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Findley Hat Trick, NYC USL, Weekend TV


Robbie Findley became the latest Alexi Lalas reject to scorch MLS with a hat trick last night at Rio Tinto Stadium in RSL’s 4-1 win over Columbus.  Findley has been capped once for the United States against Switzerland in a friendly back in October 2007. When I attempted to ask Findley last year at RSL training about his choice to play for the US over Trinidad and Tobago he told me he’d rather discuss Salt Lake.Good choice, and he’s a very pleasant up and coming attacker.

But I have to ask an honest yet cynical question: Having been burned by Giuseppe Rossi and with the wheels on Nevan Subotic already in motion come October 2007, did Bradley just want to call Findley up once and then forget about him knowing he was eligible for T&T also? By the way, Kyle Beckerman another player that Bradley seems to have forgotten because he doesn’t fit in the bucket midfield, scored RSL’s fourth and final goal.

FC New York  joins USL-1 next year initially playing matches at Hofstra University before likely moving to Queens. While this is cause for celebration for many lovers of the game in the city and on Long Island, the dean of American “soccer” writers, Paul Gardner has a problem with the name of the club. Gardner feels the club should be called SC New York, because we the sport is referred to as Soccer in the United States.

The England born Gardner’s legendary objection to the use of British terms not withstanding, this is a good move by USL-1. The league whose profile has been elevated by the play of two of its clubs in the CONCACAF Champions League is now considered of a high enough quality to try and compete with MLS in some markets where our first division is struggling. New York, the nation’s largest market where the existing MLS team is based in New Jersey and struggles to get any significant media coverage is a logical place to start.

LIVE WEEKEND TV with American footballers:


Fulham-Liverpool, 12:30 PM ET/FSC

Toronto-Seattle, 4pm ET/FSC


Everton-Wigan  10am ET/Setanta

Man U- Aston Villa 11 am ET/FSC

Chicago-Red Bull  3pm ET/Telefutura

Santos-Pachuca 5pm ET/Univision

FC Gold Pride-Boston Breakers 7pm/FSC

You can listen to our latest podcast here. Jamie Trecker, a regular from FOX Sports is our guest as we discuss among other things the US National Team, FOX’s acquisition of UEFA Champions League rights, and MLS.

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  1. Tom

    April 4, 2009 at 10:53 pm

    This really never bothered me before the recession, but now, based on my loose understanding of economics, I’m afraid that say, troubles at Columbus or Kansas City could end up impacting every team in the league. If this were to happen, I hope the better MLS clubs will be able to see the writing on the wall in time to bail out. One of the biggest differences between now and the days of the NASL is that there is an alternative, relatively healthy league for teams to jump over to.

    But now I’m just working myself up into a panic.

  2. AVR

    April 4, 2009 at 10:07 pm

    Tom’s points are refreshing and very well taken. I have made some of the same criticisms of MLS myself.

  3. Tom

    April 4, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    The other thing is that a league does not establish itself as a top-flight competition overnight. In the early years there are generally several different leagues jockeying for major league status, and clubs jumping from one league to the next constantly. Only gradually does the league system coalesce into a single, unified entity.

  4. Tom

    April 4, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    The thing that bothers me about MLS’s business model is that instability is natural for upstart leagues. The centralization in MLS not only provides shelter for incompetent teams that otherwise would have collapsed, but it also severely restricts the better franchises’ ability to improve and cultivate their product. Toronto FC, Seattle and LA should not have to limit their spending in the interest of maintaining parity with the more poorly managed teams in the league. Stability is the LAST thing that evolves in a sports league, and it is attained by weeding out the lesser teams so that only the profitable and well-run clubs remain. Five of the eight charter teams of the National league folded by the 1878 season. The only charter team of the NHL still in existence is Montreál. The NBA contracted from 17 teams in its inaugural season to 8 five years later. The Arizona Cardinals and the Chicago Bears are the only charter members of the NFL still in business (Green Bay joined the league in the second season).

  5. Are you joking?

    April 4, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    MLS is like a ponzi scheme in a way.

    Each expansion fee pays back original investors who have lost tons of money to this point. The league losses tons of money if not for those FMF friendlies that Kartik alludes to.

    In saying it’s like a ponzi scheme, I still want it to succeed. We need it to succeed for the growth of the game in this country. Give Garber the boot and things may work out.

  6. Lars

    April 4, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    It’s not a ponzi scheme. Ask Amway Global, the Earthquake Sponsors. They’ve been accused of ponzi schemes and pyramid schemes before, and won their case. As long as you’re delivering a product or service for the fee paid, it’s not a scheme. And guess what, getting the MLS franchise is a product…

  7. Kartik Krishnaiyer

    April 4, 2009 at 11:24 am

    I didn’t make the ponzi scheme comparison but it has been made. Actually it’s been made more than you’d think. While I think it’s a stretch to call it a ponzi scheme,
    I do believe SUM’s luck with interliga and FMF friendlies will eventually run out and at that point MLS/SUM better be turning a profit based on league activities without having to depend on the FMF’s willingness to hoar themselves out to American interests and sell out their 100 mil Mexican based fans for 20 mil US based fans and a big pay day.

    MLS isn’t at fault for this: the FMF is- alot of anger in Mexico is based on the fact that they never see their national team except in qualifying and that inter lig which determines Copa Lib births is held entirely on US soil. Eventually this situation will force the FMF’s hand and leave MLS/SUM without perhaps its biggest source of revenue.

  8. Fan

    April 4, 2009 at 11:19 am

    How is it a Ponzi scheme if they are actually receiving revenues in other areas, i.e. SUM, ticket revenues, television contracts, etc. The Madoff scandal has done one thing very well, which is expose who actually understands a Ponzi scheme thanks to the liberal misuse of the phrase whenever anyone wants to try and criticize something they don’t understand.

    Considering MLS investors are continually asked to make cash calls and are not guaranteed a return, I don’t see how anyone in their right mind could assume the league is a Ponzi scheme. That is, unless their entire ego is predicated upon complaining about things just for the sake of complaining about them.

  9. Kartik Krishnaiyer

    April 4, 2009 at 9:18 am

    Tom- you are not the first to make the ponzi scheme comparison. Actually I’ve heard the comparison from a few people in the last several months. Some investors take their investments seriously, but others, and I can think of two in particular are benefiting from this constant out of control expansion while keeping the salary structure insultingly low and allowing squad limits to let several decent footballers escape to USL and the cap forces many mid range Americans over to Scandinavia.

  10. Tom

    April 3, 2009 at 11:00 pm

    you know, it just occurred to me that the MLS is beginning to resemble a giant ponzi scheme with these 40 million dollar expansion fees. LA, Toronto, FC Dallas, are all in the black, and soon Seattle probably will be too, but the league as a whole as of 2008 loses on average what, 2 million a year per club? Injections of cash from expansion fees are large enough to fill that hole.

    Is it at all possible that the recent expansion of the league has, at its core, been driven by the league’s unprofitability?

  11. eplnfl

    April 3, 2009 at 10:40 pm

    Hope there is no snow in Chicago if you really want to see the Fire. I bought tickets to the opener so if it snows I’m likely to sit at home.

  12. mike

    April 3, 2009 at 9:54 pm

    it’s called football is an idiot!!!!!!!!!

  13. It's called football

    April 3, 2009 at 7:09 pm

    Lars: Write it here. We’re not gonna visit your blog, THIS is the blog we call home.

    Part of that poor marketing is the fact that football is primitive. Take away the Jazz and BYU gridiron from the Utans (Utes?), and then Salt Lake will draw crowds. Until then, though, you can’t expect many to sit through 10th rate football full of fundamental mistakes. Even kids in the stands moan saying “even I know better than to make that pass!”

    The league needs to market more to the Hispanics. Create an alternate name for the league to be used in Hispanic media: La Liga Estadounidense de Futbol, or La LEF for short. That would be good. Tell the Hispanic media to call the teams by their Spanish names, i.e. El Fuego, Los Toros Rojos, La Galaxia de Los Angeles, La Revolucion de Nueva Inglaterra. The US league is getting killed ratings-wise by the Mexican league. Hispanicizing the league- for Hispanic media ONLY- would be a good move.

    On the English side, maybe renaming the league to Association Football America would be a good idea. Give it some distinction, some dignity.

    That being said, I wouldn’t mind seeing the backwards clock re-introduced along with instant replay. If the league was seen as a no-flopping league, it would earn much respect.

  14. Lars

    April 3, 2009 at 6:43 pm

    RSL’s attendance was worrisome. Part of the problem is poor marketing on the part of MLS in non-traditional soccer markets. I have a solution which I’ve been mulling over, but if I wrote it, it’d be on my own blog that has yet to be created.

  15. It's called football

    April 3, 2009 at 6:08 pm

    FC New York is fine. What Gardner said is rubbish. The sport’s name is football. He’s an idiot.

    The attendance at the Salt Lake game was fine. Americans have many more sources of entertainment that other countries don’t. That’s why football isn’t as popular in the US. Football is a primitive sport, the USA doesn’t need it. Other countries do. Other countries simply don’t have the resources or ingenuity to create the other entertainment options the USA creates. So they’re stuck with football.

  16. Kartik Krishnaiyer

    April 3, 2009 at 5:41 pm

    John O’Brien when healthy may have been our best player ever. Landon actually said he was the best player he had ever played with. That of course was before playing with Riberry and Toni at Bayern. But Johnny O was something special when healthy. He and Reyna dominated the midfield in Korea.

  17. Seybold

    April 3, 2009 at 5:22 pm

    Excellent podcast discussion on the USA national team. It all comes down to flair and the imagination to break down good defenses, and the ability to hold the ball. You need that to succeed at the top level, even if you don’t need it in CONCACAF.

    Donovan, Torres, and Adu have this. If they’re on the pitch, it’s conceivable we could advance out of the 1st round in the World Cup. Otherwise, not likely. I especially liked the point about Dempsey: he’s solid, but needs flair players to release him on the intelligent runs he makes.

    I feel your pain. I’ve watched the USA since the late 1980’s as well, and Adu does have the potential to do even more than the likes of Perez, Reyna, and Ramos. And John O’Brien during the brief time he wasn’t hurt.

    We had both Reyna and O’Brien–two creative players of real quality–in the center of the pitch in 2002. What happened? We made the quarterfinals of the world cup. Funny, that’s the only time we played such creative players, and 20-year old Landon Donovan too. We can do it now too, if Bradley dares to.

  18. HJAORM

    April 3, 2009 at 2:39 pm

    So 11,000 were the advance sales and nobody showed up?

    Terrible, just terrible.

  19. joel es latest soccer news

    April 3, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    THe stadium was empty.

  20. HJAORM

    April 3, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    11,000 and change at Rio Tinto?

    The weather looked pretty bad but for a season opener you’d expect advance ticket sales beyond 15,000 or so.

    I’m really worried about MLS attendance.

  21. Travis

    April 3, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    FC New York sounds better than SC New York. Sorry, alot of the fans USL are targeting are ethnic Europeans and Latins. SC New York would be an appeal to Mets and Yankees fans who are not coming out to USL or MLS matches anyhow.

  22. Dude

    April 3, 2009 at 12:02 pm

    I have no problem with FC New York or SC New York. Both suite my needs just fine. As for a nickname, I’m calling them whatever I want.

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