The feast of soccer continued this weekend in the United States with league matches and friendlies nationwide. Attendance was extremely impressive throughout the country with big crowds in Kansas City, New York, Salt Lake City and elsewhere. More than 50k packed into Arrowhead Stadium to see plucky Kansas City hold off Manchester United, almost 20k were in Salt Lake City to see RSL square off against Chivas USA. The usual big crowd came to BMO field to see TFC play to a draw while about 13,500 were in Columbus.
The Barclay’s tournament was likely a television and attendance success, with more than 22k at Red Bull Arena for the final day of the competition and likely higher than expected television ratings on FSC thanks to the presence of Thierry Henry. Speaking of FSC, we have been critical of some of their recent broadcasts, but kudos to the network for offering four live telecasts from three different venues around the country. All of their booth crews did reasonably well and the network did a good job promoting their next telecasts. They also managed to get Commissioner Garber into the booth in Kansas City where he offered some tidbits including some statements about efforts to return to a Reserave Division.
One final note from the weekend. The signing of Mexican International Rafa Marquez is reported “confirmed” by multiple sources. Marquez would be the third DP to join New York making the Red Bulls the first team to take advantage of the DP rules released in the Spring. With rumors of Los Angeles seeking to add a third DP to their stable, the potential ratings impact for MLS could be significant. The prospect of playoff match or final with Henry, Angel & Marquez lining up against Donovan, Beckham and ? would certainly add “juice” to the MLS postseason. It will also be interesting to see what other teams try and follow these franchises and add stars to their rosters.