2.17.2009

Lowering Expectations

First 10 games of MLS expansion seasons, 2005-2008

San Jose 2008 - LLWLTLLWLW – 10 points from 10 games
Toronto FC 2007 – LLLLWWLTWL – 10 points
Chivas USA 2005 - LTLLLWLLLL – 4 points
Real Salt Lake 2005 - TLWLTLWWLL – 11 points

- None of these expansion teams had over a .500 record in the first 10 games (first 1/3) of the season.
- None of these teams won a single game until their third match.
- Over the first 5 games these teams accumulated 4, 3, 1 and 4 points respectively.

I think the numbers paint a pretty clear and indisputable picture. Teams entering MLS do not fare well at first. Each team was last in the league at the 1/3 point, except Real Salt Lake who had another expansion team in the league in Chivas USA. It's not a huge leap to assume that expansion clubs need time to adjust to MLS, to begin working as a team. Seattle will have the same problem. So if Seattle has just 10 points (which should be about what we expect, based on the above data) at the beginning of June, and looks hopelessly out of contention, it's not due to poor roster management or poor coaching. It's just the growing pains every expansion team has to overcome.

1 comment:

TL said...

I just now looked at your post. I would only like to say that the comparison between any other expansion teams is fruitless. Seattle had one year, a USL team to choose from, and alot of money and big club attitude to show. No comparisson. This club comes into the league ready to compete from day one. They built a team that they wanted. All the other teams have contract restraints. Not Seattle. All the other expansion teams had time restraints. Not Seattle. Forget the expansion tag. The rest of the MLS should be very very scared.