Archive for the ‘USL-Pro’ tag
The fourth season for USL Pro is now complete and here are the final unofficial attendance numbers for the Division III league. (As always, additions, corrections and comments are welcomed.)
|Sacramento Republic FC||14||158,107||11,293||8,000||20,231||8,000|
|Orlando City SC||14||66,402||4,743||4,818||5,029||4,206|
|OKC Energy FC||14||52,975||3,784||3,819||4,722||2,813|
|Arizona United SC||14||33,528||2,395||2,225||3,588||1,482|
|Harrisburg City Islanders||14||27,289||1,949||1,934||2,518||1,417|
|Orange County Blues FC||14||10,719||766||714||1,226||431|
|LA Galaxy II||14||8,359||597||530||1,259||127|
|Dayton Dutch Lions||14||7,455||533||488||1,026||213|
|MLS Reserve Teams||6||12,668||2,111||358||11,202||100|
|USL PRO TOTAL||202||623,019||3,084||2,367||20,231||100|
- Division III cracked the 3,000 per game barrier for the first time (beating the 2012 mark of 2,658), thanks in part to Sacramento’s record-breaking season. Without the Republic, the other 13 teams averaged 2,485 per game.
- Sacramento became the first Division III team to ever break the 10,000 per game barrier and joined Rochester, Montreal and Portland as the only lower-level clubs to ever accomplish it. (Indianapolis will join that group at the conclusion of the NASL season.)
- The biggest gainer year-over-year was Arizona United (which technically is a new franchise and not a continuation of 2013’s Phoenix FC, but just for comparison’s sake), which finished up 56% from a year ago. Harrisburg was up 34% (though they’re still under the 2,000 line), Orange County was up 7% (though still under the 1,000 line) and Richmond and Charleston both finished up about 6%.
- On the flip side, Charlotte (in their final professional season before dropping to the PDL) fell about 8%, Rochester was down about 10%, Pittsburgh (which declared bankruptcy several months back) finished down 18%, Wilmington was down an alarming 26%, and Dayton (still a mystery) was down 29%. Then we have annual attendance leader Orlando, which was down 41%, but that was because they moved to a much smaller venue while Citrus Bowl renovations are ongoing. The Lions still played to 86% capacity, one of the top marks in the league. (Sacramento 98%, OKC 95%, Harrisburg 89%).
- May was the best month for the league overall, with a 3,474 average for 36 matches. April (2,712) was the worst.
- Thursdays beat out Saturdays (3,937 to 3,261) for the best day of the week, but that’s a bit misleading because there were only nine Thursday matches and three of them were in Sacramento. In all, weekends (Friday-Sunday) beat weekdays (Monday-Thursday) by about 20%.
- It’s hard to discern a true “World Cup Bounce,” if you were looking for one. USL Pro averaged 3,167 for 85 matches prior to the World Cup, 2,901 for 37 matches during it and 3,081 for 80 matches after it.
- I only have data for five of the 14 league matches hosted by MLS Reserve teams this year, and outside of Real Salt Lake’s 11,202 for their July 25 match against Pittsburgh, they were nothing to write home about.
- Next year, we will see a bevy of new teams, many of them owned and operated by MLS clubs. If the LA Galaxy II experiment is any indication, some of these secondary teams may struggle to find an audience (not that that is their raison d’etre). Real Salt Lake, Montreal and possibly Seattle and Dallas will have their own teams in the league in 2015, to be joined by clubs in Louisville, Colorado Springs, Austin, Tulsa and St. Louis. Going forward, league numbers are probably going to require a bit of deeper analysis when comparing them to prior years because a situation is developing where a third or more of the league’s teams may eventually be focused primarily on player development and not operating as a ticket-selling business.
Here are the current (unofficial) attendance figures for each of the men’s professional leagues – Major League Soccer, the North American Soccer League and USL Pro – through last night’s games. Additions and corrections are always welcome.
|MLS (DIVISION I)||G||Total||Average|
|Los Angeles Galaxy||10||211,143||21,114|
|Real Salt Lake||12||242,885||20,240|
|New York Red Bulls||10||185,169||18,517|
|San Jose Earthquakes||12||201,473||16,789|
|New England Revolution||10||151,262||15,126|
|NASL (DIVISION II)||G||Total||Average|
|San Antonio Scorpions||8||55,070||6,884|
|Tampa Bay Rowdies||7||33,755||4,822|
|New York Cosmos||8||38,182||4,773|
|Ft. Lauderdale Strikers||7||24,298||3,471|
|USL PRO (DIVISION III)||G||Total||Average|
|Sacramento Republic FC||10||126,107||12,611|
|Orlando City SC||11||52,163||4,742|
|OKC Energy FC||11||40,726||3,702|
|Wilmington Hammerheads FC||11||26,188||2,381|
|Arizona United SC||12||26,532||2,211|
|Harrisburg City Islanders||12||22,981||1,915|
|Orange County Blues FC||10||7,817||782|
|LA Galaxy II||11||7,401||673|
|Dayton Dutch Lions||12||5,901||492|
|USL PRO TOTAL||154||483,397||3,139|
Notes to follow in a bit.
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.
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):
|USL PRO TOTAL||118||370,354||3,139||2,202||20,231||213|
- 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).
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.
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):
- 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.
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. 2nd Division||67||36||20||11||.619||43||.642|
|vs. 3rd Division||49||31||14||4||.673||33||.673|
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:
|Harrisburg City Islanders||5|
|Mid Michigan Bucks#||2|
|San Francisco Bay Seals*||2|
|Orlando City SC||2|
|Crystal Palace Baltimore*||1|
|Dallas Roma FC#||1|
|Dayton Dutch Lions#||1|
|Long Island Rough Riders#||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.
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.
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|
|USL Pro (Div.III)||G||Total||Avg.||Median||High||Low|
|LA Galaxy II||6||4,302||717||557||1,259||410|
|USL PRO TOTAL||54||177,576||3,288||2,223||20,231||213|
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:
|USL PRO TOTAL||178||464,723||2,611||1,898||10,697||100|
- 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.
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.
|2||Los Angeles Galaxy||MLS||12||266,181||22,182|
|9||Real Salt Lake||MLS||14||265,260||18,947|
|10||New York Red Bulls||MLS||13||244,182||18,783|
|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|
|22||Orlando City SC||USL||14||112,784||8,056|
|23||San Antonio Scorpions||NASL||9||62,084||6,898|
|25||Minnesota United FC||NASL||8||43,546||5,443|
|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|
|36||Des Moines Menace||PDL||7||21,961||3,137|
|39||Portland Timbers U-23s||PDL||7||17,106||2,444|
|41||Seattle Reign FC||NWSL||11||25,365||2,306|
|43||Washington Spirit Reserves||W-L||6||12,194||2,032|
|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|
|52||Ventura County Fusion||PDL||7||9,474||1,353|
|54||Forest City London||PDL||7||8,024||1,146|
|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|
|62||Thunder Bay Chill||PDL||7||5,595||799|
|63||Dayton Dutch Lions||USL||14||10,540||753|
|65||Long Island Rough Riders||W-L||6||3,913||652|
|68||K-W United FC||PDL||*||3||1,810||603|
|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|
|82||St. Louis Lions||PDL||7||2,511||359|
|84||SC United Bantams||PDL||*||6||1,950||325|
|85||Colorado Rapids Women||W-L||*||3||960||320|
|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|
|91||K-W United FC||W-L||*||3||770||257|
|93||New Jersey Wildcats||W-L||*||5||1,274||255|
|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|
|101||North Jersey Valkyries||W-L||6||1,224||204|
|104||NJ LUSO Rangers FC||PDL||*||4||795||199|
|105||Bay Area Breeze||W-L||6||1,149||192|
|107||Kansas City Brass||PDL||*||5||942||188|
|108||Real Boston Rams||PDL||7||1,301||186|
|111||Real Colorado Foxes||PDL||7||1,150||164|
|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|
|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|
|123||Orlando City U23||PDL||*||1||127||127|
|125||OC Blues Strikers FC||PDL||*||5||525||105|
|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|
|133||LA Misioneros FC||PDL||*||6||325||54|
|135||Central Jersey Spartans||PDL||7||245||35|
|136||IMG Academy Bradenton||PDL||*||6||160||27|
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:
|Los Angeles Galaxy||10||214,944||21,494|
|Real Salt Lake||12||226,610||18,884|
|New York Red Bulls||11||201,455||18,314|
|San Jose Earthquakes||12||164,875||13,740|
|New England Revolution||11||148,988||13,544|
|New York Cosmos||1||11,929||11,929|
|San Antonio Scorpions||7||50,093||7,156|
|Minnesota United FC||7||37,912||5,416|
|Tampa Bay Rowdies||7||31,252||4,465|
|Fort Lauderdale Strikers||7||29,177||4,168|
|Orlando City SC||13||102,533||7,887|
|Phoenix FC Wolves||13||20,941||1,611|
|Harrisburg City Islanders||14||20,386||1,456|
|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||$||10||15,116||1,512|
|USL PRO TOTAL||157||419,222||2,670|
|Des Moines Menace||7||21,961||3,137|
|Portland Timbers U-23s||7||17,106||2,444|
|Victoria Highlanders FC||7||11,462||1,637|
|Ventura County Fusion||7||9,474||1,353|
|Forest City London||7||8,024||1,146|
|Western Mass Pioneers||7||7,404||1,058|
|West Texas Sockers||7||6,765||966|
|Long Island Rough Riders||*||6||4,941||824|
|Thunder Bay Chill||7||5,595||799|
|K-W United FC||$||3||1,810||603|
|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|
|El Paso Patriots||7||2,150||307|
|Northern Virginia Royals||#||5||1,475||295|
|North Sound SeaWolves FC||7||1,640||234|
|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|
|Real Colorado Foxes||7||1,150||164|
|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|
|VSI Tampa Bay FC||)(||2||278||139|
|West Virginia Chaos||7||965||138|
|Orlando City U23||**||1||127||127|
|OC Blues Strikers FC||#||5||525||105|
|River City Rovers||7||638||91|
|Seacoast United Phantoms||7||580||83|
|Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-23||7||569||81|
|LA Misioneros FC||*||6||325||54|
|Central Jersey Spartans||7||245||35|
|IMG Academy Bradenton||*||6||160||27|
|Fort Lauderdale Schulz Academy||)(||1||15||15|
|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|
|Seattle Reign FC||10||21,510||2,151|
|Chicago Red Stars||11||18,817||1,711|
|Sky Blue FC||11||18,309||1,664|
|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|
|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|
|Dayton Dutch Lions||5||1,137||227|
|New York Magic – F.A. Euro||6||1,348||225|
|North Jersey Valkyries||6||1,224||204|
|Bay Area Breeze||6||1,149||192|
|Santa Clarita Blue Heat||&||3||476||159|
|Quebec City Amiral||*||5||685||137|
|VSI Tampa Bay FC||*||4||387||97|
|Toronto Lady Lynx||*||5||391||78|
|*=Missing 1 game
#=Missing 2 games
&=Missing 3 games
$=Missing 4 games
)(=Missing 5 games
**=Missing 6 games
- 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.