Posts Tagged ‘USL-Pro’

Highlights: Arizona United vs. Orange County

Monday, July 21st, 2014

Here are highlights of the most recent USL Pro webcast I did, last Saturday night’s win by Arizona United over the Orange County Blues.

Thus endeth my three-game mini-engagement with the local pro team. I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to get back in the booth one last time and had fun.

Taking Attendance 7/14/2014: A One And A Two And A Three..

Monday, July 14th, 2014

This week we’re looking at the Division I, Division II and Division III leagues, better known as (the) MLS, the NASL and USL Pro. Here are their average, median, high and low attendance figures through last night’s games (as always, unofficial and, in some cases, incomplete, additions and corrections are always welcome):

MLS G Total Avg. Med. High Low
Seattle 9 384,935 42,771 38,582 64,207 38,441
Toronto 8 180,728 22,591 22,591 22,591 22,591
Los Angeles 7 148,744 21,249 20,847 27,000 14,615
Vancouver 9 188,883 20,987 21,000 22,500 19,383
Portland 10 208,140 20,814 20,814 20,814 20,814
Salt Lake 8 161,475 20,184 20,485 20,513 18,881
Kansas City 9 178,574 19,842 19,838 20,858 19,073
Houston 9 177,810 19,757 20,558 22,320 15,030
Montreal 9 172,305 19,145 18,068 27,207 14,135
Philadelphia 8 144,514 18,064 18,587 18,843 15,691
New York 8 144,306 18,038 18,271 23,776 13,278
Dallas 10 169,313 16,931 16,640 21,182 15,039
DC United 10 168,388 16,839 13,102 53,267 8,224
New England 8 122,889 15,361 14,533 23,950 11,293
Chicago 8 122,375 15,297 15,745 17,487 12,699
Colorado 10 145,668 14,567 14,509 18,432 10,086
San Jose 10 142,183 14,218 10,525 50,006 9,114
Columbus 8 104,611 13,076 13,270 18,026 4,680
Chivas USA 9 62,416 6,935 6,082 15,008 3,702
MLS TOTAL 167 3,128,257 18,732 18,396 64,207 3,702
 
NASL G Total Avg. Med. High Low
Indy 5 52,324 10,465 10,285 11,048 10,285
San Antonio 5 32,381 6,476 6,484 7,381 5,595
Minnesota 4 22,309 5,577 5,306 6,784 4,913
Carolina 5 24,536 4,907 4,066 7,856 3,080
New York 6 29,009 4,835 3,968 7,906 3,091
Tampa Bay 6 28,887 4,815 4,501 7,003 3,896
Atlanta 4 18,922 4,731 5,000 5,000 3,922
Ft. Lauderdale 5 18,393 3,679 3,109 5,572 3,092
Edmonton 5 17,886 3,577 3,609 4,399 2,961
Ottawa 5 13,418 2,684 2,432 3,457 2,158
NASL TOTAL 50 258,065 5,161 4,535 11,048 2,158
 
USL Pro G Total Avg. Med. High Low
Sacramento 7 102,107 14,587 17,414 20,231 8,000
Rochester 8 42,196 5,275 5,290 6,385 4,007
Orlando 10 47,134 4,713 4,801 5,029 4,206
Charleston 7 27,948 3,993 3,773 5,415 2,674
Oklahoma City 8 30,460 3,808 3,819 4,230 3,405
Pittsburgh 7 19,265 2,752 2,485 3,902 2,005
Richmond 9 22,204 2,467 2,333 3,507 2,010
Wilmington 8 18,169 2,271 2,119 3,256 1,757
Arizona 10 22,406 2,241 2,128 3,014 1,482
Harrisburg 8 14,112 1,764 1,746 2,233 1,417
Charlotte 8 6,348 794 706 1,261 556
Orange County 9 6,591 732 638 1,221 431
Los Angeles 10 6,866 687 575 1,259 410
Dayton 9 4,548 505 456 1,026 213
USL PRO TOTAL 118 370,354 3,139 2,202 20,231 213


NOTES:

  • Last night’s crowd of 64,207 in Seattle was a season high for MLS, slightly off last year’s similar fixture (in late August), which drew 67,385. It may have also contributed to the lowest crowd in the brief history of the Portland Thorns, who hosted FC Kansas City a couple of hours before the Timbers played up the road. Still, having 9,672 as your lowest crowd in history is something almost every club in America outside MLS would take.
  • The NASL’s Fall Season began this past weekend, and no home team cracked 4,000 announced (not even the vaunted Cosmos). The week’s average of 3,497 for five games was the lowest for the NASL since Week 8 of the spring season in 2013 (when they averaged 3,394 for the three matches). This coming week should be a positive one for the second-division league, though, as both Indy Eleven (which has sold out every game) and Ottawa (which moves into TD Place and seems to feel confident about a five-figure crowd) are at home, as are San Antonio and Minnesota.
  • USL Pro-leading Sacramento didn’t have a home game this week, but fellow expansionist Oklahoma City did. OKC has had a very positive debut, filling about 95% of its seats through its first eight games. The league projects – if everyone holds their averages, which won’t happen because Sacramento’s is going to go down now – to average about 3,328 for the season.
  • While we’ll continue to monitor the impact of the World Cup on attendance stateside, it’s hard to advocate MLS completely standing down for the month when they drew 19,807 on average for 30 games during the knockout stages of the Cup (after taking the group stage off). USL Pro saw a slight dip during the festivities (going from a 3,177 average prior to 2,901 during).

What Are The Highest Scoring Soccer Leagues In North America?

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

The ongoing FIFA World CupTM has a very good chance to be the highest-scoring tournament since France 1998 (we only need nine goals in the final eight games of the competition to surpass Japan/Korea 2002), with an average so far of 2.7 goals per game.

Number of goals scored per game at the World Cup

How does that compare to the various pro and amateur leagues here in the US, Canada and Mexico? Here’s a chart of the latest information I have about goal-scoring in several North American Leagues (in each case, it’s either their current season or the most recent completed one):

League G Goals Avg.
NPSL 383 1,469 3.84
W-League 109 354 3.25
PDL 318 974 3.06
NASL 45 133 2.96
NWSL 68 196 2.88
MLS 149 416 2.79
USL Pro 116 316 2.72
Liga Ascenso 105 272 2.59
Liga MX 153 391 2.56
TOTAL 1,446 4,521 3.13

NOTES:

  • Now before you go thinking “Boy, NPSL games must be really exciting!” you should know that their gaudy goal-scoring average is boosted by several blowouts. There have been 28 games (7 percent of the total) decided by 6 or more goals in the NPSL this season, including the expansion BCS Clash getting hammered 13-0 (twice), 12-0, 11-0, 11-1, 10-1, 9-1 and 11-2.
  • In fact, amateur leagues hold the top three spots, which makes sense, as defending – and competitive balance – in amateur leagues is notoriously slipshod. The second-division NASL is the highest-scoring pro league at 2.96 goals per game, with the women’s NWSL just a shade behind at 2.88.
  • Major League Soccer’s current goals per game of 2.79 is higher than any of Europe’s top leagues except for Germany’s Bundesliga (which featured 3.16 goals per game last season) and comparable to England’s EPL (2.77), Spain’s La Liga (2.75) and Italy’s Serie A (2.72). France’s Ligue 1 would be at the bottom of the table in this quick study (merci!) as only 2.45 goals per game were scored in their matches last season.
  • Obviously, goal-scoring isn’t everything (if it were, indoor soccer would be huge), but I just thought it would be interesting to compare the various leagues.

Five Things To Know About The US Open Cup

Monday, June 9th, 2014

The nation’s longest-running soccer tournament, the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, is now down to its final 32 competitors and here’s where things really get interesting. The 16 US-based Major League Soccer teams join the fray in the fourth round, all competing against lower-division teams between June 11 and June 18. You’re going to read and hear a lot about “the magic of the Open Cup” and “plucky little lower-level clubs” between now and then, but here are a few things to keep in mind while pundits fill column inches and air minutes.

1. MLS Teams Do Lose Against Lower-Division Clubs, But Not That Often

In the last ten tournaments (2004-2013), MLS teams have played 133 Open Cup matches against lower-division teams. They’ve won 81 of those matches and tied 16 (a .669 W-L-T percentage) and have advanced in the tournament in 90 of those 133 instances (.677 percent).

vs. Division GP W L T Pct. Adv. Pct.
vs. 2nd Division 67 36 20 11 .619 43 .642
vs. 3rd Division 49 31 14 4 .673 33 .673
vs. Amateurs 17 14 2 1 .853 14 .824
TOTALS 133 81 36 16 .669 90 .677

At home, MLS teams are really successful against lower-division teams, going 56-10-5 and advancing 58 times in 71 matches (82 percent of the time). Given 14 of the 16 fourth-round matchups have the MLS team hosting (though Columbus is playing Indianapolis in Akron, two hours away from Crew Stadium), the draw favors the top flight in this round.

In 2013′s fourth round, MLS teams advanced past lower-division teams in 12 of the 16 matchups (going 11-4-1, officially, as DC United advanced on penalties). That was a bit higher than in years prior, but don’t be surprised if we see 11 or 12 of the 16 MLS teams advance this time around, just looking at history and home teams.

2. 28 Lower-Division Clubs Have Ousted MLS Clubs, But 20 Of Them Aren’t Here

In the Modern Era of the tournament (since 1996, when MLS began), a total of 28 teams in the lower divisions have knocked MLS teams out of the Open Cup. One of the co-leaders in upsets, the Charleston Battery, fell in the third round, so it’s left to Rochester to try to become the first lower-division team to knock out an MLS team 10 times (though six of Rochester’s nine happened before the turn of the century, when the Rhinos really were all the rage).

Of the 28 upsetters, 20 either no longer exist, aren’t participating this year or have already been ousted. Here’s the all time list:

Lower-Level Club #
Rochester Rhinos 9
Charleston Battery# 9
Seattle Sounders% 5
Harrisburg City Islanders 5
Minnesota Thunder* 4
Richmond Kickers 4
Carolina RailHawks 4
Mid Michigan Bucks# 2
San Francisco Bay Seals* 2
Wilmington Hammerheads# 2
Orlando City SC 2
Cal FC# 1
Charlotte Eagles# 1
Chicago Sockers* 1
Chicago Stingers* 1
Connecticut Wolves* 1
Crystal Palace Baltimore* 1
Dallas Roma FC# 1
Dayton Dutch Lions# 1
Long Island Rough Riders# 1
Milwaukee Rampage* 1
Minnesota Stars 1
Nashville Metros* 1
Pittsburgh Riverhounds 1
San Antonio Scorpions 1
Seattle Sounders Select# 1
Staten Island Vipers* 1
Tampa Bay Rowdies# 1
 
%Now in MLS
*No longer exist
#Not participating/knocked out

That’s just more interesting than actually indicative or predictive of anything. There’s no reason any of the eight clubs left in the tournament who aren’t on that list can’t pull an upset. But the ranks of the usual suspects have been diminished a bit.

3. MLS Will Likely Be There In The End

Since 1996, 92 percent of spots in the final, 83 percent of spots in the semifinals and 75 percent of spots in the quarterfinals have gone to MLS teams. It’s very, very difficult for a lower-division side to make it to the round of eight (though in the last nine years, MLS’ dominance of the quarters has slipped to 60 percent from about 77 percent the first nine years).

The only three lower-division teams to make a final are Rochester (twice) and Charleston. Rochester won it in 1999, the only lower-division side to do so. In the last five years, only two lower-division clubs have made the semifinals. So this fourth (and, this year, fifth) round is where the NASL and USL Pro teams get to have their moment in the sun before reality (usually) sets in.

4. These Games Are Not Particularly Well-Attended

In the last 10 years, third- and fourth-round games (the rounds in which most or all MLS teams usually enter the competition have drawn an average of 4,640 fans. (I have figures for 130 of the 143 games – it’s not always easy to track these things down.) Given the tournament’s rounds are usually pretty tightly-packed and games happen on short notice (giving sales staffs little time to actually sell), that’s not entirely surprising. But whatever the reason (format, unfamiliarity, lack of promotion), this isn’t a tournament fans flock to stadiums to take in live, as a rule. (For what it’s worth, the 2013 tournament – for which I have about 63% of the crowd figures – had the highest average attendance since 1996, but only 4,960 per game.)

This table shows the combined attendance figures for each of the 19 tournaments to this point (with 2014 only through three rounds, obviously). For each year, the first figure is the number of total games that were played, the second figure is the number of games for which I have an attendance number, and the average, highest crowd and lowest crowd are based on those figures.

US Open Cup Attendance Since 1996
Year GP AF Total Avg. High Low
1996 15 10 50,497 5,050 12,428 783
1997 31 23 83,993 3,652 13,470 300
1998 31 25 77,466 3,099 18,615 121
1999 31 28 118,453 4,230 20,376 60
2000 35 32 111,891 3,497 19,146 272
2001 35 31 113,671 3,667 9,339 70
2002 31 22 84,606 3,846 8,485 200
2003 34 34 100,933 2,969 7,542 150
2004 40 33 91,518 2,773 10,622 27
2005 39 25 98,735 3,949 11,121 254
2006 40 24 106,598 4,442 10,428 524
2007 39 32 96,336 3,011 10,618 248
2008 39 27 85,586 3,170 8,212 483
2009 39 39 109,076 2,797 17,329 94
2010 39 23 89,831 3,906 31,311 500
2011 39 22 101,850 4,630 35,613 702
2012 63 45 196,881 4,375 18,873 150
2013 67 42 208,321 4,960 17,608 420
2014 46 15 28,869 1,925 9,181 80
TOTAL 733 532 1,955,111 3,675 35,613 27

5. None Of This Has Anything To Do With Promotion And Relegation Or A Competing League

You will see a lot of social media activity with every upset or near-upset by People Who Only Peripherally Follow Soccer claiming that this one-off result or that one-off result makes the case for promotion and relegation between MLS and lower divisions or that someone could easily start a Division I league to compete with MLS (or raise the NASL’s stature to that point).

As the English say, “Bollocks.”

What happens on Any Given Tuesday in a one-off knockout tournament that not all MLS teams take completely seriously has absolutely zero to do with the economic realities that preclude promotion and relegation from being implemented anytime soon (if at all) in this country. Most lower-level teams simply could not afford to play at a higher level, and the prospect of relegation would completely kibosh public-private stadium partnerships (to say nothing of the havoc they would wreak on rosters, sponsorships and media agreements, etc.).

And the NASL is about a decade and a half in time and several billion dollars of investment (in players, infrastructure and stadiums) behind MLS. It’s highly unlikely they could or would find enough people willing to invest that money in making a challenge to the status quo when they could take the demonstrably-easier route to joining MLS via expansion.

The Open Cup is fun. My man Josh Hakala loves it a little too much, but there are worse things to love too much. The pressure of a knockout tournament and the sort of parallel-universe aspect of it (where even a last-place team can win the Cup) make for an interesting competition. And with MLS teams taking a break for the beginning of the World Cup, some weekend dates have opened up for the first time in modern tournament history. One of them will see the New York Red Bulls and New York Cosmos play on Long Island in what will surely be the jewel game of the fourth round.

So enjoy. Just don’t get too carried away. This is still a tournament dominated by Major League Soccer.

Taking Attendance 5/19/2014: 1,2,3

Monday, May 19th, 2014

Been a while, apologies. Here are attendance figures for the top three men’s outdoor leagues through games of yesterday. As always, additions and corrections are always welcome. Notes next time out.

MLS (Div. I) G Total Avg. Median High Low
Seattle Sounders 7 281,483 40,212 38,516 49,746 38,441
Los Angeles 2 46,481 23,241 23,241 25,634 20,847
Toronto 4 90,364 22,591 22,591 22,591 22,591
Montreal 5 106,195 21,239 19,313 27,207 16,529
Vancouver 5 105,000 21,000 21,000 21,000 21,000
Portland 7 145,698 20,814 20,814 20,814 20,814
Salt Lake 5 99,993 19,999 20,466 20,496 18,881
Kansas City 6 118,581 19,764 19,635 20,565 19,073
Houston 7 137,102 19,586 20,558 22,320 15,030
Philadelphia 6 106,992 17,832 18,269 18,812 15,691
New York 5 87,589 17,518 15,225 23,776 13,278
Dallas 7 116,240 16,606 17,070 18,011 15,039
Chicago 5 75,319 15,064 15,743 16,228 12,699
Columbus 5 73,520 14,704 14,495 18,026 11,437
New England 4 53,461 13,365 13,681 14,806 11,293
Colorado 5 63,770 12,754 12,306 15,135 10,086
DC United 6 71,453 11,909 11,768 14,106 9,445
San Jose 6 62,013 10,336 10,525 10,525 9,388
Chivas USA 5 43,593 8,719 7,499 15,008 6,082
MLS TOTAL 102 1,884,847 18,479 18,021 49,746 6,082
 
NASL (Div.II) G Total Avg. Median High Low
Indy 4 42,039 10,510 10,353 11,048 10,285
San Antonio 4 25,897 6,474 6,461 7,381 5,595
Tampa Bay 3 16,528 5,509 4,855 7,003 4,670
Minnesota 3 15,525 5,175 5,287 5,325 4,913
New York 3 15,127 5,042 4,130 7,906 3,091
Carolina 3 13,600 4,533 4,066 5,527 4,007
Atlanta 2 8,922 4,461 4,461 5,000 3,922
Edmonton 2 7,675 3,838 3,838 4,399 3,276
Ft. Lauderdale 3 9,729 3,243 3,109 3,515 3,105
Ottawa 3 7,779 2,593 2,164 3,457 2,158
NASL TOTAL 30 162,821 5,427 4,884 11,048 2,158
 
USL Pro (Div.III) G Total Avg. Median High Low
Sacramento 3 57,876 19,292 20,231 20,231 17,414
Rochester 2 11,842 5,921 5,921 6,385 5,457
Orlando 4 19,162 4,791 4,801 5,028 4,532
Oklahoma City 3 12,006 4,002 3,916 4,230 3,860
Charleston 4 14,458 3,615 3,649 4,487 2,674
Pittsburgh 3 8,640 2,880 2,485 3,902 2,253
Arizona 5 13,519 2,704 2,818 3,014 2,044
Richmond 4 10,411 2,603 2,358 3,507 2,188
Wilmington 4 10,153 2,538 2,475 3,256 1,948
Harrisburg 4 6,231 1,558 1,552 1,711 1,417
Charlotte 3 2,564 855 712 1,261 591
Orange County 5 3,819 764 638 1,221 431
LA Galaxy II 6 4,302 717 557 1,259 410
Dayton 4 2,593 648 677 1,026 213
USL PRO TOTAL 54 177,576 3,288 2,223 20,231 213

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.)