Thursday’s MLS/US Soccer/USL News
- By now everyone know about Cuauhtemoc Blanco’s decision to leave the Fire. Should Blanco stay in MLS? Of course the league would love to have him, but wouldn’t a farewell tour with America, leading the Mexico City based giants to a rare title (at least in recent terms) be more appropriate? The Mexican League is less physically demanding than MLS but is also much more technical and skillful. The league fits an aging Blanco better than MLS.
- UMBRO has decided to pick up the tab for USL Live this season making the service free after the league charged $49.99 last season for USL-1 matches. Even more impressive is the partnership with NeuLion whose video quality is typically outstanding. With MLS Live TV substantially upgraded from a year ago, the two top US leagues offer a remarkable Broadband product for only $19.99 a season. That’s a steal when you consider FSC charges $4.99 for a single on demand Premier League match long after the the result has shown up online. Then again the demand for the Premier League far outweighs the demand for the MLS or USL-1 product.
- MLS may keep selling to the football loving public that things have never been better for the league but as readers of this site know, I tend to strongly disagree believing the league is way off course from its original intent and in time its hubris will trickle down to affect the entire football landscape in the US. Yesterday Don Garber was peppered with the sort of questions I’d like to ask him if I ever got the opportunity, by multiple reporters according to our friend, Jamie Trecker.
- The DC Stadium situation is a mess. I’m frustrated because the league continues to promote new markets and expansion while not working hard enough on securing the future of the franchise that really made this league watchable in the first place. Without DC, I believe MLS may have died in short order, maybe even before Don Garber became the commissioner. I find it insulting that the Commissioner lauds Toronto’s fans when United had supporters groups and passionate followers showed how its done, eleven years before TFC began play. And now with the PGs County deal in doubt, the league would be well advised to use some of the exorbident expansion fee they are collecting to help the league’s signature franchise. But of course, they won’t.
- Brad Friedel’s red being overturned means Brad Guzan’s first Premier League start will have to wait. That’s probably a good thing because I seriously doubt Guzan wants to make his debut at Old Trafford.
- The World Football Challenge has been finalized for this summer on American shores. Four international giants will play in the US, but the absence of a La Liga side makes the event less compelling for many. The selection of America will swell crowds, but perhaps Toluca, Pachuca, or even Pumas will show better from a competitive standpoint. But who are we kidding? These are friendlies which are about crowd building.