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Max Bretos is my hero …

except he’s not.

Well, hello there!

I’d like to thank The Gaffer for letting me out of the cage and onto the Interwebs as a new helper with this little venture. I’ll try not to make a fool out of him or myself (if I can make sure to tag things correctly). As for other people, well, we’ll see what happens.

I’d like to start with something from Fox Football Fone-in this week.

Aside from the horrid cardboard cutout of Nick Webster that haunts me in my sleep, I like the show a lot. Steven Cohen should just do the show solo, since his ex-cohort went to become a pro poker player, but I understand the need for a co-host for “banter.”

Which brings me to Mr. Bretos.

Max cares for the game. He loves to over-pronounce Latino names (“Carrrrrrrrlos RRRRRRRRRuiiiiiiiiiiiiithhhh!” is not spoken in Castillian Spanish, Max.) and every goal is magic. But his love for the beautiful game does come through. It’s obvious he’s drunk the MLS Kool-Aid, and that’s OK. From my previous life being in the media, it’s tough to find fault in something when you’re around it every day.

So when a caller asked how Steven and Max would “fix” the MLS to put it on par with other world leagues, Steven answered quickly: A single table, do away with the salary cap. Simple. Max’s response: “I’m being told by the censors that I can’t answer the question.”


Show over. Thanks for playing. See you later.

This is the major problem with FSC. It’s not run out of Canada. Do we think Bobby McMahon would say the censors wouldn’t allow him to answer? Likely not. But the L.A. crew are too in-pocket with MLS. It’s really unfortunate. But as Setanta becomes the leading outlet for English soccer in the States, FSC is going to have to be even more in-pocket. Oh well. At least I can listen to Cohen on Sirius at work.

Look for me this weekend during all of the EPL finale games. It should be fun (even if I think the relegation battle is more fun than the top).

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  1. Mookie

    May 13, 2008 at 9:35 am


    This is why the league no longer cares about the type of fan it attracts just that the crowd numbers are passable: so the initial investors can cut their losses and new investors can be hoodwinked.

    The MLS folks must have a different viewpoint of passable number of fans than me. I expect the stadium to be at least 90% filled, and seeing how the only team that doesn’t need David Beckham to fill up a stadium is in Canada (Mookie’s fav Toronto FC)…MLS should follow Europe.

    I mean, the fans don’t make a noise. They just blow a horn and bang the drums. Where are the chants? Where are the songs?


  2. Mookie

    May 13, 2008 at 9:32 am

    This is why the league no longer cares about the type of fan it attracts just that the crowd numbers are passable: so the initial investors can cut their losses and new investors can be hoodwinked.

  3. Ivan

    May 9, 2008 at 12:21 am

    Completely agree with Michael. Both are more fans than journalist. Sure they are successful but Cohen doesn’t even know his own club IMO. His as fickle as most fans, his opinion is based on the media’ stereotypes or generic arguments but his show is very entertaining and these days a lot more informative. Kenny stands by his opinions and i like that about him despite the fact i have problems with a lot what he says. This most recent issue i have with him is his love for Belletti.

  4. Michael

    May 8, 2008 at 4:24 pm

    Sanjay, get off the WSD/Steven Cohen bandwagon…

    Come on, do you actually take the guy seriously? He doesn’t actually know much about soccer aside from Chelsea, can’t pronounce people’s names right, and like I said, has a very general understanding but knows nothing about tactics, players, etc.

  5. Pingback: I pay for nothing! | Soccer On Dish

  6. Kartik

    May 8, 2008 at 3:19 pm

    Points well taken Hector.

    The only problem is if MLS focuses on European fans, the league is doomed to failure. As much as we all love the game the numbers of people interested in European football in this country are not large enough to sustain a FIFA sanctioned first division. Maybe a virtually semi-pro league like USL, do probably MLS is doomed to failure long term. This is why the league no longer cares about the type of fan it attracts just that the crowd numbers are passable: so the initial investors can cut their losses and new investors can be hoodwinked. I certainly hope I am wrong but if MLS cannot cut into the mexican league’s fanbase the league will cease to exist in its current form in the future.

  7. Hector

    May 8, 2008 at 2:59 pm

    Kartik, I respect your opinion but I think you have it all wrong. I am Mexican, born and brought up in the United States. And I love soccer. I try to follow all the european leagues and also obviously the Mexican league. And although the MLS team here in Washington DC, has been amongst the most successfull ones, I will always watch my beloved Universidad Nacional before them. My point is that, this is the same for all other Mexican people. Even Chivas fans dont really care for ‘Chivas USA’. The point where I completely disagree you is that when you say MLS should targer the Mexican viewers. From a mexican point of view, I think that no matter what is done, Mexican people will not watch the league. I think that MLS should target EPL,SERIE A AND LA LIGA fans in this countries.. Maybe like expat brits and italians you know..

    PS: I respect your opinion, I’m just saying what I think, I’m not disrespectful or anything. Also, please pardon my poor english, after all these years, I’m still learning……

  8. Kartik

    May 8, 2008 at 1:42 pm

    “Kartik — its not just the UK that uses a single table. Practically every FIFA league does.”

    Again, the US is different. The country most similar to the US in geography that has a legitimate first division is Mexico and as I have said Mexico has three divisions and a playoff and the league is far more popular in the US than MLS or the Premier League.

    Cohen has repeatedly stated that MLS must play on an August to April calender, but how exactly do you propose playing games in Toronto or Chicago in January. This country is not blessed with the maritime climate of the UK- some places are downright awful and depressing. Russia, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Ireland and Finland all play their leagues on the same calender as MLS because they have the same concerns.

    MLS may not interest the readers of this site, but that’s not who MLS must win over. MLS MUST win over the people who watch the America-Cruz Azul game or flock to stadiums when Mexico plays friendlies in this country (they play more friendlies in the US than at home in Mexico.) On that count MLS is failing miserably. To think the domestic league of your neighboring country is three times as popular as your own league. Further Anglicizing the league will only dig the grave MLS has already dug for itself even deeper.

  9. Sanjay

    May 8, 2008 at 12:30 pm

    timmyg, I completely agree with you. A single table is definitely the way to go. Sadly, A lot of writers in this countries have developed a sort of hatred for Steven Cohen and WSD and hence dont take any of his ideas or thoughts seriously.
    And MLS doesn’t really pay any attention to Cohen and his ilk, if they had, the product that they put out would quite clearly be much better.
    Ian, you are right about Max drinking the MLS Kool-Aid. He has to be more objective.
    And as far as the people’s voice for soccer in this country goes, in my opinion it has to be Steven Cohen. They guy started a show on soccer when nobody in this country was even willing to acknowledge it. In fact, I think his radio show/podcast along has brought more fans to the beautiful game than the MLS or anything that US Soccer has done. And the facts dont lie, World Soccer Daily has been the #1 podcast on for 2 years now.

  10. Darin

    May 8, 2008 at 11:53 am

    I took five sample MLS teams from across the country and compared their 2007 schedule with a home and home single table schedule from 2010 (with Philly and Seattle included, 16 teams, 30 games, league schedule only.)

    On average, there was only 2K-3K miles difference in the travel, and that was with two more teams than exists now.

  11. timmyg

    May 8, 2008 at 11:44 am

    Kartik — its not just the UK that uses a single table. Practically every FIFA league does.

    And I don’t see how transportation is an issue: each team has to travel to the opposing ground anyway. And a single table would remove those awkward third and fourth games against the same opponent. So if anything, it will reduce travel costs.

    Yell at me for drinking the kool-aid, but a single table with home and away fixtures would really differentiate this sport from any other in this nation. MLS is trying to run with the big boys (and failing). Instead, it needs to be playing to its own tune.

    And Bretos pleading the fifth in this case is another example of corporate society dictating free speech. Gotta love it!

  12. Ian Cahir

    May 8, 2008 at 10:15 am


    Thanks for the response. I hope to provide more to the site in the future, but you have to start somewhere. A couple of points:

    — Max didn’t give any suggestions. He said “here’s what I like about what they do.” That’s not what the caller asked for.

    — In the context of that show, Max should not have to worry about “censors.” If he wants to only be positive, fine. that’s his prerogative. But to put it like that shows that he’s not speaking words he believes. And it’s an opinion show. Not a game.

    Sorry to let you down, Betsy’s, but there will be more for you to love/hate as we go on.

  13. Kartik

    May 8, 2008 at 10:04 am

    Another thing is MLS has an obvious thing it has to change.

    It has to become a more Latinized league. More games in Spanish on Spanish broadcast networks and on Spanish radio. The majority of football fans in this country are Latin and don’t particularly care for MLS’ attempts to appease European fans including some of the recent more disturbing developments. I think MLS listens to Cohen and his ilk more than they should and have already made far too many concessions to that crowd.

    They need to listen to Paul Gardner, the most knowledgeable and best writer here in the states about how to proceed and what models to follow.

  14. Kartik

    May 8, 2008 at 9:58 am

    Look a single table is WRONG for MLS. This isn’t England where you have a 4 or 5 hour coach ride max to the furthest away match. Here you cross three time zones, play at different altitudes and very rarely if ever take ground transportation to the next game. Mexico’s league far more successful and presentable than MLS has THREE Divisions and Playoffs and it is the richest and arguably best league outside of Europe. Balancing the schedule throughout the country is impossible. I think doing that will ruin MLS, if you are let’s say DC United and you have to travel to play the Galaxy as much as you travel to face Philadelphia or New York. I’m sorry you can “oh teams from London have to got to Sunderland or Newcastle, that’s a long way.” Not by American standards.

    Cohen wants MLS to follow a strictly British model. This isn’t the UK, we are different geographically, culturally, and most importantly in our values about sports.

    Max is great. He’s the people’s voice for American soccer, someone who understand latin culture and european football and how MLS can be a fusion of both with a distinctly American flavor to it.

  15. betsy's bolton bum baster

    May 8, 2008 at 9:57 am

    You had a nice build up man, but then you bring up one stupid point and that is all you got for your argument? He actually did give some insights into how he would fix the MLS, but why on earth would he bad mouth the league? Bad start for your career on EPL Talk, provide more insight,depth and reason next time you post something.

  16. damir-

    May 8, 2008 at 9:40 am

    I watched FSC for the games and I love the shows they do about certain teams, very informational.

    But since I changed TV companies, I no longer get FSC so I watch all my games online…

    It’s a shame that show is hosted by a Chelsea and Liverpool fan, I’d rather see neutrals or an additional guest every week that knows what he’s talking about.

  17. Ian Cahir

    May 8, 2008 at 9:38 am

    It took two sweeps. Got ’em all now.

    And DM: Max reminds me of a homer baseball announcer. Rob Stone is the same way. They try to sound unbiased, but they can’t help it.

  18. RIP

    May 8, 2008 at 9:35 am

    I agree with your sentiment. The major attraction of that show is the candid nature of the hosts. MLS needs to more criticism not less.

    PS – I think you have a few more Nick’s to replace with Steven.

  19. DM

    May 8, 2008 at 9:29 am

    I hate bretos with the white hot intensity of a thousand suns. He is terrible for soccer and a terrible anaylst/color commentator. I mute every game that he announces.

  20. Ian Cahir

    May 8, 2008 at 9:22 am

    No, no joke. Just first post jitters. Steven Cohen. Nick Geber left. heh heh. It’s fixed now. and nice start for me.

  21. Dave's Football Blog

    May 8, 2008 at 9:20 am

    Ummmmm… you mean Steven Cohen, right? Or is that a joke I’m not getting?

  22. Eric

    May 8, 2008 at 9:19 am

    I assume you mean Steven Cohen?

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