The first round of Major League Soccer games are in the rear view mirror, with some great goals, a nationally televised dud and a globe trotting commissioner all part of the festivities. We will review the attendance from week one below, but first some business tidbits from the opening round. Commissioner Garber was presence on multiple telecasts during the weekend, including both local and national feeds. Not much new ground was covered, but it was interesting to hear him confirm on NBCSN that the league intends to move past 24 teams after the next round of expansion is finalized. NBCSN’s season opener featured some marquee teams and names, but the rain soaked match labored at points. Combined with the wet conditions, it was not the hoped for opening spectacle.
On to attendance, where Seattle packed them in, to the tune of 39k plus. Despite the slow pace of play at times, the game had a dramatic finish and the crowd seemed to stay to the end. The United home opener drew less than 14k, more than 3k off their opener from last year. The weather in DC was fairly nice, but the result was duplicative of last year. Vancouver entertained 21k at BC Place with a smashing win over last year’s SS winners, while Houston ran the Revs out of BBVA Compass before 22k fans, the largest in stadium history. FC Dallas announced a solid opening night number of 18k plus despite miserable weather in the Metroplex.
The Galaxy fell short of a 27k sellout on Saturday night, but still managed a solid 25k for their home opening loss, while the Timbers pulled out a late draw before a sellout crowd in excess of 20k. Finally, on Sunday in LA, Chivas USA pulled a crowd of less than 9k for their home opener as the team builds towards its 2015 rebuild