FanDuel - WFBC

April 01, 2005

Are You Ready for Some Football?: Major League Soccer begins its 10th season Saturday with new teams in Los Angeles and Salt Lake City, three new stadiums going up, and an $150 million 10-year deal with Adidas. Does the U.S. now have five four major sports?

posted by rcade to soccer at 04:36 PM - 20 comments

I would love for Rochester to be the next MLS city. Soccer's pretty big here and the enthusiam for the local team has grown each year.

posted by jasonspaceman at 06:50 PM on April 01

I was psyched until Donovan signed for LA. Earthquakes are going to have a tough time improving on last year's fourth place Western finish given that they have at least five new starters--the only key returners are Brian Ching, Pat Onstadt and Craig Waibel, with Ian Russell and Brian Mullen needing to step up and prove they deserve 90 minutes game in and game out. The only thing in their favor is that the Wizards moved to the East and both expansion squads are in their conference. Dallas looks to impress much more than last season with Johnson and Ruiz paired up front, especially if either Cassar or Garlick return to previous form. Amusingly, these guys imported three Earthquakes players: Mulrooney and O'Brien were the key defensive midfielders freeing Donovan to roam and Arturo Alvarez, who has yet to impress but is still young and is playing with the US U-20s. Jason, despite the success of the team I don't see Rochester getting a franchise soon. Seattle is probably higher on the list and the league needs to get back in the Southeast. If Chivas USA is successful look for another Latin American team to take an expansion club in either Miami or Texas.

posted by billsaysthis at 12:07 AM on April 02

i was looking forward to going to the opener tonight, until i saw that the heavy thunderstorms would are going to come around game time. it wouldn't be so bad if i didn't have a full day of moving ahead of me as well. hopefully i can convince my friend to go though. i'm sure post-game beers will help lure her. (forgive my rambling, i'm running on 2 hours sleep)

posted by goddam at 05:17 AM on April 02

Jason, despite the success of the team I don't see Rochester getting a franchise soon. Seattle is probably higher on the list and the league needs to get back in the Southeast. If Chivas USA is successful look for another Latin American team to take an expansion club in either Miami or Texas. you're right Bill, but a guy can still wish. Our new stadium should be up soon. I cannot wait for that.

posted by jasonspaceman at 06:36 AM on April 02

Seattle is probably higher on the list and the league needs to get back in the Southeast. Jacksonville!

posted by rcade at 07:54 AM on April 02

rcade, I'm thinking of a city with a bigger Latino/Hispanic flavor but for all I know of it Jacksonville meets that criteria. Also, I was mistaken about Ronnie O'Brien moving to FC Dallas from San Jose, I was thinking of Ronnie Ekelund. I still think FCD will be the most improved club in the league and should challenge Kansas City and DC United for the title. Much as I love the Quakes there is too much roster change, youth and unanswered questions about franchise ownership/location stability for them to be favored at this time.

posted by billsaysthis at 02:31 PM on April 02

Jacksonville has less than 5 percent Hispanic population. If it would help us get another pro team, I'm sure the city leaders would agree to bring more of them here on cruise ships.

posted by rcade at 03:14 PM on April 02

I AM READY!!!

posted by StarFucker at 06:34 PM on April 02

TV Announcer: The Continental Soccer Association is coming to Springfield! It's all here--fast-kicking, low scoring, and ties? You bet! Bart: Hey, Dad, how come you've never taken us to see a soccer game? Homer: I...don't know. TV Announcer: You'll see all your favorite soccer stars. Like Ariaga! Ariaga 2! Bariaga! Aruglia! And Pizzoza! Homer: Oh, I never heard of those people. TV Announcer: And they'll all be signing autographs! Homer: Woo-hoo! TV Announcer: This match will determine once and for all which nation is the greatest on earth: Mexico or Portugal!

posted by StarFucker at 06:39 PM on April 02

Hey! Paella man!

posted by kokaku at 08:06 PM on April 02

Seattle is probably higher on the list and the league needs to get back in the Southeast. If Chivas USA is successful look for another Latin American team to take an expansion club in either Miami or Texas. Hello, this is Charlotte calling! We'd like an MLS franchise. We've got an ever increasing Hispanic populace, a stadium that's perfect for soccer (with some renovation), and we've got plenty of interest in the game in the Carolinas! I remember the old Carolina Lightnin' games back in the mid 1980s, and those games were always packed at Memorial Stadium. It seats about 20-25k people, and, with some renovation, it would be perfect for an MLS team!

posted by jasonbondshow at 11:39 PM on April 02

Jason, can't argue with that but (in my admittedly limited reading) I haven't noticed mention of your surely near-perfect metropolis. As long as the Earthquakes stay in San Jose, Charlotte, Jacksonville, Seattle and Rochester are all welcome to clubs. 16 seems like a reasonable number for us but I still think Houston or San Antonio and Miami (again but with a Latin American parent club) are more likely. Not that Don Garber is ringing me up for an opinion. Interesting opening day of games. Johnson, Ching, Twellman and Razov all scored. Donovan DNP, the Galaxy had no replacement for Ruiz and so no ability to score. DC United, big shock they shut out Chivas, Adu once again coming on late, but MetroStars couldn't score once against RSL? Eddie Robinson and Pat Onstadt combine their foolish choices to cost San Jose two points. Chris Klein is back from injury and Sasha Victorine (do the Galaxy miss him, eh?) kept Preki on the bench, hello Eastern Conference. goddam, did you make it to the match?

posted by billsaysthis at 12:14 AM on April 03

Just want to throw my hat in in support of a Charlotte franchise. I'm a recent New England transplant (its hard to find people in Charlotte who are actually from Charlotte) and I certainly think this would be a viable option. Admiitedly, I'm not as much a fanatic of MLS as I am of NFL or MLB, I still love the beautiful sport and always followed my Revolution up north. Charlotte's Latino community is large, increasingly influential, and, most importantly, still growing and diverse. In addition, the Latino community here is predominantely Central and South American - where soccer is king, not Carribean. No disrespect to Miami, but they already tried a team in Miami, where is it now? Everybody presumes the predominance of Mexicans in Texas guareantees viability of another MLS team there, and you may be right. As such, Houston, San Antonio, or any other metropolitan Texas area should be considered, but Charlotte has other factors to consider as well. First, soccer is popular throughout the ranks in the Carolinas. The Universities around here have nationally recognized programs (as much recognition as NCAA soccer gets - TIC) The demographics of a typical "soccer household" - in terms of income level, number of children, etc - are all apply in this region. In addition, the number of large corporations and headquarters around here insure a viable customer base for the oh-so-important advertising and luxury revenue. Sorry for being so long-posted(?!), but this is my first time posting, Ive had this on my chest for a while now, and this forum provided me the opportunity to get htis off my chest. The preceding was all JMHO and I welcome ANY feedback - Carlos

posted by crqrinc at 09:01 AM on April 04

The game is definitely gathering serious momentum in the States now, at long last. After years of being treated like a red-headed stepchild, America is becoming the last country in the world - civilised or uncivilised - to embrace the world's most popular sport. Course, had they invented it themselves, it'd be hyped out of the park, right? Games don't end in farcial 46-38 socrelines - scoring becomes a lot less fun when it happens every two minutes. Soccer is cool, and you know it. And to all those people who say it's for pussies - if it's for pussies, where's the padding? Arf! You don't see soccer players wearing helmets and shoulder pads, they take their lumps and get on with it! I'm not always this obnoxious btw.......

posted by Duncan Mathers at 11:30 AM on April 04

Carlos, welcome aboard. We have plenty of soccer football threads and fantasy league play so come around any time. Don't take me for hating on Charlotte or knocking the idea that a new MLS team should go there, I'm just saying here what I've been reading in various media. My Earthquakes, for instance, apparently were a few conversations away from going to San Antonio after last season, under new ownership by one of the Mexican sides.

posted by billsaysthis at 03:40 PM on April 04

Major League Soccer, America you do not have all 5 major sports, you lost the olympic basketball, you don't compete in any world events except for the ones you say are WORLD champions whent hey only play teams in america and canada. Lets see, no basketball gold, no baseball gold, no world cup champions let alone to qulifiy, what else is there oh yeah you can't even pay your hockey players....please give me a break.

posted by bballcoachreid at 06:20 PM on April 04

NASCAR would probably claim that they're the 4th major sport.

posted by gyc at 08:13 PM on April 04

(shit, i thought i posted a comment last night) bill, yes i made it to the game. poured the whole time, but it was fun. everyone in attendance can get free tickets to one of two upcoming games, which was nice. they had to take free kicks like field goals with someone holding it. there was some confusion though, as to whether the ball was in play as soon as the "holder" touched it.

posted by goddam at 07:51 AM on April 05

I still think FCD will be the most improved club in the league and should challenge Kansas City and DC United for the title. I think you're right, bill. Like goddam, I made it to the opening game of FCD v. Chicago (got to hit up the home games before the big move to Frisco) - and Dallas finally seems to have a potent offense. There's definitely some confusion switching to the 4-3-3 and between Ronnie O'Brien and Ruiz, but they should be able to remedy that within a few games. Amusing, for a team that's missed the playoffs three seasons in a row, IIRC.

posted by Ufez Jones at 11:55 AM on April 05

they had to take free kicks like field goals with someone holding it Now that is funny! Never heard of that trick before. I'm going to have to watch the FSC MLS review show now in case they have some good clips. Ufez, the more I see of Johnson the more I'm looking at him as the next step better in the Damarcus Beasley line--pretty amazing because right now DMB is playing as well as any American at any position--and if EJ can develop some more muscles and better fight off defenders in and around the box he will be pure gold. Definitely makes the US team better than last year and I can't wait to see over the next 18 months how he, Ching, Donovan and DMB develop as the primary attack force. FCD is lucky they have him but he'll be gone to Europe next January or in August 2006 so enjoy while you can.

posted by billsaysthis at 03:57 PM on April 05

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