Busy times in Major League Soccer. While soccer fans around the world were being treated to the quarterfinal stage of the Euro 2012 tournament, MLS fans had a wide sampling of games to enjoy. Viewers of EURO 2012 were again treated to ESPN’s excellent coverage of the event, with Ballack, Lalas and others continuing to shine in the studio shows. Picture quality remains excellent, and while I will never understand the FIFA love a slow motion fan reaction to a missed shot, the replays and camera angles are top notch.
Speaking of replay, it appears that FIFA is close to making a decision on goal line technologies. To me, it seems obvious that MLS is a great test league for such technology. American fans are extremely comfortable with replay and it makes sense for FIFA to let a league outside the bright lights of Europe become the test case.
On to the attendance numbers, where the mid-week games were almost universally impressive. In Seattle, more than 46,0000 fans showed up for their Wednesday tilt, while a 20k plus sellout crammed into Rio Tinto. Houston continued its strong start to attendance in their new digs with more than 21k. Vancouver continued the 20k plus trend while Chivas managed just over 10k. Colorado crept past 13k at DSG to close out the Wednesday night matches.
The big numbers continued over the weekend where TFC started the Saturday afternoon with almost 19k watching them spit up a late game lead. Montreal was shockingly disappointing with just over 12k at the second game in newly renovated Saputo Stadium. More than 18k saw Philly’s blowout win, while Chicago got a great number at Toyota Park with more than 17k for their rivalry game with Columbus.
FC Dallas fell just short of 14k on Saturday night while Los Angeles crossed the 21k mark at the Home Depot Center. Rio Tinto hosted another 18k plus crowd, but again failed to record a victory before the home audience. On Sunday, both Portland and New York managed sellouts in big rivalry games, capping off a very impressive five days for MLS attendance.
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