Big weekend in Major League Soccer as teams are jockeying for playoff position in the last few weeks of the season. Whatever the downsides of the over inclusive MLS playoff setup, the 10 team system does keep more teams in the hunt until the end of the season. The possibility of playoffs keeps an informed fan base interested (there is certainly an argument that a fair number of MLS in stadium attendees have limited knowledge of the home team’s place in the stadiums) and coming to games.
This weekend marked the debut of FOX’s effort to showcase the EPL on over the air television. The network broadcast (on tape delay), the Manchester United/Chelsea match that had earlier been broadcast on Fox Soccer. The game was a good one and is the first of four such telecasts this season.
Now here is our weekly look at league attendance. In midweek action, about 10,700 were in Columbus. On Friday night, the Timbers opened their newly expanded capacity and sold all the seats for an attendance of more than 20,300. On Saturday, TFC announced a crowd of more than 20k on a day that BMO Field looked lightly attended.
Almost 19k were in Philly for the Union’s big victory, while more than 15k were in Chicago. Seattle saw its usual 36k plus, while RSL pushed up against 20k in what has been repeatedly described as an “ugly” game. FC Dallas managed to draw more than 17k for the RBNY match (actually a disappointing number given the opponent) while more than 18k were in Houston on Saturday night. The Galaxy crowned the weekend with almost 23k for their home match against Vancouver. Overall, with the exception of the blip in Columbus, it was an outstanding attendance weekend for the league.