But for now, all we have to go on are the numbers. Like last time, I'm focussing on the Toronto FC era (2007-present) because it is a relatively stable period in the life of two leagues that have experienced significant historical ups and downs in terms of quality, and it is convenient from a Canadian perspective.
Unlike last time, I've chosen to count overtime results in the US Open Cup as draws. Penalty results are of course counted as draws as well, as previously.
Here's a short summary of the results:
|MLS results vs USL-1 sides|
|US Open Cup|
|Nutrilite Canadian Championship|
|Concacaf Champions League|
You can see the list of all matches here.
The record for MLS sides in 36 matches of 13 wins, 14 draws and 9 losses would account for 53 of a possible 102 points, or 1.47 points per game (PPG).
Whether the comparison is a useful one to make or not, here are the teams closest to 1.47 PPG in the league tables of the last completed seasons (2008-09 for European leagues):
- Bundesliga: Schalke 04 (1.47 PPG, 8th)
- La Liga: Malaga (1.45 PPG, 8th)
- Serie A: Pakermo (1.50 PPG, 8th)
- Eredivisie: between FC Groningen (1.65 PPG, 6th) and Feyenoord (1.33 PPG, 7th)
- MLS 2009*: Chicago (1.45 PPG, 6th)
At this point, I don't want to draw any conclusions from these numbers. Just treat them as numbers for numbers' sake. The arguments on either side are well-worn (MLS sides don't take the US Open Cup seriously, etc.) and have either been debunked or remain contentious. The only thing worth mentioning is that most of these results have been collected in knock-out competitions, which skews participation in the matches towards the better teams in both leagues.
Draw your own conclusions if you must, but don't drag me into it.
P.S. I like this.