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MLS Attendances Looking Familar

The 2007 season, now three weeks old, has been rightly tipped as the year for MLS, now in its 12th year. New sponsors, new stadiums, new TV deals and new stars have raised the bar of expectation. In light of all the hype, Adam Spangler of This is American Soccer asks the pointed question, so what's a good American soccer crowd?

Spangler takes a look at a sampling of recent MLS attendances, and unfortunately, they don't look too dissimilar to last season, with a few exceptions. The league-leading New York Red Bulls pulled just 12,481 people at Giants Stadium against MLS champ Houston last weekend (it attracted an announced crowd of fewer than 9,000 in the downpour against FC Dallas the week before). Chivas USA, which claims to have the largest following of any Los Angeles-area team, drew just 11,253 in its latest home match, while Chicago, at 11,717, was nearly as bad. Columbus filled a little more than half the seats at Crew Stadium against the Revs, drawing 13,290. New England, meanwhile, had 18,184 for its opener, while MLS champ Houston drew 16,519 against L.A. a few weeks ago. Hovering at the top, were FC Dallas, 20,500, the Galaxy, 23,596, and D.C. United, 22,358, for their respective home openers.

So what's everyone waiting for? Becks? Probably-he will no doubt have an effect on league attendances. For the rest of MLS, Spangler says it's too early to tell, but it may be that 15,000 for an MLS game turns out to be an acceptable average-he points out that MLB's Kansas City Royals (having a horrible season, FYI) drew just 14,801 against the Twins last week.

Read the whole story at This is American Soccer »

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