The Monday After: Playoff Numbers, Hello Dilly & More

mlsFour playoff games over the weekend and attendance was generally strong throughout.  The weakest number was in Columbus, were just over 10k saw Columbus fall to RSL in an exciting 3-2 affair.  The numbers picked up over the weekend, where 21,500 saw Chicago shut out New England 2-0.  On Sunday, more than 27,400 were in Houston to see the home Dynamo hold off expansion Seattle 1-0 in overtime.  In Los Angeles, the second leg of the playoff Derby, saw a Galaxy victory in front of a 27k sell out.

A couple of notes on the playoff broadcasts.  Full marks to both ESPN and FSC.  Both broadcasts were solid, with pre and post game packages.   Both networks had an array of national advertisers (most of the usual suspects), and on screen advertising.  There were a few too many glitches on FSC (e.g. the Castro Red card that wasn’t and the failure for 3 minutes to recognize that he was a sub), and both broadcast teams seem to suffer from either a lack of research and/or production help during the telecast. We did not get a chance to take in the Dynamo/Seattle game.

A couple of other quick notes:  One of the big stories for MLS junkies, was the recent announcement that 20 year old Dilly Duka, a former Rutgers stand-out and product of the Red Bulls’ youth system, has signed with the Generation Adidas Program will enter the MLS draft.  The GA program provides fairly high salaries for youth players who leave college early and provides them with the opportunity to pursue their college careers if soccer doesn’t work out.  It is quite possible that the Red Bulls will select Duka with the second pick in the draft.

Finally, looking forward, there was likely no small amount of quiet rejoicing in MLS headquarters at the Fire victory over the Revs.  A Fire/RSL Conference final promises to attract more than double the crowd of a Revs/RSL game at Gillette and in a better environment.  At the same time, the Becks and Donovan show will continue on prime time, as Los Angeles will host Houston in the other Conference final.