billsportsmaps.com

January 31, 2013

NFL, 1936 season and 1937 season – with a map featuring 1937 final standings and 1937 uniforms & thumbnail profiles of the 10 teams / Plus the greatest triple threat in NFL history, Sammy Baugh / Plus Helmet History charts of the 9 currently-active teams from 1937 (Cardinals, Bears, Packers, Giants, Lions, Redskins, Eagles, Steelers, and Rams).

1937-nfl-map_w-helmet-histories_post_.gif
NFL, 1937 map, with all-time helmet histories



Note: Scroll down to the bottom of this post to see the Helmet History charts of the 9 currently-active teams from 1937 (1937 NFL teams: Chicago Bears, Chicago Cardinals, Cleveland Rams, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, New York football Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh football Pirates, Washington Redskins).

    1936 NFL -

1936 NFL teams’ uniforms can be seen at the following link, 1936 NFL teams [uniforms] (gridiron-uniforms.com/1936).

The 9-team NFL that made up the 1936 NFL season looked like this (teams listed in final order of finish):
Eastern Division
Boston Redskins, 1936 NFL Championship Game finalist.
Pittsburgh Pirates
New York Giants
Brooklyn Dodgers
Philadelphia Eagles

Western Division
Green Bay Packers, 1936 NFL Championship Game finalist.
Chicago Bears
Detroit Lions
Chicago Cardinals

In 1936, the NFL played its 17th season. It was the first season where each of the teams played an equal amount of games (12 games). Yes, that is correct – it took 17 years for the NFL to finally have a season with a balanced schedule. (This is one of several reasons why the NFL doesn’t really like to mention, let alone celebrate, the league’s fly-by-night and quasi-bush-league early days.) The 1936 NFL champions were the Green Bay Packers, who beat the Boston Redskins 21-6, in a game played at the Polo Grounds in Manhattan, NY. The 1936 NFL Championship Game was the only NFL title game [pre-Super Bowl era] in which the team with the home field advantage declined to play at their own stadium, and instead elected to play at a neutral site. The Boston Redskins, who had won the Eastern Division, had rights to home field for the 1936 title game (it was done on a rotating basis back then). The Redskins moved the venue to New York City because the Boston Redskins’ owner, George Preston Marshall, was so angry about the small turnout for what would be the last game the Boston Redskins played in Boston, Massachusetts. That game, their final game of the 1936 regular season, was a 30–0 win over the Pittsburgh (football) Pirates, and only 4,813 fans showed up at Fenway Park in Boston (where the Redskins played then). So in spite (and Marshall was a spiteful man), Marshall had the 1936 title game moved to New York City at the Polo Grounds, where the New York (football) Giants played their home NFL games [renting the stadium from the stadium-owners, the New York (baseball) Giants of the National League]. [Note: on the map page you can see 2 photos of the Polo Grounds, as it looked for Giants' NFL games (one is an action photo from a 1937 NFL game of New York vs. Brooklyn, and another photo is an undated aerial photo of the Polo Grounds in football configuration {you can see them at the far right-hand side of the map page near the blue-and-red caption-box})].

The 1936 NFL Championship Game was the 4th that the league had played {origins of NFL playoffs, here, ‘NFL/Playoff and championship history/Early years/1932 playoff game/Before the Super Bowl (en.wikipedia.org)}. The Western Division winners were the Green Bay Packers, who were the last-surviving small-town team in the NFL and who had won 3 straight NFL championships in 1929, 1930, and 1931.

1936 NFL Championship Game, Green Bay 21, Boston 6, at Polo Grounds, New York City. So in 1936, Green Bay claimed their fourth NFL title [all-time, the Packers have won 9 NFL Championship titles and 4 NFL Super Bowl titles].

    The 1937 NFL season

1937 NFL teams’ uniforms can be seen at the following link, 1937 NFL teams [uniforms] (gridiron-uniforms.com/1937).

For 1937, the NFL added a 10th team, with the expansion team the Cleveland Rams. The Cleveland Rams were only technically an expansion team, because the same owner, and 4 players, were part of the 1936 Cleveland Rams of the AFL of 1936 [this AFL, AFL (II) was the second of four rival-leagues called the AFL, the last, of course, being the successful AFL of 1960-69, which ended up getting all 10 of its teams into the NFL in 1970 with the AFL/NFL merger].

If you are interested in reading further on the Rams’ early days, you can click on the following link, to my profile of the franchise here, ‘NFL Thumbnail Histories: the Cleveland Rams/ Los Angeles Rams/ St. Louis Rams.’

Like the 1936 Cleveland Rams of the AFL (II), the 1937 Cleveland Rams of the NFL wore red and black. [The Rams changed to dark blue and yellow-orange the following season, 1938.] The Rams were placed in the Eastern Division, balancing the two NFL divisions then at 5 teams each. Most importantly, the NFL returned, after a 3-year spell, back to a league set-up that featured an even number of teams. [Having an even number of teams is something that is always helpful for an organized league to have, because it makes scheduling less complicated, but it is even more important for a gridiron football league to have an even number of teams - because an odd number of teams means that one team has to sit out each week.]

The other change in league membership in 1937 was that the Redskins franchise moved from Boston to the nation’s capital in Washington, DC. The Redskins began playing at the Major League baseball team the Washington Senators’ Griffith Stadium (you can see an undated photo of the Redskins playing at Griffith Stadium on the map page [lower center of page]).

The 1937 NFL regular season
Midway through the 1937 NFL’s 11-game season, the Chicago Bears, coached by owner George Halas and led by an aging but still effective Bronko Nagurski at fullback, were unbeaten (5–0) in the Western Division, while the New York Giants were leaders in the Eastern Division (4–1). At the Polo Grounds on October 31, the Bears and the Giants played to a 3–3 tie. The Giants and Bears held their leads in their divisions through the middle and latter parts of the ’37 season, with the Bears clinching a spot for the title game with a 13–0 win over Detroit at the University of Detroit Stadium on November 25th.

The Giants, on the other hand, lost their lead. On December 5, the final game of the 1937 season had Washington (7–3 and .700) traveling to New York (6–2–2 and .750). A win or a tie would have given the Giants the Eastern title, but the Redskins, propelled by rookie QB Sammy Baugh, won 49–14, and got the division crown and the trip to Chicago to face the Bears in the 1937 NFL Championship game. The Redskins were coached by former New York Giants End Ray Flaherty (who was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1976). But despite the Redskins’ potent and innovative passing-oriented offense, the Redskins were the decided underdogs to the dominant pro football team of that era, the Monsters of the Midway, the Chicago Bears.

Below, 1937 NFL final standings of the regular season…
nfl-1937-standings_.gif

    1937 NFL Championship Game, December 12, 1937 at Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL.
    Washington Redskins 28, Chicago Bears 21.

It was so cold there that day at Wrigley Field on the North Side of Chicago that spectators tore up parts of the stadium to build large bonfires to keep warm. Both teams wore rubber-soled shoes to gain a better footing. The frozen, ice-shard laden and slippery surface of the field left players cut, bloody and dazed. The lead in the game changed hands 4 times. But the ahead-of-its-time passing-oriented offense of the unheralded Redskins prevailed in the end. The Redskins’ rookie QB Sammy Baugh went 17 for 34 for 352 passing yards and 3 TD passes. Those were unheard-of numbers for that era. Redskins’ coach Ray Flaherty further exploited Baugh’s passing prowess in that game by inventing, on that very day there in Chicago, the behind-the-scrimmage-line screen pass. Sammy Baugh completed three long touchdown passes in the 3rd quarter – 55 yards and 78 yards to End Wayne Miller; then the 35-yarder to Wingback Ed Justice that took the lead for good. The Washington defense held the Bears scoreless in the 4th quarter, and the Washington Redskins were professional gridiron football champions for the first time. Attendance was 15,878.

Below, via youtube.com, a newsreel of the 1937 NFL Championship Game, December 12, 1937 at Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL – Washington Redskins 28, Chicago Bears 21
Newsreel: World Football Crown – 1937‘ (Pathegram newsreel via Youtube.com, posted by weidvideos).

Below is an illustration which includes a screen-shot from the 1937 newsreel of the 1937 NFL Championship Game (linked to above) between the Chicago Bears and the Washington Redskins…
nfl_1937-championship-game_washington-at-chicago_sammy-baugh_e.gif
Image and Photo credits above -
Illustration of Bears’ and Redskins’ uniforms from uniformdatabases.com/1937.
Screenshot of Pathegram newsreel via Youtube.com, posted by weidvideos.
fs64sports.blogspot.com.
pophistorydig.com.


1937 Washington Redskins season‘ (en.wikipedia.org) [note: this link includes a team photo of the Redskins at Soldier Field in Chicago in Aug. 1938, 8 months after they had beaten the Bears for the title at Wrigley Field.]


From the Washington Redskins’ official site, from Feb.12, 2012, by Michael Richman, ‘Flashback: Redskins’ First season In D.C.

From NFL Network – ‘Top Ten Most Versatile Players, number one: Sammy Baugh‘ (3:31 video from nfl.com).
In the video linked to above, pro football historian Ray Didinger says, “You’re talking about one guy who was Peyton Manning, Ray Guy, and Ronnie Lott, all in one…” That one guy was Sammy Baugh, the QB/P/DB of the Washington Redskins for 16 seasons from 1937 to 1952. Slingin’ Sammy Baugh was a Texas-born halfback out of TCU. Baugh helped pioneer the quarterback’s role in the modern football game. Baugh, like many of his contemporaries, played both offense and defense – he excelled as a defensive safety, plus he took the Redskins’ punting duties. Baugh threw for 168 TD passes in a 16-year career for Washington. Baugh retired in 1952. In 1963 he was a charter member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, OH.

From TheHogs.com, the salient points of Sammy Baugh’s NFL career…
» Drafted 6th overall in the first round of the 1937 draft.
» All-NFL seven times.
» NFL passing leader six times.
» NFL passing, punting AND interception champ, 1943.
» Only player to lead the NFL in an offensive, defensive, and special teams category.
» Top punter in NFL history.
» Career records: 21,886 yards, 187 TDs passing, 45.1-yard punting average, 31 interceptions.
» Only player in Redskin history to have his jersey retired (33).


From the Pop History Dig, ‘Annals of Sport – “Slingin’ Sammy” [Baugh]‘.

    Helmet Histories of the 9 oldest-still-active NFL teams (all teams still active from at least 1937)

Est. 1898 as the Independent semi-pro team the Morgan Athletic Club of Chicago, IL (Morgan Athletic Club {Independent}, 1898). / Name changed to Racine Normals (Racine Normals {Independent}, 1899-1901) [Racine being the street where the team's football field (Normal Park) was located, in the South Side of Chicago]. / In 1901 name changed to Racine Cardinals (Racine Cardinals {Independent}, 1901-06;1913-18; 1918-19). / Joined NFL [APFA] in 1920 as the Racine Cardinals (NFL [APFA], 1920-21). / In 1922 name changed to Chicago Cardinals (NFL, 1922-1959). / In 1960 moved to St. Louis, MO: St. Louis Cardinals (NFL, 1960-1987). / In 1988 moved to Greater Phoenix, AZ: Phoenix Cardinals (NFL, 1988-93). / In 1994 name changed to Arizona Cardinals (NFL, 1994-2013).
Arizona Cardinals Helmet History -
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Arizona Cardinals Helmet History
Image credits above – gridiron-uniforms.com/cardinals.

Est. 1919 as the Independent semi-pro team the Decatur Staleys (of the A.E. Staley Co.) of Decatur, IL. / Joined NFL [APFA] in 1920 as the Decatur Staleys (NFL, 1920). / In 1921 moved to Chicago, IL: Chicago Staleys (NFL [APFA], 1921). / In 1922 their name changed to Chicago Bears (NFL, 1922-2013).
Chicago Bears Helmet History -
chicago-bears_helmet-history1920-2012_segment_b.gif
Chicago Bears Helmet History
Image credits above – gridiron-uniforms.com/bears.

Est. 1919 as the Independent semi-pro team the Green Bay Packers (of the Indian Packing Co.) of Green Bay, WI. / Joined NFL [APFA] in 1921, Green Bay Packers (NFL, 1921-2013).
Green Bay Packers Helmet History –
green-bay-packers_helmet-history_1921-2016_16a_segment_c_.gif
Green Bay Packers Helmet History
Image credits above – gridiron-uniforms.com/packers.

Est. 1925 as an NFL expansion franchise, the New York (football) Giants (1925-2013) of New York City, NY.
New York Giants Helmet History -
new-york-giants_helmet-history_1925-2012_segment_.gif
New York Giants Helmet History
Image credits above – gridiron-uniforms.com/giants.

Est. 1929 as the Independent semi-pro team the Portsmouth Spartans of Portsmouth, OH. / Joined NFL in 1930 as the Portsmouth Spartans (NFL, 1930-33). / In 1934 moved to Detroit, MI as the Detroit Lions (NFL, 1934-2013).
Detroit Lions Helmet History -
detroit-lions_helmet-history_1930-2012_segment_.gif
Detroit Lions Helmet History
Image credits above – gridiron-uniforms.com/lions.

Est. 1932 as an NFL expansion franchise, the Boston (football) Braves of Boston, MA (NFL, 1932). / In 1933 changed name to Boston Redskins (NFL, 1933-36). / In 1937 moved to Washington, DC as the Washington Redskins (NFL, 1937-2013).
Washington Redskins Helmet History -
washington-redskins_helmet-history1932-2012_segment_b.gif
Washington Redskins Helmet History
Image credits above – gridiron-uniforms.com/redskins.

Est. 1933 as an NFL expansion franchise, Philadelphia Eagles (NFL, 1933-2013).
Philadelphia Eagles Helmet History -
philadelphia-eagles_helmet-history_1933-2012_segment_.gif
Philadelphia Eagle Helmet History
Image credits above – gridiron-uniforms.com/eagles.

Est. 1933 as an NFL expansion franchise, Pittsburgh (football) Pirates of Pittsburgh, PA (NFL, 1933-39). / In 1940 changed name to Pittsburgh Steelers (NFL, 1940-2013).
Pittsburgh Steelers Helmet History -
pittsburgh-steelers_helmet-history_1933-2012_segment_e.gif
Pittsburgh Steelers Helmet History
Image credits above – gridiron-uniforms.com/steelers.

Est. 1936 as the Cleveland Rams of Cleveland, OH, a team in the second [of 4] AFL leagues that existed in the 20th century, the AFL (II) of 1936. / Joined NFL in 1937 as the expansion team the Cleveland Rams (NFL, 1937-45). / In 1946 moved to Los Angeles, CA as the Los Angeles Rams (NFL, 1946-1994). / In 1995 moved to St. Louis, MO as the St. Louis Rams (NFL, 1995-2012).
St. Louis Rams Helmet History -
st-louis-rams_helmet-history_1937-2012_segment_c.gif
St. Louis Rams Helmet History
Image credits above – gridiron-uniforms.com/rams.

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Photo credits on map (going clockwise from the upper left of the map page)-
Green Bay’s City Field (1920s) from packers.com/Stadium History/Other Homes.
Brooklyn football Dodgers at Ebbets Field photo from: Brooklyn Ballparks.com.
Large action photo of New York football Giants vs. Brooklyn football Dodgers at the Polo Grounds from 1937: AP photo via brooklynbeforenow.blogspot.com.
Polo Grounds aerial view: history.giants.com.
Washington Redskins playing at Griffith Sradium photo [date and opponents indeterminate] from bleacherreport.com.
Sammy Baugh photo, 1940 vs. Bears, unattributed at pophistorydig.com/topics/sammy-baugh-1930s-1950s/
Sammy Baugh color-tinted photo, unattributed at fs64sports.blogspot.com, ‘List of the day, Best Passing Yardage Seasons, 1940s NFL‘.
Chicago Bears at Wrigley Field aerial photo, unattributed at stadiumsofprofootball.com.
Comiskey Park [Chicago Cardinals], unattributed at SportsE-cyclopedia.com.

_
Thanks to the FootballDatabase.com, for score lines from 1937.
Thanks to mlb.com, for this article, ‘Football at Wrigley has long, storied past‘.

Special thanks to Gridiron Uniforms Database, for allowing billsportsmaps.com use of their NFL uniforms illustrations, gridiron-uniforms.com.

January 26, 2013

2012-13 FA Cup, Fourth Round Proper, chart: all the upsets from 25-27 January 2013 / Plus illustrations of the Luton over Norwich upset & the Oldham over Liverpool upset.

Filed under: 2012-13 FA Cup,Eng. Non-League — admin @ 3:10 pm

[ Note: Here is the 2012-13 FA Cup 4th Round Proper Map post. ]

bbc.co.uk/ FA Cup (bbc.co.uk/sport/football/fa-cup).

Norwich City 0-1 Luton Town
85 places and 4 league levels separated the 2 clubs.

Video highlights, ‘Norwich 0 Luton 1‘ (tvgolo.com).

The first FA Cup upset since 1989 which involved a Non-League side beating a first division club occurred today. Luton Town of the 5th division Conference National stunned Premier League club Norwich City in Norfolk by the score of 0-1. An impressive crowd of 26,521 saw the match at the 27,010-capacity Carrow Road ground. The Hatters, managed by Paul Buckle, scored in the 80th minute as sub Scott Rendell made a sliding stab at the ball crossed over from another substituted player, JJ O’Donnell. [The previous upset of a Non-League club over a first division club in the FA Cup took place in January 1989, when Sutton United upset First Division club Coventry City 3-2 on a muddy pitch in front of an overflow crowd at Gander Green Lane in Surrey {see this iillustration of Sutton United 3-2 Coventry City, 1988-89 FA Cup 3rd Round [7 Jan. 1989] from a post I made for the 2011-12 FA Cup 2nd Round}.]

norwich_0-1_Luton_2012-13_fa-cup_4th-round_scott-rendell_c.gif
Photocredits above –
Blue Square/PA via guardian.co.uk.
breakingnews.ie.

Luton Town are now only the 7th Non-League club since WW II to make it to the FA Cup 5th Round Proper.

From dailymail.co.uk/football, from 26 January 2012, ‘Norwich 0 Luton 1: Super sub Rendell the hero as non-league Hatters stun Canaries‘.

From TwoHundrdPercent.net, from 27 Jan. 2013, by Ian King, ‘Luton Town’s FA Cup Win Should Not Be Understated‘.

Oldham Athletic 3-2 Liverpool
56 places and 2 league levels separated the 2 clubs.
Attendance for the match, which was at the 10,628-capacity Boundary Park in Oldham, Greater Manchester, was 10,295.

Video highlights, ‘Oldham 3-2 Liverpool‘ (footreview.net).

oldham_3-2_liverpool_2012-13_-fa-cup_4th-round_matt-smith_reece-wabara_paul-dickov_d.gif
Photo credits above -
telegraph.co.uk.
Reuters via mirror.co.uk/sport/football/match-reports/oldham-3-2-liverpool-match-report-1559452.
yorkpress.co.uk.
Getty Images via mirror.co.uk/sport/football/match-reports/oldham-3-2-liverpool-match-report .
mcfc.com.

2013/01/2012-13_fa-cup_fourth-round-upsets_h.gif


January 25, 2013

2012-13 FA Cup, Fourth Round Proper: location-map and attendances of the 32 clubs.

Filed under: 2012-13 FA Cup — admin @ 11:21 am

2012-13_fa-cup_fourth-round-proper_post_.gif
2012-13 FA Cup, Fourth Round Proper: location-map and attendances of the 40 clubs


bbc.co.uk/ FA Cup (bbc.co.uk/sport/football/fa-cup).

From Guardian.co.uk/Football, from 25 January 2013, by Paul Doyle, ‘Ten things we are looking forward to in the FA Cup this weekend‘.

Televised matches, see this.

My last post on the FA Cup had a chart with all the upsets, ‘2012-13 FA Cup, Third Round Proper, chart: all the upsets from 5 January 2013, plus the 2 best-results for a lower-placed club which ended in a draw.’
___

Thanks to soccerway.com for attendance figures (for Football League clubs, and Conference clubs).
Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en.wikipedia.org, ‘2012–13 FA Cup‘.
Thanks to bbc.co.uk/football for the Fixture list image on the map page.

January 19, 2013

2013 Copa Libertadores, map of the 38 clubs in the competition.

Filed under: Copa Libertadores — admin @ 12:57 pm

copa-libertadores_2013_.segment_c.gif
2013 Copa Libertadores, map of the 38 clubs in the competition


‘COPA LIBERTADORES [fixtures, results, tables]‘ (soccerway.com).

From SabotageTimes.com, from 8 Feb.2013, by Mauricio Savarese, ‘Copa Libertadores: A Guide To The World’s Roughest Football Tournament‘.


The 2013 Copa Libertadores (for sponsoship reasons called the 2013 Copa Bridgestone Libertadores de América ) will be the 54th tournament of the Copa Libertadores.

The competition, run by CONMEBOL, features qualifying clubs from the 10 South American nations under CONMEBOL’s jurisdiction, plus, since 1998, clubs from Mexico (despite the fact that Mexican football is under the jurisdiction of CONCACAF). 9 of the 11 countries involved are allotted 3 qualifying spots, while Argentina and Brazil get 5 spots. The Holder – SC Corinthians gets an automatic spot, so Brazil has 6 spots in this tournament. The football associations of each country involved have different criteria for awarding their Copa Libertadores spots, and you can see those details here {‘Copa Libertadores/Format/Qualification’ (en.wikipedia.org)}. In general terms, each country’s most recent champion or champions will qualify, plus the best-placed non-champions – with the exception of Mexico, which, since 2011, treats the Copa Libertadores as its second-tier international competition (with the CONCACAF Champions League treated as Mexico’s first-tier international competition [which is illogical on the FMF's part, because there is no fútbol fan on Earth who considers the CONCACAF Champions League title to be a more prestigious title than the much-coveted Copa Libertadores title]).

In Brazil’s case, the 5 qualifiers are first place through 4th place in the previous year’s Campeonato Brasileiro Série A (Fluminense were champions in 2012), plus the current Copa do Brasil winner (Palmeiras were the Brazilian cup winners in 2012). In Argentina’s case, the qualifiers are the previous year’s Clausura [now called Final] champion (Arsenal de Sarandi won it in May, 2012), the previous year’s Apertura [now called Inicial] champion (Vélez Sarsfield won it in December, 2012), and the next best-placed non-qualifiers via aggregate of the previous Clausura [Final] season and Apertura [Incial] season (Newell’s Old Boys and Boca Juniors qualified this way); plus the Copa Sudamericana spot. Tigre qualified this way, as best performance [as a finalist, losing to São Paulo] in the 2012 Copa Sudamericana by an Argentine club not already qualified. [Since 2010, the Argentine Football Association has had the winner, or best-placed non-qualified Argentine team, from the Copa Sudamericana also get into the next year's Copa Libertadores, as the 5th-seeded Argentine team. The Copa Sudamericana is analogous to the UEFA Europa League tournament in Europe, and features clubs who won national cups or who placed in the 2nd-to-14th-place range in their respective leagues.]

The current Copa Libertadores format, which has been in place since 2005, has 38 teams in it. But 12 of those teams must play in a preliminary round (involving a two-legged tie), called the First Stage, in order to get to the 32-team group stage, which is called the Second Stage. The Second Stage is comprised of 8 groups of 4, and the top 2 in each group advance to the Round of 16.

Elements of the map page -
On the map page, a list of the match-ups for the First Stage (aka preliminary round) is just below the top banner, at the upper right-hand corner. Or you can see the matchups at this link…’2013 Copa Libertadores/First Stage‘.

The map page features a location-map of the 38 clubs, and profile boxes for the clubs arranged by country. Each club’s profile box features…the club’s crest and home kit; their stadium(s) and location; how the club qualified for the tournament; the club’s total national professional titles (and the year of their most recent title); the club’s total Copa Libertadores appearances (and how the club fared in their most recent Copa Libertadores appearanace); and the club’s Copa Libertadores titles (and the year of most recent title).

I added one new feature to the map this year – for every metro-area which has more than one team in the competition, I have inserted a small tan box denoting that. Greater Buenos Aires is the metro-area with the most clubs in the 2013 Copa Libertadores- 4 clubs (Tigre, Vélez Sarsfield, Boca Juniors, and Arsenal).


Consecutive tournament appearances by club
Fifteen clubs from the 2012 tournament return to the 2013 Copa Libertadores, including reigning champions SC Corinthians of São Paulo, Brazil. The 15 back for a second-straight Copa Libertadores appearance are…
41st appearance, Peñarol (Uruguay).
40th appearance, Club Nacional (Uruguay).
37th appearance, Olimpa (Paraguay).
28th appearance, Bolívar (Bolivia).
22nd appearance, Emelec (Ecuador).
19th appearance, The Strongest (Bolivia).
18th appearance, Universidad de Chile (Chile).
15th appearance, Caracas (Venezuela).
14th appearance, Liberad (Paraguay).
13th appearance, Defensor Sporting (Uruguay).
13th appearance, Vélez Sarsfield (Argentina).
12th appearance, Corinthians (Brazil) – Cup Holder.
12th appearance, Libertad (Paraguay).
6th appearance, Fluminense (Brazil).
3rd appearance, Arsenal [de Sarandí] (Argentina).
.
There are 9 clubs which will be making their 3rd consecutive appearance in the Copa Libertadores (2011, 2012, and 2013) –
Peñarol (URU).
Nacional (URU).
Bolívar (BOL).
Emelec (ECU).
Caracas (VEN).
Libertad (PAR).
Vélez Sarsfield (ARG).
Corinthians (BRA).
Fluminense (BRA).
.
There are 7 clubs which will be making their 4th consecutive appearance in the Copa Libertadores (2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013) –
Nacional (URU).
Bolívar (BOL).
Emelec (ECU).
Caracas (VEN).
Libertad (PAR).
Vélez Sarsfield (ARG).
Corinthians (BRA).
.
There are 3 clubs which will be making their 5th consecutive appearance in the Copa Libertadores (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013) –
Nacional (URU).
Caracas (VEN).
Libertad (PAR).
.
There are two clubs which will be continuing their Copa Libertadores consecutive-appearances streak past 5 straight appearances. Actually, these 2 clubs have made it to the Copa Libertadores a lot more than 5 straight times – Caracas of Venezuela have made it now 10 straight times (from 2004 to 2013, with their best finish in 2009, when Caracas made it to the Quartefinals and lost to Grêmio on the away-goals-rule 2-2).

Club Nacional de Football, Montevideo, Uruguay -
17 consecutive Copa Libertadores appearances (Nacional has qualified for every tournament from the 1997 Copa Libertadores to the 2013 Copa Libertadores)
club-nacional_montevideo_gran-parque-central_17-straight-copa-libertadores-appearances_b.gif
Photo credit above – Badano24 at flickr.com.

And then there is Club Nacional de Football of Montevideo, Uruguay. Nacional will be making their 17th consecutive Copa Libertadores appearance in 2013. Nacional of course are one of the Big 2 in Uruguay (along with Peñarol). Nacional have won the Copa Libertadores title 3 times, but have not done so for 25 years now (Nacional’s 3 Copa Libertadores titles were won in 1971, 1980, and 1988). The best finish Nacional has had in their current Copa Libertadores-appearances-streak is in 2009, when they made it to the Semifinals (losing 6-0 to eventual 2009 Copa Libertadores champions Estudiantes [of La Plata, Argentina]).
{‘1997 Copa Libertadores‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
2009 Copa Libertadores‘ (en.wikipedia.org). }

    2013 Copa Libertadores appearances chart with titles listed for the 38 clubs in the 2013 tournament

Below is a chart I put together that shows all 38 clubs in the 2013 Copa Libertadores, placed in order of all-time appearances; along with titles and date of last title listed.
2013_copa-libertadores_qualified-teams_all-time_appearances-list_w-titles_13x.gif

___
Thanks to FootieMap.com, for finding stadium-locations of various clubs, http://www.footiemap.com/.
Thanks to RSSSF – I used this list for all-time Copa Libertadores appearances chart, ‘Copa Libertadores 1960-2010 Club Histories’ at rsssf.com .
Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en.wikipedia.org, ‘2013 Copa Libertadores‘.

January 15, 2013

USA: National Women’s Soccer League, the new 8-team league set for an April 2013 start: location-map with team info / Plus the 2013 NWSL Allocation Draft, with the 55 American, Canadian, and Mexican players listed by team.

national-womens-soccer-league_2013_.map_allocation-draft_post_13b_.gif
National Women’s Soccer League, with players listed from the 2013 NWSL Allocation Draft [55 USSF/CSA/FMF players]


Official site of the National Women’s Soccer League, nwslsoccer.com.

    NWSL allocation draft on Jan. 19, 2013: 23 American, 16 Canadian, and 16 Mexican players allocated to the 8 new NWSL teams [55 players] -

Update, NWSL 2013 season, week 1 [April 13/14], from The Equalizer, by Jeff Kassouf, ‘NWSL attendance watch: Week 1‘ (equalizersoccer.com). [equalizersoccer.com is now on the blogroll].

The newly-formed National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) is a professional women’s league operated by the US Soccer Federation (USSF), in affiliation with the Canadian Soccer Association (CSA) & the Mexican Fútbol Federation (FMF). The 8-team NWSL is set to start in April 2013. The allocation draft sent 7 or 6 players to the 8 teams. The NWSL College Draft is now set for Friday January 18h (see 3rd link below).

National Women’s Soccer League‘ (en.wikipedia.org).

NWSL at facebook, http://www.facebook.com/NWSL.

nwslshop.com/categories-nwsl-jerseys.html.

From ussoccer.com, ‘NWSL College Draft to Take Place on Friday, Jan. 18 at the NSCAA Convention in Indianapolis‘.

The National Women’s Soccer League will be the third attempt to establish a women’s pro soccer league in the United States. Both previous atempts lasted 3 seasons (the Women’s United Soccer Association lasted from 2001 to 2003; and Women’s Professional Soccer lasted from 2009 to 2011). One big difference this time is that the soccer federations of the USA and Canada (the USSF and the CSA), and the fútbol federation of Mexico (the FMF) wil be paying the salaries of the players they have placed in the allocation draft. There were 55 players placed in the allocation draft – 23 players who have played for the USA women’s soccer team; 16 players who have played for the Canada women’s soccer team; and 16 players who have played for the Mexico women’s fútbol team. The lower-left-hand corner of the map page shows the whole list of players grouped by their new pro teams. I have included 16 player-photos – 2 player photos per team for each of the 8 NWSL teams. In deciding on which 2 players per team I would showcase via the photos, I consulted a few articles on the NWSL allocation draft including the article linked to right below (by Richard Farley).

From prosoccertalk.nbcsports.com, by Richard Farley, ‘Morgan to Portland, Solo to Seattle as Pacific Northwest dominates NWSL allocation‘.

From ussoccer.com, ‘NWSL Announces Allocation of 55 National Team Players to Eight Clubs‘.

Here are 2 more articles on the 2013 NWSL Allocation Draft…

From the [Rochester] Democrat & Chronicle, from Jan.14, 2013, by Jeff DiVeronica, ‘Abby Wambach on playing for the WNY Flash: ‘A dream come true’.’ (democratandchronicle.com).

From Richard Farley, from Jan.12, 2013, ‘Thoughts as Seattle’s GM reacts to NWSL allocation, losing Alex Morgan‘ (prosoccertalk.nbcsports.com).

Below: The NWSL allocation draft on Jan. 19, 2013 featured 55 American, Canadian, and Mexican players allocated to the 8 new NWSL teams, including –
Alex Morgan to Portland Thorns; Abby Wambach to Western New York Flash; and Megan Rapinoe to Seattle Reign…
usa-womens-soccer_alex-morgan_abby-wambach_megan-rapinoe_nwsl-allocation-draft_jan-2013_.bgif_.gif
Photo credit above -
facebook.com.

___
Photo and Image credits on map page-

Stadia photos and Players’ photos -
Boston Breakers:
Stadium, bostonbreakerssoccer.com.
FW- Sydney Leroux (USA), ussoccer.com.
GK- Cecilia Santiago (MEX), womenssoccerunited.com.

Chicago Red Stars:
Stadium, bing.com/maps.
FW- Maribel Domínguez (MEX), photo by Friedemann Vogel/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
MF- Keelin Winters (USA), sounderswomen.com.

FC Kansas City:
Stadium, bing.com/maps.
MF/FW- Lauren Cheney (USA), blog.belief.com
MF/DF- Desiree Scott (CAN), Canadian Olympic Committe via dose.ca.

Portland Thorns:
Stadium, aecom.com.
FW- Alex Morgan (USA), photo from http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/magicjack.
FW- Christine Sinclair (CAN), kelownaunited.com.

Seattle Reign:
Stadium, Joe Mabel at en.wikipedia.org.
MF- Megan Rapinoe (USA), realsaltlake.com.
GK- Hope Solo (USA), photo from pinterest.com//hope-solo.

Sky Blue FC:
Stadium,bing.com/maps.
FW- Mónica Ocampo (MEX), photo by Ding Xu/Xinhua via cncworld.tv.
DF- Sophie Schmidt (CAN), photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.

Washington Spirit:
Stadium, Kevin Borland at flickr.com. bing.com/maps.
GK- Ashlyn Harris, photo from http://s1.zetaboards.com/L_Anon/topic/4615473/456/.
DF- Alina Garcuamendez (MEX), collegesoccer360.com.

Western New York Flash:
Stadium, dorochester.com via equalizersoccer.com. Screenshot of video uploaded by strawberrycroc at youtube.com, ‘7/20/11 CROWD OF OVER 15,000 DO WAVE AT SAHLEN’S STADIUM!!‘.
MF- Carli Lloyd, photo by Stanley Chou/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
FW- Abby Wambach, photo by Christopher Hanewinckel, USA TODAY Sports/ usatoday30.usatoday.com.
___
Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en.wikipedia.org, ‘National Women’s Soccer League‘.
Thanks to ussoccer.com for the team lists (on the map page) from the 2013 NWSL Allocation Draft.
Thanks to FC Kansas City site for this article, ‘FC KANSAS CITY NAMES VENUE FOR 2013 SEASON‘ (fckansascity.com).

Thanks to NWSLshop.com for photos of the 2013 NWSL jerseys, http://www.nwslshop.com/categories-nwsl-jerseys.html.

January 9, 2013

Mexico: Liga MX (the Mexican 1st division in fútbol), location-map for 2012-13 season with attendance estimates from May 2012 (crowd-size estimates compiled by journalists attending games in 2011-12 season, for sports newspaper Cancha.com) / Plus all-time Mexican pro fútbol titles list / Plus the last three title-winners: Tigres de la UANL, Santos Laguna, and Club Tijuana (aka Xolos).

Filed under: Mexico: Fútbol — admin @ 10:57 pm

Please note: to see my most-recent post on Mexican football (from January 2017), click on the following, category: Mexico/fútbol.
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http://billsportsmaps.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/mexico_liga-mx_2013_location-map_w-attendances-from-may-2012_post_.gif
2012-13 Liga MX location-map with estimated attendance figures from May 2012, plus Mexican pro fútbol titles list



From goal.com, from December 30, 2012, ‘Tom Marshall: A 2013 Liga MX wishlist
Eight suggestions to take Liga MX to an even higher level
‘.

The Mexican first division, which has been called Liga MX since July 2012, began it’s 2013 Clausura tournamnet on the weekend of January 4th through 6th 2013. Reigning champions are the 6-year-old club from Baja California, Club Tijuana. Here is an article about the first weekend of play, ‘Tijuana opens Clausura with a win‘ (AP via msn.foxsports.com).

Liga MX – Fixtures, Results, Table‘ (soccerway.com).

Note: because there are parts of Mexico (primarily in the north of the country) which have organized (amateur) leagues of American-style gridiron football, to avoid any confusion, the sport I am covering here [which is association football, aka football, aka soccer] will be referred to as fútbol.

    Professional fútbol began in Mexico in 1943-44

Professional fútbol began in Mexico in 1943-44. There were 9 founding members of the league, which was, until 1950, called Liga Mayor (the Major League) [Then it was called Primera Divisiión up to 2010-11.]. Four of the founding pro clubs from the first season in 1943-44 are currently [2012-13] in the Mexican first division –
Atlante FC, known as los Potros Hierros (the Iron Colts), who were originally from Mexico City, and have been located in far eastern Mexico in Cancún (on the Gulf of Mexico) since 2007;
CD Guadalajara (aka Chivas [the Goats]), who are from Mexico’s second-city Guadalajara;
Club Atlas, who are known as los Zorros (the Foxes), and who also are from Guadalajara; and
Club América, known as las Águilas (the Eagles), or, alterenately as los Millonetas (the Millionaires) – América are from Mexico City, Federal District.

Of those 4 charter members, 2 stand out for their on-field success and for their vast, nation-wide support, and those two of course are Chivas and Club América. Chivas and Club América are the only two clubs in Mexico who have played every one of the 72 seasons (and all 88 tournaments) of top flight Mexican football (and have never been relegated). {see the page at es.wikipedia.org, ‘Liga MX/Equipos_participantes Temporada_2012-2013‘ (sp.wikipedia.org)}.

Those two clubs are also among the 3 most successful, with Chivas Guadalajara boasting the most Mexican pro titles, with 11 (but none since 2006); and Club América tied for second-best (along with Deportivo Toluca) with 10 Mexican pro titles (but none since 2005). Toluca, known as Diablos Rojas (the Red Devils), are from the city of Toluca, which is about 63 km. (39 miles) west of Mexico City. Greater Toluca is the 5th-largest metro-area in Mexico {with a metro population of around 1.6 million/2005 figure}. Toluca won their 10th title in May 2010.

    All-time Mexican Professional Fútbol titles list (1943-44 to 2012-Apertura)

Note, click on image below to get the titles list on a separate page…
mexico_liga-mx_titles-list_up-to-2012-apertura_m.gif

If you want to see the full Mexican titles list (with each title listed by date), here is the all-time list of Mexican ‘titles by club‘ (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liga_MX#Titles_By_Club).

    The Map Page, and the elements there…

Location-map
On the map page, there is a location-map of 2012-13 Liga MX. Here are the 2 sites (FootieMap.com and Soccer Mexicana.com) whose maps of 2012-13 Liga MX were very helpful in making my map here –
http://www.footiemap.com/?co=mexico.
http://www.soccerimport.com/soccermexicana.com/files/2012%20Apertura%20Team%20Locations.jpg.

Population-density map of Mexico [which was not drawn by billsportsmaps]
Also on the map page is a population-density map of Mexico (from circa 2006), which is from this page at Wikipedia, ”Metropolitan areas of Mexico‘(en.wikipedia.org [uploaded by Rune.welsh].

The attendance figures at the far right on the map page…
Attendance figures for Mexican fútbol, as a rule, simply do not exist. Why? Corruption, probably. But last season, the Mexican sports news website cancha.com took the initiative and had reporters make estimates of the crowd sizes at all the Mexican Primera División matches. So, via soccer365.com, and originally via the Mexican sports website Cancha.com (sorry, I could not find the original post at cancha.com), here is an article by Tom Marshall about that…’Club America tops attendance league‘ (soccer365.com).
Note, click on image below to get the attendance data on a separate page…
mexico_1st-division-attendances_2011-12_via-cancha-dot-com_i.gif
Data in the above graphic is from: http://soccer365.com/news/world_news/the_view_from_mexico/17000/club_america_tops_attendance_league.

Mexican league format and format changes
The Mexican top flight is an 18-team league. Since 1996-97, the Mexican first division has had a split season format, within a main 10-month-long season (like in Argentina and other places in South America). So that means there are 2 champions each season. The Apertura (ie, ‘The Opening’) comes first (from August to early December); then the Clausura (ie, ‘The Closing’) is played (from January to May). Teams play 17 games in each half-season, then the top 8 will play from 2 to 6 more matches as they compete in the Liguilla (aka the playoffs) to determine the champion of either the Apertura or the Clausura.

In 2012, the Mexican first division re-branded and became Liga MX ['mx' is a primary Mexican Internet address-suffix]. That followed a long overdue format change in 2011-12, when the league got rid of their arbitrary 3-sub-division league format, where teams, for the first 17 games of each half-season, were divided into three 6-team groups on no basis, geographic or otherwise (except for probable gaming of the system by big clubs). I would describe it in more detail, but what is the point?…it is now gone and good riddance. But the league format still includes the Liguila, which is basically a playoff system with the top 8 teams qualifying. But those bizarre 6-team sub-groups are gone, so the Mexican first division is now a lot easier to follow. And though the Euro-snob football purists might look askance at the playoff-format, well, those well-attended playoffs have saved many a Mexican fútbol club from bankruptcy and liquidation in the last 40 years or so.

Mexican 2nd Division
The second division in Mexico was established in 1950. For the lions’ share of the seasons in Mexican fútbol since 1950-51, there has been a one team promoted/one team releagted system between divisions 1 and 2. Last year, as part of the modern-day re-branding, the Mexican second division was re-named Ascenso MX (Ascenso means Promotion). Ascenso MX has 15 teams. The Mexican second division also did away with the sub-group format in 2011. The Apertura and Clausura champions in Ascenso MX square off for a two-legged finals to determine who is the sole club promoted to the first division. Last season it was 5-time national champions Club León, who have now returned to the Mexican first division after a decade in the second tier. They supplanted the third-biggest club in the Greater Guadalajara area, Estudiantes Tecos (Owls).

Relegation to the 2nd Division
Relegation in the Mexican top flight is as follows – one club is relegated each season, and that is determined by the lowest 3-season total points ratio (ie, just like Argentina’s cynical system). This basically makes it easy for established clubs to avoid a one-bad-season relegation, and makes it harder for just-promoted clubs to remain in the first division, because newly-promoted clubs usually have to finish closer to the middle of the table to avoid the drop, since their points ratio will be from just 34 games versus other clubs whose ratio will be determined from 68 or 102 games. Currently, it looks like Club Atlas and Querétaro will be in a relegation battle during the 2012-Clausura, see this {http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012%E2%80%9313_Liga_MX_season#Relegation}.

The Liguilla
The Liguilla has existed in the Mexican top flight since 1970. Originally, it was just a play-off between the leaders of each of 2 sub-groups, but it has evolved to now comprise the top 8 clubs after each 17-match half-season. The Liguilla part of the league format is similar to the latter stages of the UEFA Champions League in that the teams are seeded (ie, 1st place plays 8th place, etc.) and the teams are placed in a bracket and they play two-legged ties, with the aggregate-score winner advancing (but in Mexico, if the score ends up being tied after both legs are played, the higher seed advances [like in the Italian Serie B promotion playoff]). Unlike the UEFA CL Final but like the Copa Libertadores Finals, the Liga MX Liguilla Finals is a two-match finals.

    The last 3 Mexican champions (the 2011-Apertura, the 2012-Clausura, and the 2012-Apertura)

2011 Apertura champions – Tigres de UANL
The first club to win the title in the simplified/modified new format was Tigres de UANL, the club from the municipality of San Nicholás de los Garza, which is in the north-central part of Greater Monterrey (Monterrey is the third-largest-city in Mexico, it’s metro area population is around 4.0 million {2010 figure/here) UANL stands for Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, which is (obviously) a large university in Monterrey in the State of Nuevo León. [ Note: university-affiliated professional sports teams, which to the American or Canadian might sound like a contradiction, are somewhat widespread in Latin American countries (like in Mexico, Chile, and Peru, to name a few) (I say it might sound like a contradiction to Americans, because college sports athletes in the NCAA in the USA are, shamefully, not allowed to be paid). ]

It was the amber-and-royal-blue clad Tigres’ 3rd Mexican title, and their first championship in 28 and-a-half years. Here’s an article about that from SB Nation, ‘UANL Tigres Vs. Santos Laguna, 2011 Apertura Liguilla Final: Tigres Win 4-1 On Aggregate‘ [from Dec. 11 2011]. Although Tigres do not really have much support outside of Greater Monterrey {see this chart from my last post on Mexican fútbol, here}, they have an impressive local fan base and drew around 41,000 per game last season, which was second only to Club América, and was above 95 percent-capacity. Tigres won the 2011-12 Apertura finals over Santos Laguna by a score of 4-1 aggregate.
Below are photos of Tigres de UANL’s Estadio Universitario.
tigres-de-uanl_estadio-universitario_c.gifl
Photo and Image credits above -
jAr 10 at panoramio via soccerway.com.
lucas hudsoon at flickr.com
Tigre 2012-13 home kit from ‘Tigres de UANL‘ (en.wikipedia.org).


2012 Clausura champions – Santos Laguna
5 months after coming up just short, the green-and-white-hooped-jersey clad Santos Laguna did one better and won the 2012-Clausura over the other big club from Monterrey, Monterrey CF. To get to the finals, Santos Laguna had to beat reigning champs Tigre in the Semifinals [Tigre being the club that had just defeated them in the 2011-Apertura finals]. And Laguna did that by scoring 2 goals in 3 minutes (in the 86th and 89th minutes) in the 2nd leg. Both those semifinals goals were scored by a local native, the Torreón-born FW Oribe Peralta. Then Santos Laguna beat Monterrey in the finals on May 17th & 20th 2012 by the score of 3-2 aggregate, with Oribe Peralta once again scoring the winning goal (see photos and captions below). Santos Laguna are an up-and-coming club with a swank new stadium from a city in north-central Mexico – Torreón – which is part of a larger metro area called Comarca Lagunera (the 9th largest metro-area in Mexico with a metro-area pop. of around 1.2 million) and which has a solid and diversified economy these days (such as in textile-manufacturing, metal-processing, and in truck-tractor-and-automobile manufacturing). That was Santos Laguna’s 4th Mexican title, all of which have been won since 1996. Santos Laguna had never been in the first division before 1988-89. This is a club that had little history to speak of 30 years ago and now have a bright future. Santos Laguna draw around 25,000 per game in their 30,000-capacity jewel of a stadium (see links below).

From lajornadamichoacan.com.mx, from May 12, 2012, ‘Santos, campeón de México‘.
Here is an article with a nice infographic, from November 11, 2009, by Arturo Black Fonseca, from LaAficion.com, ‘TSM: Estadio Corona, El estadio más avanzado de México‘ [translated, 'TSM (Territorio Santos Modelo): Estadio Corona, The most advanced stadium of Mexico']

Below are photos of Santos Laguna’s Estadio Corona, and photos of the players who scored in the 2012-Apertura Finals 2nd Leg.
santos-laguna_estadio-corona_2012-clausura-champions_d.gifl
Photo and Image credits above -
hksinc.com.
RSalas16 at flickr.com.
Notimex via lajournadmihoacan.com.mx.
Getty Images via goal.com.
Ramón Romero via centraldeportiva.com
Santos Laguna 2012-13 home kit from ‘Santos Laguna‘ (en.wikipedia.org).


2012 Apertura champions – los Xolos de Club Tijuana
Then, very recently, in the 2012 Apertura (which finished on December 2nd, 2012) a virtually brand-new club won their first Mexican title in their 2nd season in the top flight – Club Tijuana, who are nicknamed Xolos. Xolos is the common name for the Mexican Hairless Dog {‘Mexican Hairless Dog‘ (en.wikipedia.org)]. The full name of this very ancient breed of dog is Xoloitzcuintli (it was the dog of the Aztecs/ it fell out of favor/ Mexican artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo revived interest in them by placing them in many of their paintings). So, how do you pronounce it? If you are an Anglo, don’t even try, just say ‘Sho-lo’. But if you want to try, or if you just want more info on this fascinating breed of dog, see this nice video, ‘Dogs 101 – Xoloitzcuintli‘ (youtube.com [4:43 video uploaded by MultiKennel2010]). OK, back to fútbol…

In late November 2012, led by their Argentine-born ethnic Syrian/Lebanese manager Antonio ‘El Turco’ Mohammed, Club Tijuana advanced to the Finals despite being down 2-0 in the semifinals 1st leg versus Club León and left for dead. But in the 2nd leg, at Xolos’ home ground – the nascent cauldron known as Estadio Caliente – Club Tijuana beat Leon 3-0 to claim the semifinal series with a 3-2 aggregate. Xolos then went on to face top-seeded Toluca, which had eliminated Club America in the other semifinals match-up. It was a tight affair in the frenetic 1st leg in Tijuana, with Xolos taking a 2-1 lead. Here are video highlights of that 1st leg Finals match on Nov. 29 2012 in Tijuana -
video, ‘Xolos de Tijuana vs Toluca 2-1 Final Apertura 2012 [1st leg]...’ (youtube.com [4:36 video uploaded by EL VERGON SANTOS]).
But Toluca didn’t really show up for the 2nd leg despite the home field advantage, with Xolos coming out the gate in force and in their customary attack-minded mode, and never leaving much of a doubt who would prevail. In the end, Tijuana handily beat Toluca by a 4-1 aggregate. So 18 months after their first-division-debut, Club Tijuana were champions of Mexico.

Club Tijuana, who wear red, were formed in January 2007, and made their first division debut in July 2011. Club Tijuana’s stadium, Estadio Caliente, was opened in November 2007, and the current capacity is 21,000, but the plan is for a full second tier to eventually increase capacity to 40,000 (see architect’s rendering below) {see this photo which shows the new tribune [currently used as luxury-box-type seating] above the first phase of the stadium (photo from xolosd.com)}. Club Tijuana drew around 19,500 per game (at about a 92 percent-capacity) in their debut season in the first division in 2011-12. Club Tijuana’s ascension to the top flight helped to fill a prominent gap in first division Mexican fútbol – namely, a paucity of clubs from the Mexican north-west. I asked the folks over at a US-based Xolos fansite called xolosd.com what they estimate are the amount of fans who cross the border near San Diego, California to see Xolos games at Estadio Caliente in Tijuana. Here is David of XoloSD.com’s response to that query…” I would say that easily there are 2500 to 3500 people that come from all over southern Cali to go to the Xolos games…” So, basically, Xolos have a dual-nation catchment area for their home-attendance-fan-base. This will be an important factor in Club Tijuana’s future stadium expansion, because their ability to tap into the large San Diego/ Southern California market gives the club huge potential.

Oh, and Xolos are in the 2013 Copa Libertadores. From non-existence to 19,500 fans per game, the Mexican championship, and the Copa Libertadores Group Stage – in 6 years flat! Congratulations to the entire organization of Club Tijuana, and to their new but fervent fan base, and best wishes in the 2013 Copa Libertadores.

Below is a photo of, and a future rendering of, Club Tijuana’s Estadio Caliente; and 2 photos from the Liga MX 2012-Apertura Finals; and a photo of some of the Xolos’ faithful.
club-tijuana_estadio-caliente_2012-apertura-champions_felix-martinez_xolos-fans_d.gif
Photos and Image credits above -
Club Tijuana via sandiegored.com.
xolos.com.mx.
xolosd.com.
Tomas Bravo /Reuters via sbs.com.au.
xolosd.com.

    The bright future of Mexican fútbol

Mexican fútbol gets pretty decent attendance – the league as a whole averaged over 26,000 per game in 2011-12. There is not nearly the amount of the fan hooliganism, safety concerns, and threats of violence like which plagues some parts of the South American football scene. Whole families go to first division fútbol games in Mexico. There are really no ultras groups who intimidate fans and players and the front office, like in Argentina. There are some nice new stadiums (like Santos Laguna’s or Club Tijuana’s or that weird one in Guadalajara [home of the Goats]). And there are some very unique stadiums, like Toluca’s stadium – see this photo by Sergiopons at panoramio.com of Estadio Nemesio Diez in Toluca), or like Pachuca’s stadium – see this post from copasdelmundoenamerica.blogspot.com. Plus, there is that singular and monumental, world-class, 105,000-capacity leviathan that is Estadio Azteca (home of the highest-drawing club in the country, Club América).

Mexico produces top shelf players like Man United’s striker Javier Hernández and FC Barcelona’s defender Jonathan dos Santos. According to one media outlet based in Germany, the Mexican top flight is currently ranked #11 in the world {see this, ‘The world’s strongest leagues in 2012: First trends‘ (iffhs.de).

One big reason why Mexico doesn’t get it’s due is that so many of their best players choose to remain in the Mexican top flight rather than seek their fame and fortune in Europe. Just check out, via the following link at en.wikipedia.org, the current roster of the ‘Mexico national football team‘ to see my point. I know the roster will change as this post gets older, but as of January 9th 2013, only 3 of the 22 players on the Selección de fútbol de México play abroad – DF Héctor Moreno (of RCD Espanyol in Spain), MF Andrés Guardado (of Valencia CF in Spain), and the aforementioned Javier Hernández (of Manchester United in England). Mexican fútbol, both as a pro venture and as embodied by it’s national team, has huge potential – Mexico won the gold medal in men’s football in the London Olympics in 2012. Mexican fútbol deserves more international attention, and I am doing my small part.
___

Thanks to RSSSf site for list of Mexican champions, http://www.rsssf.com/tablesm/mexchamp.html.
Thanks tp RSSSF site for list of Mexican seasons, ‘México – List of Final Tables‘.
Thanks to zonu.com, for Federal District (aka Mexico City) base map.
Population-density map unattributed, from ‘Metropolitan areas of Mexico‘(en.wikipedia.org [uploaded by Rune.welsh].
Base map by Sémhur at commons.wikimedia.org, File:Mexico States blank map.svg.
Thanks to Tom Marshall for the 2 articles I featured here (from Goal.com at the top of the post, here again [A New year's Liga MX wishlist; and at soccer365.com, here again [attendances]. – here is Tom Marshall’s Twitter page – https://twitter.com/mexicoworldcup .
Thanks to David at XoloSD.com ( XoloSD.com ), for information on Liga MX.

January 5, 2013

2012-13 FA Cup, Third Round Proper, chart: all the upsets from 5 January 2013, plus the 2 best-results for a lower-placed club which ended in a draw.

Filed under: 2012-13 FA Cup — admin @ 1:59 pm

[ Note: In past years I would update results in the FA Cup latter rounds by just updating the original map post, but I have come to realize that that was confusing to the reader and probably under-cut my traffic, so hence this stand-alone post. Here is the 2012-13 FA Cup 3rd Round Proper Map post. ]

bbc.co.uk/ FA Cup (bbc.co.uk/sport/football/fa-cup).

Further below, in a hopefully-easy-to-read chart-form, are all the results, from the first day of the 2012-13 FA Cup Third Round, which involved a lower-placed club defeating a higher-placed club (ie, all the Cup upsets). Also listed are the two best results for a lower-placed club which ended up as a draw (thus forcing a replay).

The biggest upset was Conference National/5th division side Macclesfield Town over the second-division leaders Cardiff City by the score of 2-1. Macclesfield Town will now play in the FA Cup 4th Round for the first time in the club’s 139-year history. Two goals by the Silkmen’s Matthew Barnes-Homer in a 3-minute span (in the 85th and the 88th minutes [the second goal from the spot]) saw Wales’ biggest club fall to the tiny Cheshire club, who have been suffering an otherwise trying spell stuck back in Non-League football this season. Macclesfield had maintained Football League status for 15 seasons prior to their relegation in May 2012. Attendance at Macclesfield Town’s ground, Moss Rose, has plummeted 30% or so this season (in league matches), to just 1,500 or so per game, versus 2,227 per game last year in League Two. (Attendance was 3,165 there today). And as they sat just 10th in the Conference (and now are in 11th place there), Macclesfield will most likely be stuck in Non-League football again next season. In other words, MTFC had plenty to play for, and needed this. The embattled manager of Macclesfield Town, Steve King, sure needed this, because many of the club’s more vocal supporters have recently been calling for his sacking. Meanwhile, within the Cardiff City camp, truth be told, Cardiff City had bigger fish to fry – namely, finally winning promotion to the Premier League after falling agonizingly short for 3 straight seasons. And the fact that Cardiff manager Malky Mackay fielded an entirely different XI than from the team’s previous league-match starting eleven shows you that Cardiff City were treating this Cup match with the disdain that many Premier League clubs often do. But try telling that to the rookie-laden Cardiff squad right now. Because, despite the fact that this loss will probably not put a dent in their promotion push, it’s not easy living down the fact that the Bluebirds – I mean the Red Dragons – just lost to a team that is 3 leagues below them and 81 league places below them.

From guardian.co.uk/football, from 5 January 5 2013, by Jamie Jackson, ‘Macclesfield’s Matthew Barnes-Homer gives Cardiff both barrels in Cup‘.

The second biggest upset of the day went to another Non-League club – Luton Town (the highest-drawing club outside the Football League with regular crowds of around 6,000 per game). The Hatters of Bedfordshire, who are managed by former Torquay United and Bristol Rovers manager Paul Buckle, held their own versus struggling second-division club Wolverhampton. And the club from the northern-edge of the London commuter-belt won it with a 46th minute goal on a sublime volley by Alex Lawless, after he was set-up nicely by a Jon Shaw cross. There were 9,638 in attendance at Luton’s Kenilwoth Road. Maybe this will spur on Luton to finally put up a successful promotion drive to get back in the Football League where a club of their size belongs. Wolves’ manager Stale Solbakken was sacked 4 hours after the humiliating defeat.

The third biggest upset of the day went to manager Paul Dickov’s Oldham Athletic, who though one goal down after 18 minutes (and playing away), ended up beating Nottingham Forest 2-3 on two goals by Robbie Simpson in a four-minute-span (54′, 58′) (the second one on an arcing header off a nice whipped cross by Dean Furman); and just 3 minutes after that, a 61st minute goal by Jose Baxter off a free kick. Nottingham Forest, the only club, anywhere, that has ever won the European title more times than their national title, look without a clue and have not won the 3 matches since they inexplicably hired that enemy-of-attractive-passing-football, Alex MacLeish, last month. As one Forest fan commented here (4th comment/glambear), ‘McLeish. You wouldn’t wish him to your worst enemy. Even Leeds. Well, maybe Leeds…’.

The chart below will be updated (if need be) as results come in on Sunday and Monday.
[Note: league placements are as from the start of each club's 2012-13 FA Cup 3rd Round match.]
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2012-13 FA Cup 3rd Round Upsets


January 1, 2013

2012-13 FA Cup, Third Round Proper: location-map and attendances of the 64 clubs.

Filed under: 2012-13 FA Cup,Eng. Non-League — admin @ 1:41 pm

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2012-13 FA Cup, Third Round Proper: location-map and attendances of the 64 clubs


bbc.co.uk/ FA Cup (bbc.co.uk/sport/football/fa-cup).

From guardian.co.uk/football, from 30 January 2012, by Barney Ronay, ‘Week ahead: our muddy romance with the FA Cup
For all the sense of feeling fatally diminished, the iconic football tournament has somehow retained its distantly ennobling quality’
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Televised matches, see this.

The smallest club still in the competition – Hastings United

Before this season, Hastings United had not won a single FA Cup [Qualifying rounds] match since 2006. Hastings had in fact only made the 1st Round Proper once, in 2002 (losing to Stevenage Borough). Hastings United, nicknamed the Arrows, are a semi-professional Isthmian League/ Ryman Premier League/7th level club that was established in 1894. This season, Hastings leveraged two winnable Cup draws into their first-ever appearance in the FA Cup 3rd Round. There was some good fortune involved (via favorable draws), because Hastings did not have to play any Football League clubs, or even any 5th-Level clubs, for that matter, to get to the rarefied atmosphere of the 3rd Round (which of course is when Premier League and League Championship clubs enter the competition). But that does not diminish this tiny club’s achievement in making it to the 3rd Round. To make it to the 2nd Round Proper, Hastings beat Conference North side Bishop’s Stortford 1-2 on 3 November 2012. To make it to the 3rd Round Proper, the Arrows beat another Conference North club, Harrogate Town, in a 2nd Round replay on 13 December 2012 at Hastings, in a match which which went to penalties (see illustration below). For that 2nd Round replay match, Hastings United were praised for providing around 1,000 tickets, free, to local youth (that is brilliant). That match was a sell-out with 4,008 in attendance {match report from bbc.co.uk/football, here}. Now for the 3rd Round, Hastings have drawn second-division side Middlesbrough and will travel north on Saturday the 5th of January to North Yorkshire to play Boro at the Riverside Stadium there in coastal Yorkshire. Hastings United don’t really expect to pull off an upset of giant-killing proportions, but it will be a nice day out for the Arrows’ faithful and the ticket-revenue-split the club will receive will probably sustain the small club for a couple of years (they’ll use the cash for improvements to their ground plus maybe they can splurge on a hotshot postman/striker or two). As Hastings United chairman Dave Walters said, ‘We’ve got to use this cup run to build a platform to try and move up at least one league if we possibly can’ {see this article from sportyhub.org}. Hastings United are from East Sussex on England’s southern coast. A little under one thousand years ago, Hastings was the nearest town to the site of the Norman invasion in 1066, which was the last time that England was successfully invaded, and which installed in 11th century England a then-new version of the ruling-class (parasites), and which begat the fraught relationship that the English have had, ever since, with France {see ”Bayeux Tapestry (en.wikipedia.org)}.

Hastings United currently average 409 per game (in home league matches), which is fourth-best out of 22 in the Ryman Premier League {Ryman Premier attendance figures, here (nonleague.co.uk/leagues/_/isthmian-league/premier-division-11/)}. They have drawn 5 straight matches in the league and sit 17th. Hastings United’s ground is The Pilot Field, which is a small Non-League-type ground that doesn’t really have any noteworthy features except for that fact that it features a sloped pitch {photos of which you can see in my post on the 2nd Round, here}. Hastings United wear claret and sky blue colors. They are led by player/manager [defender] Sean Ray. Here is the club’s website: http://www.hastingsunitedfc.co.uk/ .

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Photo credits above -
soccernet.espn.go.com.
Tony Coombes at hastingsobserver.co.uk.
bbc.co.uk.

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Thanks to soccerway.com for attendance figures (for Football League clubs, and Conference clubs).
Thanks to nonleague.co.uk for attendance figures (for the 7th-level club, Hastings United).
Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en.wikipedia.org, ‘2012–13 FA Cup‘.
Thanks to bbc.co.uk/football for the Fixture list image on the map page.
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Thanks to everybody who checked out my maps and who read my posts in 2012. Special thanks to everybody who made comments to my posts in 2012. And thanks to anyone who might have tweeted about my posts in 2012 (due to web-traffic spikes, I am pretty sure a couple of folks did).

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