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Leagues: MLS

Week in Review May 2-6, 2011


Are you ready for some SOCCER?  Tonight is the debut of Soccer Night in America, which this week means Friday.  Portland and Philadelphia will kick off around 10:30 PM ET.  That plus an 11 PM kickoff in the #LAvNY match means East Coast soccer fans will have a few late nights (as West Coast fans roll their eyes).  If anyone has any good Twitter hash tags for tonight’s Fox Soccer unveiling, share them in the comments section below.

And now a roundup of the week’s news:

  • DC United legend Jaime Moreno has taken a position as head coach of the team’s U-23 squad.  This team is the bridge between the youth team and the reserve team.  Best of luck to Jamie!
  • MLS Soccer’s Jonah Freedman writes a compelling article on the need for a return of Ray Hudson.  A must read.
  • Hans Backe has said he will release Dwayne De Rosario to play in this summer’s Gold Cup.  Initially he had said he wouldn’t release the midfielder because DeRo had not indicated he wanted to play, but that had contradicted a report from Team Canada.
  • David Ferreira successfully had surgery on his broken ankle, and the team is still not releasing a timetable for his return.  Best wishes to him as he heals.
  • Thomas Rongen has been let go as head coach of the U.S. U-20 team.  Last we saw them, the team was beaten by Guatemala and had lost their chance to advance to the U-20 World Cup.  Tab Ramos will guide the team during their next tournament in France, but has not been given the title of interim coach.
  • Bren Latham over at ESPN writes about the struggles of Gale Agbossoumonde to cement a spot on Bob Bradley’s team, as well as breaks down some of his soccer weaknesses.  ESPN Insider status required.
  • And finally, for those who enjoy scandal and intrigue, Grant Wahl details his failed attempt to run for the top job at FIFA.  An excellent read.

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  1. ExtraMedium

    May 9, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    1. Grant Wahl fail. The USSF is headed by a senior Kraft Sports executive. Um, conflict of interest?
    2. Stan Kroenke (Rapids operator) just spent $1B (all cash) to take control of Arsenal. Do you guys think US soccer could use $1B? PARITY! SINGLE-ENTITY!
    3. Edson Buddle says his relegation threatened 2. Bundesliga team is technically superior to back-to-back Supporter’s Shield winnning LA Galaxy. I thought the quality of play was increasing? Has your game changed?
    EB: “I was told coming in not to change things up. I didn’t want to get here and all of a sudden change my game. Here these guys play out of tight spaces better than where I was back home, especially in training, so I’m more conscious about being tactically aware both offensively and defensively. That makes you a little bit sharper. Sometimes when you are in one place for a long time, things can get repetitive and it’s easy to fall into a comfort zone. Being here is something new, and you have to be alert every day.” A relegation fight is obviously tough on the players and staff, but you also say that it had a huge impact on the community as well.
    EB: “A couple games after I got here, some people from the front office came and spoke to the team. They were explaining how important it was for the team to stay up, and that a lot of peoples’ jobs were on the line, from the front office to locals working at the stadium. We have a brand new facility, and they have invested a lot of money into trying to build a more competitive team. The club gives everyone from the owner to the people on the street something to cheer for and really brings the community together. It’s pretty special to see how much it means to everyone.”

    • Alan

      May 9, 2011 at 1:44 pm

      Reread the article. He did not say that. He said they were better at playing in tight spaces, and that the training is more demanding. Nobody is going to argue with that. He also said it was a lot like MLS and they didn’t want him to change his play at all.

  2. joejoe

    May 9, 2011 at 12:51 am

    The bottom line is weather or not MLS ratings will improve. As long as the ratings remain poor then the league will not get a big contract from Fox. I think Fox has noticed that they can do better by promoting big European matches and Champions League. In fact Fox was promoting FSC and CL on primetime Friday and MLB Saturday. No mention of MLS.

    • ExtraMedium

      May 9, 2011 at 1:28 pm

      ESPN hyped the Blackburn-West Ham game they broadcast as a relegation battle. Wait, wait, wait, wait. I thought pro/reg wouldn’t sell in America. I’m confused.

      • Alan

        May 9, 2011 at 1:31 pm

        I’m sure people outside of the Eurosnobs watched it too. I’m double sure that the fans of other sports that aren’t soccer fans looked at that and said “Whoa, that’s awesome! A relegation battle between the oh-so-technically gifted sides West Ham and Blackburn! I’ll watch it!” Please.

        • ExtraMedium

          May 10, 2011 at 11:45 am

          The point is that *ESPN*, a super American network, already knows what pro/reg is and they think they can sell it to Americans.

          • Alan

            May 10, 2011 at 12:47 pm

            ESPN is selling it to Eurosnobs and EPL fans, not to the normal MLS or world soccer fan. Even a world soccer fan that hates MLS wouldn’t be caught dead watching West Ham v Blackburn when they could be watching a much better, more tactical league. Those same people that tuned in to watch that game are not crossover fans from other sports, they will probably never be MLS fans, and they will probably never be fans of tactical football leagues. They are ok with watching a “physical” league if you want to call it that where most of the teams long ball it and the other players run as fast as they can to try to get lucky because they can’t play a tactical or technical game. Part of the problem with MLS I think is that they feel that they need to copy such sloppy play to get fans when really they don’t even know the first thing about real soccer. Luckily, I see MLS teams starting to get away from that gradually and work on real soccer. The Saturday morning EPL crowd is not going to be what attracts new soccer fans. Improving quality of play, giving people home teams to root for that can actually win their league, crossing over fans from other sports, and actually getting out and supporting domestic football will improve it. Whining about pro/rel and how we aren’t West Ham and Blackburn is not going to take the sport into the American mainstream.

  3. Andy

    May 7, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    curious scheduling again by MLS.

    the marque matchup – LA Vs NY is being played at 11pm(est) on a saturday night.

    • Alan

      May 7, 2011 at 7:50 pm

      Agreed. They need to do something about the kickoff times for the aired games.

      • montana lucky

        May 9, 2011 at 12:28 am

        I doubt MLS is to blame for the time slot. ESPN was producing it and showing it on their network, not MLS. Why do people think MLS has control over every little detail?

  4. Charles

    May 6, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    three in a row for me. I will shut up after this.

    That Grant Wahl article was amazing. Everyone has their own opinion on how much corruption goes on at FIFA. For me it was pretty telling that some guy was trying to get in the middle of it.

    Was the guy an idiot wasting his time ? Maybe.
    Or was he someone that knew there was something in the middle he wanted ( $$$$$$$ ) ? More likely IMHO.

  5. Charles

    May 6, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    I picked NY-LA as the big game because both are on top,

    there are a lot of games that will determine the playoff picture, as it stands right now and could be huge when you look back at the end of Sept and try to figure out why your team didn’t win enough.

    Nice to have a league where almost everyone is relevant.

    • Andy

      May 7, 2011 at 7:06 pm

      there’s really no point to watching the regular season in MLS when over half the league makes the silly playoffs.

      the ratings for MLS this season are abysmal.

      • Alan

        May 7, 2011 at 7:53 pm

        Not many people care for a 10 team playoff. Me included. 8 was good and they should respect conferences or get rid of them. To say that watching an entertaining match is pointless, then I don’t know. I’m not really sure bringing up negativity will fix anything either.

        • Andy

          May 8, 2011 at 4:01 am

          even with 8 the season is pointless

          leagues with single tables and regular season champ are just more exciting. People were saying that the EPL wasn’t exciting this year because Man U was running away wit the title. The last 4 weeks in the EPL have been epic. Now todays match with chelsea and man utd may decide the league winner.

          you will never have a match that has any importance in MLS with the current playoff system.

          • Alan

            May 8, 2011 at 10:58 am

            …and this has to do with the Week In Review what? Which one of the points addressed above does this cover? Why are you here talking about whether Man U or Chelsea will win the title? It’s the same teams as always. When it’s Bolton and Everton fighting their hearts out for the title, then get back to me because we can compare excitement levels. Right now, I am following MLS. It is MLS Talk isn’t it? Just checking.

  6. Jo Nathan

    May 6, 2011 at 8:30 am

    I’m not sure if i dig this Soccer Night in America thing yet, but i would rather see MLS highlights on a Sunday or Monday night …. I think that can help get more veiwers to follow MLS. Thoughts …

    • Alan

      May 6, 2011 at 12:12 pm

      I think anything can help.

    • Charles

      May 6, 2011 at 1:48 pm

      I don’t see either helping ratings much.
      IF someone subscribes to Fox Soccer ( I can’t imagine many do ) and doesn’t know what MLS is…give me their number, I will be able to sell them anything….

      would be nice to have a review show. But does a pretty good job. You can load the video highlights, no scores shown.
      Sunday AM is for church and highlights for me.

      • Robert

        May 6, 2011 at 3:05 pm

        MLS kinda reminds me of a Ferrari with a scooter engine. It looks like flashy [stadiums, 40-100 million price tag for franchises] but at the end of the day that Ferrari will catch the eye of most but once they pop the hood a belly laugh breaks out! “HAHAHAHAHAH”

        Improve the product on the field and build production quality around the talent.

        • Alan

          May 6, 2011 at 3:15 pm

          Improving the product on the field is already happening, but that still doesn’t have anything to do with advertising and whether this is a good approach or not. Productive criticism is one thing, trolling is another.

          • Robert

            May 6, 2011 at 3:36 pm

            How can you improve the level of play with $2.2 million salary cap?

          • HTK

            May 6, 2011 at 4:47 pm


            As many people have told you MLS doesn’t have a salary cap – it’s a salary budget and it is not $2.2m.

            And if you can’t see the level of play increasing then you haven’t been watching the last 5 years. Which I suspect is the case.

          • Robert

            May 6, 2011 at 6:30 pm


            With your condescending reply I did a little research. Call it what you will but its still a salary cap especially if you are capping the MAX at $335k for a single player unless a DP.

            Well looking at TV ratings on FSC + MLS Cup 2010 looks like no one is watching.

          • Alan

            May 6, 2011 at 6:38 pm


            He’s a troll. He doesn’t watch MLS, he doesn’t care about MLS, and probably doesn’t even watch soccer. He will never say anything positive or anything good about the league. Just move on.

          • Charles

            May 6, 2011 at 6:59 pm

            He has been on this site for 9 months and has said nothing yet.

            Don’t hold any hope for a guy that doesn’t watch soccer to say anything worth reading on a soccer blog or else you will only be dissappointed when you get MLS Hater Troll type comments instead.

          • Robert

            May 7, 2011 at 2:53 pm

            I don’t watch MLS and fantasize while wearing another man’s jersey. I actually play the sport

          • Alan

            May 7, 2011 at 7:47 pm

            Then you are on the wrong site, or you suck at the game and trolling makes you feel better about yourself. Either way, I wish you would be constructive or go away.

          • HTK

            May 7, 2011 at 9:55 pm

            @Alan & Charles. Thanks fellas. I know I shouldn’t waste my time.
            I was just hoping for an explanation of how Red Bull NY will pay out $17.5m to players this year fits under a $2.2m cap.

          • Alan

            May 7, 2011 at 10:19 pm

            The Designated Player rule. 3 players don’t count against the salary cap after a certain amount.

          • HTK

            May 8, 2011 at 9:14 pm

            I realize that Alan. My point to Charles is that it is not a cap. And saying that clubs are only paying $2.2m in salaries is false. With allocation money, GA’s, DP’s most teams will pay much more than that.

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