The Supporters Shield has been awarded, the playoff field is set and regular season is over. It was another banner year for Major League Soccer and the playoffs promise to be another fantastic second season. Before we get to attendance from the long weekend, one quick business note. The Columbus Crew were named International Organization of the Year by the Columbus World Affairs Council. Per the presser: “the Black & Gold were honored for the club’s efforts in the community by helping build soccer fields as well as cultivating growth of the game of soccer by becoming an international hub for a global adoration of the sport during the U.S. Men’s National Team “Dos a Cero” victory over Mexico in the 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifier at Crew Stadium in September. CCWA recognized that this led new Americans and a diverse group of community members to stand together with the Crew and Crew Stadium throughout 2013.”
The attendance picture started to form with a mid-week tilt at Rio Tinto between RSL and Chivas USA. RSL sold out the stadium for their regular season finale. The week continued on Saturday with more than 18k at PPL Park for a match that saw the end of the disappointing season for Philadelphia. TFC also missed the playoffs (again) and their terrible season at the gate continued with less than 14k at BMO Field. The Reds are at a team crossroads after so many years of failure and the on field problems finally manifested in small crowds.
Another team that came up short both on the field and at the gate is Chivas USA. The team fell in their season opener before less than 12k at the Stub Hub. The nationally televised game featured on NBC was DC and Houston. Less than 14k were at RFK for the match, which looked terrible on television and was an unfortunate conclusion to the network season. The game that deserved the showcase was the sold out affair between New York and Chicago at Red Bull Arena. The celebration of the team’s first trophy made for great theater, as did the 5-2 result. While there were more than 25k at Red Bull Arena, there was a solid 17k plus at Crew Stadium as the team fell short in their bid for the playoffs in 2013.
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