Those of you who have read my Ramblings a few times may find it hard to believe, but when it comes to MLS, I’m actually and optimist. Seriously, I believe the league is here to stay and will continue to improve. I just don’t always agree with how the decision makes do the growing.
The reason I mention that is, I never thought all six matches this weekend could have been as good as they were. In true Junkie fashion, I caught at least pieces of all of them and have to say the matches were entertaining though teams still have some jelling to do and the crowds were great.
So, here’s some thoughts on each one.
- Dallas – Chicago I thought soccer was just boring 0-0 draws? What’s better than seeing the home side come from a goal down twice to win 3-2? Good stuff and plenty of action—though both defenses could use some work. The downers though were Dave O’Brian (what is he doing in the booth?) and those pointless sideline interview with that actor (no, not Fish)? Oh, and has Dallas managed to actually fill the seats yet at PHP?
- KC — Columbus Not the start Sigi wanted for C’bus. Funny how he was always criticized in LA for putting too defensive a team on the pitch. KC with Johnson will score a lot more than we are used to. Oh, and the Wiz managed to find some fans.
- LA — NE This one hurt. Yeah, I’m still an LA homer even if I now live in the Eastern Time zone. Honestly, LA created the better opportunities (and more of them) but they just couldn’t finish. Let’s see if Sampson can get things sorted out up top. Adding John O’Brian (if you believe the rumors) would help at lot coming out of the midfield…but I’m afraid what the cost would be. Is it really any surprise that the two sides that have already played some meaningful matches had the most together backlines (and the lowest score)?
- DC—NY Great match. NY decides their new name/colors should also come with a new attitude—winning footie—then decide to take a break in the second half. Great atmosphere and entertaining match all round. However, is it just me or could Red Bull have spent a few more seconds coming up with their new shirts?
- Chivas—RSL The battle of last season’s expansion teams showed who grew the most in the off-season. I was sure Chivas would be a much better side this season and, well, they were. Adding Ratface (errr…Razov) sure worked out for Bradley. Expect the Goats to even give LA some tough Derby matches.
- Houston—Colorado The Smurfs (errr…Melons) pickup where they left off in San Jose. Ching bags four in the opener. Nice crowd on hand—thought they were worried about attendance this weekend—and with results like that, I’m sure those fans will be back. Actually, I was a bit disappointed in Colorado…they should be better than they looked yesterday.
In all, I enjoyed my weekend on the couch watching footie.
Going back to my criticisms of decisions the league makes (direction etc.) Jeff Carlisle at SoccerNet brought up many of the points I’ve made on my blog about where the league needs to improve. I’ve said it a lot on here, marking to kids for 11 years and then ignoring them as teens and young adults is a mistake. A 10 year old in 1996 is now 21 and able to buy beer at matches with his friends now. What’s been done to keep him/her coming back to matches all these years? Regular season matches are a joke as is playing matches while the leagues best players are off at the World Cup (Also, International Dates here on non-World Cup years). Lots of good points here, worth reading and it’s about time someone who isn’t a blogger or BigSoccer poster brings this up.
Anyway, good news all round. Better get some work done.