Friday, March 31, 2006

Countdown '06

Days until kickoff of the '06 season: 1

It's almost here!

Happy (belated) anniversary

Well, the 2-year anniversary (March 29) of this blog has come and gone. A few short musings on this momentous occasion (momentous to me, anyways):

Two years ago, due to a lack of friends with interests in MLS, and living hundreds of miles away from Ohio and any other Columbus supporters, I decided to start this blog as an outlet to air my thoughts and opinions about all things MLS. In that time, I have changed the layout of the blog at least a couple times, posted from all over the world (ok, so only from several places throughout the US and Japan, but I say that counts), and have relatively recently gained readers.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Countdown '06

Days until kickoff of the '06 season: 2

News and Views

Wow, I can definitely tell that the new season is upon us; the number of articles that came up in my news searches drastically shot up. Here's a sampling of some of them:

Chelsea Football Club & AEG announce U.S. alliance I first heard about this over at the Rogue. First the news of the All-Star game, and now this. I'm not quite sure what to think of it. Does it say something good about the quality of play in MLS, or is it more of a patronising act? Personally, I think that Chelsea is more concerned with improving their image in the US, than with improving MLS. Too bad for them, I already have a favorite team in the Premiership, and it's not Chelsea (I'll give you a hint: their name rhymes with the name of D's favorite team). Still, regardless of Chelsea's motives, I think that it will benefit MLS in the long run.
Chelsea seek to crack America

Out with the old Crew, in with the new Like I've been saying, I have high expectations for Columbus this year. I expect them to make it to the playoffs this year, and to win the final within the next few years.

Learning from '05, improving in '06 for Chivas USA Chivas USA is another team that I expect to do better this year (then again, they can't exactly do worse than they did last year, so that's not saying a whole lot).

'Embrace the Colors' campaign launches If you have a decent Internet connection, you can watch the commercial in Windows Media Player. Personally, I think the ad is no better than MLS' previous attempts at advertising themselves, but at least it's something.

Gazing into the crystal ball on the '06 season The best thing about this article is the picture. Gotta love it.

New team in Houston is among changes in MLS

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Countdown '06

Days until kickoff of the '06 season: 6

Yep, we have only one week left until the start of the second decade of MLS. This has been a pretty busy offseason. Remember the "early years" of MLS, when MLS seemed to fade off the planet during the offseason? I'm not sure if MLS actually is busier now, or if the media (specifically, the Internet) has simply picked up more of it.

News and Views

Wizards beat FCD in Saturn Challenge Cup My newly adopted team (FC Dallas, due to my current geographical location--just don't take that to mean that my loyalties to the Crew have diminished any! they haven't!) lost. The sheer irony of it all is that the Wizards' opener is against my beloved Crew. It will be devastating if the Wizards beat Columbus, too. Here's to hoping that Sigi will lead the crew on to a solid season and victory this year.

Changes start at top for Chivas USA Bradley's a good coach. I expect to see a seriously improved Chivas USA this year.

MLS Originals Enter Their 11th Season Just 10 players remain active who have played at least one game in of the first 10 seasons. Wow, I thought there were more of them than that. Most of the guys have since retired or moved on (McBride immediately jumps to mind).

Houston beats N.Y., wins Challenge Cup I was about to make some comment about Houston's two name changes over the past several months have a positive effect on their performance, until I remembered that NY, too, just had a name change. So never mind.
Edit: Remember what I said about matadors beating bulls? If this isn't proof, I don't know what is.)

Between now and this Friday, March 31, you have the opportunity to question the Commish. If you have something to say, now's our chance, people.

Red Bulls roll out new team, attitude

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

News and Views

The spotlight's on Arena This article describes Arena as the most successful coach in American soccer history, a statement that I'd have to agree with. He's done very in building up the USMNT after France '98. Will he lead the USMNT to the top 8 again this year? Better yet, will they make it to either the final match or the third place match? Going by how the USMNT has done over the past few years, I'd have to say the chances are good. And besides, upsets do happen. Honestly now, who expected Croatia to place third back in '98? The US defeat of Portugal in the first round four years ago was equally surprising to many people.

Philly next stop for MLS
N.J. wary of new MLS team's name
After Red Bull brouhaha, no word yet on next NJ team's name
After the whole 1836 mess and the resentment caused by the Red Bull NY name change, you have no idea how freaking hilarious I find the tension over the Philly/NJ name.

MLS supports Rowan's stadium plan

Investors buying into the idea of this American league

Players hope to stamp pass vs. Germans

The Crew MLS Season Opener Is Just 11 Days Away

Edited to correct a couple broken links. I hate it when that happens!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Countdown '06

Days until the kickoff of the '06 season: 16

Misc MLS news

Twelve MLS players on U.S. roster

De Soto submits proposal for Wizards complex

The Nowak fining debacle

The MLS big wigs should probably consider careers in landscaping; they seem quite adept at digging holes for themselves. First for the Official Statement on the latest debacle in MLS:

Statement from Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber After conducting a thorough review, we find that D.C. United Head Coach Peter Nowak made improper remarks during the D.C. United vs. Real Salt Lake pre-season game on February 17, 2006 in Bradenton, Florida. The League has fined Peter Nowak an undisclosed amount.

MLS Fines Nowak Undisclosed Amount

I think that a quote from Shakespeare is in order here (from Julius Caesar, for those of you who aren't as nuts about Shakespeare as I am): Beware the Ides of March. Julius Caesar was murdered...on the Ides of March...despite being warned of impending danger. MLS came out with a statement that put them in a much deeper hole and helped "murder" Nowak's name, regardless of whether he is guilty...on the Ides of March...despite warnings from the fans (D did an especially good job) and newswriters alike. I, for one, sense the irony in that. Why is it so difficult for MLS to simply state the reasons for their decision? Any writing or debate teacher will tell you that it is not sufficient to merely state your opinion; you must clearly and logically state your reasons. Lawyers provide evidence for their cases. MLS provides nothing. How hard is it for Garber to simply say something along the lines of the statement proposed by D? The situation certainly isn't quiet. Talk of the fining is in the Washington Post, and all over the blogosphere. Now MLS has made some Really Dumb decisions over the course of its existence (especially in the early years), but I think this comes close to beating all.

Monday, March 13, 2006

News and Views

Red Bull purchases MetroStars Red Bull New York. Well, that's yet another MLS team name change (though certainly not the first for the NY/NJ Metrostars / Metros). I wonder how long it will take for the few remaining MLS teams with their original names to change. When MLS first announced the team names back in '96 (or maybe before? can't remember), I remember thinking that names like the Crew (and their logo) and the Rapids were a bit, well, odd. I personally was glad when the Metros dropped the whole NY/NJ part; it was pretty cumbersome to say. As for the Red Bull NY name change, am I the only one who has visions of matadors (and yes, I am familiar with the Red Bull drink - that stuff makes me thing of matadors, too)? Matadors defeat bulls. Hmm, that'll give fans of the the Red Bull NY's opponents something to chant.
Q&A with MLS Commissioner Garber The Commish weighs in on the Metros' sale to Red Bull.

Ruiz rides bicycle to Goal of the Decade Not a bad choice, really. And, it was scored against DCU, not my beloved Crew - all the much better. I think it's final: I really am a sucker for bicycle kicks.

McBride extends Fulham stay

Friday, March 03, 2006

Countdown '06

Days until the kickoff of the '06 season: 29

News and Views

U.S. earns hard-fought win Gotta love Arena's response to a reporter who inquired as to Adu's chance of making the USMNT in Germany: He's 16 and I think there will not be that many 16 year olds playing in the World Cup. That's just my guess. I could be wrong. Am I the only one who interprets that basically as, "No, but I'm not telling you yet"?

D.C. United fall to Getafe in Spain
Nowak pleased despite United loss
D.C. United Starts Strong, But Loses to Spain's Getafe

MLS coming to Oklahoma