Archive for the ‘WPS’ tag
Imagine a bad breakup with someone you shouldn’t have hooked up with in the first place, someone who seemed perfect for you but who belittled you to your friends, was a slob, didn’t pay their half of the rent and utilities and criticized your sexual performance. Now imagine having to have that person spend one weekend a month at your house for the next two years. That’s what’s happening to WPS right now.
Rather than deal with protracted litigation over WPS’ revoking of Dan Borislow‘s magicJack franchise last October (which a Florida circuit court judge said last week had been done improperly), WPS and Borislow have reached a compromise: magicJack will play exhibition games against WPS teams for the next two years, but won’t “really” be a part of the league. This shows you how desperate the other WPS owners were to be rid of this guy – they’re currently playing under another USSF waiver because they have just five teams instead of the mandated eight. MagicJack would at least give them six, but Borislow has alienated his fellow owners and even his own players to the point where the league’s new CEO said she feared the owners might prefer to fold rather than let him back in.
So the team once described as “the Barcelona of women’s soccer” (Distaff Barça, by the way, finished third in the league and lost in the playoff semifinal) is kindasorta back, for seven or eight friendlies (at least a couple in Boca Raton) in each of the next two years. Which means two more seasons of drama for a league that needs drama less than it needs investors.
Might be the last one for a while, but here’s the latest list of attendance figures for the prominent leagues (if a team’s not listed, either they haven’t had a home game yet or I have no figures for them).
|Seattle Sounders FC||7||253,864||36,266|
|Los Angeles Galaxy||6||136,938||22,823|
|Vancouver Whitecaps FC||7||140,923||20,132|
|New York Red Bulls||6||104,036||17,339|
|Real Salt Lake||5||81,360||16,272|
|New England Revolution||7||87,146||12,449|
|San Jose Earthquakes||6||59,132||9,855|
|Ft. Lauderdale Strikers||3||15,599||5,200|
|FC Tampa Bay||6||18,538||3,090|
|Puerto Rico Islanders||2||5,374||2,687|
|NSC Minnesota Stars||5||7,115||1,423|
|Antigua Barracuda FC||3||9,200||3,067|
|FC New York||2||3,041||1,521|
|Harrisburg City Islanders||3||3,738||1,246|
|Dayton Dutch Lions||4||2,719||680|
|Los Angeles Blues||2||1,319||660|
|River Plate Puerto Rico||2||442||221|
|Puerto Rico United||2||210||105|
|USL PRO TOTALS||50||115,122||2,302|
|Western New York Flash||4||13,316||3,329|
|Sky Blue FC||3||7,769||2,590|
|Des Moines Menace||2||6,464||3,232|
|West Texas United Sockers||3||5,756||1,919|
|Ventura County Fusion||4||4,662||1,166|
|Portland Timbers U23||3||3,285||1,095|
|FC Jax Destroyers||2||1,967||984|
|Real Maryland Monarchs||1||721||721|
|Chivas El Paso Patriots||3||1,970||657|
|St. Louis Lions||2||1,212||606|
|RGV Grandes FC||3||1,800||600|
|New Hampshire Phantoms||2||800||400|
|River City Rovers||2||725||363|
|Long Island Rough Riders||3||1,079||360|
|MPS Portland Phoenix||2||717||359|
|Ocean City Nor’easters||1||357||357|
|Virginia Beach Piranhas||2||688||344|
|Central Florida Kraze||3||995||332|
|Reading United AC||2||655||328|
|Los Angeles Legends||3||900||300|
|North Sound SeaWolves||1||250||250|
|Real Colorado Foxes||2||420||210|
|Akron Summit Assault||2||393||197|
|IMG Bradenton Academics||2||375||188|
|Vancouver Whitecaps Residency||2||327||164|
|West Virginia Chaos||3||423||141|
|Southern California Seahorses||1||117||117|
|Orange County Blue Star||3||303||101|
|LA Blues 23||2||190||95|
|New Jersey Rangers||2||143||72|
|Fort Lauderdale Schulz Academy||4||255||64|
|Vancouver Whitecaps FC||2||2,470||1,235|
|Long Island Rough Riders||1||496||496|
|Charlotte Lady Eagles||1||470||470|
|Virginia Beach Piranhas||2||747||374|
|New Jersey Rangers||1||89||89|
|Toronto Lady Lynx||2||150||75|
Thanks to those of you who pointed out some typos and transpositions in last week’s tables. Here’s the latest offering, through games of yesterday:
|River Plate PR||3||570||190||128||315||127|
|Puerto Rico Utd||*2||210||105||105||105||105|
|Sevilla FC PR||#0||0||0||0||0||0|
|USL PRO TOTALS||25||50,827||2,033||1,076||7,933||105|
|*Missing two games|
|#Missing one game|
|Sky Blue FC||1||2,910||2,910||2,910||2,910||2,910|
- Now every team in the NASL has had at least one home game. The real surprise is Ft. Lauderdale, where, if they can keep up the type of boost their rebranding has apparently played a part in, they might be the flagship franchise. The others are about what you’d expect. Montreal is going to lead the league. I don’t know why people are crowing about Atlanta drawing at least 3k to their first three games – that’s better than Atlanta got before their hiatus, but it’s still below the historical average for Division II (3,434 from 1994-2010). And the Silverbacks are being outdrawn by the WPS team that plays 27 miles away. Edmonton drew 2,631 to their home league opener at 3,500-seat Foote Field, but their 5-0 defeat won’t help them sell tickets going forward. And Tampa Bay’s average attendance is off 41 percent from a year ago when they were playing on the other side of the Bay. Which is odd, because I was assured they’d be huge in St. Petersburg and sell out every game.
- Speaking of the NASL, now that every team has had a home game, we can look at something I’m trying out: projecting the league attendance based on the number of remaining home games for each club and their projected totals. Basically, it asks the question, “if every team in the league keeps its current average for the remainder of its home games, what would the league attendance be?” As different teams have different numbers of games left at any given point in the season, it’s a way to look at where we are and how outlier teams like Montreal can impact the sample. The NASL projects out to a total of 397,474, an average of 3,312. Which would be the lowest for a DII league since 2002. I’ll keep an eye on this as the season goes along and project for the other leagues once everybody has a home game.
- Despite what you might have heard somewhere, D3 numbers aren’t particularly harder to come by this year than in previous years. The only missing games are from the Caribbean teams, which comes as no surprise to anyone who understands that, infrastructurally, those teams are going to be behind the times. Charleston continues to draw well (4,079 this weekend), showing there are places where the level of play is less important than just having an established team. FC New York, which many (including me) doubted would ever play a game, announced 2,011 (could have been a deliberately made-up number) for its home opener. Wilmington drew 2,984 for its second home game. And Los Angeles drew 696 for its home debut. Obviously, that’s a tough market.
- WPS had a rough weekend, with the new Western New York Flash drawing just 2,164 for its home inaugural in Rochester. It’s time for us now to admit that Marta, as great as she is, does not resonate. She does not sell tickets. It’s not happening. And magicJack drew just 1,008 (The Sun-Sentinel’s Jeff Rusnak said the actual crowd was about half that, right after he was denied the opportunity to interview players and coaches). More on magicJack later, but that’s not a good sign. At all.
- MLS passed the one million mark in attendance for the season as of the Columbus game Saturday (which drew just 11,298 to Crew Stadium – Massive Club, right?) and is averaging 17,639. Final numbers for April show an average of 16,858 – down quite a bit from March’s 19,225. Still, the league is going to draw over four million when all is said and done.
- Dallas announced a season-high 21,867 for its rain-interrupted match against the Galaxy last night. It’s the Hoops’ second announced crowd over 20k for the season, and in neither case did they have anything like 20k in the building.
- And here’s an interesting note from the PDL, which began its season with two games this past weekend (not enough to do a chart on): the Fresno Fuego, which has been near the top of the PDL attendance standings in recent years, will charge no admission price for its tickets this season. A sponsor is picking up the cost, meaning the club is getting something out of the deal. You used to see this done on an occasional basis throughout a minor-league baseball season, but I’ve never heard of a team doing it for an entire season (though it’s only eight games). The Fuego announced a crowd of 7,853 for a 0-0 draw against LA Blues 23. Overall, I’m not a fan of this strategy, because sponsors come and go. People who care about your team should care enough to pay to watch it play. I think they’re conditioning their market to pay nothing for their tickets. We’ll see how it plays out.
Here’s the first full rundown of attendance figures for the various levels for 2011. Not every team has had a home game yet, so there are some zeros and there are a few games for which attendance figures aren’t available (yet).
|River Plate PR||1||128||128||128||128||128|
|Puerto Rico United||2||210||105||105||105||105|
|USL PRO TOTALS||18||39,392||2,188||1,231||7,933||105|
|#Missing two games|
|&Missing one game|
|Sky Blue FC||1||2,910||2,910||2,910||2,910||2,910|
|*Missing one game|
- MLS has four teams averaging more than 20,000 a game and Toronto is just under that. It seems likely Toronto will finish above 20k (they historically do) but it seems unlikely that DC United will, so four is probably about what can be expected.
- WPS’ Atlanta Beat, playing on the same weekend as their NASL counterparts, outdrew the Silverbacks each of the first two weeks. Yesterday’s figure for the Beat is unavailable, but probably didn’t beat the ‘Backs’ announced 3,227.
- Montreal set a new NASL record with an announced crowd of 12,060 (tix distributed, I’m guessing) for its home opener against Tampa Bay. It was the earliest home opener in the Impact’s 19-year history. They’ll absolutely lead the league in attendance. The three teams that have yet to have home matches aren’t likely to help much (Edmonton, Minnesota and Puerto Rico).
- Until someone changes it, Antigua Barracuda FC’s home opener crowd will be listed as 6,000. for consistency’s sake, I go with what’s on the USL website unless there’s compelling evidence to the contrary. The local newspaper said “about 3,500,” and someone who I know who was there said “about 4,500.” The Sticky Wicket Stadium (great name) supposedly seats 5,000 in the main stand. BFC hasn’t announced an attendance figure for its last two games yet.
- The former Washington Freedom, who moved to Boca Raton and are now called “magicJack,” drew an all-time WPS/WUSA low of 1,224 for their home opener. Supposedly there were only 500 available seats in the “grandstand” at Florida Atlantic University because they took the rest of the bleachers across campus to the FAU spring football game.
- Western New York has their home opener in Rochester this Sunday. And magicJack will be back at it again, hosting Philadelphia. I’m not optimistic.
- The PDL season starts this weekend, with Fresno hosting the new LA Blues 23 on Friday in the first match. The W-League doesn’t start until May 14.
Just so people don’t keep commenting in the post from two weeks ago, here are this weekend’s soccer scores and crowds for reflection and dissection:
Seattle 1, COLORADO 0 (14,185)
Chivas USA 2, SAN JOSE 1 (10,525)
Columbus 1, TORONTO 1 (20,145)
Dallas 2, VANCOUVER 1 (21,000)
NEW ENGLAND 3, Kansas City 2 (11,414)
Houston 1, CHICAGO 1 (12,473)
LOS ANGELES 3, Portland 0 (23,719)
Tampa Bay 0, MONTREAL 0 (12,060)
Fort Lauderdale 2, ATLANTA 1 (3,227)
Sevilla Puerto Rico 1, ANTIGUA 0
Puerto Rico United 2, ORLANDO 2 (7,279)
RICHMOND 2, Charleston 1 (1,833)
New York 0, CHARLOTTE 0 (1,076)
PITTSBURGH 1, Harrisburg 0 (1,004)
Rochester 3, DAYTON 2 (625)
Los Angeles 1, RIVER PLATE PUERTO RICO 1 (128)
ANTIGUA 3, Sevilla Puerto Rico 2
MAGICJACK 1, Boston 0 (1,224)
Western New York 2, ATLANTA 2
I’m sorry, there’s just no way to spin it anymore. With the apparent folding of the Washington Freedom and FC Gold Pride (the latter only the league champions, with The World’s Best PlayerTM), Women’s Professional Soccer is down to just six teams, none west of Chicago.
They can say they’ll play with six teams in 2011, and they very well might. But they’re dead women walking and I don’t see a reprieve coming.
When it comes to Washington – a WUSA original that kept playing through the interim years and into WPS – my man Beau Dure asks, “Why now?” I ask, “Why not now?” Why does anything happen when it happens? If John Hendricks has had enough, he’s had enough. If someone decides that their money is only going to be lit on fire long-term, why should they waste any more time after reaching that conclusion? So that other people can have a hobby?
Fake Sigi makes a good point in that if they’re going to require you to put the entire year’s operating expenses in escrow (which Beau refers to as “one escrow payment” – well, yeah, Beau, but it’s a pretty frigging big one) you might very well say, “Well, you know what? I don’t have it on me right now. You can’t get blood from a turnip, goodbye.”
This goes back to the exact same thing I said about WUSA ten years ago: there is a market for this product. Unfortunately, it’s either not as big a market as some would like or expect or it’s too expensive to reach that market in a meaningful way.
WUSA went big: big stars, big salaries, big budgets. “Look at us, we’re big!” they shouted. WPS learned from that: smaller salaries, smaller budgets, fewer big names. “Please look @us,” they tweeted.
Neither strategy worked. Not because of sexism or anything like that, but because the market decided it isn’t interested in ponying up enough in ticket dollars, television eyeballs and merchandise sales – in short, investing in caring – to make a professional women’s soccer league viable at this point in time. Maybe at any point in time, but definitely not at this one.
Should there be professional women’s soccer? I think there should be as much or as little of anything as the free market decides. Should .260-hitting shortstops make $5 million a year? Hell, I don’t know. That’s the going rate; who am I to decide? But it seems as if we’ve tried it and it ain’t happening.
The regular season is over, and the second year of Women’s Professional Soccer saw a 23% drop in overall average league attendance. Only the Boston Breakers were able to improve on their average from year one, going from 4,183 per game to a league-leading 4,490. The league average went from 4,684 to 3,588, a drop of more than a thousand per game.
|Sky Blue FC||11||36,521||3,320||3,412||3,375||-1.6%|
|FC Gold Pride||13||40,117||3,086||3,153||3,139||-1.7%|
Losing Los Angeles obviously didn’t help, but The Stadium That Will Change Women’s SoccerTM in Atlanta couldn’t overcome a bad team. Saint Louis folded while their numbers were down 20% in a small sample, while Washington also saw a 21% drop and Chicago fell 14%. Sky Blue FC and FC Gold Pride (with far and away the league’s best team and the world’s best player) were only down slightly.
- League-wide, attendance was basically stable from month-to-month, peaking in May for the second straight year.
- For the second year in a row, we saw a dropoff from the first half of the schedule to the second half, but it was much smaller in 2010. In 2009, the difference between the first 35 games and the last 35 games was about 1,300 per game. This year, the difference between the first 45 games and the last 44 (there were only 89 games because of the St. Louis affair) was just over 300 per game.
- World Cup BumpTM? Nope. not here. WPS games prior to the World Cup averaged 4,010. During the World Cup, 3,219. Aftewards, 3,412.
- In two years, the league has drawn an announced 647,177 to 159 regular-season games, for an average of 4,070. In its first two years, WUSA averaged 7,536 (obviously while burning through a lot more money). WUSA’s drop from year one to year two was only 14%, but they weren’t battling the worst recession in memory.
- Philadelphia’s going to host the first playoff game, this Sunday. That should be a treat. The Independence had only drawn over 3,000 once since their opener before getting 4,011 for their home finale two weeks ago. The winner of the Philadelphia-Washington game goes to Boston, where they draw well, but it’s on a Thursday night and at a smaller facility. FC Gold Pride will host the final and they will have had a few weeks to sell it. If they can’t, that doesn’t bode well. Last year’s playoffs (with a 7,218 crowd for the final in LA) averaged 5,500. They’re going to struggle to get there this year, it looks like.
- Though they’re gone, the LA Sol still holds the title of best overall attendance for the two years at 6,298 for their only season. Washington is next at 4,699 with Philadelphia’s 2,938 bringing up the rear. In fact, Philly’s average is lower than any WUSA team averaged over its three-year run.
EDIT: I missed this, but Commissioner Tonya Antonucci is stepping down (Steve Goff broke the story), meaning there aren’t many folks left who started this rebirth of the pro women’s game. And while apparently a western New York team (the W-League’s Buffalo Flash entry) may join the league next year, unless someone convinces the investors there’s a future for this, I’m not sure WPS survives. Hope Solo may be right when she says she’s done playing in (this) league, but it might or might not be her choice.
We’re going to focus on the leagues that are still playing this time around (if you are keen on them, the final numbers for the W-League and PDL are here) and give you a little extra data that I keep but don’t normally put into these posts because, quite frankly, it screws up the formatting.
|Sky Blue FC||10||32,711||3,271||3,387||4,440||2,491|
|FC Gold Pride||12||36,114||3,010||3,078||3,757||2,431|
- The Portland Timbers are only the third D2 franchise to average over 10k for a season (Montreal and Rochester are the others) thanks to a late surge that saw them pack PGE Park three times in the last month. Those guys should be in TMLS!
- In WPS, everybody but Sky Blue FC, FC Gold Pride and the Washington Freedom have finished their home schedules, so don’t expect a big bump on the last weekend. FCGP simply can’t draw (I’ve said it before, having Marta in the East Bay is like Pavarotti at a dinner theater in Jupiter, Florida) so an 11:30 am start for the WPS final in a couple of weeks should be fun.
- Stadium renderings usually aren’t indicative of how a stadium finally turns out, but these first looks at the proposed new Earthquakes stadium are pretty nice. They’d better get it sorted, because continuing to play at Buck Shaw is just a feeding tube at this point.
- I’m missing three game attendances for Real Maryland in USL-2, but only my OCD-like sense of completeness compels me to hope I’ll get them. There may not be anybody there to ask before too long.
- Finally, there are 12 teams in USSFD2. Montreal is off to TMLS in 2011, with Portland and Vancouver moving up next year. That’ll leave Rochester as the flagship franchise again, but it’s the bottom of the attendance ladder that’s really troubling. St. Louis has supposedly found a new investor, but Carolina and Minnesota are still looking and Baltimore is broke. Miami can re-brand as the Strikers all they want, they still have Traffic running them. And Puerto Rico has reportedly jumped ship from What’s Left of USL to the NASL. I can’t for the life of me see how the NASL gets USSF sanctioning. Or, at this point, how anybody does.
Women’s Professional Soccer‘s second season is building to a….conclusion, and its sophomore year has been an interesting one. On the field, FC Gold Pride (with The World’s Best PlayerTM) has already clinched the regular-season championship and will host the final on September 26, Marta’s 15 goals lead the league, two expansion teams joined the fold and one of them opened a fabulous new stadium.
But after 20 weeks and 77 games, league attendance is down about 23 percent from 2009, with every team that returned from 2009 showing average attendance decreases ranging from 4% to 32%. This table ranks the teams by the difference in average from last year to this year.
|Sky Blue FC||9||29,299||3,255||3,451||-5.7%|
|Chicago Red Stars||10||42,056||4,206||4,628||-9.1%|
|FC Gold Pride||11||33,667||3,061||3,667||-16.5%|
|Saint Louis Athletica||4||12,109||3,027||4,055||-25.4%|
(WPS teams played 10 home games in 2009. Because of the longer schedule and the demise of Saint Louis early in the season, they’ll play 12 or 13 this year. The ’09 Average column is based either on the same number of home games as a year ago or 10 home games, whichever is less.)
WPS’ small number of teams (and, therefore, games in a given week) results in a small sample size, so weekly trends might not be that meaningful. But given that my man Rob Penner broached the issue, here’s how each week of the first two WPS seasons has gone from an average attendance standpoint:
(That spike in week 9 last year came from a doubleheader at RFK Stadium that saw a league-record crowd of 16,089.)
As Penner says, though, the trend at the end of last season was upward and they’re trending upward as 2010 approaches the playoffs. A drop of over 1,000 per game overall (based on a lot of factors – the loss of Los Angeles, two new organizations, bad economy, you name it) is not an encouraging sign, but I’ve heard WPS will announce a new expansion team very soon (maybe a return to LA?) and they’ve still got to be losing less money than WUSA did.
EDIT: Oh, yeah, the WPS expansion team might be the W-League’s Buffalo Flash moving up.
Here are the latest attendance figures from the various soccer leagues around these parts, through yesterday’s games:
|MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER||G||Total||Average|
|Seattle Sounders FC||11||397,701||36,155|
|Los Angeles Galaxy||9||182,871||20,319|
|New York Red Bulls||10||174,249||17,425|
|Real Salt Lake||11||184,310||16,755|
|New England Revolution||10||118,139||11,814|
|Kansas City Wizards||11||111,202||10,109|
|San Jose Earthquakes||10||96,376||9,638|
|WOMEN’S PROFESSIONAL SOCCER||G||Total||Average|
|Chicago Red Stars||10||42,056||4,206|
|Sky Blue FC||9||29,299||3,255|
|FC Gold Pride||11||33,667||3,061|
|Saint Louis Athletica||4||12,109||3,027|
|USSF DIVISION II SOCCER LEAGUE||G||Total||Average|
|FC Tampa Bay Rowdies||10||43,730||4,373|
|AC St. Louis||11||30,438||2,767|
|Puerto Rico Islanders||12||27,428||2,286|
|Minnesota NSC Stars||13||18,067||1,390|
|Miami FC Blues||11||14,151||1,286|
|UNITED SOCCER LEAGUES DIVISION II||G||Total||Average|
|Harrisburg City Islanders||10||17,109||1,711|
|Real Maryland Monarchs||7||4,259||608|
|UNITED SOCCER LEAGUES W-LEAGUE||G||Total||Average|
|Vancouver Whitecaps FC Women||5||7,565||1,513|
|New Jersey Wildcats||3||2,085||695|
|Charlotte Lady Eagles||4||2,053||513|
|Long Island Rough Riders||5||2,258||452|
|Hampton Roads Piranhas||5||2,037||407|
|Hudson Valley Quickstrike Lady Blues||3||1,097||366|
|Santa Clarita Blue Heat||3||1,083||361|
|Quebec City Amiral||6||1,933||322|
|Northern Virginia Majestics||4||1,113||278|
|North Jersey Valkyries||4||1,030||258|
|Toronto Lady Lynx||5||800||160|
|New York Magic||4||492||123|
|Chicago Red Eleven||6||666||111|
|Tampa Bay Hellenic||3||323||108|
|Washington Freedom Futures||6||455||76|
|UNITED SOCCER LEAGUES PDL||G||Total||Average|
|Des Moines Menace||8||28,413||3,552|
|West Texas United Sockers||8||20,011||2,501|
|Victoria Highlanders FC||8||11,973||1,497|
|Dayton Dutch Lions||8||10,195||1,274|
|Forest City London||8||9,971||1,246|
|El Paso Patriots||7||7,485||1,069|
|New Orleans Jesters||4||4,029||1,007|
|Ventura County Fusion||8||6,987||873|
|Thunder Bay Chill||8||6,348||794|
|Los Angeles Legends||5||3,579||716|
|Western Mass Pioneers||8||5,352||669|
|Portland Timbers U23’s||8||4,925||616|
|Baton Rouge Capitals||1||540||540|
|Hampton Roads Piranhas||7||3,085||441|
|Long Island Rough Riders||7||2,964||423|
|Central Florida Kraze||7||2,330||333|
|Ocean City Nor’easters||6||1,936||323|
|St. Louis Lions||8||2,298||287|
|Southern California Seahorses||7||1,634||233|
|Rio Grande Valley Bravos||3||590||197|
|Albany BWP Highlanders||8||1,478||185|
|Dallas Fort Worth Tornados||4||716||179|
|MPS Portland Phoenix||7||1,226||175|
|West Virginia Chaos||8||1,257||157|
|Hollywood United Hitmen||6||867||145|
|IMG Bradenton Academics||6||795||133|
|Kansas City Brass||6||783||131|
|Vancouver Whitecaps Residency||8||1,029||129|
|New Hampshire Phantoms||7||740||106|
|Ft. Lauderdale Schultz Academy||4||410||103|
|New Jersey Rangers FC||6||606||101|
|Central Jersey Spartans||6||600||100|
|Orange County Blue Star||8||740||93|
|Real Colorado Foxes||6||480||80|
|Northern Virginia Royals||0||0||0|
- MLS has four teams averaging over 20,000 per game. The three holdovers from last year have been joined by Philadelphia, but that’s artificial based on a couple of games held at Lincoln Financial Field. The Union’s PPL Park isn’t large enough for them to average 20k for an entire season.
- On the flip side, USSF D2 has five teams averaging under 2,300 per game, three of them under 1,400. I can’t see how Baltimore, Minnesota and St. Louis return and I’m not optimistic about Puerto Rico.
- MLS’ average for 45 games played after the World Cup (16,169) is slightly below its average for 93 games prior to the World Cup (16,472). In fact, that’s a trend seen at all levels. Every single league has a lower average attendance in games played since the World Cup than it did in games played before. Things in MLS usually pick back up in the fall, so that effect will be mitigated somewhat, and the second division schedule extends deeper into the fall than ever. We’ll see what the final numbers say, but what we have tends to give credence to the notion that the World Cup Bump isn’t as strong as some would like to think it is.
- Charleston averaged 3,534 per game in 2009 in the USL First Division. Despite dropping down to USL-2 this year, the Battery averaged 3,641 (they’ll also host the championship game against Richmond this Saturday).
- The Chicago Red Stars had their biggest crowd of the season Sunday (6,089 to see Marta and FC Gold Pride clinch the regular-season title and berth in the championship game). It was their second-largest crowd ever, trailing only the 7,959 for last year’s home finale against….Marta and the LA Sol.