Highest attended soccer matches in the USA

This started as a reply to a reddit poster claiming a USA-Turkey match in 2010 was “the highest attended soccer match ever”

According to this the attendance was 55,407. Nice, but not the highest ever for soccer.
http://www.ussoccer.com/news/mens-national-team/2010/05/turkey-game-report.aspx

But not the larget for soccer that I can find. Portugal played the USA at RFK during the 1996 olympics, attendance was 58,012. 
http://www.dcconvention.com/Venues/RFKStadium/UniqueSpaces.aspx

Also MLS Cup 1997 at RFK featuring home side D.C. United was attended by 57,431 people.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MLS_Cup_’97

Also, the LA Coliseum would sell out for soccer matches, albeit ones not featuring the USA. Capacity is 92k
http://articles.latimes.com/1999/apr/29/news/mn-32450

Turns out the USSF has a page with attendance records, and the USA-Turkey game, or the others mentioned by me above, would not make it, as the minimum cutoff is around 78,000. Maybe the US turkey game was the best attended USMNT during the previous world cup cycle?
http://www.ussoccer.com/teams/us-men/records/attendance-records/largest-crowds-in-us.aspx

Why World Cup TV Ratings Are So Strong – World Cup 2010 – TIME

The ratings for this World Cup are really impressive. Its pretty safe to forecast an incremental bump.

American soccer must capitalize on this momentum. "The real question will be 'what happens to Major League Soccer ratings after the World Cup?'" says Steve Master, Nielsen's vice president of sports. Master and other analysts are forecasting an incremental, if not overwhelming, improvement for the American pro soccer league thanks to the World Cup.

Why World Cup TV Ratings Are So Strong

Matt Drudge And The Future Of Soccer

After watchingng all the hype leading up to this year's tournament and the breadth of coverage the tournament has received, I think we're seeing a turning point for the sport in the USA. Hopefully MLS and the domestic game can really capitalize on the interest it generates, but from here on out the World Cup will be a big deal.

But the surest sign that soccer has hit the big time in the States?  Matt Drudge thinks so.

Matt Drudge and the Future of Soccer

World Cup Fever sends Internet usage to record levels

I wish they'd compared it to traffic during the Olympics.

Today’s Web traffic has been classified as “Heavy” for the better part of the day, according to measurements by Akamai. At its peak, traffic for News sites globally started a steady climb about 6 am ET and peaked six hours later, at Noon ET, reaching nearly 12.1 million visitors per minute.

World Cup Fever sends Internet usage to record levels

Packed schedule of World Cup Qualifiers

With the World Cup barely a year away, there’s a packed slate of results I’ll be watching this week.  Will the US continue its relatively straightforward qualification to another appearance?  Can Bolivia maintain the slimmest hopes of qualifying alive?

  1. Costa Rica vs USA – Wednesday, June 3rd.  The Americans have never won, a tie would be more than acceptable.
  2. Bolivia vs Venezuela – Saturday, June 6th.  Bolivia needs all 3 points from this home match in La Paz, but Venezuela has long ceased being guaranteed easy points.
  3. USA vs Honduras – Saturday, June 10th.  The US should continue winning at home, this time in Chicago.
  4. Chile vs Bolivia – Tuesday, June 10th.  A point on the road would be ideal, but I don’t honestly expect anything out of this match.

Other qualifying threads to follow – Can Mexico right its qualification campaign? How does Argentina bounce from its 6-1 defeat in La Paz?

High Demand for US World Cup Soccer

Via the Sports Economist, found a link to this article in the Wall Street Journal about the high demand for World Cup tickets for the USA [subscribers only].  I can’t read the article, but its safe to assume its a mainstream journalist just catching wind of the difficulties those of us who want to follow our team to Germany encountered, what, 2 months ago?  I’m not sure why he ends his post with a dig at MLS.

Now, if MLS could find a way to bring a credible product to club soccer, we might really have something to cheer about.

What is a “credible product” to club soccer?

In my opinion, MLS has made great strides in the quality of the clubs they have.  The number of owners is going up, it’s been a good proving ground for your talen (Bobby Convey, Demarcus Beasley, Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan), and its getting stadiums built for its clubs.

You could argue that single-entity (the format used by practically every new sports league recently), multiple team ownership (AEG is divesting itself of teams), and the lack of a single table (umm, yeah our country spans a whole continent…) as somehow degrading the quality of the clubs but I think these arguments are specious. 

The low salary cap and the small rosters, which limit a teams effectiveness in international competion and ability to deal with injuries, do more to hurt a club. I think MLS realizes this and are eager to fix them while staying viable and aiming for profitability.

World Cup draw is today

The World Cup draw is tomorrow! The US barely missed being one of the eight seeded teams (but rival Mexico was seeded), chiefly because of the poor showing at the 1998 Cup. The FIFA rankings have a long memory, unfortunately. On the flip side, another strong run in Germany would go a long ways towards beeing seeded in 2010.

Don’t forget to set your Tivo to record it oon ESPN2 at 3pm EST if you can’t skip work to watch. Hmmm, I wonder if there’s a webcast to follow? Remember to get the official World Cup Draw Worksheet and Beer Coaster.

Update: you can follow the draw online.

World Cup 2005: RFID Surveillance

If you’re considering going to the World Cup in Germany next year, it appears that tickets will have an embedded RFID chip linked to your passport. While this is meant to make it more difficult to resell tickets, it also means you have to plan very carefully what games you are going to and who you are going with. I hope that this really does keep ticket prices down enogh to outweight the the potential inconveniences that this may cause. When we went to the Euro Cup in Portugal last summer, after-market prices were at least 5 times higher ( over 500 euros ) than the official ticket priceslisted on the UEFA site.

World Cup 2006 ‘abused for mega-surveillance project’

To apply for a ticket you have to give your name, address,
nationality, which team you want to support and your bank details. You
must also supply your ID or passport number and your birth date.

Assuming you are successful, you receive a fully personalized ticket
containing an RFID chip; this enables authorities to check the ticket
against your passport. Very little information resides on the chip: the
identity check is conducted against a database at the German Football
Association (DFB).

A primer on Major League Soccer.

At the annual retreat for work, one of the sessions involved presenting about organizations we found interesting or good models. Finally, all my knowledge and time spent on BigSoccer and MLSNet paid off. Not all of us were tagged to present, and I felt really bad for eveyone else who actually spent some time researching and preparing for their presentations. I just came in ready to wing it, with some main points I’d thought of on the drive in, and somehow managed to impress the judges enoough to come in first. Here are some of the points I made, as best as I can remember.

I chose Major League Soccer (MLS) as the organization I presented on, not because they are doing very important work or working on some great cause. But they are trying to succeed at something – selling soccer to Americans – in the face of many challenges. First off, the team sports marketplace in the US is crowded with the NFL, MLB, NBA, and – until the lockout – the NHL commanding most sport’s fans attention. Second, they are trying to sell a sport which is seen as foreign, unexciting, unmanly by many sports fans and sports reporters. And finally, a number of sports leagues, some better backed and marketed have failed recently. The XFL, backed by Vince McMahon, failed after only one season. Even the WUSA, founded on the heels and hubris of the USA Women’s World Cup soccer team, was forced to fold after 3 seasons.