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MLS: Best XI, expansion outlook, playoff format, MVP hint, roster size, reserve division, other notes

By Steve Goff

MLS Best XI

Goalkeeper: Donovan Ricketts, Los Angeles.

Defenders: Jamison Olave, Real Salt Lake; Omar Gonzalez, Los Angeles; Nat Borchers, Real Salt Lake.

Midfielders: David Ferreira, Dallas; Dwayne De Rosario, Toronto; Sebastien Le Toux, Philadelphia; Javier Morales, Real Salt Lake; Landon Donovan, Los Angeles.

Forwards: Edson Buddle, Los Angeles; Chris Wondolowski, San Jose.

Donovan was on the ballot as a forward. According to MLS Commissioner Don Garber, the league felt Donovan belonged on the Best XI, so after the votes were counted, the league placed him on the final list as a midfielder. It's unclear who was bumped off (the player who received the fifth-most votes among midfielders).

Garber: "Due to the large number of votes that he received, and the fact that he was on the Galaxy lineup as a midfielder nearly twice as many times as he was a forward, he was included as a midfielder [on the Best XI]. We needed to do the right thing."

For much more.....

*There is a possibility that the 2011 MLS Cup will be hosted by the highest-remaining seed. "At some point we will be ready for it, the question is whether we will be ready for it next year," Garber said. Issues include short-term ticket sales and marketing, and other logistical issues. The 2011 final is set for Sunday, Nov. 20.

*While answering a question about MLS Cup and the lack of marquee players that, for example, a Los Angeles-New York final would have offered, Garber was ready to say that one of the participants (Dallas midfielder David Ferreira) is the league MVP. He caught himself, stumbled and laughed. The official announcement won't be made until Friday. Congrats, David.

*Roster sizes will increase to 30. The final six slots are for players under age 25 who don't count against the salary cap. In a related move, the reserve division is back: three six-team divisions, 10 matches per club, eight participating in the playoffs. Players must be on the full-time roster, from the youth academy or on trial, which eliminates the previous embarrassment of equipment managers filling out the game-day roster.

*MLS is working with the USSF to create a development task force on officiating.

*The salary cap is $2.67 million per club. This season, it was $2.55 million.

*Under consideration: MLS teams advancing to the CONCACAF Champions League semifinals would receive salary cap flexibility.

*The MLS competition committee has recommended lifting the four-player limit per club for homegrown players (youth academy) and allowing unlimited signings. Homegrown players do not count against a team's salary cap.

*Each club will play 34 regular season matches, an increase from 30, but the league is still discussing conference affiliation and whether to have a home-and-home format or an unbalanced schedule to enhance rivalries. The playoff format and number of participants is still a work in progress, as well, but the playoffs themselves are not going away.

"We will never do away with playoffs," Garber said. "There is absolutely no reason to do that. I know that it exists in other soccer leagues, though not all. All have been around for hundreds of years, all that don't have the [sports] competition that we have. We will always have playoffs. The question is: Do we have playoffs that are constructed differently that might perhaps be more international in their structure? Do we add games? Do we make the playoffs longer? All of these things are going to be considered."

*New York is at the top of the list for expansion for a 20th team as soon as 2013, Garber said. "The Red Bulls are very supportive of it; they believe a local rival will add even more passion for the sport and this league in this market. There are 13-plus million people in this city, and there's more enough for two teams, particularly if one is in New York and one is based over the river in New Jersey. I am not at all concerned about saturation."

Asked about expanding elsewhere instead of adding a second club in the New York area, he said: "We are very focused on local rivalries being a key driver in growing our clubs' relevance, and by growing local relevance, we believe that can translate into national relevance. The phenomenon in the Pacific Northwest is something we never could have dreamed of. ... Rivalries really do matter. While we have been very focused on broadening our footprint, we do believe we need to have more rivalries and that second team in New York will help us do that.

"That being said, I can't imagine this will be a league, when all is said and done, that does not have teams in the South, certainly south of Washington. It's inconceivable we won't have teams at some point, whether it's in Atlanta or Florida, we have to. The only question is when that will be."

On expanding beyond 20 teams in the distant future:

"I don't know when it will be that we go beyond 20 [clubs] but at some point in our lifetime, there will be more than 20 teams in MLS. We've got a long way to go before we consider that. We'll work hard with New York, but we are still talking to people in Atlanta, we've had people in Florida reach out to us, fans in Miami continue to inundate me with e-mails -- I appreciate that. We've had interest in Orlando and Tampa, San Diego."

By Steve Goff  | November 16, 2010; 4:46 PM ET
Categories:  MLS  | Tags:  MLS  
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Comments

Not that it's important, but from now on we cannot trust Garber or MLS on any announcement of a "best" anything, except Best BS-er, Don Garber.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 16, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Dallas and Houston are not the South?

Posted by: granadoskerry | November 16, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and thanks Steve. You're the best. And by that, I mean Steinberg and Wilbon got more votes, but you're the best.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 16, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

I love Calvinball.

Posted by: Pedalada | November 16, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Whew -- thanks for the post. Lots of stuff. Beats the bare bones piece on MLS' site. I think you've cleared up some confusion that piece produced, though it looks like we still didn't connect all the pieces.

Six roster slots for players under 25 who don't count against the salary cap. Are those different than homegrown players? Is the league allowing for non-homegrown signings that won't count against the salary cap? Is this universe limited to homegrown players and Gen Adidas players, or is there a new category that will also be included?

What would "unlimited" homegrown signings mean, if there are only 6 roster slots for players who don't count towards the cap? Would additional homegrown players have to come under the salary cap? Would this be in addition to the six slots that are reserved for thees under 25 year old players?

I'm also wondering what happens to players who were homegrown players from previous years. Are they to continue as homegrown players? Will they be moved into this "under 25" category? Is there a difference?

It all seems rather ambiguous to me.

One problem I see with moving MLS Cup away from the neutral site. The Super Bowl usually comes 2 weeks after the conference finals. This allows fans a chance to make flight arrangements when the team qualifies and still get a 14-day advance purchase, if they're willing to fly in on game day. Much cheaper for the fans. That's in addition to those who would find it more feasible to make the trip than if they just have a few days to arrange a flight and hotel.

I'm not saying they shouldn't give this format a try, but it's going to be a problem for visiting fans. I guess that's no different than the current system, except that it means a hugely partisan crowd, with few seats going to the visitors.

IF DCU goes under or moves far away, I'm all set to become a Cosmos fan....

Posted by: fischy | November 16, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Ha ha. Guess Garber's gushing over the RIVALRIES in the Pac NW blow that "we are not your rivals" thread on Big Soccer out of the water... Tiiiiiiiiiiimmmbbeeeeeeer!

I like the sound of Champions League qualifiers having some extra cap flex, bigger rosters, return of reserve league, and opening up the homegrown player floodgates. Lot's of incentive for clubs getting serious with their youth programs, and hopefully incentive for kids to commit to their local teams. Grab these kids before collegiate soccer ruins their game and/or they ship off on another "yanks not in the 18" adventure. Hopefully creating opportunities for the youngin's to get their chances will make for some pretty exciting soccer in MLS contrary to what I have been thinking would be a major watering down of the talent pool with the latest expansion.

Guess the sky might not be falling league wide. Maybe just in DC... ;)

Also, big shout out to Seba Letoux. I had nothing but doubt for the guy when he became the first USL Sounder to sign with the MLS version. I didn't think he'd last a season. Gotta give props to the guy for having the impact he's had in Seattle and now in Philly. Pretty classy dude as far as I can tell, I'd take him in our team over a Montero any day of the week.


Posted by: DadRyan | November 16, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

I love Calvinball.

Posted by: Pedalada | November 16, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

+100

Posted by: boda-united | November 16, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

No DC United players in the Best XI...no real surprise. No MLS Cup Finalists Rapids players in the Best XI...semi-surprised.

Posted by: soccerman | November 16, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

i really hate how outside backs are not regularly included in best XI/ all-star teams. EVERY team plays with outside backs and these guys should be recognized. as a basic demonstration i think about the massive impact of the OBs on last 3 WC winners - cafu/roberto carlos, grosso/zambrotta, capdevila/ramos. and i would love to hear who the coaches and players feel are the best...

love DGs stance on playoffs. really cant figure why so many are always clamoring for boring single table/no playoffs. works if you have 2-4 teams always better than everyone else and relegation. otherwise a terrible idea. and who would not want to watch top 4 in EPL/LA LIGA/BUNDES/SERIE A playoffs anyway???

Posted by: rainORshine | November 16, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

I'm concerned that this "rivalries" thing means they're leaning towards an unbalanced schedule and it's inherent lack of fairness.

Posted by: fedssocr | November 16, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Here's one other point of confusion -- the league's article says the additional four slots will go to the 24 and under category. Besides wondering if these are meant as homegrown slots -- It sounds as if they are different than the 2 slots previoously held for homegrown players, and that there will be 4 such slots...not the six that Goff notes above (unless they are being llumped in with the orevious 2 homegrown roster-exempt slots....) Is this meant to encourage non-homegrown, presmable oyung foreign signings? If so, is the number to be 4, or 6?

Lastly, does Wlll Chang have the money to pay any more players beyond what MLS pays, covering the salary cap? Could Hernandez' salary e moved to this seemingly new category of salary=cap exempt players?

(Steve -- you might want to check on this, too: You wrote that the league is looking at going beyond the four homegrown signings allowed. First, I'm confused, because I thought the current number was 2, not 4. Shanofsky was allowed for some reason, but he wasn't eligible to play for United until 2011. Second, the mlssoccer piece doesn't say the competition committee is looking at this. It states flatly that "Teams can now sign an unlimited number of homegrown players per season.")

Can you clear this all up? It seems clear that there will be six slots to be filled with players "24 and under"? Is that to be some mix of homegrown, Ge Adidas and young foreign signings like Juninho? I think that's what MLS is getting at (though it leaves me confused by the notion of "unlimited homegrown player signings"). If this applies to foreign signings, Chad Ashton is going to have to get off his posterior and do some serious scouting....

Posted by: fischy | November 16, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

"That being said, I can't imagine this will be a league, when all is said and done, that does not have teams in the South, certainly south of Washington. It's inconceivable we won't have teams at some point, whether it's in Atlanta or Florida, we have to. The only question is when that will be."

Arthur Blank's Atlanta United??

Posted by: Kev29 | November 16, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Good thing Garber isn't a butcher every customer would buy his thumb when he put it on the scale with your porkchops.
Why not pick the other Glax-phenom too? You know what's his name the walking,talking Brit tattoo poster boy who inspired the world cup team to such glory. Oh and give the best XI, VI or VII weeks to train and I bet they might be semi competitive in the Mexican league.

Posted by: NICKYNUNYA | November 16, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

No team in the south...sigh.

I think this biggest news there is the cap flexibility for the Champions League. If we want to compete in those, we need deeper rosters (30 now) and the $$ to pay for it.

Posted by: Reignking | November 16, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

DadRyan:

'Ha ha. Guess Garber's gushing over the RIVALRIES in the Pac NW blow that "we are not your rivals" thread on Big Soccer out of the water... Tiiiiiiiiiiimmmbbeeeeeeer!'

?? link? (dont see article/thread)

Posted by: rainORshine | November 16, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

By Jove, I think I've got it: Let the Supporter's Shield winners host the final. That makes the regular season REALLY matter, both in terms of competition (everyone would want home field advantage) and financially (what club wouldn't want the added revenue). Plus it would also give the league about a month to set up their logistics for the final, book flights, etc. Bonus: it would be in a market that would be relatively psyched about soccer (i.e., no Miami Fusions in the league anymore).

I think it is a good solution in a lot of ways. Anybody agree?

Posted by: adamsmorgan | November 16, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

I don't agree with expanding the regular season unless they implement a way to make regular season achievement more meaningful in the playoffs (esp. the two-legged first round). I still think if you're going to have a two-leg quarterfinal, then the lower seeded team (by a rational seeding, not what they did this year) should have to outright win it. Tie goes to the regular season achiever.

Posted by: saabrian | November 16, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

@rainORshine, I don't condone reading or posting here, unless you have a great sense of humor....
have at it...
http://www.bigsoccer.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=77
you'll have to scroll down toward the bottom of the first page, as the "Seattle Invented" thread has kind of taken on a life of it's own, but "You are not our rivals" is bound to make a comeback as the expansion draft nears...

Posted by: DadRyan | November 16, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

"I can't imagine this will be a league, when all is said and done, that does not have teams in the South, certainly south of Baltimore."
----------
Fixed Garber's comments.

Posted by: benonthehill | November 16, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Houston and Dallas may be the south, but, Houston is still 12-13 hour drive away from Atlanta, same a DC, close to the same as Miami. That's a LOT of square miles for MLS to not have any presence.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | November 16, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Last year the Best XI also played a 3-5-2 with Donovan in the midfield. Maybe they should expand this too, and go to a Best XVIII.

Then we could say, "DC United, not in the XVIII."

Posted by: OWNTF | November 16, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

"i really hate how outside backs are not regularly included in best XI/ all-star teams. EVERY team plays with outside backs and these guys should be recognized. as a basic demonstration i think about the massive impact of the OBs on last 3 WC winners - cafu/roberto carlos, grosso/zambrotta, capdevila/ramos. and i would love to hear who the coaches and players feel are the best..."

*******************

No d-mids either! Donovan Ricketts is going to spend a lot of time picking the ball out of the net if this team ever hits the field. 3 central defenders, 5 attacking midfielders and 2 forwards.

I'm glad Ferreira was given the MVP award because he really deserves it. But I also wonder whether the league gave it to him after this past weekend's results so they'd have a better marketing hook for MLS Cup this coming weekend.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | November 16, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

As a Southerner, I absolutely agree that there must be expansion into the south. So the question is where? lots of possibilities. All of which I would like to see.

Nashville, Charlotte, Charleston, Atlanta, New Orleans, Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa area, Miami area.

i'll throw one more out: Chattanooga.
quite a stretch i know, but they have a very good downtown stadium (needs to be converted back to grass) and rising attendance figures despite playing in the bottom league in the US. http://chattanoogafc.com/

Posted by: bobbyoshea | November 16, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

anyone know how many teams with a DP have won the supporter's shield?

Posted by: temuco | November 16, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Dallas and Houston are not the South?
Posted by: granadoskerry | November 16, 2010 4:04 PM
==========

Garber was referring to the USA. Texas, as far as I can tell from talking to people from there, is an independent country.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 16, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

"Asked about expanding elsewhere instead of adding a second club in the New York area, he said: "We are very focused on local rivalries being a key driver in growing our clubs' relevance, and by growing local relevance, we believe that can translate into national relevance."

Chivas USA and LA Galaxy?

Ask a Yankees fan if their rivals are the Mets or Red Sox and I bet 90% will say the Red Sox. MLS has the teams in the Northeast now (Philly, NY, NE and DC) now they just have to build up the rivalry and actually promote these four teams. NY doesn't need a second team, they need a functional marketing team involved in the first one.

Posted by: Southeasterner | November 16, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

@Joel_M - yes! need a DM on every best XI as well..

Posted by: rainORshine | November 16, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

The Roman Numerals need to go.

Posted by: Ron16 | November 16, 2010 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Here's some hope: FIFA bid report/recommendation committee thingy says that June/July heat in Qatar would be "dangerous and a health risk to players, staffs, fans, spectators, and the Fifa family", to paraphrase.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | November 16, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

anyone know how many teams with a DP have won the supporter's shield?

Posted by: temuco | November 16, 2010 6:05 PM

---------------------------------------------------------

Since MLS put in the DP rule 4 seasons ago -- the last two Supporters' Shield winners had at least one DP winner. in '08, the Crew won their first of two in a row, but Schelotto was not a DP yet. DC United won the award in '07, with no DP, but again they had a player, Gomez, who became a DP the next year.

@Southeasterner -- As a born and bred New Yorker, I'll respond to your comment. The Yankee-Mets interleague games are almost instant sellouts, especially in Yankee Stadium, and the Mets get their biggest crowds when they host the Yankees. That said, both teams do have more regular rivalries, with the teams in their league. That's because they're actually rivalries, against teams that they are competing against for playoff position. The interleague games are more like exhibitions, or Champions League play. If the Yankees and Mets were actually in the same league, you can be sure that would be the biggest rivalry, in the way that the Dodgers and Giants were rivals when they both played in New York.

MLS really does need a team in New York City. If you are looking just at demographic #s, Queens/Long Island/Westchester County offer up the largest untapped market, by far. That's without throwing in Brooklyn and Manhattan which are a little closer to the NJ home of the Red Bulls. Eventually, the NY area derby could be one of the real highlights of the MLS season.

As for expansion down south, I think Atlanta is problematic and Miami has had its chance and failed. I'd pick Orlando for the 21st team. Orlando is going to get a test drive with a new USSF Div. 2 team. Orlando would be a popular place for visiting fans, to be sure, and has a pretty sizable British ex-pat community to support the team. When high-speed rail comes in, it'll be an even better locale...and might develop a fine rivalry if Miami ever gets a team (maybe the 24th).

Posted by: fischy | November 16, 2010 11:25 PM | Report abuse

Here's some funny, This play even made Keith Olbermann's Oddball segment. It's been deemed the "funniest miss in history"

The Uzbek 'keeper comes out for a ball near the edge of the box, but somehow lets the ball go right through his legs (perhaps Borat was shining a laser pointer in his eyes?). Qatar player flashes past him and collects the ball, and drives on the unmanned net. From in front of the goal he hurries his shot and hits the far post.

This is, hopefully, a good omen for the USA regarding Qatar's World Cup bid.

I'm sure Goff will embed the vid tomorrow, but here's a link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtHIa9AHgLk

Posted by: fischy | November 16, 2010 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of the Mets -- is this bizarre? I just got an email from them, wherein they announce that hey have completed the first round of interviews in their manager search....and then they list the four candidates they're bringing back for another round.

Is this crazy? Should DC United be as forthcoming about their coaching search?

Posted by: fischy | November 16, 2010 11:51 PM | Report abuse

Garber's the man, but I honestly don't get the covenant marriage to the playoffs idea. As they stand, it's a reward for mediocrity, and a chance to subject fans to more of same. The idea that adding more games would somehow help is mind-boggling. The enormous vacuum-cleaner yawn that currently is heard between the end of the regular season and the Cup final is more than sufficient.

If the division structure somehow survives, which it absolutely should not, just have the two winners play for the cup. If they do a single table, the winner is the winner, and you have a league cup during the season.

Yes, the leagues that operate this way have been around for "hundreds of years" (chuckle). Does that perhaps mean they know a few things Don G hasn't learned yet?

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | November 17, 2010 12:04 AM | Report abuse

PS: anyone here NOT already know, weeks ago, that Ferreira is the MVP? About as much suspense as the Golden Boot there.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | November 17, 2010 12:07 AM | Report abuse

GoG - you clearly dont care for the MLS. fine, dont watch. dont understand making the effort to specifically complain about playoffs.

you seem to be implying that only games played between best 2 or 3 three teams are worth watching.

that would exclude dallas, the forth seed, who beat the 2nd seed over two pretty interesting games and the 1st seed in convincing fashion.

colorado has easily been one of best teams since a couple of mid-season acquisitions (mullan and wallace)

seriously - LA deserves to be recognized as the best team after staggering through 2nd half of season (and getting destroyed at home in conference final)?

someone please articulate this fascination with single table...

'The Roman Numerals need to go.'
+XI

Posted by: rainORshine | November 17, 2010 2:26 AM | Report abuse

Wishlist:

4 playoff teams, top two in each conference. Best of three, old format (top seed plays away in the first, at home in the second and third).

An end to online voting. If you insist on a fan vote, let's have one designated home game per team with punchcards - teams can even promote that game locally as such. Sick of the ballot stuffing (though evidently, the fan votes don't count for much as it is).

A STABLE team in the south (and saying Texas is part of the south is like saying New Mexico is part of the south). The "deep south".

D.C. United.... stadium.... yadda yadda yadda.

Posted by: DCRez | November 17, 2010 2:32 AM | Report abuse

goffman - would love to see poll question about playoffs v single table...

Posted by: rainORshine | November 17, 2010 2:42 AM | Report abuse

The turnout in Colorado last week is a huge argument in favor of playoffs. Playoffs sell tickets. Playoffs generate sponsorships. ESPN can promote playoffs much, much easier than a single table champion. Playoffs are a part of American sports (except Div I college football). Playoff$$$$.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 17, 2010 7:34 AM | Report abuse

Bingo, 270. MLS should have a "BCS" with only NY and LA in it, thus guaranteeing a NY/LA final every year.

Posted by: OWNTF | November 17, 2010 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Still struggling with the idea that NY needs a second team to have a geographic rivalry like the Pac NW...

Lets do the calcs...

Portland - Seattle 145 miles
Portland - Vancouver 258 miles
Vancouver - Seattle 119 miles
Total distance…522 miles

NY - Boston 190 miles
NY - Philly 81 miles
Boston - Philly 270 miles
Total distance…541 miles

Or…

NY - Philly 81 miles
NY – DC 204 miles
DC – Philly 124 miles
Total distance…409 miles

I think a NY – NY rivalry in MLS will be about as exciting as a Galaxy – Chivas USA rivalry.

DC-NY-Philly-Boston needs to emulate the marketing effort and fan interaction of the PacNW and get current fans excited. The best way to frustrate Philly and NY fans? Bring Angel and Nowak to DC in 2011!

Posted by: Southeasterner | November 17, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

New Yorkers are lazy and expect everything to come to them, I guess.

Posted by: Reignking | November 17, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

i think the 2nd NY team is crap. I also think that having 2 teams in LA is wasteful. Chivas should move down to San Diego.

Posted by: bobbyoshea | November 17, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Why on earth did that guy use the outside of his left foot to shoot that ball?

Posted by: Reignking | November 17, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

at this point id rather hear MLS talking about relocation and/or new ownership for existing franchises than expansion. clearly several are struggling and weighing the league down. sadly DCU has entered this conversation.

KC and SJ get a pass as they both have been over 90% capacity and are set to open new facilities in the next couple years.

colorado has been a disappointing franchise but there seems to be a pulse and a willingness to support a decent team. attendance up 8% from last year and folks seemed excited about hosting a semifinal...

the real concerns are:
- dallas, who saw attendance drop 13% despite a great year
- NE, who plays in zero atmosphere/way too big football stadium. i wont even watch watch a revs home game on tv - i understand why people dont go to those games.
- DC...

others, sure, but these are most pressing...

Posted by: rainORshine | November 17, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

A 2nd NY team is not a good idea. Maybe once the Red Bulls are packing out Red Bull Arena, and have to turn walk-ups away in droves, then maybe it would be different. They'll probably get there sooner rather than later, but they are not there yet.

JPA was a great player but NY is right to let him go. His game has fallen off at an almost Emilio-like rate. DC needs another faded Emilio about as much as it needs do-nothing dud Branko Boscovic.

Posted by: Ron16 | November 17, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

"The enormous vacuum-cleaner yawn that currently is heard between the end of the regular season and the Cup final is more than sufficient."

---------------------------------------------------

@GoG -- Maybe you need more sleep. Outside of a few eurosnob purists, the American soccer world gets a lot more excite about the MLS playoffs than s "big" regular-season match in August. Also -- just a guess -- if you're a United fan, you'd have been pretty interested in the p(l)ayoffs if United was in it.

---

@southeasterner -- You don't understand NY. It's not like any other city. There is real media saturation. People actually read the local newspapers. That's plural. There's 4 major daily papers and assorted local papers. Multiple all-news radio stations, with signals that actually cover the region.

If there's a derby in NY, there's a real opportunity to take advantage of that media saturation. Instead of being an afterthought, the NY media may start covering MLS on a daily basis, beginning with the derby coverage. If soccer becomes a fixture in the NY media, it has a chance of spreading.

Posted by: fischy | November 17, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

...(more)

obviously NE and DC clearly need new stadia asap.

some folks in dallas seem to think a stadium actually in dallas/fort worth area would do the trick.

has there been a worse MLS idea than to put a stadium in frisco, tx? maybe the decision to put one in commerce city, co?

as for cosmos i suppose id support a 2nd team in NY before a lone team in the deep south. if a solid franchise like columbus cant draw 15k regularly not sure i want to see what a mediocre team in the south will do.

oh wait, weve seen that already...

Posted by: rainORshine | November 17, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

obviously NE and DC clearly need new stadia asap.
Posted by: rainORshine | November 17, 2010 11:19 AM
==========

Why does NE need a new stadium? Kraft owns Gillette. It costs the Revs nothing to play there. Yes, it's big, empty, and plastic; but it's theirs.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 17, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

'Why does NE need a new stadium? Kraft owns Gillette. It costs the Revs nothing to play there. Yes, it's big, empty, and plastic; but it's theirs.'

because nobody cares about the team that plays inside it. you want a rivalry? - put a stadium in boston and bring NYRB to town. that would get rather rowdy and ESPN would have to consider bringing stewart scott, wilbon and kornheiser, dan patrick and whoever else to check it out. garber is dead on about importance of rivalries. but you cant really have a rivalry if no one cares about their team. no one truly cares about a gillette stadium-based NE revolution (just like no one cared about a giants stadium based NY team)...

Posted by: rainORshine | November 17, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

NW rivalries will be as good as advertised, or better - completely packed downtown houses, near-rapid fans.

wont draw national attention to league. will be seen as other products of the NW - as 'alternative'. and it will be.

in my opinion, the one thing that would move MLS clearly past hockey and towards a full-on legit national sport (in eyes of national sports media) in near future would be an equally intense boston-new york rivalry. downtown boston..

Posted by: rainORshine | November 17, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

near-'rabid' support. home and away supporters...

Posted by: rainORshine | November 17, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

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