Blame Canada I
"Toronto likely to receive MLS franchise! Local citizens pray it won't be the Wizards, while folks in Montreal cite this as further reason why Quebec must be independent!"
Hey, if they can field a franchise that is remotely successful fincially speaking and matches the league avg for attendance, then it's a step in the right direction. As a niche sport I've long advocated the league needed attractive products on the field moreso than the idea of having "X" big markets being represented. And while I'm not jumping for joy that MLSE will be operating the franchise (supposedly) I'm more aghast at how the Canadian government, which was once at least a model for efficient action if not wise thinking, seemed to botch this stadium arrangment at nearly every turn, despite having landed the FIFA tournament it so desperately wanted and pledging this structure to be the jewel of the event!
...and still the one in Vancouver may end up looking much, much better!
Blame Canada II
Toronto's pending arrival suggests that Rochester will be snubbed... again. Moreover, the absence of another owner/operator stepping forward for another entrant means that MLS may indeed run with 13 teams for a year or two. How quaint! Yet given that adding the Toronto franchise will likely not have a huge impact on TV $ and will lead to some challenging scheduling, you'd think MLS would be more patient to ensure that every action is not only value added but part of a much larger equation. Garber's been doing well so far, but this seems reactionary rather than progressive.
In what may be the shortest article ESPN.com will ever associate itself with:
Barcelona president Joan Laporta has admitted that the Spanish side are planning to form a team to compete in Major League Soccer (MLS) in the United States.
The idea is part of Barcelona's long-term plan to expand around the world.
That's the entire article, folks! But amazingly this exhuastive research missed critical questions that must be answered!
- Will they buy Colorado to maintain the rivalry with Real-wannabes Salt Lake? If not...
- ...then the obvious choice is Utah's cultural cousin Idaho! Boise-lona, anyone?!
- Can the US marketing machine do anything to improve upon Ronaldinho's fugly mug shot?
Prettyboys 1, Chowda 0
Proof positive the league needs to introduce new coaches from a wider pool of candidates than previously seen: Offensive strategy is non-existent in MLS. The list of globally-popular European super powers that regularly employ a strong defense and counter attack mentality is quite deep (Chelsea, Juve...), so it's understandable that teams looking for W's might try to follow suit. But anyone confusing the MLS Cup final with a CL showdown between Arsenal and Milan would recognize that the American clubs base their entire offensive attck on the base skills of their athletes. And notice none of these strikers is being lured away to higher paying gigs across the pond!
Transition was a default of clearing the ball away from one's goal, not the intended action to exploit an opponent's weakness. Attacks were not consistent in direction, pace, or targeting. I realize Landon Donovan is something of a personality for the league, but does that mean the LA coaching staff doesn't tel him what to do?
I lamented MLS's modest start as a missed opportunity to foster a deeper pool of full time soccer players. It appears the same goes for quality coaching.