Tuesday, August 24, 2010

News and Views

Just hanging around this weekend, I created this table breaking MLS into 4 geographical divisions and the intra-divisional team records.

 NE Revs31 010
 RBNY21 17
 DC United11 44
 Philadelphia1 124
 Columbus30 19
 KC Wizards22 18
 Toronto11 24
 Chicago01 21
 Dallas22 08
 Houston12 25
 RSL10 23
 Colorado02 02
 LA Galaxy31 110
 SJ Quakes21 27
 Chivas USA11 14
 Seattle11 34

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Interesting Reads
Player Moves


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

News and Views from Tues Aug 18

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Club Tournaments

Player Moves
 The Business of Soccer

After a long Weekend Aug 14-16

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The Business of Soccer

Thursday, August 12, 2010

News and Views from Thu Aug 12

US Pyramid
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News and Views from Wed Aug 11

US Pyramid

Well the plot gets thicker. USSF is sticking to the financial guidelines that Brian reported on Monday. They also say that they are adamant about not running D2 next year.
Austin, Carolina, Edmonton, Miami, Montreal, Rochester and Tampa Bay would appear to be OK. Non-profit owned Minnesota and Puerto Rico, owned by the Bureau of Tourism are in a nether world.
FIFA requires leagues to have 8 teams for formal sanctioning, with exceptions. There's so much more, so read Brian's post. It's fair to say that for expansion hopefuls, most have probably resigned themselves to D3, while the D2 picture remains muddy. Stay tuned.

 Around the World

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

News and Views from Tues Aug 10


Robbie Rogers will have surgery that will sideline him for up to 4 weeks. This comes at a bad time for the Crew as they begin a stretch of 7 matches in 22 days.
US Pyramid

The USSF-D2 has 12 teams. Three of them will be in MLS within the next two years. Of the remaining 9, 2 are brand new teams. Of the remaining 7, one was promoted from D3 and 4 of those 7 are suffering lower attendances than last year. Not a pretty picture. As of now the teams that will be in D2 next year are:
Montreal(headed to MLS in 2012) and
Austin, Carolina, Crystal Palace Baltimore, Edmonton, Miami, Minnesota, Puerto Rico, Rochester, St. Louis and Tampa Bay, with reports that Crystal Palace and St. Louis are in financial trouble.

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Monday, August 9, 2010

News and Views from Mon Aug 9

US Pyramid

I'll be paying close attention to the fallout of the USSF meeting regarding the financial requirements for groups that are applying to play in D2. Specifically that means I'll be following Brian Quarstad of Inside Minnesota Soccer for updates to the situation.
If you didn't read the IMS post, here are the highlights so far ...
  • USSF looking for the majority owners of teams to have a net worth of $20M
  • a $750K bond to be posted at the beginning of each season
  • Teams must be playing in a Soccer Specific Stadium within 5 years
Here in Phoenix, we have two groups looking to bring pro soccer to the area.

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After the Weekend Aug 7-8


I thoroughly enjoyed the 'DP Showdown' between Chicago and RBNY. How about you? And in case you missed it, RBNY's visit to Houston drew 24,750 and Chicago filled Toyota Park to the rafters. Good stuff.

US Pyramid
  • PDL: The Portand Timbers U23's completed a perfect 20-0-0 season by winning the PDL champship with a win over 2008 champion Thunder Bay - USL Championship Weekend

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If nothing else, Man U's Community Shield win over Chelsea provided a confidence boost going into the season.
It's common in sports to downplay early season losses with the phrase 'it's a long season'. There's another sports saying that's also appropriate, 'every point counts'. The top Ligue 1 teams that lost on opening day will just have to wait to find out about that.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

News and Views from Wed Aug 4

  • Rapids: Akpan returns from Tampa loan
  • When Vancouver and Portland were named as the 17th and 18th teams, I started to ask(via Twitter) about a potential 34 game schedule. I mean it makes sense, right? Play every other team twice, home and home, for a total of 34 games. Nothing was written about it until recently. I guess that teaches me that no one really cares about this stuff until it becomes closer to reality. In any case, a couple of my favorite writers have chimed in on the subject. I give you Jeff Carlisle and Jason Davis.
Club Tournaments
The Business of Soccer

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

News and Views


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Club Tournaments

The Business of Soccer

Monday, August 2, 2010

Fixture Congestion and Getting PO'd

Over the years there has been a lot of conversation about fixture congestion, particularly for MLS teams with their limited rosters. This season, MLS teams may have 24 players on the roster plus 2 homegrown players. For the purpose of this post, I'm going to ignore the arcane rules that permit 'non-roster' players to compete in some of the non-league competitions.
But despite those rules, the combination of congestion and short rosters(relative to Euro Clubs), has been the most oft referred to reason for the failure of MLS clubs to achieve success in its most important international club tourney. I am referring, of course, to the CONCACAF Champions League. No MLS club has won the competition since 2000 and in years of late, MLS clubs haven't been able to progress very far, either in the tourney's old iteration as the CONCACAF Champions Cup, in which MLS clubs were granted instant access to the quarterfinals, or the new incantation of the CCL. In fact, MLS performances have been so lackluster, that I can easily see it losing one of its 4 slots in a couple of years.

This subject seems particularly topical with the new rules in the EPL coming into play this year. Rosters are limited to 25 players with unlimited players 21 and under. Once rosters are submitted to the league, they may not be changed until Jan 1. I linked to many stories on this subject over the last couple of weeks. Go read some of them to get a better idea of what English clubs will be wrestling with this year. What I don't know is how the new rule effects EPL teams in the Carling Cup and FA Cup. I suspect there will be no effect on those competing in the UEFA Champions League or Europa Cup, which have had similar roster restrictions in place for a while now. But let's face it, what established player will want to be on the payroll but not on the 25 man roster just to play in the supplemental competitions but ineligible for league play? It's a story to watch as the EPL season unfolds.

Update: The EPL rules explained. Including what it means for the Carling Cup and FA Cup.
Here's an article on how the new rule is effecting Man City.

Fixture Congestion for MLS Teams
7/25/10 MLS
7/27/10 CCLCCL
7/28/10 CCL
8/3/10 CCL CCL
8/4/10 CCL SL
8/5/10 SL MLS
8/7/10 FriendlyMLS MLS MLS
8/8/10 MLSMLS
8/11/10 MLS MLS
9/4/10 MLSMLS
Days38 36 42 36 43 36 29
Games88 1161066
Games/Day4.8 4.5 3.8 6.0 4.3 6.0 4.8
CCL=CONCACAF Champions League - SL=N.A. SuperLiga - USOC=US Open Cup
All Fixtures for MLS Teams Since Season Start to July 21
Games2020 2123181922
Games/Day6.0 6.0 5.7 5.2 6.6 6.3 5.4
Includes CCL, SuperLiga, Open Cup, Nutralite Championship, Friendlies

I haven't forgotten about the other two USOC semifinalists, DC United and Chivas, but neither play more than one game per week until the semis, as which time both have 3 matches in 7 days. And yes, I know not all teams played on opening day, but what the hell.
In addition to the competitions listed in the table above, the money machine that is the 'Summer of Soccer' has seen 12 MLS teams play friendlies or mini(money) tournaments since the season began. RBNY leads that list with 4 matches, followed by Chicago with 3(all in late May). There will be three more this week, including the much balleyhooed LA/AC Milan match. Given their sudden descent into terrible form, the Galaxy seem to have the most to lose if their focus doesn't remain properly fixed on their 2nd leg CCL v Puerto Rico and the onrushing RSL in the chase for the Supporters' Shield and it's automatic bid to next years CCL.


  • Speaking of mini tourneys, there was a nice little one across the pond, with AS Roma, Paris St. Germain, Bordeaux and FC Porto participating.
  • Steve Davis' weekly review of  the week that was in MLS. Worth the read.
  • The good folks over at Unprofessional Foul, a regular read of mine, have put out a request for assistance for a group heading over to a South African orphanage to build playgrounds and more. If you can help, here is the link.
Sometimes I get really pissed off

I don't know about you, but sometimes when I read really ignorant posts or comments that have no factual basis or just plain piss me off, I reply in my head with a really scathing attack. But alas, I just can't bring myself to call someone a f*cking moron, or a stupid pr*ck, or some other expletive that is rattling around my brain. So I think I'll just come up with some abbreviations that salve my turbulent brain while not being publicly rude. Here's my preliminary list and a few examples of a scenario in which I'd use them.

  • IM - no not Instant Messenger, but Ignorant Moron
  • HUYA - Head Up Your Ass
  • AYAFI - Are you a fucking idiot?
  • CBBOM -- Check brain before opening mouth
Some actual stuff I've read in the past few days and my in brain response...

"The game's not on in HD, I just can't watch it" - AYAFI
" The team name is stupid, I won't support them" - IM
"Vancouver, Portland and Seattle outdrew half of MLS while in USL" - CBBOM