Tag Archives: MLS

So much going on

What a busy time.  In case you are the 2 visitors I get to this blog that aren’t my mom, I just moved again.  Ok, it was only cross town but with everything that’s taken place the last few weeks, it may as well have been a much longer move.  Anyway, between that, school and work (can’t forget to pay the bills) I’ve just not had the time to really post lately.  So, I’m gonna share a few thoughts though I’ll probably forget half of what I wanted to say.

  • LA fans who pushed the panic button after the Colorado game should knock better.  LA fans excited after beating SJ need to get a grip.  We still have no clue how good LA will be this season…though without the Trio of Becks, Fish and Landon they won’t be as good…at least we know that.
  • Seattle will more or less keep the Sounders name when the MLS team forms.  My only question is, why this need to add “FC” everywhere.  C’mon now.  At first though had a little giggle when I’d read reports referring to teams as “The FC” but now it’s just annoying.
  • Speaking of expansion, what’s the bet that MLS will keep growing as long as investors are willing to pay the Expansion Fee and build a new stadium?  It’s obvious there’s money to be made with the current structure of things.
  • Anyone who has ever read this blog around the MLS All-Star break know how much I hate the event.  However, the league has sunk to an all-time low by putting the leagues best up against a pile of Wet Spam.  Huh?  Oh, my bad.  It’s West Ham.  Well, maybe I’d watch if Iron Maiden were the half-time show. *
  • Ipswich Town have just about managed to choke away their chance at promotion this season.  Personally, I think another go-around with out the need to sell off their best talent will put them in a better spot for both promotion and relegation avoidance once they go do up.
  • Glad to see Cardiff make the FA Cup Final.  Wish West Brom would have made it as well (Tony Mowbrey was a class player) but ya can’t have everything.  A few weeks ago that call-in show on FSC was asking if we would pay the $25 for PPV to watch the Cup Final if it didn’t feature one of the ‘Big four’.  Well, my personal opinion is that it’s going to be a much better final without any of them.  If it’s not Ipswich (about to hit 30 years since the day) then I’d rather it be a team of players who probably aren’t going to seem many chances at major silverware.  As for this UEFA Cup stuff, well, Cardiff should have some way (either through Wales or England) where it’s possible for them to reach Europe.  What’s fair, well, that I don’t know.
  • Guaranteed, if (and it’s looking more like when) Amando Guevara joins the squad in Toronto, they’ll be lucky to do as well this season as they did last.  You heard it here first…well maybe.
  • Was it just me or was having back-to-back MLS games on FSC and ESPN2 last week pretty sweet?  Granted, it helped (well, for me) that LA was involved (thanks Becks) but still. four solid hours (plus pre/post shows on FSC) was just awesome.  Perhaps that’s something we may see on a more regular basis down the road.
  • Nope, haven’t had time to spring for the MLS PPV package yet.  I should but, well, almost all the LA games are going to be on TV anyway.  I dunno.
  • Hey, does anyone know of a good source for games you can play with a 3-year old to introduce soccer skills?  My boy is able to pass the ball back and forth with me (and he enjoys it) but he needs something more to keep him going longer.  I’m just doing my bit to insure success in 2026.
  • Does anyone else have their DVR set to record “I’m on Setanta Sports”?  Besides Lost, it’s the best show on TV.
  • Oh yeah, Becks got his 100th Cap for England a few weeks ago.  While it’s a great (and well deserved honor) for him, I can’t help but wonder just how bad England have become.  First, they can’t qualify for Euro ’08, and now one of their best players plays for a club in a Mickey Mouse league.
  • Actually, now that I think about it, his goal the other night hardly registered with the anti-soccer media over here.  All those article critical of his injury plagued season last year are staying quiet for now.
  • The MLS Players Association released the MLS salaries last week.  Was there anything in there we didn’t know?  I missed it if there was.  I’m sure everyone will agree that the players at the bottom aren’t making enough.  Now, I’m a firm believer that a team is only as good as it’s weakest link.  If good mid-salary range players are being cast off to make cap space, you are weakening the team…especally in a league that plays matches on FIFA International dates.  Many of those players are ending up in the USL, Europe or following a different career path.  I  hate to see this.  My one hope is that the new CBA which will become an issue soon will help this situation.
  • If you haven’t already, spare a thought for Gretna.  Talk about greed gone wrong.  Dumping millions into a small club in the hope of rewards once the top-flight is reached.  The thing is, will anyone really miss them?  Even the Dream Team writers couldn’t have come up with a plot this good.
  • Speaking of Harchester… That’s just silly.
  • Hey, Santino Quaranta can really perform when he’s motivated.  Took him long enough.  Is it too late for Memo Gonzalez?
  • Is it me or do the MLS stadiums have better atmosphere this season?  KC actually doesn’t seem dead.  Granted, there’s only 10k there but there’s more energy in the stadium.

Ok, enough for now.  I’m sure there’s lots I forgot though.  Hopefully, I’ll have some time to post more soon.

* In case you didn’t get the attempt at a joke. Iron Maiden bassist Steve Harris is a huge West Ham fan and was even on their books as a youth player.

I hope some lessons were learned

After Wednesday’s Pan Pacific matches in Hawaii, every report and commentary, weather traditional media or blogger, wrote off LA and were ready to give Houston the title.  I can’t wait to see what they are writing today.

You can’t judge a team my only one match.  Comparing the over all results, LA were the second best team on the islands…they only lost by one goal to Osaka while Houston were stuffed 6-1!!!  Of course, there’s a long way to go this season.  Who knows what the heck is gonna happen.

Bottom line for me is that Becks on the right is head and shoulders better than any other player in the league.  Those kids in the middle spent the two recent matches figuring out how to get on the end of those crosses and put them away.  The one kid (got the second goal) isn’t every going to forget how sweetly that strike came off his foot.

Like I Twitted (I think that’s the correct word…see the widget on the right) the other night, I’m not worried about Wednesdays performance.  It was the first preseason game.  Look how much improvement there was in just a couple of days.

I can’t wait for the season to start…and for LA to be at full strength.  LA will be better this season…I’m just not gonna predict how much better. 🙂

Too bad the matches couldn’t attract more fans.

MLS Schedule mess

Empty StadiumMLS finally released their schedule for the 2008 season this week. Only a few weeks before the season starts. We keep hearing talk from the league chiefs about all their scheduling headaches and why they still have to play matches on FIFA International Dates. So, we fans get screwed and offered an inferior produce those matches. God forbid that ever happen in the UK. I know I, and most other MLS fans, have been voicing their concerns about this for years. Now, it’s nice to see media types take up the call this year.

I know MLS keeps claiming that it’s tough to schedule stadiums. Maybe it’s me but weren’t we told that wouldn’t be a problem when teams started getting their own stadiums…guess that’s changed now.

MLS plays a 30 game season plus a couple Open Cup matches, Champs Cup and some ‘invented’ competitions.

EPL clubs play a 38 game season plus a much larger FA Cup and League Cup competition. Add in Euro matches and you have a much busier schedule. But of course, they have their own stadiums.

Personally, I don’t buy the leagues arguement. It all use to sound good but I’m sure theres more to this which they aren’t telling us. After all, close to half the teams now have their own stadium but the problem hasn’t imporved at all. In fact, from my point of view the problem hasn’t improved at all. However, they were able to adjust create a schedule for LA last season which got LA to ever MLS team after he arrived. Shows where their priorities are.

This bothers me. We all know MLS isn’t the EPL, La Liga or Serie A. We know that we MLS fans aren’t getting the best league in the world. However, to knowingly offer matches as part of season tickets which everyone knows before had won’t include the best players doesn’t help that fact.

My honest feeling is that the only way to end matches on FIFA Dates is for fans to force the action. I don’t know how feasible a fan action is but that’s what we need to do. However, for the league to change, fans need to hit them where in counts, in the pocket. I wonder how possible it would be for MLS fans to stage a strike? Would enough be willing to not use tickets for a specific FIFA Date match? Would enough be willing to not watch the ESPN2, FSC or local broadcasts of match on that weekend? Can we do it? Should we do it? If we can, will MLS/SUM/ESPN/FSC notice?

Another new league…sorta

WooHoo!!! The long anticipated CONCACAF Champions League has finally been announced.

I won’t bore  you with the details cuz it’s blogged and published everywhere else.

concacafchampionsleague.jpgHonestly, I’m not sure if I’m excited or not about this. Yeah, it’s another opportunity for MLS Clubs to show how competitive they are. Yes, another. Is the SuperLiga still part of the mix? Houston and NE still have the Champions Cup (the old version to play this Spring as well. Another question, which two MLS Clubs get the other two spots? It should be Chivas and DC….but will LA somehow slid into the mix? Will Toronto get a back door in every year?

Why am I so negative? Which Mexican Clubs participate? Will the best two still go to the Copa Libratadoras? Or will this be a second (third?) International Competition for them.

I do like the idea of dumping the rest of the competitions and making this the premier competition for our region, but until my questions are answered, it won’t be. We keep hearing comments about fixture congestion yet we continue to see more matches…though I will say that at least this isn’t some “made to make money” meaningless friendly against some big Euro Club.
Also, what about TV coverage? Will we even get to see the games? I’m thinking this is yet another idea from the CONCACAF Brain-trust which hasn’t been completely thought through.

Makes my head spin

My son and I are both under the weather so we stayed home today to hopefully kick whatever it is which caught us.  For some reason, my DVR grabbed the SuperduperDraft last week….so, as there wasn’t much else on, I watched it…or at least tried to.  Now, maybe it was the cold meds I’m on but they really seemed to pack about 3 hours worth of interviews into an hour.  Then again, perhaps it was the fact that they really don’t have much information on the players being drafted.  Whatever the reason, it was difficult to follow because they jumped around so much.

Then again, perhaps I shouldn’t be trying to do things after taking cold meds. 😉

As for the picks themselves, who knows?  I sure don’t.  A few of the kids will pan out…some won’t.  It’s really a shot in the dark.

There’s still a long way to go

A talented kid decides to turns down a chance at an MLS contract cuz he’s more likely to make money in the banking industry.  Now, I can understand the whole bit about not everyone can make it.  However, this kid, by every indication, had a better chance than most.  If MLS really is serious about attracting and developing the best talent in this country, they need to make sure they don’t lost them.  OK, there will always be players who decide to give Europe a go…heck, there have been a few who decide the money is better with a USL club…but to give up on the sport all together?  Well, I hope someone sees the problem here.

How’s this for a playoff format?

For those of you who hate the MLS Playoff format, this is for you. I’m bumping around looking at stuff last night and came across something on the end of the A-League season. I guess four teams were level on points going into the final day of the season. That’s always entertaining. What caught my attention was the way they do their playoffs.

So, four teams (out of 8 total) make the playoffs. That’s half the teams in the league (a much higher percentage than MLS currently) so; the first round is 1 v 4, and 2 v 3. No problem right. Then, the winner of each playoff goes thought to play each other. Still nothing strange right. However, the losers then face each other as well. The winner of the series between the two first round losers (are you following?) then play the loser of the series between the two winners. So, we are down to three teams. The team who was won both their series so far goes through to the final while the two others, who have each won a series and lost a series by this point; face each other to see who is the other finalist.

Didja catch all that? Do you still think the MLS playoffs a bad idea?