567 538
Long Island Rough Riders 3 3,236 1,079 862
Seattle Sounders Women 2 2,127 1,064 1,064
Charlotte Lady Eagles 1 752 752 752
Colorado Rapids Women 1 535 535 535
North Jersey Valkyries *1 462 462 462
Atlanta Silverbacks *2 750 375 375
Virginia Beach Piranhas *1 346 346 346
Carolina Elite Cobras *2 648 324 324
LA Strikers *1 295 295 295
Fredericksburg Impact 2 510 255 255
Laval Comets 2 469 235 235
K-W United FC #2 450 225 225
Dayton Dutch Lions 2 388 194 194
Pali Blues *2 322 161 161
London Gryphons 3 458 153 134
Bay Area Breeze 3 452 151 127
New York Magic – F.A. Euro 2 236 118 118
Quebec City Amiral 2 220 110 110
VSI Tampa Bay FC #2 173 87 87
Toronto Lady Lynx 3 244 81 85
Santa Clarita Blue Heat 1% 78 78 78
Colorado Rush 0 0 0 0
New Jersey Wildcats #0 0 0 0
Ottawa Fury 0 0 0 0
W-LEAGUE TOTAL 43 17,852 415 200


*=Missing 1 game
#=Missing 2 games
%=Missing 3 games

NOTES:

  • Seattle’s crowd of 53,679 for their home game against Vancouver Saturday was a season high in MLS. (How many tickets did Vancouver fans get, by the way, anybody know? After that whole Cascadia brouhaha?) The Sounders are slightly behind last year’s final average, and league attendance is down. It projects out (if everybody holds their current averages) to a total attendance of about 5.63 million for the season, well off last year’s milestone 6 million plus. The good news is that MLS is playing to about 84% capacity and, at 17,435 a game, is still very healthy.
  • Obviously, there are still issues with Chivas USA, but the Goats are still unlikely to reach the depths of Dragon Stadium Dallas or Miami. The real problems appear to be with established clubs that should do better (Chicago, Columbus and DC, specifically).
  • Every team in the NASL except San Antonio (which would have been hard pressed to, given they moved to a more intimate venue) is up year-over-year in terms of average announced attendance. Carolina (up 57%) is the biggest gainer to this point (though their recent club-record crowd in an Open Cup match doesn’t count in these rankings, which track only league games), but Minnesota is up 43%, Ft. Lauderdale is up 38% and even Tampa Bay is up 20%. There have been smaller gains in Atlanta (where they’re near capacity anyway) and Edmonton (where new seats just went in, to underwhelming reaction so far). The teams, collectively are up about 8% and the league after 30 matches this year is about 22% ahead of last year after the same number of games. No Division II league has ever had all of its teams finish over 2,000 announced per game for an entire season, so if Edmonton can get there by year’s end, this will be a first.
  • Orlando’s still setting the pace in USL Pro, with the Lions drawing 7,466 and 6,187 for a pair of 2-0 wins this weekend. They’re about 10% ahead of last year’s league-leading pace through 7 home games). Dayton drew a near team-record (they haven’t always announced all their crowds, but the Dayton Daily News described it as a record) 1,621 for their match against the Columbus Crew Reserves Saturday night. These MLS crossover games aren’t drawing a ton of interest (averaging just 3,004 for five matches at USL Pro venues) but MLS teams have been going deep into their benches and, in some cases, their academies for players to play in these things. Because the games count in the standings, I’m including the MLS Reserve Teams as one line item in the USL Pro chart, but the league average is actually slightly higher if you take them out of the equation (2,730 to 2,716).
  • Portland is certainly (once again) Soccer City USA. The Timbers’ first team sells out every game, their U-23 team leads the PDL in attendance (thanks in part to some well-attended school/camp day games) and their NWSL team, the Thorns, is far and away the leader in the new women’s league. Most of the rest of the NWSL isn’t much to write home about, with the co-league-leaders Sky Blue FC (who don’t wear sky blue, I’m just sayin’) at the bottom of the attendance table. Three NWSL teams are averaging under 2,000 announced per game and former league leader Boston is just over 2,000. As the American, Canadian and Mexican federations are paying the salaries of their international players, NWSL teams should be doing much better from an expense standpoint, but if they’re not putting those savings into sales and marketing, I’m not sure this league will be any better off than the last two. Their median announced attendance through 35 games (2,855) is only slightly higher than WPS’ was through 35 games in 2011 (2,477).
  • Fresno, Portland and Des Moines, the usual PDL leaders, are there again in the early going. A total of 10 PDL clubs are averaging over 1,000 announced per game, and a couple more are close. Then we have the teams that exist solely to give players an opportunity to develop, as in Bradenton, where IMG Academy announced a crowd of 15 – fifteen – for its May 29 match against Orlando. Meanwhile, FC Tucson had a club-record 1,015 for its showdown against Fresno on Saturday.
  • Lastly, we have the W-League, led by Washington on the strength of a season-opening doubleheader with its big sister club that drew a league-high 4,027. Seattle – which averaged 4,333 last year when they had Hope Solo and Alex Morgan, is still among the league leaders, but at only a quarter of last year’s draw. (Meanwhile, Seattle’s WPS team, with Solo, can’t get 2,000 a game in the same stadium.)

Orlando’s Dom Dwyer Breaks USL Pro (But Not D3) Goalscoring Record

Saturday, June 8th, 2013

Orlando City’s Dom Dwyer (left, courtesy orlandocitysoccer.com) broke the USL Pro single-season goal-scoring record Friday night with his 14th in a 2-0 win over the Phoenix FC Wolves. It’s a remarkable accomplishment, no question, but not a record-setting one for the level of play. In fact, Dwyer is less than halfway to the third division single-season record, which is held by a pair of guys you’ve never heard of.

In this, the first year of a new partnership between Major League Soccer and United Soccer Leagues, several players have been loaned by MLS clubs to USL Pro clubs to develop their games. None have had the impact Dwyer – a 22-year-old Englishman who was the 16th overall pick in the MLS SuperDraft – has had, though. He scored two goals in his first three matches, a hat trick against Antigua in early May, and surpassed Jhonny Arteaga’s 2011 mark of 13 goals before the halfway point of the 2013 season.

Now, it’s totally reasonable for USL and Orlando to consider 2011 to be the start of history – the schism between owners that led us to a split of lower-level teams and leagues resulted in the North American Soccer League and a newish entity from USL for 2011. They’re free to consider 2011 to be a new era and a fresh start and to track record performances from that point forward.

But USL Pro is still, at heart, the third division league that has gone by many names over the years, and Dwyer’s 14 goals are not even close to a record-breaking performance for the third division. Here’s a chart of the yearly DIII goal-scoring leaders going back to 1995:

DIII Goal-Scoring Leaders
Year Player Team G
2012 Dennis Chin Orlando 11
2011 Jhonny Arteaga New York 13
2010 Lamar Neagle Charleston 12
2009 Matthew Delicate Richmond 13
2008 Dustin Swinehart Charlotte 16
2007 Jacob Coggins Charlotte 12
2006 Robert Ssejjemba Richmond 17
2005 Jacob Coggins Charlotte 14
2004 Jacob Coggins Charlotte 20
2003 Rob Jachym Western Mass 14
2002 Julio-Cesar Dos Santos New Jersey 22
2001 Fadi Afash Utah 19
2000 Julio-Cesar Dos Santos New Jersey 20
1999 Luis Orrellana Chico 24
1998 Luis Orrellana Chico 15
  Michael Butler Western Mass 15
  Virgil Stevens Tulsa 15
1997 Orrett Pendergast Florida 29
1996 Patrick Olalere Charleston 20
1995 Flavio Ferri San Antonio 29

Flavio Ferri, a Brazilian forward, scored 29 goals in 19 matches for the San Antonio Pumas in 1995 (the Pumas went 13-7 and lost in the first round of the playoffs) and was an MLS draftee, but never played in the league. He is currently the Vice President of the Long Island Rough Riders of the PDL, a team he played for in 1996 and 1997. Orrett Pendergast tallied 29 times for the Florida Strikers two years later (the Strikers went 10-8 and also lost in the first round of the playoffs), earning league MVP honors, and went on to play for the Minnesota Thunder and to briefly spend time with MLS’ MetroStars (without, apparently, ever getting into a league match). Other info on him is scarce.

Assuming Sporting Kansas City leaves Dwyer in Orlando for the remainder of the USL Pro season, he has a chance to get close to the record co-held by Ferri and Pendergast. He’s halfway there now, but if he keeps up his pace and Kansas City continues to languish mid-table in the Eastern Conference, he may be halfway gone.

Taking Attendance 5/20/2013

Monday, May 20th, 2013

Latest attendance numbers for MLS, the NASL, USL Pro and the NWSL, through games of May 19:

THE MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER G Total Average
Seattle 5 195,330 39,066
Montreal 5 115,090 23,018
Los Angeles 5 105,156 21,031
Portland 6 124,044 20,674
Vancouver 6 118,480 19,747
Kansas City 6 115,064 19,177
Toronto 6 114,717 19,120
Houston 7 133,686 19,098
Salt Lake 5 90,764 18,153
New York 6 105,324 17,554
Philadelphia 6 104,981 17,497
Dallas 7 104,117 14,874
DC United 6 82,202 13,700
Colorado 5 66,843 13,369
New England 5 65,362 13,072
Columbus 5 64,200 12,840
Chicago 5 60,540 12,108
San Jose 8 83,272 10,409
Chivas USA 6 48,352 8,059
MLS TOTAL 110 1,897,524 17,250
 
NORTH AMERICAN SOCCER LEAGUE G Total Average
San Antonio 3 22,119 7,373
Carolina 3 15,502 5,167
Atlanta 3 15,118 5,039
Minnesota 4 19,767 4,942
Ft. Lauderdale 3 14,087 4,696
Tampa Bay 3 11,219 3,740
Edmonton 2 2,082 1,041
NASL TOTAL 21 99,894 4,757
 
USL PRO G Total Average
Orlando 4 31,660 7,915
Rochester 1 5,963 5,963
Pittsburgh 1 4,000 4,000
Charleston 3 11,507 3,836
Wilmington 4 12,674 3,169
Phoenix 5 11,928 2,386
Richmond 6 13,898 2,316
Dayton 1 1,436 1,436
Harrisburg 4 5,395 1,349
Los Angeles 4 2,637 659
Charlotte 5 3,068 614
Tampa Bay 4 2,264 566
MLS Reserve Teams 5 12,647 2,529
USL PRO TOTAL 47 119,077 2,534
 
NATIONAL WOMEN’S SOCCER LEAGUE G Total Average
Portland 3 40,008 13,336
Kansas City 3 15,210 5,070
Washington 4 16,709 4,177
W New York 3 8,930 2,977
Boston 2 5,747 2,874
Seattle 2 3,629 1,815
Chicago 3 5,439 1,813
Sky Blue FC 3 4,738 1,579
NWSL TOTAL 23 100,410 4,366


NOTES:

  • MLS should hit the 2 million mark in total attendance next Sunday, just slightly behind the pace set last year when the league drew six million fans for the first time ever.
  • Chivas USA sits at an announced average of 8,059 after last night’s intimate gathering of 8,125 for its match against Real Salt Lake. I don’t know that the Goats can catch the all-time MLS low of 7,460 per game set by the Miami Fusion in 2000 or Dallas’ 7,906 at Dragon Stadium in 2003, but they’ll probably be only the fourth team in the last ten years to go sub-10k for the season (Dallas 2004, Kansas City 2005, San Jose 2010).
  • Most NASL teams are up year-over-year, with only Edmonton (down 29%, but with a finally-expanded stadium available to them) and San Antonio down over the same number of home games from 2012. Just as happened in 2012, San Antonio’s numbers have gone down each game after their opener (though they’re now in a smaller stadium that they control, so they’re very likely better off financially).
  • Missing attendance figures are prevalent in USL Pro, so what we can divine from the DIII numbers isn’t as robust as it might otherwise be. MLS’ Seattle Sounders, who are considering putting a future USL Pro team in a suburban location rather than align with an existing team, did draw 2,174 for their reserve team’s match with Orlando on Mother’s Day.
  • Portland continues to set the pace in the National Women’s Soccer League, averaging 13,336 after three home matches (which would be the highest average for a women’s pro team since the WUSA’s Washington Freedom averaged 14,421 in 2001). Thanks to the Thorns, the NWSL’s current average (4,366) is ahead of the overall three-year WPS average (3,930), though three current teams are averaging below 2,000 a game. No WUSA team averaged under 4,249 for a season, and the WPS low for a season was magicJack’s 2,033 in 2011. Sky Blue FC’s announced crowd of 688 on May 8 is the smallest in the history of any of the three leagues, smaller than the announced 864 for a WPS match between Atlanta and magicJack on May 28, 2011 in Boca Raton, Florida.

Prole Bait

Monday, May 6th, 2013

I have an article published in this month’s issue of Stadium Journey magazine (though I didn’t write about stadiums, oddly enough). Thanks to a recommendation from my man Josh Hakala (whose excellent TheCup.us you should visit, especially this time of year), they asked me to write about the pros and cons of promotion and relegation (a topic I may have mentioned before) for their all-soccer issue.

I didn’t write it as prole bait, but I figure it’s going to end up drawing out the batshit crazy brigade. As you know (unless you’re one of the batshit crazy brigade), I’m not personally opposed to the concept – I just don’t think it’s realistic in America now, and maybe not ever. But despite presenting what I think is a balanced look at the advantages and drawbacks of such a system, I fear the “hostile media effect” is going to be in play here and the proles are going to be sure my bias is showing through. Which ( a ) would be nothing new and ( b ) comes with the territory, I guess.

But if they read it, it probably means they bought it, so that’s good. The magazine itself is a good read for anyone who likes to visit stadiums and have sports experiences around the country, so I encourage you to visit them and buy the print or electronic versions of the May issue.

Taking Attendance 5/6/2013: The Pros

Monday, May 6th, 2013

Now that every professional (men’s and women’s) team in MLS, the NASL, USL Pro and the NWSL has had at least one home match, we can take a look at the attendance figures for each team in the various leagues through games of May 5. (As always, corrections are welcome.)

THE MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER
G
Total
Average
Seattle Sounders 3 117,471 39,157
Montreal Impact 4 100,512 25,128
Los Angeles Galaxy 5 105,156 21,031
Portland Timbers 5 103,370 20,674
Vancouver Whitecaps 4 77,657 19,414
Sporting KC 5 96,462 19,292
Toronto FC 5 96,439 19,288
Houston Dynamo 5 92,643 18,529
Real Salt Lake 5 90,764 18,153
Philadelphia Union 4 69,375 17,344
New York Red Bulls 4 68,213 17,053
FC Dallas 5 79,683 15,937
DC United 4 58,474 14,619
New England Revolution 3 40,882 13,627
Colorado Rapids 5 66,843 13,369
Columbus Crew 4 52,931 13,233
Chicago Fire 4 48,335 12,084
San Jose Earthquakes 6 62,699 10,450
Chivas USA 5 40,227 8,045
MLS TOTAL 85 1,468,136 17,272
 
NORTH AMERICAN SOCCER LEAGUE
G
Total
Average
San Antonio Scorpions 2 15,230 7,615
Minnesota Stars FC 3 15,714 5,238
Atlanta Silverbacks 2 10,402 5,201
Fort Lauderdale Strikers 2 9,764 4,882
Carolina RailHawks 2 8,794 4,397
Tampa Bay Rowdies 3 11,219 3,740
FC Edmonton 1 921 921
NASL TOTAL 15 72,044 4,803
 
USL PRO
G
Total
Average
Orlando City 4 31,660 7,915
Rochester Rhinos 1 5,963 5,963
Pittsburgh Riverhounds 1 4,000 4,000
Charleston Battery 2 7,808 3,904
Wilmington Hammerheads 2 5,955 2,978
Richmond Kickers 4 10,066 2,517
Phoenix FC 5 11,928 2,386
Dayton Dutch Lions *1 1,436 1,436
Harrisburg City Islanders 2 2,769 1,385
Los Angeles Blues *4 2,637 659
Charlotte Eagles 4 2,373 593
VSI Tampa FC 4 2,264 566
MLS Reserve Teams 3 10,373 3,458
USL PRO TOTAL 37 99,232 2,682
*=Missing one game
 
NATIONAL WOMEN’S SOCCER LEAGUE
G
Total
Average
Portland Thorns FC 1 16,479 16,479
FC Kansas City 2 10,848 5,424
Washington Spirit 3 12,682 4,227
Western NY Flash 2 6,192 3,096
Boston Breakers 2 5,747 2,874
Seattle Reign FC 1 2,618 2,618
Sky Blue FC 1 2,611 2,611
Chicago Red Stars 2 4,110 2,055
NWSL TOTAL 14 61,287 4,378

NOTES:

  • MLS, which drew six million fans for the first time ever in 2012, is on pace to do slightly below that (if every team holds its average for the rest of the season), but at 17,272 and playing to about 83% capacity, its numbers are healthier than ever overall. There are still trouble spots (Chivas USA, obviously, but to a lesser extent, Colorado, Columbus and Chicago), but the bright spots are very, very bright.
  • Starting the MLS season earlier than ever may be something they want to re-think (if it’s mathematically possible, given all the constraints). This year’s March average (17,803) was well off last year’s record 20,783 and below 2011 (19,225) and 2010 (17,992). The season began on March 2 this year, a week earlier than last year and almost two weeks earlier than the year before. I don’t know if there’s a strong correlation (I’d have to delve deeper into it) but those are the numbers. (Incidentally, the April numbers were right about in line with the last few years.)
  • Things are looking up in the early going in the Division II North American Soccer League, with strong showings in Minnesota (though not quite as strong as they wanted), the newly-rebranded United FC is 25% ahead of the former Stars’ numbers from a year ago, when they opened at the Metrodome and then moved back outdoors. They’re playing all but one of their Spring Championship matches indoors this time around.
  • In fact, every NASL team but Edmonton (where new stands are finally being constructed at Clarke Stadium) and San Antonio is up year-over-year and the league itself is up about 5%. (In the Scorpions’ case, they couldn’t match last year’s numbers no matter what, as their lovely new yard has a much smaller capacity than the high school football stadium the team played in last year.)
  • Orlando continues to set the pace in USL Pro (though their MLS chances took a hit late last week). The Lions drew club regular-season records of 9,140 on April 19 and then 9,589 eight days later (and had bad weather kibosh what could have been a couple of other great crowds). While mainstays Charleston, Richmond and Wilmington will be fine, there are troubling signs in Los Angeles (as usual) and Tampa Bay, while Phoenix has lost half its audience (and its club president) in its first month of play.
  • Incidentally, the league numbers you will see for USL Pro throughout this season will include the “crossover” games against MLS Reserve League teams. There have been three so far, with Salt Lake drawing a high of 8,263 for their game against Phoenix, Portland getting 1,803 for VSI Tampa Bay and Colorado getting 307 for Harrisburg’s visit. Without the MLS Reserves, the USL Pro average is 2,614 at the moment.
  • The latest attempt at women’s pro soccer, the NWSL, is 14 games in and Portland, Washington and Kansas City have drawn healthy (in Portland’s case, super-healthy) crowds. Boston’s off its former league-leading pace, but the big disappointment was Seattle, which drew just 2,618 for its inaugural against Sky Blue FC Saturday night. The Sounders Women (a different club altogether) led the W-League in attendance last year thanks in part to a star-studded roster, but the Reign is finding the going a bit tougher so far. Saturday will be Western New York’s first Saturday home game with Abby Wambach in the lineup, so we’ll see what happens there.
  • And, in case you’re wondering, the PDL season began over the weekend, with the Victoria Highlanders drawing 1,804 for their home opener, a 3-0 win over Kitsap. But LA Misioneros reported 100 for their match against Fresno and the awkwardly-named OC Blues Strikers FC (the former Pali Blues) drew 40 for its opener against Ventura County. The W-League season starts this weekend.

Three New Things Launch This Weekend

Friday, April 12th, 2013

Highmark Stadium in Pittsburgh is one-third of a trio of exciting developments for American soccer that launch this weekend. Two of the three are examples of the sport putting down roots, while the other tries to prove that something can grow on land that’s produced a thin harvest in two previous tries.

The Pittsburgh Riverhounds of USL Pro play their first game at their new, 3,500-seat stadium on the river tomorrow night against Harrisburg. With outstanding views of the city behind it, Highmark Stadium should provide one of the best spectator experiences in the third division (and probably better than some clubs above them provide). The Riverhounds have been around (off and on) since 1999, but will get a good relaunch from a sellout crowd and hope to finally become a part of Pittsburgh’s sporting consciousness.

Meanwhile, the San Antonio Scorpions’ Toyota Field opens tomorrow night when the Tampa Bay Rowdies come to the Alamo City. The 8,000-seat stadium is a little spartan, but has a grass field and looks like a tremendous home for the 2012 NASL attendance-leading Scorpions.

Finally, the third (and maybe final) attempt at a pro women’s soccer league in this country kicks off this weekend as the National Women’s Soccer League stages four games. FC Kansas City hosts Portland Saturday night in the first match in league history, while three other games are Sunday. In Seattle, where a bevy of US Women’s National Teamers helped the Seattle Sounders Women lead the W-League in attendance last summer, the NWSL entry, the Reign, hasn’t seen an outpouring of support just yet.

On the business side, owner Bill Predmore admitted Thursday that he is “disappointed” with season-ticket sales so far, and corporate sponsorships haven’t met expectations.

Elsewhere, the team’s general manager, Amy Carnell, resigned Monday for personal reasons.

“Probably somewhat naively, I thought it was going to be less difficult than it’s proven to be,” Predmore said. “I think I just underestimated the task at hand and really how short a period four months really is.”

While a new business model – where the soccer federations of the US, Canada and Mexico pay the salaries of star players – relieves some of the expense pressure from teams in this new league, the revenue side is still going to be the key. If the NWSL can’t do better at the gate than the WUSA and WPS did, it may find itself in similar straits before long.