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Leagues: MLS

MLS Quick Thoughts: Oct. 2008

I’ve been busy between professional obligations (I make my living consulting on political and issue campaigns, so obviously this has been a busy time) and some personal issues (nothing serious but time consuming nonetheless) so I apologize for not posting here the last few days.

Tonight’s match between Columbus and DC United was the best of what MLS has to offer. A passionate match where the red and black were unlucky: they deserved better and deserved to make the playoffs after playing with such heart. Namoff and Khumalo both hit the post when it seemed like DC was controlling the game. Credit to Columbus for not playing reserves and giving DC the game , HOWEVER: I have a bone to pick with Sigi Schmid for last week’s game against the Metrostars. From my perspective NY does not win that game if Columbus is playing their regulars. What I do not get is why Columbus played a second XI for all intents and purposes just last week and not both weeks? Or why not rest a few starters both games thus giving each starter a game off and not affecting the competition for playoff spots?

The LA-Dallas game was one of the worst football matches I’ve seen at any level and I could not sit through it. Some MLS matches are riveting, and others are just plain rubbish. We may have seen the last of Kenny Cooper in MLS. We certainly did see the last of Greg Vanney which does not matter in the least bit to me. However, someone who should be honored today is Bobby Rhine, a class individual who spent his entire professional career with one team. I saw Rhine as in person many times when the Dallas Burn played the Miami Fusion and always was impressed by his utility, even in those early days. He was literally a model American soccer player. Not terribly talented or technical, but smart enough to fit any role on the pitch. I was pleased to see him wear the Captain’s armband today in his final professional match.  He will be missed as a player and hopefully he will stay in the game.

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  1. elopingcamel

    October 27, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    The move by Sigi was brilliant. Think about who you’d rather have to play against in the Playoffs: DCU or RBNY? I’d take RBNY any day. For all of DC’s troubles this season, they have shown themselves to be a quality team in MLS Cup scenarios. RBNY has not.

  2. FC Vandy

    October 27, 2008 at 11:10 am

    Sigi rested starters in NY, probably because of the turf. Since the Crew has had a somewhat fluid line up the past 4 to 6 weeks, I actually liked the idea that he gave his First XI a run out to hopefully rebuild some chemistry and familiarity before next weekend. I am surprised that he waited to sub Scholletto until the 89th minute, however.

    Any place, where next weeks scheduled is posted?

  3. Berlin

    October 27, 2008 at 9:06 am

    I’d guess that Sigi kept his guys off the field last week because they were at NY and the chances of injuring someone on turf are much higher than normal. He likely played them this week to keep them in form and not face the rust issues so many teams run into when they bench their starters to keep them “fresh” for the playoffs, only to lose in the first game back. That said, I really wish he had played the reserves, now the Orange have to play on that crap.

    Kudos to RSL, that was a very clutch finish and had to be heartbreaking for the Colorado supporters.

  4. Brian

    October 27, 2008 at 8:28 am

    How much of that 200,000 increase is attributable to San Jose?

  5. bandeeto

    October 27, 2008 at 1:28 am

    RSL vs Colorado took the cake for the entire season. There were some better games in terms of tactical and technical play. However for drama this game was it.

    Say what you will about there being no real rivalries in MLS. I am an RSL fan and I hate Colorado. to play them in the final game of the season, for a playoff spot and the cup?! That’s MLS at it’s best folks!

    I’d also like to point out that average game attendance is down ~300 this year when compared to last year, however total attendance for the league is up by almost 200,000 (to ~3.4 million)!

    I’d like to see ESPN drop MLS coverage for poker or pool with those kind of consistent attendance numbers.

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