Thursday, March 3, 2011

Average Score Tallies for MLS are Offensive in the Wrong Kind of Way, Pt. 1

Originally Posted May 5, 2009

If scoring goals is the way to the heart of the U.S. sports fan, then, most definitely, MLS is not doing a very good job at attracting new fans or making more highlights for SportsCenter.  Scoring is atrociously low, making for some boring games.

Obviously, not every match can be a great one, but too many seem lifeless and aloof.  There’s not enough of a connection with the fans.

Saturday night’s game that saw D.C. United live up to their reputation was the exception, though.  Justice was served for the team who gelled better together and attacked more frequently.  It was a great comeback.

It proved a team can overcome a one-goal advantage, but what about a two or three goals advantage.  Will there be a comeback from 3 to 0, where a team wins 4-3.  Has this ever happened in MLS?  These kind of games are so few and far between, it’s a pity the fans can’t get more excitement.

Two seasons ago, the average amount of goals for a regular season game was 2.27, last year the average crept up to 2.79 and this year so far, it has fallen back to 2.36.  The average score two seasons ago was 1.61 for the winner and .66 for the loser.  Last season, the average was 2.04 to .75 and so far this year it is 1.69 to .67.

There seems to be more emphasis on defense in the playoffs.  This is natural.  Teams tighten up as they fight for a championship that is closer in sight.

Last year’s playoffs averaged 2.28 goals per game.  Winning teams averaged 1.73 goals and losing teams averaged .55 goals.

MLS needs to find a way to be more spontaneous, to give fans more surprises and more bang for their buck.  More goals are the solution.

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