billsportsmaps.com

May 31, 2008

Mexican Primera Division, Titles Chart.

Filed under: Mexico: Fútbol — admin @ 4:11 pm

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This chart shows a graphic depiction of the professional Titles won by Mexican football clubs, in thier domestic league (which started in 1943).  I have included all the clubs’ locations, in the 2008 Clausura, on the small map.

{Click here, for Wikipedia’s page on the Primera Division de Mexico.}

{Click here, for the official league website (in Spanish).}

On Sunday, 1st May,  Santos Laguna and Cruz Azul will be playing the second leg of Mexico’s 2008 Clausura Championship Final  {click here, for this article, from the Fox Soccer site}.  Santos has a 2-1 lead going into the match, and will host the finale. 

{Click here, for Wikipedia’s page on Cruz Azul.} 

{Click here,  for Wikipedia’s page on Santos Laguna.}

Chivas Guadalajara {click here, for their Wikipedia page),  and America {click here, for their Wikipedia page} are the two biggest football clubs in Mexico.  They are also first and second in total league Titles, and are the only two clubs in Mexico to have never been relegated from the top tier.  Chivas, from Mexico’s second-biggest city, Guadalajara, has 11 Titles.  America, from Mexico City, has 10 Titles.  Tied for third, with 8 Titles, are the Mexico City-based Cruz Azul (which means Blue Cross), and Toluca, from 50 miles west of the capital.  Toluca gets little media attention, but are a pretty successful club.  They have a nice roofed stadium, called the Estadio Nemesto Diaz {see this, from the World Stadiums site}  {see this, from the Mapas Mexico site}.  It is one of the oldest stadiums in Mexico (opened in 1954), but has been kept in pretty good condition.  It sort of looks like Queen’s Park Rangers’ Loftus Road ground, with close seating that put the fans right in the midst of the action, and stands that merge to form a bandbox {click here, for Wikipedia’s page on Toluca}.

{Click here, for photos of Mexican stadiums, from the Soccer Pulse Community site, using photos from worldstadiums[dot]com} [note: this thread is from 3 years ago, but I still think it’s worth checking out).

Thanks to (http://www.colours-of-football.com) for the kits.  Thanks to (http://www.worldstadiums.com).

May 28, 2008

UEFA Euro 2008: Netherlands. National Team- Squad Map.

Filed under: Netherlands,UEFA Euro 2008 — admin @ 5:34 pm

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Netherlands coach Marco van Basten shrunk his roster to 24 players on 25th May {see this}.  He made his final cut on the 27th {see this}.  And here is an update from the Dutch camp {see this}

On this map, I have made a couple adjustments, for better readability.  I listed each position in the order of players with the most caps (rather than alphabetically).  I listed each player’s name twice, so you can scroll easier.  And I tried to list all the former clubs that each player played for (not just the first club or two). 

The 18 biggest Dutch cities (cities with more than a 122,000 population) are listed on the map.  I added two smaller cities that have prominent first division clubs,  Heerenveen (pop. 42,000), and Alkmaar (pop. 94,000).   **{Click here, for the list of largest cities in the Netherlands.}

The Netherlands team is in the Group of Death…Italy, France, Netherlands, and Romania. (Yikes !)

Thanks to (www.demis.nl) for the blank map of the Netherlands.  Thanks to the UEFA site for the Netherlands National Team Euro 2008 kits {click here, for the UEFA Euro 2008 site}.

May 25, 2008

UEFA Euro 2008: Italy. National Team- Squad Map.

Filed under: Italy,UEFA Euro 2008 — admin @ 6:28 am

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On Tuesday, Italian National Team coach Roberto Donadoni announced his squad for Euro 2008.  {Click here, for an article on this, from the CNN world sport site.} 

Thanks to (http://www.demis.nl) for the blank map of Italy. 

Thanks to the UEFA site, for the Euro 2008 Italian National Team uniforms  {click here, for the UEFA site}.

Photo credits are on the map.

May 21, 2008

UEFA Euro 2008: Spain. National Football Team- Squad Map.

Filed under: Spain,UEFA Euro 2008 — admin @ 5:16 pm

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Last Saturday, Spanish National Team coach Luis Aragones released his roster for Euro 2008.  Here is an article on this, from the ESPN site {click here}.

This map shows the birthplaces of all the members of the Euro 2008 Spanish National Football Team.  Each players’ international appearances (Caps), and goals, are listed. Each player’s current club is listed.  And with each player, I have also listed the first pro club they played for, along with any youth club or academy they might have played for.

[**{Click here}, for Wikipedia's page on the UEFA Euro 2008 competition, which will be hosted by Austria and Switzerland.  It starts on 7th June.]

The 15 largest cities in Spain (which includes the Canary Islands, and the Ballearic Islands) are shown on the map.  **{Click here, for the full list of Spanish Cities, by population.}

Thanks Wikimedia Commons, and www.demis.nl, for the Spain Blank Map.  Thanks to the UEFA site {click here}, for the Spanish National Team 2008 Euro kits.  Photo credits are on the map.

May 18, 2008

Major League Baseball: the American League West- Map and Chart.

Filed under: Baseball2008MLB Divisions — admin @ 7:16 am

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Major League Baseball’s American League West is the only division with just 4 teams in it (four of the other five MLB divisions have 5 teams, and the National League Central has 6 teams).

The division comprises the Los Angeles Angels {click here, for photos and club history};  the Oakland Athletics {click here, for photos and club history};  the Seattle Mariners {click here, for photos and club history};  and the Texas Rangers {click here, for photos and club history}.                                    [These links are to the Sports E-cyclopedia site.]

The Oakland A’s franchise began in 1901, as the Philadelphia Athletics, a founding member of the American League {click here, for photos and club history}.  The Athletics franchise moved to Kansas City, Missouri in 1955 {click here, for photos and club history};  and Oakland, California, in 1968.

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**Click below, for the MLB-AL West Auxiliary Chart, which shows a selection each ball club’s uniforms and logos through the years.

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Thanks to the SSUR site:  (http://www.sportscolors.org/).  Thanks to:  Chris Creamer’s Logo site;  the Logo Shak site;  the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s Dressed to the Nines site.  Thanks to Mark Okkonen, for the historical baseball uniform templates (in the Dressed to the Nines uniform database).   

May 14, 2008

Brazil: 2008 Campeonato Serie A- Zoom Map.

Filed under: Brazil,Zoom Maps — admin @ 4:54 pm

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Note: to see my most recent map-and-post of Brazilian 1st division football, click on the following, category: Brazil.


The Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A was formed in 1971.  Before then, the state championships held primacy (and are still important, as most clubs still play in their state leagues, from January to April).  The vast size of Brazil had made a national league, prior to the 1970s, an impossibility.  But improvements in transportation and infrastructure made it possible.

Since 2003, the league has maintained a strict, European-style system of relegation and promotion, as well as the standard home-and-away schedule.  But the biggest problem facing the game in Brazil is the disruptive wholesale player and management shifts that occur each season.  Brazillian clubs are constantly selling off their promising players to European clubs.  And with the Campeonato season stretching from May to December,  just as the season starts taking shape, the August transfer window for European football begins.  And once clubs sell off their best players, the inevitable dip in form usually necessitates a managerial change.  Last season, only 4 clubs (Gremio, Palmeiras, Santos, and the champions Sao Paulo) kept their manager the whole season.  All this must be bewildering for the fans.

Here is a list of Brazillian football clubs’ fan bases, from a 2004 poll. brazil_club-fan-bases.gif

The biggest club is Rio de Janiero’s Flamengo.  They claim 18% of all Brazillian football supporters, with 33 million fans.  Flamengo have won 5 Campeonato titles (but none since 1992).  The crowds that attend Flamengo matches are traditionally from the working class. 

The second biggest club, Corinthians, of Sao Paulo, were relegated last season.  This followed a big spending spree which culminated in the club winning the title in 2005.  But when their business-partner/investors (London-based) Media Sports Investments were investigated by Brazilian authorities, it all unraveled, and Corinthians found themselves relegated just 2 years after winning the title. {see this entry, on Sport Club Corinthians Paulista, from Wikipedia}.

The third biggest club in the poll is Sao Paulo.  The club has won the last 2 championships (5 Campeonato titles overall, tied for the most with Flamengo), as well as the Copa Libertadores in 2005.  The club prides themselves on their organization and infrastructure.

#4 is Palmeiras, also from Sao Paulo.  Founded by Italian immigrants, as SS Palestra Italia.  They changed their name during WW II.  Palmeiras have won 4 Campeonato titles (the last in 1994, though).

#5 is Vasco da Gama, from Rio de Janeiro.  This club was the first to open up the sport in Brazil to the poor, and, especially, to black players.  Vasco have 4 Campeonato tiles, the last in 2000. 

#6 is Cruzeiro, from Belo Horizonte (the third biggest city in Brazil).  They also changed their name, of Palestra Italia, during WW II.

#7 is Gremio, from the southern city of Porto Allegre.  They were finalists in last year’s Copa Libertadores, which they lost to Argentina’s Boca Juniors.  Gremio was founded by German immigrants; the club’s fan base is skewed to the middle and upper class.  Their in-city rivals Internacional, #9 in the poll,  have historically had a fan base centered among the working class of the city.  Like Vasco da Gama in Rio,  Internacional were the first club in Porto Allegre to use black and mixed-race players (the club was founded by Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish immigrants, who were not allowed to join Gremio).  Internacional won the Copa Libertadores in 2006.

#8 is Santos, from the city of the same name, which functions as Sao Paulo’s port.  This was the club Pele played for.

#10 is Atletico Mineiro, from Belo Horizonte.

#11, Botofogo, and #12, Fluminense,  are both clubs from Rio de Janeiro, and both have traditional fan bases concentrated among the middle class and upper class (especially in Fluminense’s case).

Thanks to (http://www.colours-of-football.com) for the Kits.  Thanks to Big Soccer for the poll.  Thanks to Tim Vickery, for his article on the Brazil 2008 season, in the most recent issue (May 2008) of World Soccer.  Thanks to FourFourTwo magazine.

May 11, 2008

England, League Two 2007-’08: the 3 Promoted Clubs, and the 4 Playoff Contenders.

Filed under: Eng-4th Level/League Two,Engl. Promotion Candidates — admin @ 8:01 am

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In League Two (which is the 4th Level of English Football) MK Dons, Peterborough, and Hereford have clinched promotion to League One, by finishing in first, second, and third places.

MK Dons, with their giant new stadium, clearly have ambitions beyond the third tier.  There is still a great deal of antipathy towards the club, from many in the English footballing world, for the way they abandoned the fans of South London, when Wimbledon FC moved up to Buckinghamshire, in 2005.  That being said, their new fan base is growing in the Milton Keynes area: attendance has risen from 4,896 (in 2004-’05, the club’s first year in Milton Keynes) to 9,456 (this season).

Peterborough United also has the reputation of a club with ambitions.  The ”Posh” are managed by Darren Ferguson, the son of Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson.  There is new ownership at the club {see this}, and continued investment in new players is expected.   There also is an initiative for a new stadium.  The club’s attendance was up by around 1,300 this season, to an average of 5,995.

Hereford United stands in direct contrast to the other two automatically promoted clubs, as they are not a small club with big ambitions, but a small club that has found a way to survive, and even thrive, in spite of little fan support, miniscule cash-flow, and a stadium that really deserves the wrecking ball.  Their ground, Edgar Street is one of the most bare-bones and outdated stadiums in the League {see this};   {see this, from The Ground Guide 1, a Lincoln City travelling fans’ site}.  The club had a heavy reliance on loan players during this campaign.  And the inhabitants of Herefordshire seem uninterested in the club’s recent success…there was an average of only 3,421 this season.   But the bottom line is that the Hereford United Bulls will be in the third tier next season, after their second promotion in three years.

In the League Two Playoffs, it’s #6 Darlington  vs.  #5 Rochdale;   and #4 Stockport County  vs.  #7 Wycombe Wanderers

The in-form club was Rochdale, who had won 5 of their last 8 league games; conversely, it was Darlington who went into the playoffs on a down, losing 4 of their last 8.  But on Saturday, Darlington resisted a second half Rochdale onslaught, which included a deflected goal by the Dale’s 2007 leading scorer Chris Dagnall {see this profile, from the Rochdale site} (now fully rcovered from a cruciate injury).  Darlington then scored a late goal against the run of play, via an Ian Miller injury-time header, to win the first leg 2-1.  {Click here, for a report on the match, from the Sky Sports site.}

**{Click here for video highlights (youtube, via 101 Goals site)}. 

Darlington’s first goal came as a result of on-loan Middlesbrough winger Jason Kennedy, who curled a sublime shot from the left corner of the penalty area in the 28th minute. The second leg, at Rochdale’s Spotland {see this, from Ground Guide 1} will be on 17 May (next Saturday).   Rochdale has remained in the 4th Level for 34 straight seasons, the longest of any club currently in League Two.  [Note: on the map, Rochdale's usual blue home jersey is replaced by one that looks like Newcastle's, because the club is celebrating their Centenary, and black-and-white vertical stripes was their original uniform.  Next season, the club has come up with the inspired idea of combining both jerseys...they will look like Inter Milan, with black and blue vertical stripes.]

In the other League Two playoff match-up, Stockport County hosts Wycombe on Sunday; the second leg is also on 17 May.

Here is the winning goal in the League Championship Playoff game (first leg)- Crystal Palace 1-2 Bristol City.  The fantastic shot was scored by Bristol’s David Noble, in injury time…{Click here (from the 101 Goals site)}.    {Click here, for a report on the match, from the Sky Sports site.}

Thanks to (http://www.colours-of-football.com) for the kits. 

May 7, 2008

England, League One, 2007-’08: the 2 Promoted Clubs, and 4 Playoff Contenders.

Filed under: Eng-3rd Level/League One,Engl. Promotion Candidates — admin @ 5:28 pm

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In League One (the 3rd Level of English football), Swansea City and Nottingham Forest have finished in 1st and 2nd place, and will be automatically promoted to the League Championship (the 2nd Level). 

For Swansea City, this will be their second promotion in four seasons.  As they have a relatively new stadium (opened in 2005),  promotion could really expand this Welsh club’s fan base.  Since moving into Liberty Stadium (and being promoted from League Two to League One), the Swans have seen their average gate rise from 8,458 (2005) to 13,673 (this season).  A decade ago, in 2003, Swansea was mired at the bottom of the old Division Three: they finished just two places above relegation from the League, at 21st,  while averaging 5,160 (and only 3,690 in 2002).  Swansea will definitely have an uphill battle, trying to stay afloat next season, in the League Championship.  Their leading scorer this season was Trinidad-born 29-year-old Jason Scotland, who led League One in scoring, with 23 goals (28 goals in all competitions)   {see this (from an independant site);  and see this}.  

Nottingham Forest are simply too big a club to be in the third tier of English football (they averaged 19,955 per game, this season).   The club has never really come close to their pinnacle, as English National champions in 1978, and European Champions in 1979, and 1980.  But they should be able to establish themselves next year in the League Championship.   Their leading scorer this season was 28-year old Junior Agogo (born in Accra, Ghana), with 13 league goals {see this}.  Nathon Tyson had 9 league goals (12 total)  {see this};  Nottinghamshire-born Kris Commons, a 24-year-old winger, had 8 league goals (9 total) {see this}.

In the Playoffs, #6 Southend United will take on # 3 Doncaster Rovers on Friday 09 May,  for the first leg, at Roots Hall {see this, on Roots Hall, from the Internet Football Grounds Guide}.    The second leg is on the following Friday, in Yorkshire.   Southend United aims to jump right back into the second level, after relegation last season.  Traditionally a 3rd Level club,  Southend has actually spent more of the last two decades in the 2nd Level (7 seasons), and the 4th Level (8 seasons).  They enjoy good fan support for such a medium/small sized club.  Their leading scorer this season was midfielder Nick Bailey {see this, from the Southend Utd Official site}. 

The Doncaster Rovers have came a long way in 5 seasons…from the Conference (the 5th Level) to a club which is in the playoff places of the 3rd Level.  Plus, they have a new ground, Keepmoat Stadium {see this, from the Internet Football Ground Guide}.  Their leading scorer this season was Isle Of Wight-born James Hayter, with 7 league goals, and 10 overall {see this}.

The Roots Hall fixture on Friday is the opening match for the Playoffs, in all 3 Divisions of the (English) Football League.  Here in the USA, Setanta Broadband will be carrying most of these matches live, and archived.

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On Monday, 12 May, #4 Carlisle United will play #5 Leeds United, up in Cumbria, with the second leg just 3 days later at Elland Road.  Carlisle United is another club in this playoff group that was in the Conference recently:  just 3 seasons ago.  The club could make it 3 promotions in 4 years if they win the Playoffs.  Their leading scorers were Danny Graham, with 14 league goals (16 overall) {see this, from the Carlisle Utd Official site};  and Joe Garner, also with 14 goals {see this}.  Brunton Park {see this} is the northwestern-most ground in the Football League.

Leeds United hopes their first-ever season in the 3rd Level will be their last.  As recently as 2001, this huge club, Yorkshire’s largest, was drawing 39,000 per game, and were in the Champions League Semi-Finals.  Their leading scorer this season was Jermaine Beckford, with 20 league goals {see this}.  Elland Road: {see this}. 

The 2 promoted clubs had the 2nd highest (Nottingham Forest) and 3rd highest (Swansea City) attendances in League One. The highest  attendances were at Leeds, with an average of 26,546,  which is pretty impressive for the third tier of English football.  The other 3 playoff clubs Doncaster (8,066), Southend (7,885). and Carlisle(7,835) were the 6th, 7th, and 8th highest draws.  Two clubs finished with a higher average gate than 3 of the playoff clubs.  They were Huddersfield Town (at 9,318 per game), and Milwall (at 8,815)… {click here, for the League One Attendance Table (SoccerStats site)}.

Thanks to (http://www.colour-of-football.com)  for the kits.

May 4, 2008

Major League Baseball: the National League West- Map and Chart.

Filed under: Baseball2008MLB Divisions — admin @ 9:07 am

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This post begins a new series…Major League Baseball Divisions.   Each post will feature a map showing the ball clubs of one of 6 MLB Divisions.  Featured here is the National League West Division.   It includes the two ball clubs that moved from New York City to California, in 1957 (the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants).  The pair became the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants.  They abandoned New York City, and their fans, because California was just too lucrative to pass up.  If the two clubs had weathered a few more years of indifferent political power brokers, they would have gotten new stadiums on the tax payers dime.  But the lure of free, soon-to-be valuable land in the Golden State, was irresistible.  It tore the heart out of Brooklyn, and it took 3 decades for the Borough to recover.  I know there were over-arching socio-ecomomic conditions that made continued tenancy in Brooklyn, and northern Manhattan, a real problem,  but it just killed the fans.  There is no way you can tell me it was justified to rip two huge, successful, well-supported clubs out of the capital of Baseball, New York City.  O’Malley and Stoneham (the Dodgers and Giants owners) sold out, and turned their backs on the fans who made the clubs huge in the first place {see this, and look at the 5th paragraph}.  And the salve provided by National League, of a new team, 5 years later, in the form of the New York Mets, was hardly adequete…just go to Shea Stadium, home of the Mets, and try to relax and watch a ball game, while jet airplanes are roaring above, every 3 minutes (what a hole, Shea Stadium is).  But I digress.

Also in this division are the San Diego Padres (est. 1969);  the Colorado Rockies (est. 1993);  and the Arizona Diamondbacks (est. 1998).

In addition to a list of each ball club’s origins, and titles, I show each club’s cap logo, and the script logos on their primary home and away uniforms.  The map functions mainly as a locator. 

The main graphic display is on the Auxillary Chart (see below),  which shows each ball club’s uniforms, and logos, through the years (with choice alternate logos also shown, depending on space).  **Click on the segment below.**

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On the Auxillary Charts,  I will have mini-essays,  at points where I decided that just a description of the uniform or logo didn’t do the image, and the time period,  justice.  Basically, all the old storied franchises will get a little write-up on the Charts.  On this Chart, that means the Brooklyn Dodgers  {click her, for photos & team history}, and the New York (Baseball) Giants  (click here, for photo & team history).  [ these two links are to the sports e-cyclopedia site ].

The plan is to post one of these every two weeks.

Thanks to the SSUR site (http://www.sportscolors.org).

Thanks to Chris Creamer’s Logo Site.   Thanks to the Logo Shak site.   Thanks to the National Baseball Hall Of Fame’s “Dressed To The Nines” site.   Thanks to the Logoserver site.   Thanks to Marc Okkonen,  for his incredible book, “Baseball Uniforms of the 20th Century”, 1991, by Sterling Publishing Co, NY.

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