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It's always too early: 2011 MLS Thread


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#51 steeplechase3k

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 07:20 PM

Thursday (hey it's an off day for the Red Sox)11pm Eastern on ESPN2 (it's right after back top back 30 minute shows called "The Association: Boston Celtics") the Chicago fire visit the Portland Timbers. I don't know if it will be shown on TV, but the Timbers Army is singing the National Anthem from the stands (there will be no person standing on the field to sing). And there is some huge tifo display planned. And hopefully the Timbers can pull out their first win.

It sill isn't clear who will be starting in goal for the Timbers, at the beginning of the season Troy Perkins was slotted to be ther starter with Adin Brown (formerly of New England) as the backup and 20 year old Kiwi Jake Gleeson playing some PDL and reserve matches, but injuries force Gleeson into the starting role, and he's been great. He was voted to the save of the week a few weeks ago and has played great.

There are a few injuries in defense also, and they are still trying to figure out what the do in the midfield... as we get closer I'll try to find the time to write up something more extensive...

#52 Titans Bastard


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Posted 14 April 2011 - 10:19 PM

Portland's stadium and crowd look incredible. It's getting harder and harder to believe that the Revs compete in the same league as some of these teams.

#53 Billy R Ford


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Posted 15 April 2011 - 12:22 AM

Portland's stadium and crowd look incredible. It's getting harder and harder to believe that the Revs compete in the same league as some of these teams.


Tell me about it; compare the Timbers' supporters' video steeplechase posted a while back:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mVW3tYo1UYk


With the Revs' official commercial:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNZ4TS3BSn8

Which is still, sadly, better marketing than phonebooks.

#54 Infield Infidel


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Posted 15 April 2011 - 03:24 AM

Watched most of the second half. I know it was their first game, but that crowd was incredible.

#55 steeplechase3k

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Posted 15 April 2011 - 12:30 PM

I'm still amped up from this game.

The team played great, the the crowd was amazing, I got down to the area of the stadium about 3 hours before kickoff, and there were people everywhere. Over an hour before the gates for the Supporters section tickets opened there were over 500 people in line. It was hard to move in the bar I went to. It rained just about the entire time, but most of the stadium stood all match.

Just wow.

The Timbers Army were the official singers of the national anthem:
https://www.facebook...outu.be&h=32242

The Oregonian published a GIANT sticthced photo that rthey say is 4,848 megapixels
http://oregonianextr...ener/index.html

#56 SoxFanInPdx

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Posted 15 April 2011 - 04:25 PM

Amazing atmosphere last night. It's going to be very loud all season. As usual, being soaked and having a shot voice never felt so good.

#57 dirtynine

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Posted 15 April 2011 - 05:10 PM

This was the National Anthem... incredible.



#58 steeplechase3k

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Posted 15 April 2011 - 06:52 PM

This was the National Anthem... incredible.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=loYS5Vgo5JA

Bob Ryan didn't like it. :rolleyes:

#59 steeplechase3k

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Posted 15 April 2011 - 08:10 PM

And here's the version from ESPN2:

Edit: now the video will appear in the thread

Edited by steeplechase3k, 15 April 2011 - 09:34 PM.


#60 Billy R Ford


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Posted 17 April 2011 - 03:54 AM

Benny Feilhaber has signed with MLS as of Friday, and under MLS rules for returning US Nats, his team will be determined by the allocation order. The teams with first crack at getting Feilhaber are:

1. Chivas - Feilhaber is from Southern California and went to UCLA, so this would seem like a natural fit for him. However, Chivas has a plethora of attacking midfield options and a dearth of strikers, so it is now believed they will pass on him and hold onto the top allocation slot.

2. Philadelphia - The Union are said to be happy with what they've got as they sit in first place in the East, with their manager confirming they aren't interested in Feilhaber. That leaves...

3. New England - On paper, Feilhaber is exactly , exactly, what the Revs need: a ball-playing, creative, attacking central midfielder. He's been linked with the Revs in the past, as a possible option after he left Derby County. He has some level of name recognition as a regular for the World Cup team last year.The Revs are believed to have the money (and there's even an outside chance he won't make enough to be considered a Designated Player anyway). He's a perfect fit if he drops to them.

In a way, this might make too much sense for the Revs. As TB said, Clippers of MLS and all that. Chivas may also trade his rights, and then it wouldn't matter. But as of right now, I can get my hopes up.

We are at threat-level yellow, people:

Posted Image

#61 mic99

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Posted 17 April 2011 - 10:06 AM

For anyone in the Dallas area, Dallas Cup starts today. I believe the "Super Group" is under 19s.

http://www.dallascup.com/index.html

1:30pm-3:30pm Tigres (Mexico) vs Real Salt Lake AZ (USA) - “Gordon Jago” Super Group
3:30pm-5:30pm FC Barcelona (Spain) vs FC Dallas (USA) - “Gordon Jago” Super Group
6:00pm-7:15pm Welcome World-Opening Ceremonies
7:30pm-9:30pm Arsenal (England) vs Dallas Texans SC (USA) - “Gordon Jago” Super Group

#62 Phil Plantier

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 08:05 PM

New England Revolution has used its spot and taken Feilhaber. The club is still weighing trade offers from other teams.


Seems like a good guy to keep, but I guess he might be expensive for a guy who was playing Danish second division this year.

Edited by Phil Plantier, 19 April 2011 - 08:08 PM.


#63 Titans Bastard


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Posted 20 April 2011 - 10:10 AM

Seems like a good guy to keep, but I guess he might be expensive for a guy who was playing Danish second division this year.


Feilhaber has shortcomings, but he's better than a Danish second division player. His club had an injury crisis last year, totally tanked the second half of the season, and were shockingly relegated. Given their personnel and payroll right now, they are basically a Danish Superliga club in exile -- they're going to win promotion, though.

I'm not a huge Feilhaber fan on the NT level, but I think he could really help the Revolution. Outside of Shalrie Joseph, their midfielders are absolutely terrible. A guy with ball skills and composure on the ball who can play CM or LM will be a big asset.


Rumor is that Houston is trying to trade for him, though.

#64 Titans Bastard


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Posted 20 April 2011 - 08:18 PM

Salt Lake is playing at Monterrey tonight at 10pm ET in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League final. This is a huge match for RSL and for MLS. DC and LA have won the CONCACAF crown in the past, but only in the now-distant past when the competition was a straight-knockout single-site tournament involving eight clubs....which DC and LA happened to host in '98 and '00. Winning the Champions League version requires a lot more effort than playing a mere three home games.

Salt Lake has been prioritizing this competition over league games which is a rarity in MLS. They'll be going all out...but it's going to be tough. No MLS team has ever won a competitive game in Mexico -- I think the record is something like 0-3-25. They key tonight will be to minimize the damage in advance of the second leg, and hopefully pick up an away goal. Salt Lake hasn't lost at home in about two years.

#65 Billy R Ford


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Posted 20 April 2011 - 11:07 PM

It's over- what a match! Rimando's great stop followed by Morales' goal made for an exciting finish.

April 27 is the second leg, RSL in the driver's seat. They are without their captain Kyle Beckerman, but if there's one thing RSL showed in their match against the Revs, it's that they are a VERY deep team for MLS.

I think the USA-Mexico rivalry has sucked a lot of people into this tournament. Mexican teams retain their undefeated record vs MLS/USMNT with this, but RSL can still score a major victory in the rivalry by beating Monterrey in Salt Lake.

#66 Titans Bastard


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Posted 21 April 2011 - 01:42 PM

Fantastic result for RSL. It's rare to see an MLS team actually try to take it to their opponent when playing in Mexico (or even anywhere in Central America), but Salt Lake never really looked like bunkering. There were a couple times in the second half when they were really back on their heels, but that seemed to be a result of being winded rather than a tactical choice. I'm glad they were rewarded with a late equalizer. A 2-1 loss would have been a decent result considering the second leg will be played in the Rio Tinto fortress, but a 2-2 scoreline is much, much better. Even score on aggregate with two away goals -- that's better than I had hoped.

The blemish on Salt Lake's performance was the yellow card to Kyle Beckerman, which means that he'll miss the second leg due to accumulation. That's a setback, but the team has several decent alternatives. Jean Alexandre is often used as their backup defensive midfielder, but if Kreis wants composure, ball-skills, and experience over physical attributes, he can use Ned Grabavoy. Personally, I think we'll see a combination of the two with the reserve coming on in the second half as fresh legs.

Jamison Olave was absolutely tremendous. There really isn't a good reason why Colombia hasn't capped him yet. The guy is probably the best defender in MLS.

#67 Titans Bastard


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Posted 22 April 2011 - 12:54 AM




That's a very, very nice goal.

#68 CJChap

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Posted 22 April 2011 - 12:30 PM

Its great that he's playing in NY and training every day with Henry, who looks like he's picking up his game.

#69 Billy R Ford


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Posted 22 April 2011 - 02:08 PM

The Revolution have a shirt sponsor for the first time

There's been a ton of good news around the Revs lately- signing Lekic, then Feilhaber, and now a kit deal. This team might be finally moving into MLS 2.0. Really, the money from this deal could go a long way towards ramping up the marketing of the team in the Boston area, or even towards a DP signing this summer.

#70 Seen The Light

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Posted 22 April 2011 - 04:10 PM

Its great that he's playing in NY and training every day with Henry, who looks like he's picking up his game.


As a Red Bulls and USMNT fan, I've been walking a fine line between Adu-styled caution and incredible excitement about this kid. But it seems like every week, he gives me more reason to tend towards the latter. That goal was master class.

#71 Titans Bastard


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Posted 22 April 2011 - 04:25 PM

As a Red Bulls and USMNT fan, I've been walking a fine line between Adu-styled caution and incredible excitement about this kid. But it seems like every week, he gives me more reason to tend towards the latter. That goal was master class.


I'm really pleased with the way Backe has been handling Agudelo. He's been holding him back slightly and making sure that his head doesn't get too big and that he's focusing on his weaknesses instead of coasting on his strengths. Agudelo was benched for the last couple of games and he looked hungry as a sub rather than like he was sulking. We've seen too many US prospects become complacent with the praise and adulation and I'm glad he's being managed well and has the right attitude.


Adu...well, he's a textbook case of player mismanagement. He played regularly against men from 15-17 and then sat on the bench from 18-21. That's not the way it's supposed to work. Adu had other problems, too. It's hard to say for sure without being there, but he's always given off the impression that he's borderline lazy. And at this point it's impossible to prove, but a number of people inside the game doubt his age...



Let's not sleep on Teal Bunbury, either. He has all the physical tools, plus the successful soccer dad. Don't underestimate the effect of growing up in that kind of environment in terms of the mental side of the game.

I think we'll see both Teal and Juan in Europe before too long.

#72 Harry Hooper


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Posted 23 April 2011 - 02:09 PM

A bit of news from Japan:

Japanese defender Takahito Soma is set to leave German second-division club Energie Cottbus and move to the United States this summer, according to a local media report.

Energie are prepared to terminate Soma's contract, which runs until June next year, to allow him to move to the United States during the transfer period after he received an offer from a Major League Soccer club.

"I have had an offer from an MLS club and want to move in the summer," Soma was quoted as saying Thursday in the online edition of Lausitzer Rundschau.

Soma, who has made 18 league appearances this season, moved to Energie last year after a spell with Portuguese first-division club Maritimo.


LINK

#73 nickandemmasuncle

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 07:52 PM

Ugh, just saw the highlights of this past weekend's games. In the Colorado-Seattle game, Brian Mullan thinks he gets fouled, doesn't get the call, and then in frustration, he commits a horrendous two-footed tackle that breaks Steve Zakuani's leg in two places. Then, just to cement his status as a total jackhole, he tells the press that "It’s a tackle that I’ve done hundreds of times and would probably do again."

It's been said so many times before, but apparently it still needs saying: The officials in MLS need to get way more serious about punishing dangerous tackles. I know that Mullan got sent off in this case, but he might have been deterred from making such a tackle in the first place if refs had any kind of history of consistently disciplining people for making idiotic, reckless tackles.

Believe me, I'm the biggest MLS apologist/anti-Eurosnob going, but this is the one serious criticism of MLS that's valid. Players in MLS (and in the US in general) get way too much leeway to rough each other up, because US soccer culture has tried to apply some horsecrap "tough guy" standard to the sport. Yes, soccer should have some element of physicality, but it needs to stop far short of what's allowed in MLS. The game just wasn't meant to be played that way, and the way the sport is officiated elsewhere in the world reflects that--if someone makes anything approaching a reckless tackle, they get carded, and that's that, because watching guys try to snap each other's legs is not entertaining.

Frankly, I find this crap much more detrimental to the game than the diving that everyone bitches about. Let's hope they suspend Mullan for 8 million games and make him wring the sweat out of Sigi Schmid's underwear and drink it or something. The punishment can't be harsh enough, imo.

Oh, also, reigning MVP David Ferreira broke an ankle when he got tackled by Jonathan Leathers in the Vancouver-Dallas game. I didn't see the video of that, but I guess it was a bit more borderline.

#74 teddykgb

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 08:54 PM

You know, I just don't agree. Everyone's going nuts over the Mullan tackle, and it's ugly and it sucks, but I'm sick and tired of people conflating the severity of injury with intent. I have no doubt that the player is frustrated and that he goes into that tackle with conviction, but he was just a bit late and I agree with him that that tackle doesn't injure a player most of the time it happens. It's not American machismo, it's just that these are incredibly strong players moving at higher speeds than ever, these injuries are going to happen. And they really do suck when they happen, nobody should be happy about them, but freaking out about the player who caused the injury because it happened to result in injury is the wrong reaction. I'm not a fan of anyone in this situation, i follow the MLS far too casually to care about any individual player, but all the noise caused me to seek out a replay of the foul and the reaction is just over the top imo. We have to stop assuming that these players are in superhuman control of their bodies in the space of milliseconds....if that's the requirement for a foul to become ultra cynical, then we can't just assume that, nobody has that kind of control. I get that there's an overall reputation to consider here, and giving him a card and even a suspension if he's just been too physical and too much of a repeat offender is ok, but that foul in and of itself isn't a serious crime, and the way people react to it and other fouls like it is just over the top IMO. I know i'm in the minority on this, and i know these guys are superior athletes, but I think the game is headed in the wrong direction as far as this stuff and that there's a big difference between committed tackling and dangerous play.

Watched the Revs tonight. Not a bad game, Lekic totally freaking out after scoring an impressive header was pretty funny to watch.

Edited by teddykgb, 25 April 2011 - 08:54 PM.


#75 Billy R Ford


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Posted 27 April 2011 - 10:46 PM

The Revs beat DCU in an US Open Cup play-in match yesterday, notable because 16-year-old Diego Fagundez made his first-team debut late in the second half. Youngest player to sign with the league since Freddy Adu, though the Revs are taking him much more slowly- he's been splitting his time between their U16 and U18 teams so far. Yesterday's match also makes him the first Revs academy player to play for the first team.

#76 Spacemans Bong


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Posted 29 April 2011 - 09:53 AM

You know, I just don't agree. Everyone's going nuts over the Mullan tackle, and it's ugly and it sucks, but I'm sick and tired of people conflating the severity of injury with intent. I have no doubt that the player is frustrated and that he goes into that tackle with conviction, but he was just a bit late and I agree with him that that tackle doesn't injure a player most of the time it happens. It's not American machismo, it's just that these are incredibly strong players moving at higher speeds than ever, these injuries are going to happen. And they really do suck when they happen, nobody should be happy about them, but freaking out about the player who caused the injury because it happened to result in injury is the wrong reaction. I'm not a fan of anyone in this situation, i follow the MLS far too casually to care about any individual player, but all the noise caused me to seek out a replay of the foul and the reaction is just over the top imo. We have to stop assuming that these players are in superhuman control of their bodies in the space of milliseconds....if that's the requirement for a foul to become ultra cynical, then we can't just assume that, nobody has that kind of control. I get that there's an overall reputation to consider here, and giving him a card and even a suspension if he's just been too physical and too much of a repeat offender is ok, but that foul in and of itself isn't a serious crime, and the way people react to it and other fouls like it is just over the top IMO. I know i'm in the minority on this, and i know these guys are superior athletes, but I think the game is headed in the wrong direction as far as this stuff and that there's a big difference between committed tackling and dangerous play.

Watched the Revs tonight. Not a bad game, Lekic totally freaking out after scoring an impressive header was pretty funny to watch.

It was a reckless, stupid tackle. Just because it doesn't always end up with a guy snapping his leg in two places doesn't make it cool.

You are basically applying the same reaction towards its severity, just in the opposite direction.

#77 Seen The Light

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 10:42 AM

Another great matchup on Saturday night between Agudelo and Bunbury, I mean, the Red Bulls and Sporting KC.

#78 Billy R Ford


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Posted 29 April 2011 - 06:39 PM

Guess who ESPN, in all its wisdom, thinks are the 10 best teams in the world?

1. Barcelona
2. Manchester United
3. Real Madrid
4. Porto
5. Milan
6. Borussia Dortmund
7. Chelsea
8. Monterrey
9. Marseille
10. Real Salt Lake

:buddy:

Edited by Billy R Ford, 29 April 2011 - 06:39 PM.


#79 nickandemmasuncle

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Posted 30 April 2011 - 08:03 AM

You know, I just don't agree. Everyone's going nuts over the Mullan tackle, and it's ugly and it sucks, but I'm sick and tired of people conflating the severity of injury with intent.


I don't think I'm conflating the two. If Zakuani had lifted his plant foot, so that Mullan's tackle just caused him to fly through the air and comically land on his ass, I'd still have no problem with a long suspension for Mullan. Now, it's true that from a political standpoint, the gruesome injury makes it easier for the league to justify a long suspension, but in principle, I'd love it if they just forgot about outcome and started consistently suspending guys for making idiotic tackles, regardless of whether they actually result in an injury.

I have no doubt that the player is frustrated and that he goes into that tackle with conviction, but he was just a bit late and I agree with him that that tackle doesn't injure a player most of the time it happens. It's not American machismo, it's just that these are incredibly strong players moving at higher speeds than ever, these injuries are going to happen.


That's the point, though. These guys are fast and strong, and it makes slide tackling an inherently dangerous thing, and as a result, it really should be done judiciously. I mean, how often does a guy really *need* to slide tackle? I'd say that it's absolutely necessary in those rare instances when a defender is just far enough away from the ball that a conventional, standing tackle won't work, but he's still close enough to be able to reach the ball with a lunging slide. That's it. In every other instance, a standing tackle will do, unless you're trying to send a message or be a hardass or whatever. So given how dangerous slide tackling is, if you do it unnecessarily, you'd better damn well get the ball, and if you don't, you'd better expect some sort of card.

Unfortunately, MLS hasn't been operating that way. Guys are allowed to try to kill each other with minimal risk of discipline. Really, the Mullan incident is just a symptom, and not the actual disease. I'm not a mind-reader, of course, but I'm thinking that if MLS refs had some history of consistently disciplining players for reckless tackles, Mullan might have thought twice about going so far over the line and trying to destroy Zakuani. But instead, with the way that MLS refs actually do tolerate dangerous play, Mullan was probably emboldened by the fact that his tackle wasn't that far outside the boundaries of what passes for "good, hard play" in MLS.

In any case, the decision came in: Mullan got 10 games and a $5000 fine.

#80 Spacemans Bong


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Posted 30 April 2011 - 08:27 AM

Guess who ESPN, in all its wisdom, thinks are the 10 best teams in the world?

1. Barcelona
2. Manchester United
3. Real Madrid
4. Porto
5. Milan
6. Borussia Dortmund
7. Chelsea
8. Monterrey
9. Marseille
10. Real Salt Lake

:buddy:

Someone made Schaerlackens put that in there. I don't like ESPN Soccernet but he doesn't write garbage like that.

#81 SumnerH


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Posted 03 May 2011 - 02:54 PM

Guess who ESPN, in all its wisdom, thinks are the 10 best teams in the world?

1. Barcelona
2. Manchester United
3. Real Madrid
4. Porto
5. Milan
6. Borussia Dortmund
7. Chelsea
8. Monterrey
9. Marseille
10. Real Salt Lake

:buddy:


So ESPN thinks Real Salt Lake would be favored over, say, Arsenal, Man City, Valencia, Internazionale, and Bayer Leverkusen? As a *very* casual fan that seems a tad optimistic to me. Would odds makers actually favor RSL in any of those matchups?

#82 Titans Bastard


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Posted 04 May 2011 - 09:53 AM

So ESPN thinks Real Salt Lake would be favored over, say, Arsenal, Man City, Valencia, Internazionale, and Bayer Leverkusen? As a *very* casual fan that seems a tad optimistic to me. Would odds makers actually favor RSL in any of those matchups?


No. It's a dumb list.

#83 BRS BC

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Posted 04 May 2011 - 10:04 AM

No. It's a dumb list.


Agreed. It does, though raise an interesting question, which might be put simply as "how dumb?" Just where would RSL finish in, say, the English leagues. Could they avoid relegation in the Premiership? Are they better than Wolves? If not, how low do they go? I realize this is an invitation for ill-informed speculation, but I wonder where MLS stands. I've been impressed with the games I've watched this year. It seems to me the league is really improving. But I still don't thunk any of the teams could consistently beat a team like Fulham. Others?

#84 Titans Bastard


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Posted 04 May 2011 - 10:31 AM

Agreed. It does, though raise an interesting question, which might be put simply as "how dumb?" Just where would RSL finish in, say, the English leagues. Could they avoid relegation in the Premiership? Are they better than Wolves? If not, how low do they go? I realize this is an invitation for ill-informed speculation, but I wonder where MLS stands. I've been impressed with the games I've watched this year. It seems to me the league is really improving. But I still don't thunk any of the teams could consistently beat a team like Fulham. Others?


I would venture to say that a team like RSL has a first XI that is on par with top Championship clubs (with a few Premiership-caliber players; and by Premiership-caliber I'm not talking about Man U). However, the lack of depth in all MLS teams would prevent RSL from competing for promotion in the Championship over the course of a rigorous 46 match season.

Consider this. Zak Whitbread is an American central defender who plays for Norwich City, who just clinched promotion to the Premier League. He was a regular starter for the Canaries during the second half of the season (injured during the first half) and earned good reviews for his play. While he's an excellent lower-division player who is very good in the air, he lacks the quickness of a top-notch defender. In other words, he's exactly like Nat Borchers. And Nat Borchers isn't even RSL's best CB.

Meanwhile, Robbie Findley has returned from injury for playoff-contender Nottingham Forest and Forest fans have been buzzing about how good he looked in his first few appearances.


On the basis of first XI quality, I think MLS teams run from the top of the Championship to the bottom. When you factor in the reality of an actual Championship season, which is 12 games longer than MLS, I think the American clubs would really suffer as injuries and suspensions came into play. So in that sense, I'd say upper-half Championship to upper-half League One.

#85 dirtynine

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Posted 04 May 2011 - 11:13 AM

The MLS yardstick has definitely been the English Championship for the last five years or so. With constant improvement, it's starting to become "upper Champ / lower Prem." But the Premiership is so top-heavy, it'll be ages before the leagues are fully comparable, if ever. The top 4 Prem teams are among the top 10 teams in the world. Spots 5-12 or so would also destroy MLS competition quite regularly. But then things seem to take a bit of a dive and I'd love to see an oddsmaker's take on, say, a RSL/Blackpool matchup at a neutral site.

One last point - I think MLS teams would fare better specifically against top-level English sides playing the typical EPL/English style than they would against comparable-level South American teams.

#86 Phil Plantier

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Posted 04 May 2011 - 12:26 PM

I think you all are really, really optimistic about the quality of MLS.

Exhibit One: Craig Rocastle was an occasional starter for Forest Green Rovers in the Conference, he's a useful squad player for Sporting KC.
Exhibit Two: Jay Demerit, surplus to requirements at Watford, key player for Vancouver.

That's not even mentioning the paper-thin squads, mentioned above.

I think an MLS team would really struggle to stay in League One if every match was played at a neutral venue with international referees. If a team had to go to Southampton, or Charlton to get a result, that wouldn't seem likely.

I think the MLS is good for what it is: a frankenstein development league/retirement home that has good attendance but no TV presence. It is many years and lots of money away from competing with the Mexican league or the non-Old-Firm SPL, never mind the Championship.

#87 Titans Bastard


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Posted 04 May 2011 - 01:06 PM

I think you all are really, really optimistic about the quality of MLS.

Exhibit One: Craig Rocastle was an occasional starter for Forest Green Rovers in the Conference, he's a useful squad player for Sporting KC.
Exhibit Two: Jay Demerit, surplus to requirements at Watford, key player for Vancouver.

That's not even mentioning the paper-thin squads, mentioned above.

I think an MLS team would really struggle to stay in League One if every match was played at a neutral venue with international referees. If a team had to go to Southampton, or Charlton to get a result, that wouldn't seem likely.

I think the MLS is good for what it is: a frankenstein development league/retirement home that has good attendance but no TV presence. It is many years and lots of money away from competing with the Mexican league or the non-Old-Firm SPL, never mind the Championship.


How much MLS do you watch?

I think you are romanticizing and overrating the lower tiers of European competition. Scottish football is in serious decline. Rangers and Celtic are a shadow of what they were even 5-10 years ago. The Old Firm is losing some of their better players to Championship clubs. The non-Old Firm SPL is terrible. The lower half of the league would get pasted in MLS.

Struggle to stay in League One, though? Come on. Do you really think a typical MLS team would have trouble with Dagenham & Redbridge, Carlisle United, Leyton Orient, et al? I've seen teams play at this level and they aren't very good.

I don't understand why MLS is a "frankenstein" league any more or less than other leagues that aren't top tier. There are some young players coming through and hoping to move to bigger leagues one day and there is a smattering of early-30s big names who are somewhat past their peak. Henrik Larsson spent a number of years in Sweden when his days with the big dogs were done. Other players came to the US. What's odd about that? I would imagine that MLS has a very normal age distribution -- perhaps a bit light on the very young side (18-20).

#88 steeplechase3k

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 05:57 PM

10:30 Eastern time tonight, Philadelphia Union at the Portland Timbers on FSC for the debut of "Soccer Night in America". No, it's not a creative name, but they are trying to re-brand the broadcasts.

Portland has been tough at home only falling to San Jose in the US open Cup in a play-in game on Tuesday (the Timbers played largely reserves in the game and lost 1-0 giving up a goal in the 119th minute of over time., but otherwise have won all their games at home.

The Timbers have struggles some with giving up multiple goals, and the Union have been one of the best at NOT giving up goals, while also not scoring many, so this could be a very interesting match.

#89 Titans Bastard


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Posted 07 May 2011 - 10:55 PM

This LA-NY game is awesome.

#90 dirtynine

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Posted 09 May 2011 - 02:53 PM

a game which spawned a Luke Rodgers / Landon Donovan feud... loved this sentence from the story:

Rodgers admittedly wasn't a prototypical role model in his 11-year career in England's lower leagues, involved in several drunken bar fights, charged with "affray", and once accidently wounding a teenage girl with fireworks.


Edited by dirtynine, 09 May 2011 - 02:53 PM.


#91 steeplechase3k

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 05:56 PM

The Portland Timbers visit the Seattle Sounders on Saurday at 8pm TT (11pm ET) in ESPN2. I beleive this will be the 76th meeting between the team in their history going back to 1975.

I'm part of a contingent of 10 busses making the 160 mile trip north.


The two teams are tied in the standings, but the Timbers have 2 games in hand. The Timbers have been great at home (the only loss was in the US open cup when 2nd and 3rd string players played most of the match, and the lost on a 119th minute goal), but had really struggled on the road with only 1 draw (in New England) and several ugly losses.

I hope people will stay up to watch this match.

#92 steeplechase3k

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 04:31 PM

Portalnd vs Seattle preview:



#93 Nick Kaufman


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Posted 11 June 2011 - 11:30 PM

So, I am watching the SOunders play Vancouver and it's an entertaining game. League quality is on the upswing, but it should be noted that quality is different than fun.

What I love however is the atmosphere in Q-West. It looks and feels like a match in a european league, although it's definitely more middle class than an average european game. I think the league has a bright long term future.

#94 Billy R Ford


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Posted 20 June 2011 - 01:41 PM

The Revolution are winless in their last seven matches, and in that time a lot of the goodwill from the Feilhaber signing has evaporated. This culminated in a bizarre scene at last Saturday's match against Chicago where most of the supporters' sections were ejected or arrested... for swearing:

Last night in what appeared to be a planned and concerted operation by Gillette Stadium security, TeamOps, multiple arrests and banning orders were issued to fans within the Revs supporters section The Fort. While there are many details still coming forward to us what we do know is that this was a crack down on the use of profanity within The Fort. Many people from the Midnight Riders, The Rebellion and the Rev Army started to walk out during the 63rd minute. We were among the first wave out and witnessed 2 arrests by Foxborough PD and have heard stories of many others


From what I can gather, the Revs front office is saying they'd expressed concerns over the cursing in chants to the leaders of the supporters groups in the past couple weeks. The groups then posted the warnings on their Facebook pages, which were largely ignored. Most of the supporters were then caught off guard when security started ejecting people for chants that have been going on for years.

On its own it's not much, but it is a good example of why the Front Office is so unpopular among Revs fans. The whole situation was just badly handled, which is typical of the Revs.

#95 steeplechase3k

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Posted 20 June 2011 - 01:56 PM

Wow. The use of profanity in chants has been a long battle between the Timbers Army and our FO. I remember being in a meeting in about 2005 with a few memebers of the FO where they asked us to cuk back on the cursefilled chants. It took a lot of work but we got rid of the goal kick "chant" or "AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH ..... You suck asshole!" There are still a few chants that have f-bombs in them, but about 1/4 of the people use some other word so overall it isn't noticable.

#96 Titans Bastard


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Posted 20 June 2011 - 11:47 PM

I continue to find it odd that the very successful owner of the New England Patriots also presides over the LA Clippers of MLS. The New England Revolution were one of the best-supported clubs in the league in the 90s, but at this point they are contenders for worst franchise both on and off the field. The team has gotten terrible results and played execrable soccer for several seasons now, yet the manager and the front office continue in their jobs with impunity.

Off the field, the Revs organization is seemingly doing whatever it can to poison the wells and salt the fields in New England for professional soccer. The team is viewed as a minor-league Mickey Mouse joke in Boston. This is largely due to the fact that the team is a minor-league Mickey Mouse joke.

It's a shame because it doesn't have to be this way. There are so many examples of success across the league now, in markets as different as LA, Portland, Kansas City, Philadelphia, Salt Lake. There's no reason why Boston couldn't be successful, too.


It's depressing because the Revs are digging a hole in this market that will become increasingly difficult to escape. The brand damage is immense -- the "New England Revolution" is a name that is indelibly associated with mediocrity. There is nothing cool or appealing about its image at this point.

The best hope is that Kraft sells the team to an owner or a group who views the team as something other than a way to fill Gillette Stadium dates, or as an asset that will slowly appreciate in value thanks to the efforts of the rest of the league. This hope is, however, flimsy. I'm not sure who would want to take on this project right now, especially because urban stadium prospects are so bleak -- in part because the Revs minimal following and appeal means that they have very little clout.

At some point, the franchise will need to re-brand, Kansas City style. New name, new jersey, new colors, new badge. A purging of the past, a cleansing. This only makes sense with a new stadium, which would add gravity to the re-boot. It also requires a motivated and competent organization, which in practice means a new owner.

#97 steeplechase3k

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 01:26 AM

Things like this surely don't help:
http://www.thedrugis...6/fortgate.html

The Timbers army dealt with a similar issue in 2005. We were called to the carpet for the same things. We never had any arrests (that I know of). Our response was this:
Posted Image

That almost completely empty section is Section 107 in PGE Park (now JELD-WEN Field). For reference here: http://timbers.socce...van071405-4.jpg is the section earlier in the year).

We all but emptied the section for 75 minutes to make our point to our FO. It's been an ongoing battle, but we have an amazing relationship now. Part of the money from each (of the 3,600) supporters section tickets goes back to us.

I hope that the Revs Supporters can get to a point where they are respected by the Krafts and the FO.

#98 steeplechase3k

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 06:43 PM

This is truely sick the way supporters were treated. I 100% agree that the YSA chant is stupid and should be done away with, but it took the Timbers Army about 2 years to really get rid of it and we'd only be 'singing' it for 5-6 yearas at that point. Change like this doesn't happen over night.

Blog post is support:
http://timbersarmy.org/you-suck

And a group of Footy fans from all over the country and world are getting together in support of the fans that are treated poorly:
https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Support-The-Fort/137842492960306

#99 ThePrideofShiner

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Posted 26 June 2011 - 03:59 AM

Lost in the hoopla of the Americans shitting the bed tonight, was this remarkable game between L.A. and San Jose.

Galaxy forward Mike Magee played the entire second half in goal of a 0-0 tie.

Donovan Ricketts started and went out with an injury, then backup goalie Josh Saunders was red-carded. So, the forward played goalie and made four saves. A remarkable performance.

http://www.latimes.c...0,4541293.story

#100 steeplechase3k

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Posted 04 July 2011 - 01:59 PM



The Timbers still lost this game, and are really struggling leading into the biggest match of the year when they host Seattle, but this was a really amazing goal scored by rookie Darlington Nagbe.