Major League Soccer 2023: Now With League-On-League Violence

wonderland

New Member
Jul 20, 2005
538
I'm from here as well and the stadium is in Chester which is pretty terrible. That said, the stadium is really great, no bad seats and they let you tailgate in the parking lots that are very safe. It's a good crowd and Sons of Ben are pretty Into the game. If you park in the lot north of the stadium, it's a lot easier to get out after the game. The lots south of the stadium are better for tailgating but it's double the time to exit.

I think there is technically a way to get there on Septa but it's not advised. A few Philly bars used to run transportation down to the game so if you stay in Philly (which you probably should; airport hotels are the other option but assume you'd want to do Philly stuff too). I can try to find the bars if you're interested. It's basically get liquored up, get in a van to the game and get back to the bar afterward. I'm a suburbs guy now so I don't have the names off the top of my head. Let me know what other questions you might have (and sorry, we're all out of Aaronsons this season).
I did the bus to the game from a bar on a bachelor party about 5 years ago. It was a good time.
 

67YAZ

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 1, 2000
8,908
The Fire enhance their academy by bringing in Gary Lewis as youth technical director. He’s from Liverpool and worked for Everton. More recently he’s worked for Philly, Seattle, and NYRB. I’m very glad to see Heitz bring in someone with MLS experience, specifically from some strong development systems.

The Fire also signed Jonathan Dean from the USL Championship Birmingham as backline depth.
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
14,480
Google Maps says it's a 20 minute walk from the Highland SEPTA station to the stadium. I've poked around on Google Street view and, boy, does Chester look incredibly run down.
 

ThePrideofShiner

Crests prematurely
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
10,822
Washington
Google Maps says it's a 20 minute walk from the Highland SEPTA station to the stadium. I've poked around on Google Street view and, boy, does Chester look incredibly run down.
Yeah, I don't think mass transit to that stadium really works. I read that they were looking into shuttles from the SEPTA station to the stadium but not sure if that ever worked out. The one time I went (which was the weekend I helped my friend move to Philly) we took an Uber from downtown to the game. Ran us like $50 each way, which obviously not everyone might want to pay, but it was nice to be able to drink and not have to worry about transportation after.
 

MetSox1

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2007
724
I'll let @MetSox1 and @Senator Donut chime in with the specifics as I'm not from Philly and have only been there once, but my best friend lives there and has season tickets.

I don't know how bad the neighborhood is per se, it is just annoying to get to. And I don't think mass transit is accessible from there. I've been to five MLS stadiums and it is really fun to see different environments. Hopefully your friends will be down with you going to a game!
Pile on your questions, happy to answer anything I can. Chester as a city is... not good. Like really not good, and not really getting better. Most recent is the Mayor dropping the N word and a 48 MM pension hole for a city whose entire annual budget is 58MM. Before moving to the suburbs I did take mass transit to the game (and you still can) by taking the Wilmington regional SEPTA line from center city to the Chester Transit Center. From there the team operates a free coach bus connection to the stadium, about a 5 minute hop. Back when I was doing it, SEPTA deployed a full SWAT team to the train station for security, and they umm, strongly advised my friend not to go take the "dangerous trip" to the restaurant that was on the same block as the train station, at like 3 in the afternoon. In otherwords, we would have been in view of an entire SWAT team the entire one block walk, and they were still like "guys, maybe dont". (That was on them, it was a perfectly secure walk... but it does speak to most folks thoughts on the city).

I now live 10-15 minutes from the stadium even with gameday traffic, in a fantastic Philly suburb (Media, PA) with great restaurants, good schools the whole bit. It's jarring how quickly it changes on the drive in.

Tailgating at the stadium is great, although they are tearing up about 1/2 the parking lot this offseason, so TBD... The stadium itself is more or less "detached" from the city, no crime issue to note. Locals are generally supportive of the team, and I always recommend parking in one of the local church lots to the stadium lots if you aren't tailgating... get these folks what you can.

The stadium itself is fairly bare bones/ basic, but the view is fantastic and the atmosphere is generally good and can be fantastic. True stoy: I got married about 10 minutes north of there on the river. I reached out to my season ticket rep asking (becuase what harm in there of asking) if the stadium was available for us to take pictures in, and then really pushing my luck... Could the groomsmen get dressed in the locker room. They checked, no one was using the park, and they didn't even charge me. One of the coolest things ever.

Biggest question for you is is it a day trip or an overnight, where do you want to stay, and obviously budget. Feel free to PM away.


EDIT: Anyone commuting from CC is better off with this bus than mass transit (if they run it again next year): https://www.upcomingevents.com/philadelphia/events/brauhaus-schmitz/philadelphia-union-soccer-game-bus-trips-with-brauhaus-schmitz-29739?ref=uceel
 

Attachments

67YAZ

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 1, 2000
8,908
The Fire have also bought out Stanislov Ivanov. He came in2 years ago as a Hietz special - 22-year-old lively, direct attacker from Bulgaria. But he got hurt in his first preseason and then never seemed to get going. He only made 22 appearances in 2 seasons with little to show for it. A return home might be the best avenue to get his career back on track.

So now the Fire open up one of the winger spots and still have a DP slot plus the Slonina transfer windfall. I'm afraid of what Hietz might be up to here...
 
Last edited:

dirtynine

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 17, 2002
8,475
Philly
Pile on your questions, happy to answer anything I can. Chester as a city is... not good. Like really not good, and not really getting better. Most recent is the Mayor dropping the N word and a 48 MM pension hole for a city whose entire annual budget is 58MM. Before moving to the suburbs I did take mass transit to the game (and you still can) by taking the Wilmington regional SEPTA line from center city to the Chester Transit Center. From there the team operates a free coach bus connection to the stadium, about a 5 minute hop. Back when I was doing it, SEPTA deployed a full SWAT team to the train station for security, and they umm, strongly advised my friend not to go take the "dangerous trip" to the restaurant that was on the same block as the train station, at like 3 in the afternoon. In otherwords, we would have been in view of an entire SWAT team the entire one block walk, and they were still like "guys, maybe dont". (That was on them, it was a perfectly secure walk... but it does speak to most folks thoughts on the city).

I now live 10-15 minutes from the stadium even with gameday traffic, in a fantastic Philly suburb (Media, PA) with great restaurants, good schools the whole bit. It's jarring how quickly it changes on the drive in.

Tailgating at the stadium is great, although they are tearing up about 1/2 the parking lot this offseason, so TBD... The stadium itself is more or less "detached" from the city, no crime issue to note. Locals are generally supportive of the team, and I always recommend parking in one of the local church lots to the stadium lots if you aren't tailgating... get these folks what you can.

The stadium itself is fairly bare bones/ basic, but the view is fantastic and the atmosphere is generally good and can be fantastic. True stoy: I got married about 10 minutes north of there on the river. I reached out to my season ticket rep asking (becuase what harm in there of asking) if the stadium was available for us to take pictures in, and then really pushing my luck... Could the groomsmen get dressed in the locker room. They checked, no one was using the park, and they didn't even charge me. One of the coolest things ever.

Biggest question for you is is it a day trip or an overnight, where do you want to stay, and obviously budget. Feel free to PM away.


EDIT: Anyone commuting from CC is better off with this bus than mass transit (if they run it again next year): https://www.upcomingevents.com/philadelphia/events/brauhaus-schmitz/philadelphia-union-soccer-game-bus-trips-with-brauhaus-schmitz-29739?ref=uceel
This is all great, and the closing story is just fantastic. I’m local (MontCo). It have only made it down to Chester a few times so far, most recently for Carli Lloyd’s farewell match more than a year ago. The tailgating has always been stellar and the SoBs are a solid hang. Traffic is horrible. The stadium is really friendly. Something about the light there is really nice, like it’s always magic hour. The Union are very watchable right now, lack of Aaronsons notwithstanding. I do wish Septa was a better option, but it’s fairly far from the city. Will definitely try to make it down a few times this season.
 

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
SoSH Member
Jan 10, 2004
24,621
The 718
I'm from here as well and the stadium is in Chester which is pretty terrible. That said, the stadium is really great, no bad seats and they let you tailgate in the parking lots that are very safe. It's a good crowd and Sons of Ben are pretty Into the game. If you park in the lot north of the stadium, it's a lot easier to get out after the game. The lots south of the stadium are better for tailgating but it's double the time to exit.

I think there is technically a way to get there on Septa but it's not advised. A few Philly bars used to run transportation down to the game so if you stay in Philly (which you probably should; airport hotels are the other option but assume you'd want to do Philly stuff too). I can try to find the bars if you're interested. It's basically get liquored up, get in a van to the game and get back to the bar afterward. I'm a suburbs guy now so I don't have the names off the top of my head. Let me know what other questions you might have (and sorry, we're all out of Aaronsons this season).
Thanks. It’s such a fail to put it out of reach of Septa. Red Bull Arena is on the PATH which makes it an easier shot from Brooklyn than NYCFC at that other place, although the trains don’t run as often and it’s a two fare ride.

we will be staying with friends in Cherry Hill or thereabouts:
 

ThePrideofShiner

Crests prematurely
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
10,822
Washington
Something that I think could be helpful in this thread, if only for me, is identifying who is fans of what teams. I bring this up because I obviously screwed up who the Union fans were when I tagged @Senator Donut, but also because with the new TV package making watching other teams easier I might want to follow teams I normally wouldn't just based on if we have a lot of fans of that team in this forum.

Anyway, off the top of my head I think it goes like this:
Sounders - @ThePrideofShiner
Timbers - @steeplechase3k
Union - @MetSox1 @dirtynine @Pesky Pole
Revs - @Titans Bastard
Fire - @67YAZ
Galaxy - @SoxFanInCali (I think)

I feel like we have an Austin fan in here as well, but I can't remember who. Anyway, add to this and maybe we have TB put it in the OP.
 

SoxFanInCali

has the rich, deep voice of a god
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jun 3, 2005
15,696
California. Duh.
I'm actually more Sounders than anything, going back to seeing a couple of NASL games up there with my grandparents, but I don't follow the league nearly as much as many of you do. I've gone to a few Quakes game when I can but never really had a rooting interest in them, especially after v1 of the MLS team left for Houston.

The CWC draw makes it even more annoying that Liverpool lost the CL Final last year, because one of my friends and I used to speculate if Liverpool and the Sounders would ever play.
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
14,480
Signing young South American talent hasn't yielded a huge windfall as often as MLS execs have hoped, but this is a home run. Per the article, the third highest transfer fee in league history behind Miguel Almiron and Alphonso Davies.

Chicago didn't get that much on-field value from him, unfortunately — just half a season as a starter.

View: https://twitter.com/JeffreyCarlisle/status/1614979638048219136
 

67YAZ

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 1, 2000
8,908
Like I mentioned in the other transfer thread, I’m really worried what Heitz is going to do here. I don’t trust him with money in his pocket and DP slogs to fill. Duran was obviously a major hit, but the rest of the track record is bad. What Heitz does in the next couple weeks could drag the club down for the next 2-3 years. Yes, that’s the kind of pessimism I’m bringing to the new season!
 

ThePrideofShiner

Crests prematurely
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
10,822
Washington
The Sounders are retiring their Jimi Hendrix inspired uniforms and dumping Zulilly as a sponsor. I liked those unis. On Friday, they are announcing a new sponsor and uniform which will be ... red. Apparently they had red jerseys in 2002. Anyway, the new jerseys are a nod to Bruce Lee and feature some sort of dragon design. Could be cool.

https://www.sounderatheart.com/2023/1/19/23562254/sounders-kit-tribute-bruce-lee
 

67YAZ

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 1, 2000
8,908
Like I mentioned in the other transfer thread, I’m really worried what Heitz is going to do here. I don’t trust him with money in his pocket and DP slogs to fill. Duran was obviously a major hit, but the rest of the track record is bad. What Heitz does in the next couple weeks could drag the club down for the next 2-3 years. Yes, that’s the kind of pessimism I’m bringing to the new season!
This comes from Ezra Hendrickson’s presser on Tuesday. Hmmmm…last week a friend and I tabbed Michail Antonio for this. Hmmmm…

 

ThePrideofShiner

Crests prematurely
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
10,822
Washington
Apparently SB Nation is shuttering nearly all of its MLS/NWSL sites. Brutal news as those are some of the only places to get consistent media coverage of teams.
 

67YAZ

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 1, 2000
8,908
Apparently SB Nation is shuttering nearly all of its MLS/NWSL sites. Brutal news as those are some of the only places to get consistent media coverage of teams.
Yeah, the Hot Time in Old Town crew tracking the Fire posted a farewell today after 10 years of slogging through some bad soccer to feed the fans. But the current editor is maintaining his Fire podcast, The Hot Cast, because that wasn’t owned by Vox Media.
 

InstaFace

The Ultimate One
SoSH Member
Sep 27, 2016
22,588
Pittsburgh, PA
Man, talk about a move "against the run of play". Soccer's growing everywhere, attention, interest, money all strongly trending up, for both MLS and NWSL... but I guess ad-supported blog media is trending downward faster?

If I'm not mistaken, the SB Nation blogs are essentially unpaid, or they're some revenue-share deal with the mostly-volunteer maintainers - we give you a platform, and some editing help, you put out content with minimal supervision.

How could these be unprofitable? There's not some content explosion of soccer content adding a bunch of competition and dropping monthly uniques, either. Makes no sense to me.
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
14,480
Man, talk about a move "against the run of play". Soccer's growing everywhere, attention, interest, money all strongly trending up, for both MLS and NWSL... but I guess ad-supported blog media is trending downward faster?

If I'm not mistaken, the SB Nation blogs are essentially unpaid, or they're some revenue-share deal with the mostly-volunteer maintainers - we give you a platform, and some editing help, you put out content with minimal supervision.

How could these be unprofitable? There's not some content explosion of soccer content adding a bunch of competition and dropping monthly uniques, either. Makes no sense to me.
I'm seeing some comments from people who have been part of SB Nation that echo your thoughts.

View: https://twitter.com/kimischilling/status/1616506830833979392


View: https://twitter.com/JamesJusticeIII/status/1616507592431525888
 

67YAZ

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 1, 2000
8,908
Man, talk about a move "against the run of play". Soccer's growing everywhere, attention, interest, money all strongly trending up, for both MLS and NWSL... but I guess ad-supported blog media is trending downward faster?

If I'm not mistaken, the SB Nation blogs are essentially unpaid, or they're some revenue-share deal with the mostly-volunteer maintainers - we give you a platform, and some editing help, you put out content with minimal supervision.

How could these be unprofitable? There's not some content explosion of soccer content adding a bunch of competition and dropping monthly uniques, either. Makes no sense to me.
My best guess is that Vox is lining up some kind of merger/acquisition/partnership that would replace this content? That said, seems like media deal making has lots of leaks and at least some of the SB Nation editors would have heard if something was brewing.

Very sad. But I’d probably subscribe if the Hot Time team moved to a substack or patreon subscription model.
 

ThePrideofShiner

Crests prematurely
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
10,822
Washington
Can someone explain that to me? Does this change how players can move around the league or is it only for players who have never played in the league?
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
14,480
Can someone explain that to me? Does this change how players can move around the league or is it only for players who have never played in the league?
It was a process for acquiring certain players from outside the league, namely:

This list will consist of (i) select U.S. Men's National Team players, (ii) select youth U.S. National Team players, and/or (iii) former MLS players returning to MLS after joining a non-MLS club for an outgoing transfer fee of $500,000 or more.
There was a ranking list of teams in the inverse order of the previous year's standings. It's been obsolete for a long time and it's overdue to get rid of it. There's still the silly "discovery rights rule", but folding the small group of players subject to the allocation order into the "discovery rights" process does represent incremental progress in the universe of convoluted MLS rules.
 

Senator Donut

post-Domer
SoSH Member
Apr 21, 2010
5,584
It was a process for acquiring certain players from outside the league, namely:



There was a ranking list of teams in the inverse order of the previous year's standings. It's been obsolete for a long time and it's overdue to get rid of it. There's still the silly "discovery rights rule", but folding the small group of players subject to the allocation order into the "discovery rights" process does represent incremental progress in the universe of convoluted MLS rules.
Surely @ThePrideofShiner is aware of allocation order because how else would the Sounders have acquired >$500,000 USMNT player Clint Dempsey. Just kidding, he wasn’t subject to allocation because he was designated player of a certain “threshold.” What is that threshold? No one knows and Garber isn’t telling.
 

67YAZ

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 1, 2000
8,908
A look at the Young DP rule through the Jhon Duran transfer over on the Athletic.

Of note to me: the Fire pulled in $23m in commercial revenue in 2022. The guaranteed based fees for Duran & Slonina total $28m with significant add ons built into each deal.

Chicago doesn’t have the pipeline to repeat that trick regularly (or ever again?), but I have no doubt it has extended Heitz’ tenure with the Fire, damn the on pitch results.

Another benefit - BGuti said last week that the Gaga & Duran transfers were additional motivation for him. Chicago now has some bonafides as a stepping stone club. Hopefully this makes the Fire more attractive to high potential international players as well as a motivator for the homegrowns.
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
14,480
Today's CONCACAF/CONMEBOL announcement also included a new four-team "final four-style" club competition starting in 2024 that will include two clubs from CONCACAF and two clubs from CONMEBOL who qualify through regional club competitions (presumably the CCL winner, Libertadores winner...maybe Sudamericana?)

I'm curious to see where this goes. If it is successful, it could be expanded. The idea of a Club World Cup for the Americas would be appealing as hell for MLS and Mexican clubs. For South American clubs? Maybe, maybe not.
 

67YAZ

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 1, 2000
8,908
Apparently, the striker Chicago wants is Hwang Ui-Jo.

Of course, this is complicated. Hwang is on loan at Olympiacos from Nottingham Forrest, clubs that share an owner. But Hwang has been completely dropped the past month but hasn’t had his loan terminated either. So he’s just kind of stuck in Greece and having already played for 2 European clubs this season, he can’t join another playing on the same schedule. Hence, a move to MLS could work.

Chicago is offering a loan with option to buy with the package landing in the DP range. That’s at least sensible for a 30yo striker. But Hwang doesn’t fit the youth development philosophy nor does he seem like an upgrade on Pryzbylko. I don’t get it. But it seems to be the big thing Heitz has cooking right now.
 
Last edited:

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
14,480
The Bent Musket, one of the many casualties of the SB Nation layoffs at Vox, has been reborn on Substack as the Blazing Musket. Coverage of the Revs from the local newspapers isn't great so I'm glad to see this outlet continue.

https://www.theblazingmusket.com/
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
14,480
Is it possible to reach Gillette Stadium by mass transit? Looking at going to a Revs game in June.
No, it's not.

There is a commuter rail pilot to Foxboro (=Gillette) station, but only on weekdays. I think they still run special weekend trains for Patriots games from both Boston and Providence, but not for Revs games.
 

ThePrideofShiner

Crests prematurely
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
10,822
Washington
No, it's not.

There is a commuter rail pilot to Foxboro (=Gillette) station, but only on weekdays. I think they still run special weekend trains for Patriots games from both Boston and Providence, but not for Revs games.
No wonder no one goes to the games! So, driving ourselves is the only way? No fan buses or anything from bars? Even the Sounders do that for my town, which is 30 miles south and has other normal mass transit options.
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
14,480
No wonder no one goes to the games! So, driving ourselves is the only way? No fan buses or anything from bars? Even the Sounders do that for my town, which is 30 miles south and has other normal mass transit options.
Some fan groups have organized this in the past but IIRC it doesn't happen anymore. Other Revs fans here can correct me if I'm wrong about that.
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
14,480
Seattle will play Al Ahly at noon (ET) on Saturday in the Club World Cup quarterfinal. I believe the game will be on FS2 for those interested.

It's hard to imagine the Sounders won't be rusty, but I hope they acquit themselves well. It would be really fun to see an MLS team get a win here and a game against Real Madrid.
 

67YAZ

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 1, 2000
8,908
The Fire, Jason Heyward (late of the Cubs), and the state of Illinois just cut the ribbon on a $30m, 150k sq ft sports facility on the West Side. It’s an incredible facility with pitches, baseball diamonds, bball courts, and classrooms for community and private use. The Fire are also offering 20 hours a week of free instructional programs for youth.

The North Austin neighborhood is one of the poorest and most violent in Chicago. And the facility was built on a log that was vacant for almost 40 years. It’a good to see the club stepping up like this.
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
14,480
The preseason legs are really showing for the Sounders now. They look tired.
 

Titans Bastard

has sunil gulati in his sights
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2002
14,480
Poor giveaway from Danny Leyva leads to a deflected shot and goal for Ahly. It seems very doubtful that Seattle has anywhere near enough in the tank to salvage this.