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MLS Cup Update

Greetings from the USSF news conference concerning the fed's bid for the 2018 or '22 World Cup. No big revelations, but I'll let you know what was said later.

For now, a few new tidbits on the MLS Cup venue search.....

*Chicago was never a serious contender. Toronto and New England are secondary options. Seattle is the prime candidate.

*A Sunday date is more likely than a Saturday, but the kickoff would probably be moved to late in the day (Eastern time), which allows Seattle to host.

*Would natural grass be brought in to cover the artificial turf? Not likely. MLS Cup has never been held on turf, but Seattle's surface is apparently as close to grass as you're going to see.

*Would ABC be able to carry a late-day Sunday game? Not likely. ESPN would probably provide the coverage.

Still no final decisions, but it's getting close.

By Steve Goff  |  February 11, 2009; 11:48 AM ET
Categories:  MLS  
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Next: USA-Mexico Contingency Plan?

Comments

Moving MLS Cup to Saturday night would be a great idea in my opinion. Trying to get a large audience on a Sunday afternoon during the NFL season never made sense to me. I realize, though, there are a lot of other factors in play in the decision.

Posted by: UnitedFanInTX | February 11, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Ug -- hear the news that Ottawa is the expansion front-runner?

Posted by: Reignking | February 11, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

i will quickly re-register my extreme displeasure with artificial turf in general and especially in MLS cup. totally bogus.

now, moving on, 2 Toronto FC coaches were almost run down by an 8-year-old driving a van for his very drunk father:

http://deadspin.com/5151372/drunk-dad-lets-8+year+old-son-drive-hilarity-ensues

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | February 11, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

“It’s highly unlikely and almost inconceivable that with a stadium deal in place we would not grant an expansion team to Ottawa,” Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber said yesterday.

http://www.ottawasun.com/News/OttawaAndRegion/2009/02/10/8341791.html

Posted by: Reignking | February 11, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

MLS Cup should ABSOLUTELY be late in the day, REGARDLESS of where it's played. Barring that, anytime after 3pm Eastern is fine with me.

Posted by: Juan-John | February 11, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

What's fair is fair. If the final is played on a plastic field, fans should be allowed to throw plastic streamers.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | February 11, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

I don't care where we play I just want another trophy ... Vamos United

Posted by: emjay613 | February 11, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Dear MLS,
What part of "plastic grass will kill the game" don't you understand? Great move with Beckham deadline, idiocy to play a championship on fake grass.


Posted by: boda-united | February 11, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

I don't care how good your plastic surgeon is, fake is still fake. Same goes for turf.

Posted by: EdTheRed | February 11, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

NO TURF!!!

Posted by: pecanturtle | February 11, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

I don't care where it's held. Just don't play the match at noon. That's just stupid!

Posted by: tundey | February 11, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

I vote for New England. Preferably during a gale. Hey, it worked out last time!

Posted by: schmuckatelli | February 11, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Soccer specific stadium and NO RUBBER FIELD!!!!

Posted by: silverrey | February 11, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

I don't care how good your plastic surgeon is, fake is still fake. Same goes for turf.

Posted by: EdTheRed | February 11, 2009 12:52 PM
================

The difference between the two fakes is that turf looks bad.

Removed by washingtonpost.com in 3...2...1

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | February 11, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

I have wondered for awhile why MLS doesn't have a 7pm EST start for the MLS Cup, with kickoff at 7:30. They could build up to it on ESPN, a la the Super Bowl. Having it at 3PM EST on a Sunday is ratings suicide. The entire nation is watching either a 1pm NFL game, meaning they miss the 1st half, or a 4pm NFL game, meaning they miss the 2nd half. The MLS Cup should have it's own night to shine. Often there is a Sunday night NFL game, but not all the time, and I'm sure ESPN could lean on the NFL to let that be an off week for a night game. This way you could have a legit pregame show, and a national spotlight for the championship, respect that is given to all other American Sports. Who tries to schedule against the Super Bowl, for example? This would allow both the purist soccer fans, and the casual fans to watch.

Posted by: dg_nb | February 11, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

No surprises:

Garber continues to suck:

1) More teams for Canada (wasn't MLS supposed to help grow the sport in the USA?).

2) More turf (Seattle) and TURF for the final? Utter garbage.

I can't wait until the day this goof is out as commissioner. He's decent enough from a financial perspective, but he should never be in charge, he cares nothing/little for the game itself.

Posted by: TrueCrew | February 11, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

"I'm sure ESPN could lean on the NFL to let that be an off week for a night game"

Ah, that was a good laugh - thanks!

Disney/ESPN no longer owns the Sunday night NFL game, NBC does. Even if the game was on ESPN, they would not even dream of changing an NFL game for MLS. You're talking about subbing out a game that is watched by 18 million people with one watched by 800,000 people.

Posted by: Kev29 | February 11, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

dg_nb:

There is a Sunday night NFL game every week of the season. It shows on ESPN. It's their best program for ratings. They're not calling it off for a week so MLS Cup can play on a Sunday night.

***

I'm not even sure how MLS Cup on turf is open for discussion, much less about to happen. This is dumb.

I'm against Ottawa for expansion since a) it's yet another too-small market (metro population would be 2nd to last in MLS), and b) it is a virtual guarantee that they'll play on turf due to the weather.

Honestly, I'd rather see no expansion than what's on offer. Let's build the talent pool for a couple more years while letting these flawed bids either get it together or be beaten by a superior offer from elsewhere.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | February 11, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

To both Chest rockwell and kev.

Yes, the Sunday night game is owned by NBC. However, they do not have one every Sunday night of the season. I am not naive enough to think that they would change a game once it's been scheduled, however, the MLS schedule comes out WAY before the NFL schedule. So ESPN wouldn't be asking the NFL to change a game, merely not to schedule a night game that weekend in the first place. Saturday night would never work because ESPN/ABC have college football commitments. However, even if NBC had an NFL game, at least you would only be competing with 1 NFL game, 2 teams (possibly from Non-MLS Cities), rather than 90% of the NFL. For example, this year, NBC didn't air a game on October 26th. it makes much more sense to compete with 1 NFL game than all but 2.

Posted by: dg_nb | February 11, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

"So ESPN wouldn't be asking the NFL to change a game, merely not to schedule a night game that weekend in the first place."

dg_nb - no chance my friend - not even remotely. There is one week where the Sunday night game is skipped, as you mentioned - and that's in deference to the World Series. MLS Cup is not the World Series.

Posted by: Kev29 | February 11, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

KEV

Then Please refer to the 2nd half, EVEN if the NFL had it's game that night, then it makes more sense to compete for ratings against that 1 game, rather than having the MLS cup start at 3pm and compete against both the 1pm games and the 4pm games. Even a 4:30 or 5pm start would make more sense, at least you'd only be competing against 3 or 4 games, rather than all of the Sunday day games. In the end, a night slot, in primetime on ESPN, with a proper pregame show, would be a lot better. Even if the NFL was airing 1 game on NBC.

Posted by: dg_nb | February 11, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

"Moving MLS Cup to Saturday night would be a great idea in my opinion."

It would never be on TV if it was on Saturday night in November. Every ESPN station, including ESPNU, ESPN Classic, and the Ocho, and ABC are showing college football at point.

Posted by: richcadieux1 | February 11, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

My sources tell me that the site of the next MLS Cup will be...

Bronco Stadium, Boise, Idaho.

http://www.astroturfusa.com/resources/images/HPFields/Boise.jpg

...

...

...

just kidding. :)

Posted by: SportzNut21 | February 11, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

I'd prefer the game at Robertson if at all possible.

Yeah, there may be Football lines on the field, but it's generally in good condition, it wouldn't be cold, and a decent crowd would only help build their fanbase for the future.

Although, if Salt Lake or Colorado have in-ground heating, then I don't see why they shouldn't be options.

Posted by: alecw81 | February 11, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

I generally am against any grass that isn't the REAL thing, but the XBOX 360 Pitch is supposedly out of this world.... I hear it IS the FUTURE!!!
The game will end up in Seattle, everyone but Pacific Northwesters will hate it. Timbers Army/ ECS will get in a pushing match over someone getting bumped and dropping their sushi and a riot will break out to make the WTO Riots look like sissy soccer fight.
Best MLS Cup ever!

Posted by: DadRyan | February 11, 2009 11:26 PM | Report abuse

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