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MLS Cup, labor talks, Kevin Hartman's future

*The league is close to finalizing the venue for MLS Cup in November, and according to Insider sources, the four finalists are:

New York: Red Bull Arena, which opens this month, will be the league's finest and would provide a vibrant setting in the nation's biggest market.

Toronto: TFC made a serious bid last year, only to lose out to Seattle, and with natural grass now in place and an engaged fan base, the league would have few concerns -- except, perhaps, for the weather.

Los Angeles: Home Depot Center is a safe, reliable choice and, with more pre-Cup amenities available (Anschutz's L.A. Live downtown entertainment complex), the league could go for the glamor location.

Philadelphia: The expansion club has yet to play a match and the new stadium in Chester won't open until this summer, but with strong government backing, Union management has apparently made an impressive proposal.

Where would you like to see MLS Cup played?

*The collective bargaining agreement talks will resume Tuesday in Washington and, if all goes well, continue Wednesday.

*Former Kansas City goalkeeper Kevin Hartman, whose club-less situation has been at the center of the CBA storm, is close to being acquired by an MLS team, the Insider has learned. Where is he headed? Dallas?

By Steve Goff  |  March 8, 2010; 11:22 AM ET
Categories:  MLS  
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Next: D.C. United roster updates

Comments

Cup's gotta be at NY, if only because of the beauty of a stadium.

Posted by: nairbsod | March 8, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

New York, Toronto, Philly - all potentially too cold in November for the Cup final. Let's make 2010 the last hurrah for RFK before work starts on our new urban soccer-specific stadium!

Posted by: soccerman | March 8, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

New York has finally gotten their act together...w the completion of this stadium and hopefully their new coach will change things around on the field. It should be a no brainer to hold the MLS final in the most important city in the world, with a fantastic market and ability to draw from DC, Philly, Boston. NYC is an MLS essential market...reward them for good behavior for a change.

Posted by: ananda001 | March 8, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

none of the above! have the higher-seeded team host.

Posted by: troy6 | March 8, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Steve, any background coming on the roster moves announced at BtB, including 2 new trialists plus Jermaine Taylor's arrival?

I'm assuming we're looking a 37 year old Bolivian central defender because Carlos Llamosa wasn't available. Dude's almost a year older than Eddie Pope.

Posted by: benonthehill | March 8, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

What's the dealio with the veteran defender trialist from Bolivia that DCU is currently working with????

My vote for the MLS cup would be for it to take place as close to New Orleans as possible....

Posted by: bonghits4gomez | March 8, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

I'd shy away from Home Depot Center for this year, since it's already hosted three times in seven years, including 2008.

What is the capacity of each of the other three options? Seems like they could each be a bit on the smaller side (is any of them over 30,000?).

It seems MLS is more happy in recent years to say "sellout" rather than draw a crowd over 35k.

Posted by: csh2000 | March 8, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

NY is a no-brainer.

Posted by: Reignking | March 8, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

If all goes well the CBA talks will resume Tuesday, the players will, as seems inevitable, capitulate Tuesday night, and the union will rubber stamp the agreement on Wednesday or soon thereafter.

No, I'm not anti-player, that is just what I think will happen sooner or later.

Posted by: Ron16 | March 8, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

yeah I gotta go with NY, that stadium makes a real statement about the growth of the sport in the US.

Posted by: DCB23 | March 8, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Umm the Santos vs DC game is it televised??? anyone know?

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | March 8, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

"a no brainer to hold the MLS final in the most important city in the world,"

Wait..... Harrison, New Jersey is the most important city in the world? This really is a crazy world.

Posted by: rockotodd | March 8, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

It was cold in Seattle - but it looked like a great atmosphere nonetheless.

The only reason to host it at HDC is if you think Chivas, not LA Galaxy, will be a participant.

Other than that you have:

BMO - Goverment has backed the sport not once but twice with the installation of grass. Would be nice to see the league continue to honor the hard work done by the original expansion team that got it pretty right from the start. I'm sure there would be a good turnout.

Red Bull - it's the standard bearer for quality right now and the league's HQ and plenty of amenities are nearby. You're an easy commute for New England, Philly, DC, and Red Bull fans. Not a bad situation for flights either. You have to wonder, though, will the market support a sell-out if Red Bull is not involved?

Philly - another team that has a great bid, and a great stadium being built with lots of government support (and it's always good to pay it back!). However, Philly is not likely to be a participant and really, MLS Cup would need to end up at DSG, Rio Tinto and Chicago before it went here based on size and quality of the stadium. Sons of Ben would push for a great crowd w/o a home team.

My winner - let's send it to Toronto. Sure it's cold, but if MLSE is willing to guarantee a sell-out let's give them the chance. Toronto would have a good chance to remind the league and fans that while its team has not been a post-season participant yet, it still has first class support and we're glad they're part of our league.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | March 8, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

NY/Harrison for the MLS Cup even if the weather might be less than Southern Californian...

United roster discussion to follow?

Posted by: assocfoot | March 8, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

and, I just saw the new post...

Posted by: assocfoot | March 8, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

VBB asks: You have to wonder, though, will the market support a sell-out if Red Bull is not involved?

270 answers: "Tickets distributed," ergo sell-out.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | March 8, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

I agree with DCB23's reasoning but also wouldn't mind seeing it in the higher seeds stadium as troy6 mentioned.

NY get's my vote.

Posted by: SomeSoccerFan | March 8, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

I'd be shocked to see it anywhere besides NY. Everyone who has visited the stadium has praised it. Why wouldn't MLS want to show it off on national TV?

Posted by: DCUMD | March 8, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Harrison, then Philly, then Toronto

Posted by: Kev29 | March 8, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

I would go with Red Bull Arena? I would probably wait to give it to Toronto after at least 2 Canadian teams are in the league in another year and they have already hosted an All Star game.

Posted by: csd1 | March 8, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to see them wait another year for New Jersey....er New York. The stadium is almost complete, but much of the surrounding district is still under construction and will be for some time. LA this year, Harrison next. Anywhere but Toronto!

Posted by: harkes4ever | March 8, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

none of the above! have the higher-seeded team host.
Posted by: troy6 | March 8, 2010 11:35 AM

I agree! Can't beat rooting for the home team. NFL is the only pro league that does it the stupid neutral way, and they play the stupid kind of football.

Posted by: tailwagger | March 8, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Where would you like to see MLS Cup played?

RFK Stadium.

Posted by: stwasm | March 8, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Temperature is a problem? Average (or rather, mean) November temperatures for:

Harrison, NJ = 46
Chester, PA = 48
Toronto, ON = 38

I mean, yeah, Toronto is pushing it in terms of comfort levels, but mid-40s shouldn't be deterring people who really enjoy the game.

Posted by: edgeonyou | March 8, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

No way should Toronto even be seriously considered. It is WAY too small for a Cup game. Plus most league fans would need to get a passport to get there and back, which seems silly for a league championship match.
Give them the All-Star game instead.

Philly's new stadium isn't going to be much bigger, iirc - I guess that leaves you with New Jersey.

Posted by: dcufan | March 8, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry to all the nice people in Toronto, but it is WAY too cold there to play soccer in November. MLS would be foolish to put their biggest game in a city where temperatures are right around freezing.

Posted by: DaveBrett | March 8, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

"The stadium is almost complete, but much of the surrounding district is still under construction and will be for some time."

Most of the blocks between RBA and the PATH station aren't even under construction. They're just fenced-off brownfields, and they'll be that way for a few more years.

But that's a pretty weak reason not to hold MLS Cup there. Walk in a different direction from the stadium for five minutes and you're in the Ironbound, with tons of awesome Iberian restaurants and bars. Go the other way and you're in Kearny, again with plenty of Scottish and Irish bars and restaurants.

That's not to mention that virtually every other MLS stadium is surrounded by acres of parking lots that are nearly as much of an eyesore as the brick-strewn lots of Harrison. Or the fact that a short train ride away is Manhattan, where there's no want of stuff to do.

Posted by: Mastodon_Juan | March 8, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Let the rotation commence: RBP; Home Depot; Toyota; Qwest. Hit the three largest markets on a rotating basis and keep throwing in Seattle as long as their fans stay nuts. Anyone who builds a new stadium that can take 30,000 fans gets in on a trial basis, keeping the east, west, middle theme going. Frankly, I'd have no issue with RBP and Home Depot basically becoming the Superdome and Phoenix of MLS, the de facto hosts unless someone comes up with a remarkable plan or a better stadium. Rotate all-star games, other big matches as usual.

How's this for a plan? Defending champion hosts the Final next season?

Posted by: joshuaostevens | March 8, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

dcufan -- BMO Field is too small? According to what standard? MLS Cup has been held at small stadiums before, namely Pizza Hut Park.

And after the north end expansion is complete in April, BMO Field will seat close to 23000, only 2000 fewer than the new Red Bull Arena.

Plus it'll have a heated grass field for the weather.

TFC fans have proven they'll come out in all weather, so the field will be in perfect shape and the fans will be rocking.

Posted by: hendrix | March 8, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

DaveBrett -- too cold in Toronto in November? on MLS Cup day last fall, Seattle was colder than Toronto was.

Posted by: hendrix | March 8, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Too cold for who or for what?

Are we talking baseball, beach volley, boccie...?

Come on.

Why in the rest of the world is Football played in winter and here we are concerned about October/November weather?

Please look at the video of a "March" game in Italy. This is a serie B game (Cesena - Sassuolo) played just 2 days ago.... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ZuFNT4q5GU

stadium full of chanting fans....

Posted by: malatestiano | March 8, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Late Fall is colder with more inclement weather in the US than it is for much of Europe, England included. That's why they can have a Fall-Spring season.

If we tried that here, last month would have been virtually impossible for anyone not playing in SoCal or Texas.

I'm on board with the Cup being hosted by the higher seed.

Posted by: alecw81 | March 8, 2010 11:07 PM | Report abuse

Red Bull Arena should host.

Posted by: tfoisie | March 10, 2010 3:57 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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