With the qualifying drama in the rear view mirror for the United States, national team players returned to their club sides around the globe. This includes MLS, where the playoff races are now in the homestretch and the Fall high school and club soccer seasons are underway, often leading to bigger crowds at some of the Eastern franchises in the league.
We’ll get into this in more detail later in the week, but there was some expansion news over the last few days as the league looks to add another 4 franchises (in addition to NYCFC). Atlanta has long been one of the contenders for a possible expansion franchise and with the construction of a new stadium for the Falcons, owner Arthur Blank has frequently been mentioned as possible league investor. Multiple reports suggest that Blank is hoping to open his new stadium with an MLS expansion franchise in 2017.
On to attendance. There was one mid-week game, with TFC managing only 15k at home at BMO Field. The weekend started on Friday night in Seattle with more than 55k at Century Link Field for another Sounders victory as they completed their climb to the top of the table in the Western Conference. On Saturday, there were more than 20k at Stade Saputo for the early Saturday game.
Struggling DC will play an important part in the playoff chase, but the team continues to fall. However, United managed more than 16k at RFK on Saturday evening. Later in the day, Philly managed more than 18k at PPL Park while the Red Bulls failed to crack the 18k number. A game with enormous playoff implications in Chicago managed more than 17k at Toyota Park. Weather was an enormous factor in Colorado with only 13k plus at DSG Park. San Jose had its usual 10k sellout while Chivas managed an amazing 5k plus figure.
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