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Research reveals top three Revolution rivals

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And not surprisingly, the Red Bulls made the list.

Steve Jolley Of The MetroStars Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

Rivalry matches pop off the calendar for every MLS club and supporter. Galaxy fans savor their California Clasico matchups with the Earthquakes. Dynamo supporters relish their Texas rivalry with FC Dallas. And the list goes on and on.

So, which club do Revolution fans dislike the most?

Earlier this year, the Know Rivalry Project interviewed fans from Foxboro to Portland to find out.

Approach

The Know Rivalry Project provided sports fans with 100 “rivalry points” to allocate to their favorite team’s opponents. Fans also had a chance to respond to several other questions, including how they felt about their rival team’s fans and how much joy they felt when their rival team experienced a “misfortune.”

In total, the project surveyed more than 5,000 fans across five major sports leagues.

Results

Revolution fans selected the Red Bulls as their most heated rival, assigning, on average, 32.34 of 100 rivalry points to Jesse Marsch’s side. The Chicago Fire placed second with 17.44 points, followed by the LA Galaxy with 13.73.

Interestingly, when assigning rivalry points to the Revolution, fans of the Red Bulls (9.88 points) and Galaxy (0.61) didn’t share the same level of disdain. Supporters of the Fire felt similarly toward the Revolution (16 points).

The Know Rivalry Project also revealed the top rivalries across MLS by measuring the difference in mean rivalry scores between teams within a rivalry. Orlando City SC vs. New York City FC ranked first with 81 points, while the Philadelphia Union vs. New York Red Bulls (56 points) and New York City FC vs. New York Red Bulls (50 points) trailed behind.

You can also view data for each of the top 11 Revolution rivals, as well as results for the rest of MLS.

Conclusions

  • Revolution fans didn’t express overwhelming disdain for any club in MLS, though they ranked the Red Bulls first by a wide margin, assigning the Bulls nearly twice as many rivalry points as the second-place Fire.
  • Red Bulls fans ranked D.C. United and New York City FC well above the Revolution on their list of top rivals; the Revs didn’t score well enough to land on the list of Galaxy rivals.
  • In general, MLS fans don’t have strong feelings about the Revolution. Supporters of the Fire (16 points) and Columbus Crew SC (14.06 points) dislike the Revs more than any other fan base, though neither score communicates a significant rivalry.
  • The most intense MLS rivalries include a New York-based club; all three of the league’s top rivalries include the Red Bulls or New York City FC (or both).
  • The Red Bulls serve as the only original MLS club among the league’s top three rivals.

Interested in contributing to the Know Rivalry Project? You can take the MLS survey here.