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MLS Late Night

*The Insider has learned that Valencia, currently in sixth place in Spanish La Liga, is now the top candidate to be the opponent against the MLS select squad at this year's All-Star Game in Salt Lake City on July 29. A final decision is expected this week.

*Chivas USA's Raphael Wicky, a Swiss national team midfielder who played in only five MLS games last year because of injuries, has decided to retire.

*Seattle has capped attendance for the inaugural home opener at 32,400, and as of this morning, the game against New York on March 19 is sold out. The club has also decided to stop selling season tickets when they reach 22,000. Capacity for the balance of the home schedule will be 27,700. Read more here. As Insider loyalists already know, Qwest Field is also the leading candidate to host MLS Cup in November.

*Stay ahead of the curve: Join me on Twitter for instant updates.

By Steve Goff  |  March 2, 2009; 10:08 PM ET
Categories:  MLS  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Beckham, All-Stars, DCU
Next: Tuesday Kickaround


Ok, so I saw the tweet. Isn't Valencia basically bankrupt? Like not paying their players? Are they going to have any players left come July? Is this really the best we can do?

Posted by: joshuaostevens | March 2, 2009 10:26 PM | Report abuse

*Sounds* like some folks are gonna end up getting shut out of some games at Qwest this year... Why are they capping the capacity when the stadium can hold so much more?
Maybe there is little chance that you won't be able to walk up and buy a ticket on any given day, but if that is the case, that sucks.

Posted by: DadRyan | March 2, 2009 10:39 PM | Report abuse


Are United practicing, as they did previously at GMU's field house tomorrow? I would like to stop by and see training in lieu of the umd match.

Valencia is a far cry from the Inter Milan talk, maybe the MLS has realized the allstar game is meaningless.

Posted by: decoi | March 2, 2009 10:44 PM | Report abuse

Dad, the article mentioned wanting the stadium to keep an "intimate feel". I assume that opening more seats would require taking the tarps off the upper level, and thus remove the "intimacy".

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | March 2, 2009 11:07 PM | Report abuse

Well I'm sure if they are doing 32,400 for the home opener they could manage to do 32k for every game without messing with the "intimacy".

Posted by: PEddy | March 2, 2009 11:14 PM | Report abuse

Visca el Valencia!

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | March 2, 2009 11:16 PM | Report abuse

Would love to see a longer article about the "value engineering" theory of behavioral economics and its applications to professional sports. Seriously.

By the way, any "24" fans out there in Insider land? Pretty intense two hours tonight, eh?

Posted by: Pedalada | March 2, 2009 11:18 PM | Report abuse

There's nothing intimate about forcing people into using their credit cards to buy season ticket packages.

Posted by: DadRyan | March 2, 2009 11:40 PM | Report abuse

Great choice with Valencia, but joshua brings up a good point -- they'll sell David Villa by then :) I'll bring the agua de valencia...

twitter just got chastised by the Daily Show tonight. At least Goff might have -real- content to share with people!

Posted by: Reignking | March 2, 2009 11:50 PM | Report abuse

How can a team be in sixth place in a league with two teams?

Worst two hours of 24 ever.

Posted by: sitruc | March 3, 2009 12:00 AM | Report abuse

colorado to drop a sponser name and has 5280 on the back of their shirts

random info for the night


Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | March 3, 2009 12:30 AM | Report abuse

18 home games for the Sounders -- what does that mean?

15 MLS regular season home games
1 game against Chelsea

What are the other two? US Open Cup games? MLS Cup + ?

Posted by: Eugene7 | March 3, 2009 12:32 AM | Report abuse

Seeing this response for Seattle, as well as the 50k that went to see Montreal's CCL match, makes me really wonder if MLS teams in weaker markets or those drawing low attendances need to be moved.

I wonder if the league is missing a big opportunity finding fans ready and willing to go in some cities by fighting for fans unready and unwilling to go in others.

Posted by: Eugene7 | March 3, 2009 12:35 AM | Report abuse

Eugene, if PG doesn't pan out, perhaps we'll be cheering for Montreal United? A baseball for soccer trade, essentially. Fricken Nationals!

Posted by: notafembot | March 3, 2009 1:21 AM | Report abuse

By the way, any "24" fans out there in Insider land? Pretty intense two hours tonight, eh?

Posted by: Pedalada | March 2, 2009 11:18 PM

Tony Todd's gonna get his comeuppance. That's for sure.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | March 3, 2009 2:29 AM | Report abuse

Valencia. Zzzzzzzzz.

MLS should just go back to East v West.

Posted by: Ron16 | March 3, 2009 7:20 AM | Report abuse

Valencia is coming for the MLS sponsored bailout.

All in all, I think it's a good move. We can't play the BIG 6 or 7 every year. We have to branch out.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | March 3, 2009 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Read this:

I can't help but sit gape-mouthed at this. MLS grew and developed without Beckham. It hit the "Beckham Bubble" and the sky was the limit. But his departure shows nothing more than the failure of the Galaxy.

Clubs in this league can put together good and compelling rosters without superstars. It won't unravel. Soccer is starting to find a stride on which to run with. We've seen the crawl, the first steps. We've had our moments where we had balance issues and other problems. We've gone from training wheels to two wheels.

David REDISCOVERED himself here and Europe found out that it didn't have his answer. It didn't have someone to be the charismatic celebrity and the talented footballer. It wanted him back. His issue with America is that instead of coming to a team that was building to compete - he found a team with more issues than Chris Brown and Rihanna. Other than Landon and maybe Chris Klein, he was on a team that lacked any sort of consistent talent and failed to produce anything of quality.

Put Kobe Bryant or Lebron James on the Washington Wizards - trade some of your supporting roles for young rookies and aging veterans and tell me how they make the playoffs.....

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | March 3, 2009 8:26 AM | Report abuse

I apologize to all - that rant was weird. I'm on WAY too many cold meds today.

However, that article is ridiculous. I'm not going to feed the animal and send questionable emails to the author - but WOW.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | March 3, 2009 8:32 AM | Report abuse


your rant is perfectly fitting. The guy who wrote that article is the most clueless soccer journalist around. He is a Brazil bad wagon clown that doesn't know anything about the game. Since TFC has come on board and more journalists have started covering the league and sport, he has quickly been forgotten and ignored.

Posted by: zoran1 | March 3, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse

We can't play the BIG 6 or 7 every year. We have to branch out.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | March 3, 2009 8:10 AM


Uh, we've played any of the BIG 6 or 7? That's news to me! OK, so maybe Chelsea counts...

2003 v. CD Guadalajara
2005 v. Fulham
2006 v. Chelsea
2007 v. Celtic
2008 v. West Ham United

But it's not like the MLS All Stars have ever been able to match up with the likes of Man U, Liverpool, Real Madrid, Inter, Barca, Munich, Lyon, Ajax...etc.

Valencia is a bit weak though! Time to go back to East v. West or just scrap the All Star game altogether...

Posted by: combedge | March 3, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse

The allstar game is lame. It really might be something worth watching and less of a danger to MLS's "stars" if it was played in the post season as they do in the other football. The match would be more competitive if the MLS guys weren't risking the second half of their season on an exhibition.
Do the thing two weeks after the MLS cup and it would be just fine. Do it in Hawaii(if they could find a grass field) or Southern Florida and I might start caring, and maybe going!

Posted by: DadRyan | March 3, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse


David Villa

Some good names there - and those are just off the top of my head. Spain won the Euros this past summer if you recall. No it's not a household name like Madrid, Barca, Munich, Chelsea, ManYoo, Liverpool, Arsenal, Inter, AC Milan, Roma, Juventus

But neither are great teams right now like Lyon, PSG, Panathinaikos, etc.

Perhaps I really underestimate the average followers international exposure, but there are good teams beyond the champions of 3 or 4 leagues in Europe each year. And what would the reaction be if we brought in a struggling River Plate?

I think MLS does fine and the critics jump way too fast to say MLS is to blame for the opponent. MLS, I'm sure, knows that fans would love to see certain teams playing. However, these teams may not have the availability in the summer due to other arrangements, early UEFA Cup or Champions League games, 2010 World Cup qualifying, issues with certain stipulations in the MLS contract, etc.

It's a tough process. Lay off The Don. East vs West wouldn't even get ESPN2 right now.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | March 3, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

colorado to drop a sponser name and has 5280 on the back of their shirts

random info for the night


Colorado is listing their attendance on the back of their jerseys every night? That will take a lot of re-stitching...

Posted by: IamAM | March 3, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Valencia is a fine opponent, and WAY better than E. vs W.

Posted by: WorldCup | March 3, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

For the latest news and other tidibits of inside information on Seattle Sounders FC, come follow me on Twitter:

Posted by: gregro7 | March 3, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

I don't think the issue is the opponent. I think the issue is the mere concept of all star game...boring!

Posted by: malatestiano | March 3, 2009 9:25 PM | Report abuse

"Is this really the best we can do?"

Yes it certaintly is considering we had two awful teams like West Ham & Celtic as our last two opponents. Valencia are filet mignon in comparison to those two. They are a very strong team, anyone who doubts that doesn't have a clue about soccer.

Posted by: Jake821 | March 4, 2009 6:47 PM | Report abuse

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