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Tuesday Kickaround

*USA forward Freddy Adu has been conditioning at IMG Academies in Bradenton, Fla., in preparation to rejoin Benfica this week. However, the Insider is hearing that at least one Dutch club is interested in acquiring him on loan. He has three years left on his Benfica contract. After last season's bench-sitting experience with Monaco, another loan needs to be with a club "that is going to play him. The [Monaco] situation cannot happen again. It was not good for Freddy. It has to be the right situation," a source close to Adu said.

*As required by MLS's collective bargaining agreement for bonus purposes, 32 players need to be named "all-stars" (even if only 18 are on site for the match). Not one D.C. United player made the list; even the awful Red Bulls had a player selected (Juan Pablo Angel). The extra selections were based on voting by players, coaches, GMs, media and fans.

The full list:
GKs: Keller, Thornton (Onstad, Ricketts). Ds: Marshall, Cameron, Conde, Hurtado, Soumare (Conrad, Bornstein, Hejduk). MFs: Ljungberg, Holden, Blanco, Johnson, Davis, Arnaud, Morales, Beckerman (Schelotto, Joseph, De Rosario, Clark, Nagamura, Guevara). Fs: Donovan, Casey, Montero (McBride, Ching, Angel).

*In the Washington area, soccer bonds Uighurs, Kurds, Kazakhs and others.

*Soccer on TV:
Juventus-Seongnam 2:30 p.m. GolTV
Real Madrid-Liga de Quito 4:30 p.m. GolTV
CONCACAF Champions League, DCU-Firpo 8 p.m. FSC, Galavision

*Oh, Sepp. Where to begin. Yes, MLS on a fall-to-spring schedule with matches in Toronto and Chicago in February. Brilliant. That'll boost attendance. The MLS calendar damages the league's effectiveness to attract big-name players from abroad? Huh? It's about money, not schedules.

By Steve Goff  |  July 28, 2009; 10:00 AM ET
Categories:  FIFA , MLS , TV , U.S. men's national team  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Poll: Gold Cup
Next: Destination: Cape Town

Comments

the dutch league would be great for Freddy I just hope he's a starter for the club he goes on loan to

Posted by: DCU11 | July 28, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

It makes no sense for no DC players to be on the list.

Posted by: sitruc | July 28, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Sepp Blatter is a big, fat idiot. I'm writing this without viewing the video, but I believe that his record will prove me right.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | July 28, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

yeah...as long as he plays it will be a good move.

Too bad for Tino. I thought that he would be the only DCU player that had a chance to make the all star team. He even played well enough to get a call up to the national team. oh well.

Posted by: Mig18 | July 28, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Why in God's name was Adu sitting out the Gold Cup if he was just going to be in Bradenton anyways? What is going on with his brain trust (and that of the National Team)?

Posted by: psps23 | July 28, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Sepp should stick to retooling the womens uni's....

Posted by: CHICO13 | July 28, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

THANK YOU for actually having news about Freddy. I'm so sick of reading about what every soccer dork thinks he should or shouldn't do.

Posted by: Reignking | July 28, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Wow, Adu has THREE years left on his contract? He must of signed a very hefty contract.

The dutch league is perfect for him at this stage. Lets just hope he gets some PT wherever it is. He needs to get his career back on track.

Posted by: strago | July 28, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Why in God's name was Adu sitting out the Gold Cup if he was just going to be in Bradenton anyways? What is going on with his brain trust (and that of the National Team)?

Posted by: psps23

Bradley had an agreement with Benfica to release Adu so that he could get back for their training camp. Something has transpired, in the meantime, that has kept Adu away from Benfica.

This had to have been Benfica's move as they have been shopping him.

Posted by: Reignking | July 28, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

MLS playing matches in parts of December and February is a better (long-term) solution than MLS playing matches in June/July when things like the World Cup are going on.

The league needs to play games when (the best) players are available, and I'm guessing the crowds in Toronto will fill BMO Field in Dec and Feb just as they do in Oct and April.

Of course, if it's too cold or icy on a specific match date, games can be delayed and rescheduled due to inclement weather -- given more and more stadium control in the future of MLS.

Posted by: tab5g1 | July 28, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

I remember really liking that book by Al Franken - Sepp Blatter is a big, fat idiot.

Posted by: diego_r | July 28, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

How come Freddy has been in Florida? I thought he left the Gold Cup to be able to train with Benfica?

So it seems he left to train at IMG Academies instead. I gather therefore that training at IMG Academies is better for him than getting game time during Gold Cup. Is this right? I'm surprised.

Could it be that by playing in the Gold Cup, he ran a risk of embarrassing himself publicly, but by training privately, he could get sharp with no one looking, and then turn up fit at Benfica?

Posted by: WorldCup | July 28, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Well I agree that Blatter is normally a moron, however there are alot of benefits to playing a fall to spring schedule. MLS play is better since teams don't lose players to international tourneys in the summer. With the transfer season the same it would help with players both going to and coming from Europe.

The biggest impediment to me seems to be the fact that it would be competing with football for most of the first half of the year. I don't think weather is too bad an issue with some possible scheduling work. For every February game in Chicago and Toronto that the change would result in there'd be one less 100 degreee game in Dallas.

Either way would work though, if you can play a spring-fall schedule in Germany it would work here. Then again i think the Russian league is similar to our schedule isn't it? If the fans care enough, they'll go to any game. And i've always thought of soccer more as a fall sport similar to football anyway. That would make for a nice All Star game in Hawaii during the winter break! :)

Posted by: Brian76 | July 28, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Reignking, Could be true, just seems pointless to hold him out of camp and to hold him off the National Team at the same time. It doesn't take an idle player in order to be sold/loaned (see Davies).

Posted by: psps23 | July 28, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

MLS has to play in the Summer - period. There is no other option. I just hope they can do a better job of working around international tournaments. Would it really kill the league to take even two weeks off during the group stages next summer? As more teams control their scheduling better (with their own stadiums) - you'd think there'd be some more flexibility.

Re: All-stars. The good news is that some of the guys might get a chip on their shoulder about it and it's a couple days more rest for the squad.

Posted by: Kev29 | July 28, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

---
The MLS calendar damages the league's effectiveness to attract big-name players from abroad? Huh? It's about money, not schedules.
---

I'd argue it is about both money and the schedule. MLS with its long off-season is not an attractive options to players who want the best international career (see David Beckham) -- sine the Dec-March off-season leads to demands for loans. MLS playing in the summer and on dates Fifa sets aside for national team competition creates a league that is not attractive to the best players in the world, in my opinion. (Of course, there are ways that MLS could start earlier and end later in a year to fully align with Fifa's international calendar and still have MLS play from spring-fall -- but with a mid-season break to avoid Fifa's summer events.)

Posted by: tab5g1 | July 28, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Blatter's right, to a point. Look at Beckham -- it becomes hard for players trying to make WCQ rosters -- they're on the wrong fitness schedule with respect to the winter qualifiers -- and it makes it hard for the league to play the schedule in line with the international dates during its season. However, we don't have the gulf stream warming effect here. Unless we start building retractable roof, climate-controlled stadiums, there's no way you can play in February or early March in a number of cities. So, for the most part, we will have to settle for aging stars, or those who aren't in their national team player pool. (Exceptions will be those players who don't have good options on European clubs). It'll be easier with respect to our own best players, but there may be some tension there in the future -- extra incentive for them to go abroad.

Now, somebody please explain me to what is going on with Freddy. Allegedly, he left the Gold Cup squad to rejoin Benfica a couple of weeks ago. Now, he's in Florida -- doing what? Getting some training with the U20s and U17s? Tell me we couldn't have used Adu against Mexico, and tell me he couldn't have helped his cause by turning in some better efforts in the Cup...Were his agents afraid to have him hurt his stock?

That said, I have a feeling the Dutch league would be great for him. It did a lot for Beasley. Let's hope it happens. As for Freddy getting playing time -- I think that's mostly on him.

Posted by: fischy | July 28, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Whenever I see Sepp, I just keep scrolling.

Posted by: sitruc | July 28, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Russia, Japan and all of the Scandinavian countries play a schedule similar to ours. I am sure there are others as well.

You will not get casual fans in the USA out in the middle of winter for a soccer game. The passionate die-hards will be there but there aren't enough of them to sustain the league. But MLS should be much smarter about scheduling around international match days.

Posted by: fedssocr | July 28, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Unless we start building retractable roof, climate-controlled stadiums, there's no way you can play in February or early March in a number of cities. So, for the most part, we will have to settle for aging stars, or those who aren't in their national team player pool.

Posted by: fischy | July 28, 2009 10:46 AM

Another option would be a long winter break - which would almost create a apertura/clausura type split in the season. I think that would be too weird for US audiences. And you'd be competing with March Madness and baseball at the end of the season - with football in the beginning. Though I guess that's reversed now.

Posted by: Kev29 | July 28, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Freddy has been training with NFL players. Seriously.

He was incommunicado for a while on Twitter.

The only thing that makes sense to me is that Benfica told him to wait while they shopped him, but they haven't come to an agreement with anyone yet. They decided that they didn't need him at camp because he wasn't going to be a member of the team (this seems to be a late decision, seeing what Bradley said). So, Adu was stuck in limbo. He did get some time off, though, after the GC because he had been to both tournaments (visited his mom, for example).

Posted by: Reignking | July 28, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

----
no way you can play in February or early March in a number of cities.
----

Disagree. They can play these games (if the field isn't iced over).

In fact, MLS teams have played Concacaf matches at home in early March.

Yes, some cities will encounter more cold weather (and unplayable conditions) than other MLS cities, but in the long run, playing in February will likely be a part of MLS's business, as it will get it out of the way of Fifa's summer international competitions.

I suppose the discussion is do you want the current MLS type of schedule (that conflicts with Fifa's calendar and has players missing for international duty) or do you want an MLS schedule that includes some cold-weather matches (some that may need to be rescheduled due to snow/ice/frozen fields) but that has an MLS with teams that doesn't lose players to international duty during the league season.

Posted by: tab5g1 | July 28, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

"It makes no sense for no DC players to be on the list."

My initial reaction was the same, but looking at the list, it's hard to argue who should be bumped for which DC player. Three or four players on the list are fantastically over-rated, but probably still deserve their spots. DCU has about as many players on the all-star bubble, but none are absolute no-brainers.

Agree with Kev29, better DCU's young guns understand they still have some things to prove.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | July 28, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

I think this proves that DC United supporters have their priorities in the right places. To be honest, I would vote AGAINST any DC United players playing in the AS Game. It is a risky, meanless waste of time and only congests the already busy summer schedule and adds to the pressure on our players.

Having said that, I wish their was a way to recognize Namoff, Pontius and Quaranta while still allowing them to focus on what is important. They deserved it without a doubt.

Posted by: AtlantaMLS | July 28, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

That was stupid on benfica's part, Freddy could've grown throughout the tournament, gained confidence and then gone into pre-season training confident and ready. Thanks Benfica I didn't know IMG was better than getting game time.

Posted by: DCU11 | July 28, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Tell me we couldn't have used Adu against Mexico, and tell me he couldn't have helped his cause by turning in some better efforts in the Cup...
=====================

OK I will. We couldn't have used Adu against Mexico. And I think Bradley saw all he needed or wanted to see in South Africa.

Posted by: OWNTF | July 28, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Sepp's role as FIFA President seems to be to make statements that will get press attention. One day, maybe MLS will get to a point where they can play fall to spring like most European leagues, but that's a long way off at this point. I think realistically it would likely require a winter break or a split season like the Central and South American leagues do, which just doesn't fit in American sports at this point. What they really need to look at in the near term is building in a shorter mid-season break around the World Cup in particular like the Scandanavian leagues do. They also play the March to November schedule and build a mid-season break in that covers the World Cup. It might mean starting the season a little earlier or a few more mid-week rounds in the summer, but that's a small compromise once every four years.

Posted by: thrh1 | July 28, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

It is a risky, meanless waste of time and only congests the already busy summer schedule and adds to the pressure on our players.
================

Wait, are you talking about the All-Star game or the Madrid scrimmage?

Posted by: OWNTF | July 28, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

For those of you who think that MLS should play a fall-spring schedule: if you get your way, then you'd better sign up for FSC, MLSkick (or whatever it's called), and buy the subscription on MLSnet, because that's the only way you'll be able to watch the games. And when you do watch the games, don't complain about the empty stadiums.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | July 28, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

There's a 3.Bundesliga match today. They should switch to a fall-spring schedule.

Posted by: Reignking | July 28, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

I don't see what the big deal about the summer sched. is. 100 degree days in Dallas? I thought this was taken care of by refs having players take ramdom water breaks. I am curious about Sepp's opinion on this. Oh wait, no I'm not.

Posted by: Gavinmgraham | July 28, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

as it will get it out of the way of Fifa's summer international competitions.

Posted by: tab5g1 | July 28, 2009 10:52 AM

The only FIFA competition that needs to be heeded to is the World Cup. Reduce matches that conflict with qualifying and the finals tournament every four years. I've never understood how this would be so difficult. Don't worry about the Confederations Cup. And I'd be in favor of moving the Gold Cup to every fourth Summer. You could have it start just after the European Championships and CONCACAF could bill it as our version of the event (which has attracted a large TV following in the US) - since it is. MLS could take a one weekend break to focus on the group matches. Two weekend break in World Cup summers.

Posted by: Kev29 | July 28, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

What I-270 said

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | July 28, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

So is all of the CCL going to be simulcast on Galavision? Wasn't it on Telefutura last year? This sucks for me as I don't have either channel. Please tell me the Galavision was a typo!?... crap!

Posted by: DadRyan | July 28, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

"That was stupid on benfica's part, Freddy could've grown throughout the tournament, gained confidence and then gone into pre-season training confident and ready. Thanks Benfica I didn't know IMG was better than getting game time."

I think you're making the same mistake that Adu himself is constantly making: assuming that the soccer universe ebbs and flows according to What Is Best For Freddy, and nothing else.

I'm dying to see Freddy on the field more. But in six years as a pro, this attitude has never changed, and it's close to killing his career. Netherlands would be great - they play more at Freddy's speed, which would be a great start to rounding out his game.

He can wait for some elite club to spontaneously decide he's the perfect fit for them - but there's no guarantee of that ever happening at this point, not until he can physically and mentally adapt to clubs who don't share his world view (e.g. clubs playing on earth's surface).

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | July 28, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

At some point we're going to have to pass the hat and get DadRyan better cable :-D

Posted by: Kev29 | July 28, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

@I-270Exit1

curious, how is that the only way you will see a match?

Posted by: bonghits4gomez | July 28, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

I'm not a fan of July - August matches in scorching weather, but playing over the winter is foolish, without semi covered stadiums and heated pitches. I've been to enough gridiron games in November in Pennsylvania to say it's no fun at all. And it will be as bad or worse in Philly, NY, NE, Toronto, Chicago, (Montreal?) Denver, KC and Dallas.

That said, the problem with the current set schedule is the insistence on afternoon games in July (for TV). That's just crazy, and makes for a bad product, almost as bad as playing on a frozen pitch in 15 F weather.

Posted by: JkR- | July 28, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

----
For those of you who think that MLS should play a fall-spring schedule: if you get your way, then you'd better sign up for FSC, MLSkick (or whatever it's called), and buy the subscription on MLSnet, because that's the only way you'll be able to watch the games. And when you do watch the games, don't complain about the empty stadiums.
----

you do realize that "moving to a fall-spring schedule" would require MLS to move only about 2.5 months worth of their schedule and about 70% of all league games would still be played on their "regular/normal" weekends as they have for 14 seasons.

Posted by: tab5g1 | July 28, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

@ dadryan

you not venturing to RFK tonight?

there is that wesite that streams
www.atdhe.net

Posted by: bonghits4gomez | July 28, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

---------
The only FIFA competition that needs to be heeded to is the World Cup. Reduce matches that conflict with qualifying and the finals tournament every four years. I've never understood how this would be so difficult. Don't worry about the Confederations Cup. And I'd be in favor of moving the Gold Cup to every fourth Summer. You could have it start just after the European Championships and CONCACAF could bill it as our version of the event (which has attracted a large TV following in the US) - since it is. MLS could take a one weekend break to focus on the group matches. Two weekend break in World Cup summers.
--------

Pretty much.

I do think Blatter's main concern is the league's operate to the best of their abilities, and clearly Fifa seems to think leagues can/should do that by not conflicting (at all if possible) with Fifa's schedule of international dates/competitions.

Posted by: tab5g1 | July 28, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Anyway, Adu going to a Dutch team is probably the best outcome we can hope for...

Posted by: Reignking | July 28, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

I still think that MLS can move some of the schedule - at a very minimum June should be a free month. Not a half played month - a free month.

This country has issues with scheduling related to weather and legacy sports. Don't go past Thanksgiving.

Don't start up before the end of February.

Eliminating the play-offs goes a LONG way to freeing up additional weekends to account for a June break. You'd have about 34 weekends for league play. Weave SuperLiga (as UEFA Cup/Europe League/Platini's Playground) into the spring - Champions League is in the fall - US Open Cup runs from July to August.

IT WORKS!

Sepp Blatter:FIFA::Don King:Boxing

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | July 28, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Is the all-star game sold out?

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | July 28, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

@ bonghits4gomez - I believe he was implying that networks like ESPN and ComcastSN would be less likely to show MLS games because of the NFL being in season. I think the current schedule is ok, but MLS should do better to observe more of the FIFA dates, and the World Cup break isn't too much to ask for.

Posted by: VTUnited | July 28, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

I thought freddy left the US roster to "go train with Benfica" not to "go train alone in Florida." What's really going on here? Did he get kicked out of camp because he's such a dolt?

Anyone have any insight on that one?

Posted by: hacksaw | July 28, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Balto mayor loves zzzoccer, wants to build a zzztadium

http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/bal-sp.soccer26jul26,0,5268194.story?track=rss

Posted by: OWNTF | July 28, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

I thought freddy left the US roster to "go train with Benfica" not to "go train alone in Florida." What's really going on here? Did he get kicked out of camp because he's such a dolt?

Anyone have any insight on that one?

Posted by: hacksaw

Have you read the previous posts?

Posted by: Reignking | July 28, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

I wanted to go tonight, but literally, I've never been broker in my life than I am right now. It sucks. I'm luckily already headed over to my neighbor's place who has FSC tonight but that won't be the case for the entire tournament. I was able to watch a lot last year on Telefutura.

Posted by: DadRyan | July 28, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

I'm with those saying extend the season beginning/end and take a league break during the summer for the cups, competitions, etc. I think it's reasonable, and many of the cold weather teams could start on the road, as they often do already.

Posted by: nairbsod | July 28, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

I think a fall - spring schedule with a winter break is reasonable. They could even play a flexible schedule with road matches for the extreme northern teams. A number of Euro leagues take a four week (maybe more for some of the Scandinavian countries) break during January. They all have to be on the same relative schedule for Champions and Europa competitions as well as the International FIFA dates. This would eliminate those July matches under sweltering conditions which are just not conducive to good football.

I think we played a WC qualifier against Mexico in Columbus in February a couple of years ago so it can be done.

Posted by: agoldhammer | July 28, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Exhibitions like the SuperLiga can and should be played in the summer (break), as June is a fine month for matches that don't require full rosters and can be secondary (non-league) competitions for MLS clubs at about the same time that major international competitions (be that World Cup, Confederations Cup, or confederations tournaments like the Euros, Copa America or even Gold Cup) are taking place.

Posted by: tab5g1 | July 28, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

the subject of adu bores me..

apologies to reign for not furthering the dialogue on this overhyped player

Posted by: bonghits4gomez | July 28, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

bh4g: I'll switch...Jozy is back at Villarreal and training with the club :)

Posted by: Reignking | July 28, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

now jozy!!

that's the future of US soccer..

congrats to him... will he be loaned out again, or will he gain more minutes at Villareal...

Posted by: bonghits4gomez | July 28, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

So, does anyone remember if last year's Open Cup final was one of the season ticket plan special games like it is this year, or were those all used up at that point?

Posted by: the_slammer | July 28, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

I have to agree about afternoon games in July. On the other hand, how do we reconcile that with Blatter's confidence in the USA as a future World Cup host? So long as the coveted TV viewing audiences are in Europe, much, if not all of the tournament will be played in the afternoon.

I also continue to say the Adu situation is idiocy. It isn't about doing "what's best for Freddy", except in the sense that Benfica should want to increase not decrease his value. All I can imagine is that Benfica thought a loan deal was imminent, but it still would have made sense to have him in the USA fold until a deal was done. Unless Bradley decided he didn't want to keep Adu in the camp if he couldn't be sure Adu would be there to the end? Really, it doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

Posted by: fischy | July 28, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

FWIW MLWS has smartly decreased the July schedule this year, for many reasons...

fischy: obviously, Benfica has a new coach (they always do). Wouldn't he at least want to see Freddy? Or are they outright trying to sell him and his lofty contract?

Posted by: Reignking | July 28, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: cow_pasture | July 28, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

curious, how is that the only way you will see a match?
Posted by: bonghits4gomez
=======================

ESPN makes more $ from college football and basketball than from soccer due to bigger audiences and more commercial breaks. We may get to see a Tuesday night soccer game. But, to continue, ESPN has been critical of how the attendance looks on TV, so they won;t be too happy about showing a few hundred fans in a 20K stadium.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | July 28, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

and the key for ESPN and the league will be in focusing on finding good dates and venues for those MLS games to showcase on the Disney networks. 20K in DC or Houston or Toronto and elsewhere will look great, as will 24K in Harrison or 27K in the HDC or 32K in Seattle -- no matter the month.

I think MLS is growing (and has grown in some ways and in many markets) past the point where it has to worry "about showing a few hundred fans in a 20K stadium."

yes, low attendance (and poor atmosphere) still exists and likely will exist in some MLS cities for whatever reasons, but the league I think will (hopefully relatively) soon be at the point where it doesn't "have to play in the summer" in an attempt to cater (only to the fickle US soccer crowd) and not cater to the business of running an MLS that best works within Fifa's calendar (and national team commitments of players).

Posted by: tab5g1 | July 28, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

ESPN makes more $ from college football and basketball than from soccer due to bigger audiences and more commercial breaks. We may get to see a Tuesday night soccer game. But, to continue, ESPN has been critical of how the attendance looks on TV, so they won;t be too happy about showing a few hundred fans in a 20K stadium.

Posted by: I-270Exit

Not to mention trying to get TV time versus all of the other leagues in the world.

Posted by: Reignking | July 28, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

-------
Not to mention trying to get TV time versus all of the other leagues in the world.
-------

Thankfully not a lot of leagues around the world play in US primetime.

but I do agree with the point that the US sports marketplace and the global soccer marketplace do create a lot of challenges that confront the business of MLS -- as they're trying to best succeed as a soccer league in the US (and Canada) markets.

Posted by: tab5g1 | July 28, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

I have no in-depth knowledge of the subject.

So... what Chest is going to say.

Posted by: joedoc1 | July 28, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Let's say MLS switched schedules, how would that attract more high-caliber players? You can't play on both continents at the same time anyway - especially if the schedules are synchronized. Is Bladder suggesting that it's too hot in the USA during the summer? It's awfully hot in Africa and South America, too.

I guess he's suggesting that European stars prefer to play in cool weather and are deterred by MLS's summer season?


Posted by: WorldCup | July 28, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

ESPN makes more $ from college football and basketball than from soccer due to bigger audiences and more commercial breaks. We may get to see a Tuesday night soccer game. But, to continue, ESPN has been critical of how the attendance looks on TV, so they won;t be too happy about showing a few hundred fans in a 20K stadium.

Posted by: I-270Exit

Not to mention trying to get TV time versus all of the other leagues in the world.

Posted by: Reignking

Except minus 3 months MLS already competes with basketball, football and the other leagues. Heck if you count preseason football there's really only June and July that its not competing with anything but baseball. The season starts in March Madness, competes with NHL and NBA playoffs and the end of the European season. And the playoffs and end of the season competes with college and pro football. All that would change is MLS Cup would be in May when nothing else is going on but the beginning of baseball. And it would start around football season. I'm a bigger Skins fan than i am DC United but it wouldn't keep me from paying attention. You're always going to compete with something. FSC is there for television oontracts and I'd rather ESPN not show it anyway. Not like they're giving MLS tons of respect anyway.

Posted by: Brian76 | July 28, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

-------
Let's say MLS switched schedules, how would that attract more high-caliber players?
-------

I think the idea from Blatter and Fifa (perhaps) is that MLS would be more attractive to players who want to and do have an international career representing their country.

The long off-season in MLS doesn't seem to help players who want to be fit and playing and be able represent their country. By conflicting with Fifa's calendar and opting to not play in the cold-weather months, MLS is differentiating itself from a lot of other leagues in the world. and those other leagues are the more attractive option for players.

Yes, salary and resources and history are a big part of why players (like Beckham or Bocanegra or Dempsey or Altidore) want to play in Europe and not play their full career in MLS -- but I do think Blatter has a fair point that MLS could be improved by attracting and holding onto more national team level players. And perhaps having a "better" MLS schedule (or one that is better/fully aligned with Fifa's international calendar) would be a step toward getting those players into MLS (to stay and play).

Posted by: tab5g1 | July 28, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

i have read the previous posts re: Freddy, but i'm still confused. from July 8:

"WASHINGTON (AP) -- Freddy Adu will not play for the United States in the remaining games of the CONCACAF Gold Cup, U.S. coach Bob Bradley said after Wednesday's 2-0 win against Honduras.

Adu scored a goal in the Americans' opening 4-0 win against Grenada on Saturday at Seattle. He had one shot on goal Wednesday and was replaced in the 64th minute by Charlie Davies.

"This will be the last game Freddy will be here for the Gold Cup," Bradley said after the game. "That was part of the arrangement from the start."

Adu will participate in the preseason with Portuguese club Benfica, which he joined in 2007."

----

another AP story from July 16 counts Adu among those players who "have returned to their European clubs."

other than Reignking saying "Something has transpired, in the meantime, that has kept Adu away from Benfica." and summarizing his Twitter updates i see nothing that explains why he isn't actually there participating. did he ever go to Portugal? was he sent back? do we still have any commenters who speak Portuguese (troy6?) who can find any news?

this story - http://www.abola.pt/nnh/ver.aspx?id=169750 - shows a picture of Freddy in what is presumably an airport but it's also from July 9 and lacks detail. i'm beginning to think that all the mystery surrounding Freddy and his time with both his club and the national team means that there is some larger issue that is going to prevent him from ever reaching his full potential. after all, how long can you blame circumstances before it becomes a crutch? i hope i'm wrong, but count me among the naysayers for the time being.

on the plus side, i have learned that "pesquisar" is Portuguese for "search".

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | July 28, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

I hate arguing about fall/spring as much as single table. zzzzzzzzzz

Posted by: Reignking | July 28, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

jozy is back at villareal? did olympiakos fall through?

Posted by: joe_hill | July 28, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

The NFL would annihilate MLS if the latter moved to a fall schedule. And I'm an MLS fan. Keep it where it is.

Posted by: stwasm | July 28, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Also, i just spent who knows how long looking at the average highs at weather.com and every city in MLS (including the 3 scheduled to play in the next 2 years) except Chicago in Jan and Toronto in Dec,Jan and Feb has higher average temperatures than either Berlin or Munich. And minus the month of January, all 16 cities (minus Chicago and Toronto) actually have higher average highs than Manchester, Amsterdam, Glasgow, etc. So put a break in January, do an allstar week somewhere tropical, maybe play some German/Russian teams that are on a break in a mini tourney, or schedule the super liga for the end of dec/beginning of jan.

Maybe you have toronto with more road games in the middle of the season, but plenty of soccer games worldwide are played in the snow. Thats why they have heated pitches and orange balls. Expand a little in the southeast US, and that'd help too.

Not saying MLS should definitely switch, but there are a lot of benefits to it that merit a reasonable discussion, and I don't buy the weather arguement. The numbers don't support automatically throwing out a fall-spring season based on weather alone.

Posted by: Brian76 | July 28, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

----
I hate arguing about fall/spring as much as single table. zzzzzzzzzz
----

Don't think of it as "arguing about fall/spring," think of it as discussing if MLS should honor the Fifa calendar or continue to conflict with it.

To me, that is a much better and worthy discussion.

(certainly it's much more interesting and important than the topic of what Benfica is or is not doing with Adu.)

Posted by: tab5g1 | July 28, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

24K in Harrison

Posted by: tab5g1 | July 28, 2009 11:52 AM

LOL! Good one!

Posted by: Kev29 | July 28, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

think of it as discussing if MLS should honor the Fifa calendar or continue to conflict with it.

Posted by: tab5g1

But it's the same story with the same points over and over again. At least we had some "news" with Adu.

Posted by: Reignking | July 28, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

I hate arguing about fall/spring as much as single table. zzzzzzzzzz

Posted by: Reignking

Well at the risk of pissing you off even more, aren't we sort of in one anyway. MLS Cup 2008 was between two teams from the same conference. With the last 4 playoff spots coming from either conference the current divisions are really just for show. The playoffs are just grabbing the top 8 teams from the league.

I'd be for going back to the way it was, top 4 from each conference, or even top 3 and give the first team a bye. Single table only makes sense to me if you're not having a playoff system.

Posted by: Brian76 | July 28, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

----
The NFL would annihilate MLS if the latter moved to a fall schedule. And I'm an MLS fan. Keep it where it is.
----

NFL would and does annihilate MLS under any circumstances.

Currently MLS runs concurrent to NFL from Aug (if we include pre-season NFL) to MLS Cup in Nov.

should the MLS season start in Aug and run through (early) December and then go on break during Jan to early Feb (when NFL is having their playoffs) the league is not really adding much (more than a month) to the portion of their concurrent schedule with NFL. and a benefit would be the MLS playoffs would be in May (hypothetically) and not in Oct/Nov going up against the powerful NFL.

again, there's no "perfect" time for MLS to run its season in the US/Canada -- but there do appear to be some soccer benefits to not conflicting with Fifa's international calendar (and that is Blatter's concern).

Posted by: tab5g1 | July 28, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

MLS team will have an AT&T logo when they play Everton. Says the WSJ.

Posted by: OWNTF | July 28, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

----
But it's the same story with the same points over and over again. At least we had some "news" with Adu.
----

Fair point. But I don't think people are properly looking at Blatter's comments and his take on what a soccer league needs to do to be most successful. (Of course Blatter fails to fully recognize a lot of the challenges facing MLS in the US sports marketplace.)


The Adu news item is interesting, but it is a temporary blip in my opinion, and his career will (or won't) right itself shortly (one would assume). (Hey, why not bring him back to MLS?) But the MLS-Fifa discussion seems more far-reaching and important to me. In this particular blog comments section, many seem to be seeing some of the benefits and truth in what Blatter is saying, while others aren't necessarily approaching the issue with an open mind to consider the future.

Posted by: tab5g1 | July 28, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

@Brian76

you can't say "MLS Cup would be in May when nothing else is going on but the beginning of baseball" right after you've just talked about the NBA and NHL playoffs which are definitely in full swing in May.

but you can look at any part of the year and find competition on the sports calendar. sticking with May, you've got the aforementioned NBA/NHL playoffs, baseball, the end of the European seasons with the promotion/relegation battles, the FA Cup final (and other cup finals), the French Open, the Indy 500. there's always something - this is why ESPN has become as big as it has, because there's never a lack of something going on to cover, analyze, argue about, and run into the ground.

speaking as a soccer fan and married person, there's only so many hours per week i can devote to watching/reading about soccer. if MLS moved its calendar into alignment with Europe, i would definitely follow MLS less closely (and i'm hardly fan #1 right now) because i would rather watch the EPL, Bundesliga, etc. so count me in with the "keep the MLS season where it is, but make more of an effort to avoid conflicts with international dates" crowd.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | July 28, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Yum, MLS and hot cocoa at RFK in January! Get your tickets now before the rush!!!!

Posted by: Hoost | July 28, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

So the ASG players will be phoning it in?

Low hanging fruit.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | July 28, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

---------
speaking as a soccer fan and married person, there's only so many hours per week i can devote to watching/reading about soccer. if MLS moved its calendar into alignment with Europe, i would definitely follow MLS less closely (and i'm hardly fan #1 right now) because i would rather watch the EPL, Bundesliga, etc. so count me in with the "keep the MLS season where it is, but make more of an effort to avoid conflicts with international dates" crowd.
---------

and I also think this is part of Blatter's point. Aligning MLS with Fifa's calendar could in theory create a "more attractive" soccer league. An MLS with better players (one would hope) would be the fans' preferred league in the US -- and fewer would prefer the brand of club soccer offered in the EPL, Bundesliga, etc.

Yes, it's a tall order and likely a long-term mission, but keeping MLS where it is (playing through the summer especially and in conflict with Fifa's dates) makes MLS a second class league to both international soccer and the other (better) soccer leagues out there for fans to follow.

Posted by: tab5g1 | July 28, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

and while i'm saying "count me in" in every post, count me in with those who use Soccer Insider to get through a hungover day at work. thanks to everyone for being so damn interesting to read.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | July 28, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

----
Yum, MLS and hot cocoa at RFK in January! Get your tickets now before the rush!!!!
----

as much as I enjoy hot cocoa -- I think the future would likely have MLS still being on some kind of break (either off-season or mid-season)in January, and DC United no longer playing in RFK (as much as I enjoy that stadium).

Posted by: tab5g1 | July 28, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

@Brian76

you can't say "MLS Cup would be in May when nothing else is going on but the beginning of baseball" right after you've just talked about the NBA and NHL playoffs which are definitely in full swing in May.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars


whoops, you're right, their playoffs are in and through the end of may, not that i watch either too closely but i did watch the NBA finals this year just for Gasol (and the semis to watch lebron lose).

No surprise i spoke/wrote without thinking. A valid and strong argument against ending in May, and much better than saying just saying its impossible to do a spring/fall due to the weather.

Posted by: Brian76 | July 28, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to think at some point in the not too distant future we won't need to worry about competing with other sports and we'll move to the spring/fall schedule. Its not like La Liga sets their schedule around the Premier League. But still, we've got a ways to go.

While we're arguing everythinge else, lets go ahead and throw out promotion/relegation! :)

I'm actually for it..........in MLB. I think it'd work there. Although DC would be again without a major league team, and probably for another 40 years!

Posted by: Brian76 | July 28, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

@tab5g1

sure, long-term it would be great to have MLS be considered in that top tier but it's nowhere close right now and it won't be until it has more money to pay players. and that won't happen until the fanbase in this country grows a lot. and that won't happen except with incremental growth year after year.

i'm sure the MLS folks thought about this way back in the mid 90s when the league was starting. being a world class league was always a goal (pardon the pun) because Americans want to have the best leagues and the best players here. it's why MLS have shut some franchises down and why they are now expanding. it's why Beckham was brought here. it's why they did away with the shootouts and the halves that ended right at the 45:00 mark. it's why they are pushing for SSSs everywhere they can get them. it's why they should be considering getting rid of all turf fields and going to a "home and away" schedule (single table i'm somewhat ambivalent about).

it may get there, but it's going to take at least another 10-20 years. i'm sure they're thinking about whether moving the schedule to fall-spring would help but they have a lot of other competition that European leagues don't have. players will go where the money is - if it's in MLS, they will come regardless of the schedule and FIFA will shut up about how we need to be more like Europe.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | July 28, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

IMO, playing over the winter is a lousy idea. The folks reading this blog would probably go regardless of most any circumstances (even if the players were blindfolded), but those who have not yet been sucked in so deeply will be harder to reach.

The three biggest reasons I feel this way are:

1) I strongly believe this would put MLS in much more direct competition for attention w/ more established sports- in terms of event attendance, game's being shown on TV & sports media attention in general. That is not a good business plan if the goal is to grow the sport in the US.

On a personal note, half the United fans I know are also big Caps fans. My guess is hardly a one of them would like this move.

2) Competition for TV time w/ the rest of the futbol world.

Someone pointed out that foreign games are not played at the same time of day (US primetime). True, but if you work for a living or have a family that's often when you're watch those games.

3) I think you'll see a lot fewer parents bringing young kids out to games in the dead of winter.

Posted by: KireDCU | July 28, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

So, does anyone remember if last year's Open Cup final was one of the season ticket plan special games like it is this year, or were those all used up at that point?

Posted by: the_slammer | July 28, 2009 11:28 AM
--------------
No, it was not part of the season ticket package last year. I think that really hurt attendance. All of those tournament games like Superliga ate up the "special game" tickets last year.

Posted by: fedssocr | July 28, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

@dimesmakedollars

I agreed with what you're saying, but this line is the most interesting:

-------
players will go where the money is - if it's in MLS, they will come regardless of the schedule
-----

not to keep coming back to the Beckham example (as he is perhaps a unique situation) but "the schedule" and MLS's huge off-season does in some ways affect the type of players that MLS can sign (and then perhaps not lose to a six-month loan).

(the top) players won't join MLS (or stitk with it) if the league (and the league's schedule specifically) don't aid the player in their goals of representing their country and playing at the World Cup.

Posted by: tab5g1 | July 28, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Josie may be the future of Men's Soccer in this country, if we don't die of old age waiting. Adu, we will die of old age waiting. He may have a 5 yr contract, but they have shipped him out 2 and those clubs let him sit. He needs to grow up.

Posted by: VirginiaFan | July 28, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

and lest anyone forget, DC got 8 inches of snow in early March this year in a storm that also hit NYC and Boston. also, kids in this country don't play soccer during the cold months, so most people aren't used to it at that time of year. i like the fact that i can hole up in my apartment at 10am on a February Sunday to catch Everton-West Ham or something, but i wouldn't be headed out to a game in 20-degree weather unless it was USA-Mexico or something of similar importance.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | July 28, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

As for the full list, that is a joke. We sit, tied for 2nd but have no one on it. I understand the first 18, but we deserve better. I think the league should tell the European Clubs who come to profit that they should train at home and give us a summer off.

Posted by: VirginiaFan | July 28, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

------
i like the fact that i can hole up in my apartment at 10am on a February Sunday to catch Everton-West Ham or something, but i wouldn't be headed out to a game in 20-degree weather unless it was USA-Mexico or something of similar importance.
-------

and nothing (no matter the MLS schedule) will affect what you do on a Sunday morning at 10am.

and in the future (one would suspect that) MLS's goals might be to create a league that is of "similar importance" to something like a US-Mexico clash.

in my opinion, MLS and its teams can built bigger and more passionate/loyal fan bases by improving the product. and avoiding Fifa dates with the league schedule is a plausible way to work on improving the MLS product, again in my opinion. (and yes, avoiding Fifa dates would force MLS to shift its schedule somewhat and likely play some of their schedule in colder weather and up against other competing leagues/sports.)

Posted by: tab5g1 | July 28, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

-------
and lest anyone forget, DC got 8 inches of snow in early March this year in a storm that also hit NYC and Boston. also, kids in this country don't play soccer during the cold months, so most people aren't used to it at that time of year.
--------

but it's not so easy to turn this into a Feb/March versus June/July discussion, in my opinion.

weren't their summer lightning/rain storms that twice postponed the Houston at DC United match in DC?

also, kids in this country don't play soccer during the summer months (for the most part), so most people aren't used to it at that time of year (until MLS re-introduced the idea of summer league soccer in the US in 1996).

The fact is MLS has to face a lot of issues when setting a league schedule, yet it is certainly understandable that Blatter, as a representative of Fifa, has the opinions that he does.

Posted by: tab5g1 | July 28, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

And I suggest the French league be an interesting, attacking league which shows MLS what spending millions can do for the overall quality.

Oh, right, your league is a boring, vacuous wasteland with only one good team that never goes anywhere in the Champions League.

There is a Major problem with starting in the fall. It's name is Football. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the season was designed so that it could breath despite the presence of larger American sports.

Blatter, I also suggest you stop being a snob with a long nose with which to look down on soccer from... frequently. If it were'nt for you, we'd already have World Cup lined up.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | July 28, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

tab5g1 = Sepp Blatter with an WaPo account?

Pretty sure there isn't a major attendance difference between games played with full rosters and games played missing players for international duty. Maybe someday, but the way it is right now seems to me to be fans either 1) Aren't well informed enough to care whether DCU is playing the day before the Gold Cup final or 2) Are hardcore enough to support the team even if the NT players might not be there. I'd say the number of people saying "Man, I was gonna go to the game, but the fact that Quaranta is off on USMNT duty really kills it for me" is pretty small.

And if you really think that the bump gotten by appearing more "legitimate" in playing a fall-to-spring schedule is more than the people who would stay home because it's 30 degrees and sleeting out for half the season, well, I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on that one.

Posted by: the_slammer | July 28, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

----
Yum, MLS and hot cocoa at RFK in January! Get your tickets now before the rush!!!!
----

as much as I enjoy hot cocoa -- I think the future would likely have MLS still being on some kind of break (either off-season or mid-season)in January, and DC United no longer playing in RFK (as much as I enjoy that stadium).

Posted by: tab5g1 | July 28, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Yum, MLS and hot cocoa in St. Louis in January! Get your tickets now before the rush!!!!

: )

Posted by: Hoost | July 28, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

I agree somewhat with Blatter...

MLS should play a split season with a fall season from August-November, winter transfer December-January, spring season February-May, and summer transfer June-July.

Really, you're just trading June for February, since July would be chalk-full of friendlies in prep for the fall season.

Posted by: mediaman1976 | July 28, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

People had been asking about highlights of the Freedom-Red Stars match on Sunday. There's now a video that includes Allie Long's amazing goal (or amazing Chicago defensive failure, take your pick) at:

http://www.womensprosoccer.com/video/index?pid=WmmDAQ6ToKGvw6WLhTT1wXrT8LUFZICm

Posted by: kevinwparker | July 28, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Thanks kevinwparker

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | July 28, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Goff,

To some extent you are wrong about Blatter's comments. He is being extreme, but he does make a good point concerning players players wantin to play for their club and national teams without scheduling conflicts, but the MLS schedules does not always allow that. It's a serious "catch 22" for the league and international players.

Posted by: no_recess | July 28, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

From the Uighur article:

"Our women, once they get here, become harder to deal with on a daily basis."

Nice.

Posted by: StanShmenge | July 28, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Whatever, the world doesn't revolve around FIFA, well, most of it might, but the USA has a completely different sports culture than the rest of the world and for the most part I'm fine with it. Don't come over here and tell us how and when we need to play our games. I get that aligning transfer windows could be helpful, but what ever.

Everyone who's stated we would get screwed out of television coverage is right. So many more sports in the US that Europe and most of the world barely even play. Dumb, dee, dumb, dumb.

Can anyone tell me if the CCL Group stage is going to be on Galavision? Please tell me that these play in matches are some sort of exception. What channel is Galavision on regular old basic Comcast cable anyway?


Posted by: DadRyan | July 28, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Thanks from me, too, kwp. I got to meet Long at the Freedom fundraiser in Georgetown last Wednesday (she was one of the guest bartenders). It was nice to see her come through like that. I guess she is now recovered from whatever injuries were hampering her earlier.

Posted by: cow_pasture | July 28, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

What channel is Galavision on regular old basic Comcast cable anyway?
-----------------------------------------

Regrettably, "Galavision" and "basic Comcast cable" is a contradiction in terms.

Posted by: cow_pasture | July 28, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

tab5g1:

Yes, there was a freak occurrence at RFK last year with those Houston games. However, unplayable winter weather happens much more often here than unplayable summer weather.

I also have trouble with your earlier use of average temperature comparisons between MLS cities and European cities (especially in Germany). Simply put, soccer is much, much more popular there than here. You will still get typically huge Bundesliga attendances playing with some snow falling. We won't maintain the same numbers we get, much less grow attendance like we should be trying to do.

I could see expanding the schedule a week or two further into March and November, but no more. The attendance drop will hurt revenues for most teams. There are too many MLS teams in cold winter climates to make this work. You can't argue that you'd just make the cold-weather teams open the season on the road, because a) over half the league would be playing a month or more on the road and b) the entire Eastern conference would be in their ranks. It would make the current schedule look reasonable and logical.

Let's think back to the 2005 Champions Cup home leg against Harbour View. The game took place March 9th, just after a typical metro area winter mix had fallen. There was snow along both touchlines, and the stands had an inch thick layer of ice in most places. I, for one, had ice under my feet for the entire game. We got 3,825 out for that one at the Soccerplex, and it was very muted. Why? Because it was too cold to do much more than huddle together to preserve warmth.

Several people have brought up the "pay them and they will come" argument. That makes sense. The Russian league has gotten some top players, in their prime, by paying them lots of money. I remember Portugal coming off an impressive tournament, and Maniche and...Costinha (?) both went to Russian clubs. Now, there were cultural differences that made the moves both flop, but that's not the point. The point is that the Russian clubs put up the money and got players that could have gone to any league they wanted. It has nothing to do with the schedule.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | July 28, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Money?

Money, get away.
Get a good job with good pay and you're okay.
Money, its a gas.
Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash.
New car, caviar, four star daydream,
Think I'll buy me a football team.

Posted by: OWNTF | July 28, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

That was my comment about the temperatures. It was only to illustrate that most European games aren't played in the snow even in the winter and they have relatively close to similar winter temperatures to most of the MLS cities in every month except January.

I'm sure attendance wouldn't be as good, but how different would it really be? So far this year here are the attendance averages by month based on MLSNET.COM:

March 15,632
April 14,736
May 14,729
June 16,111
July 17,218

So what is it, maybe 2,000 difference? Around 10% probably. I didn't look to see how much it falls off after football starts. Significant sure, but you'll get the season tix regardless and for every walkup that you get in the summer for "nice" weather, they're just as likely to stay home if its super hot and humid, or say your star player(s) are playing in the World Cup, Gold Cup, or any other international competition. Maybe not so much nowadays, but remember when we had Etchverry and he was gone, or Valdarramma or whoever? I guarantee walk up attendance was less then. And if there are no games when there are international competitions, you're getting the most out of the investment you make on the high priced guys, cause you're paying whether they are there or not.

Again, not saying we should definitely switch calendars. But weather isn't the only factor, and certainly doesn't totally outweigh everything else.

Posted by: Brian76 | July 28, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Blatter can suck it.

A Fall-Spring MLS would get even less airtime than the current schedule allows. That's far worse than playing on summer FIFA dates.

Posted by: mason08 | July 28, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Its about winter breaks in February! Come come now SG don't be so dismissive. its not like people don't go to outside in January for American Football in Chicago. Why soccer fans fear going to games in January in cold weather cities while American Football fans embrace the idea? They are going to have to stretch play off into December and start in early February anyway to accommodate the three incoming teams and the six games extra games they come with.

Posted by: degerron | July 28, 2009 6:47 PM | Report abuse

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