Closing the Book on DCU's 2013 Regular Season

Thank you, goodnight, now it's time to go home. - Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

It's over. It's finally over. But like the historians of ancient Rome who documented the effects of Barbarians, lead pipes, and fiddle-induced fires on that venerable empire, let's record the end of the D.C. United's 2013 regular season for time and all posterity--or at least to say we finished this interminable series.

Well, since we've slogged through reviewing what happened each and every month of the 2013 Major League Soccer regular season here on Black and Red United, let's close the book on this season which saw the fall and rise and fall of Major League Soccer's most storied empire. How better to do that than to review what happened in October and record all the important final tables of the season? I had nothing else to write about for this week, so humor me.

1. October's MLS Results. With only a few notable exceptions, the teams that played well in October will still be playing in the playoffs. The primary exception was the Chicago Fire who played very well during the month (3-1-0, 9 points), but in the end they needed a result in their final match on the road at New Jersey. Although they took a lead in that game, they fell spectacularly 5-2 to the New York Red Bulls, and in so doing, both missed the playoffs and allowed the Metros to earn their first trophy in their non-descript, but very expensive history. The second exception was the San Jose Earthquakes who went 2-0-1, earning 7 points. Although the team went undefeated in their final 7 matches (5-0-2), they needed a result in their second-to-the-last match on the road against the LA Galaxy to make the playoffs--and the Earthquakes only earned a draw.

The table below is sorted based on points per game earned during October:

Team Total Points Games Played Pts/ Game Wins Losses Draws Goals
New England Revolution 10 4 2.50 3 0 1 7
Sporting Kansas City 10 4 2.50 3 0 1 4
New York Red Bulls 7 3 2.33 2 0 1 10
San Jose Earthquakes 7 3 2.33 2 0 1 3
Chicago Fire 9 4 2.25 3 1 0 9
Portland Timbers 8 4 2.00 2 0 2 8
LA Galaxy 8 4 2.00 2 0 2 7
Vancouver Whitecaps 7 4 1.75 2 1 1 11
Houston Dynamo 7 4 1.75 2 1 1 3
Real Salt Lake 5 3 1.67 1 0 2 3
Colorado Rapids 6 4 1.50 2 2 0 8
FC Dallas 4 4 1.00 1 2 1 6
Philadelphia Union 4 4 1.00 1 2 1 4
Toronto FC 3 3 1.00 1 2 0 1
Montreal Impact 3 5 0.60 1 4 0 2
D.C. United 1 4 0.25 0 3 1 2
Seattle Sounders 1 5 0.20 0 4 1 3
Columbus Crew 0 3 0.00 0 3 0 2
Chivas USA 0 3 0.00 0 3 0 1

2. The Best and Worst for Every Month of the Season. We've been tracking who were the best and worst teams during each month of the season, so here's a review:

Highest Total Points Highest Points/Game Lowest Total Points Lowest Points/Game
March Dallas/Montreal Dallas/Montreal Chicago/Seattle Chicago/Seattle
April Portland Portland D.C. United D.C. United
May New York Colorado Chivas/Toronto Chivas/Toronto
June RSL/Vancouver RSL Chivas Chivas
July Colorado Houston D.C. United D.C. United
August Seattle LA D.C. United D.C. United
September Columbus New York/Portland/ San Jose D.C. United D.C. United
October New England/ Sporting New England/ Sporting Chivas/Columbus Chivas/Columbus

A couple interesting points from this listing of each month's "best" and "worst":

- FC Dallas and the Montreal Impact started the season en fuego. And while normally the performance in the beginning of the season is a good indicator of how teams will do overall in the season, Dallas and Montreal fell dramatically as the season wore on with Dallas finishing next-to-last in the Western Conference and Montreal backing into the final Eastern Conference playoff spot as the limpest of limp fish.

- After Dallas and Montreal, who was the next best team in March? Chivas USA (let that sink in for a moment).

- On the other end of the spectrum, Chicago and the Seattle Sounders were the worst teams in March. As already mentioned, Chicago just missed making the playoffs while Seattle had the inside track on the Supporters' Shield entering October before they tanked down the home stretch.

- D.C. United has the ignoble distinction of winning the most of these monthly awards, whether the good ones or the bad ones. While earning the title of "worst" team in four separate months (April, July, August, and September), D.C. United was also second worst in May.

3. Final Supporters' Shield Standings. Avert your eyes if you can't stand to see D.C. United's hated rivals atop a table. And, while D.C. United is at the bottom of this same table, we can all take solace that the good guys earned the same number of trophies in our worst year (heck, the worst season in MLS history) that New York has so far earned in their best year. We will both be in CONCACAF Champions League next season, so maybe the spring of 2015 will bring a huge showdown with the Red Bulls for an international trophy (although many D.C. United fans would likely prefer to see New York crash out in the group stage).

Team Total Points Games Played Pts/ Game Wins Losses Draws Goals Goals Against
New York Red Bulls 59 34 1.74 17 9 8 58 41
Sporting Kansas City 58 34 1.71 17 10 7 47 30
Portland Timbers 57 34 1.68 14 5 15 54 33
Real Salt Lake 56 34 1.65 16 10 8 57 41
LA Galaxy 53 34 1.56 15 11 8 53 38
Seattle Sounders 52 34 1.53 15 12 7 42 42
New England Revolution 51 34 1.50 14 11 9 49 38
Colorado Rapids 51 34 1.50 14 11 9 45 38
Houston Dynamo 51 34 1.50 14 11 9 41 41
San Jose Earthquakes 51 34 1.50 14 11 9 35 42
Montreal Impact 49 34 1.44 14 13 7 50 49
Chicago Fire 49 34 1.44 14 13 7 47 52
Vancouver Whitecaps 48 34 1.41 13 12 9 53 45
Philadelphia Union 46 34 1.35 12 12 10 42 44
FC Dallas 44 34 1.29 11 12 11 48 52
Columbus Crew 41 34 1.21 12 17 5 42 46
Toronto FC 29 34 0.85 6 17 11 30 47
Chivas USA 26 34 0.76 6 20 8 30 67
D.C. United 16 34 0.47 3 24 7 22 59

4. Final MLS Eastern Conference Standings. So, who you got in the Eastern Conference playoffs? I'll take the Houston Dynamo over Montreal in the play-in game. Then, I'll take Houston over New York and Sporting Kansas City over the New England Revolution in the conference semi-finals. In the Eastern Conference finals, I'll take Sporting to finally slay their personal demon (Dominic Kinnear) and reach the MLS Cup.

Team Total Points Games Played Pts/ Game Wins Losses Draws Goals Goals Against
New York Red Bulls 59 34 1.74 17 9 8 58 41
Sporting Kansas City 58 34 1.71 17 10 7 47 30
New England Revolution 51 34 1.50 14 11 9 49 38
Houston Dynamo 51 34 1.50 14 11 9 41 41
Montreal Impact 49 34 1.44 14 13 7 50 49
Chicago Fire 49 34 1.44 14 13 7 47 52
Philadelphia Union 46 34 1.35 12 12 10 42 44
Columbus Crew 41 34 1.21 12 17 5 42 46
Toronto FC 29 34 0.85 6 17 11 30 47
D.C. United 16 34 0.47 3 24 7 22 59

5. Final MLS Attendance Table. You've probably already read Steven Goff's tweet that D.C. United set it's all-time worst home attendance average this season:

Team Games Played 2013 Average
Seattle Sounders 17 44,038
LA Galaxy 17 21,770
Portland Timbers 17 20,674
Montreal Impact 17 20,603
Vancouver Whitecaps 17 20,097
Houston Dynamo 17 19,923
Sporting Kansas City 17 19,709
New York Red Bulls 17 19,461
Real Salt Lake 17 19,218
Toronto FC 17 18,131
Philadelphia Union 17 17,867
Columbus Crew 17 16,080
Colorado Rapids 17 15,499
FC Dallas 17 15,373
Chicago Fire 17 15,228
New England Revolution 17 14,844
D.C. United 17 13,646
San Jose Earthquakes 17 12,765
Chivas USA 17 8,366
MLS Average
18,594

For 2013, home attendance at RFK averaged 13,646, a 1.45% reduction from 2012's 13,846. For 2013, MLS averaged 18,594 for each match, down 1.13% from last year's 18,807 average. So, while it's really not good to set an all-time worst season attendance average, at least D.C. United's decline this season is comparable to what happened overall across the league (I'm reaching here for good news).

D.C. United now enters a 4+ month break until their next MLS regular season match. This may well be the most consequential offseason in the history of the franchise. With final votes still to come on the existential issue of their Buzzard Point stadium, with Ben Olsen and Dave Kasper desperately seeking to turnaround D.C. United's fortunes, with an ownership group building for the future yet having to keep an eye on the present to not lose its fan base, with the future of individual players on the squad in doubt, and with the absolute need for offseason signings to pan out as the Black-and-Red compete in MLS, the US Open Cup (as defending champions!), and in CONCACAF Champions League, we should have plenty to talk about for the next few months here on B&RU.

What else do we need to record for posterity now that 2013's regular season is complete? Anything? Or, is it just time to look forward and start plotting the overthrow of MLS's temporary Barbarian overlords in Harrison?

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