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Leagues: MLS

MLS Cup Wrap Up

I watched the MLS Cup victory for Houston on Tivo this evening and a few things were apparent to me. (Let me preface my comments by saying I did not watch one minute of NFL Football today and have no idea who won or lost besides the Dolphins because I saw a bunch of fans who came back from the Dolphins game at a rest area. Hopefully for MLS, more people are becoming like me, and just tuning out the NFL completely. If I were not in a Fantasy Football league I probably would not have watched a single game all year.)

  • Houston did not miss Ricardo Clark. I really thought Adrian Serioux played an amazing match and was well positioned on almost every New England attack.
  • Brian Ching’s workrate was simply amazing. While he doesn’t have the finishing of Taylor Twellman, it was obvious to me based on watching the two head to head why exactly Bruce Arena selected Ching over Twellman for the World Cup. Besides, Ching got the best of Twellman a chance late in regulation where Ching tracked back and played some amazing defense.
  • Alejandro Moreno provided quite a lift for Houston when he replaced Paul Dalglish in the 80th minute. Moreno was able to both hold the ball, and find space on the New England side of the pitch.
  • Speaking of Dalglish his presence in the MLS Cup was good for the league’s reputation abroad, as he comes from perhaps the best known family of Scottish footballers.
  • New England has too many players who do similar things. Pat Noonan, Andy Dorman, Jose Cancela and Clint Dempsey are all essentially the same player. All four are good players but the Revs need another finisher up front to compliment Twellman.
  • The San Jose/Houston franchise has become the most cohesive unit in the league over the past few seasons. With or without Landon Donovan on the squad, the roster for the Quakes/Dynamo filled with role players and other complimentary parts is a model for every MLS franchise.
  • I hate the shootout! But the rules are as such and Houston earned their victory.
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  1. Borat

    November 15, 2006 at 9:51 pm

    Kartik make for some good observation. Harvey make for some good point. Sams make for some good joke.

  2. DC United

    November 14, 2006 at 12:21 pm

    Speaking of Abundis, I was surprised neither he nor Cancela got into the match. They could have provided the Revs with a much needed spark at the end.

  3. Anonymous

    November 14, 2006 at 10:50 am

    Ching should go sign a foreign contract somewhere. He has the physical skills and the finishing ability to excel in Germany or Denmark for example.

  4. Torres

    November 14, 2006 at 10:19 am

    The game was excellent but MLS must shorten the season. The playoffs are 4 weeks in length when it would be easier to simply take the top 4 teams and end the playoffs after two weeks. Also, if they want to make this two leg playoff work they must add an away goals rule. The idea of 30 minute mini game is idiotic.

  5. Kartik

    November 14, 2006 at 12:14 am

    Harvey you have some good points and strong opinions! Do you want to write for the site?

  6. Kartik

    November 14, 2006 at 12:13 am

    Wow, I didn’t realize so many of you actually tuned in and watched this game!

  7. Xavier

    November 13, 2006 at 11:52 pm

    The final was excellent, but the league still has worlds to go to upgrade its overall product.

  8. Sams Army

    November 13, 2006 at 11:10 pm

    Harvey why don’t you go join the eurosnobs in the USSF.

    Good to see some MLS talk here. No discussion however of the historic linkup between MLS and the Mexcian League. The NA Super League will rival the UEFA garbage on ESPN midweek. Hopefully ESPN will show these matches as well since they will be midweek.

  9. DC United Fan

    November 13, 2006 at 7:59 pm

    I thought the match was fine but as Harbey pointed out the finishing was poor. The pace was somewhat frenzied and that led to mistakes. But both teams settled down in extratime and really showed some solid stuff.

  10. Hernandez

    November 13, 2006 at 5:17 pm

    harvey you are a sourpuss. quality in mls has improved much since the first year of the new league and the game yesterday was a good one. two teams battling for the ultimate prize. i was sad to see abundis did not get off the bench for the revolution. he was an unused sub.

  11. Harvey

    November 13, 2006 at 12:09 pm

    The quality of play was quite frankly poor, but the atmosphere was intense. The Soccer specific stadiums Garber has poured resources into have worked out from the standpoint of being fan friendly and TV friendly.

    The play was appauling though. Poor first touches, loose passing and lousy finishing charecterized what was a difficult match to watch. This coming one week after a classic EPL match between Spurs and Chelsea got rave reviews from the press worldwide.

    MLS offers an inferior product and cannot compete anymore because in 1996 when the league began these cable outlets weren’t offering 5+ EPL matches, and 3+ Serie A matches each week. True Soccer fans get up early in the AM as I do, watch those matches and then proceed with our day. I felt honor bound to watch the MLS final but quite frankly I could have found a better use of 3 plus hours of my time.

    MLS is facing a more competetive marketplace than in 1996. When the league began the thinking was that they need to sell non-soccer fans on the game and the typical soccer fan would be gung ho. I know, I was at every Galaxy home game the first two seasons. But now that soccer fans like myself can watch the top leagues in the world live and direct, we don’t need to bother with MLS which resembles a semipro league when compared to the EPL, SerieA or La Liga.

    The earlier blurb about allowing high priced foreign signings is long long overdue. If this leagues doesn’t go out and take some chances it will be relegated to a permament minor league status both at home with fans and abroad with players.

  12. Rafael

    November 13, 2006 at 10:29 am

    What a game! I thought Ching was the MVP, but give an assist to the Dynamo backline and to Moreno as you mentioned. A great showcase for MLS.

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