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Posted at 9:58 AM ET, 11/23/2010

Tuesday kickaround: MLS Cup ratings, Rapids rally, U.S. lower divisions, Americans abroad, TV listings

By Steve Goff

*No one watched the MLS Cup on TV. Well, almost no one. Blame it on the participation of two clubs with no national presence and small local support; no well-known star players; the late kickoff time (how do you expect to attract young viewers when the match begins at almost 9 p.m.?); and the fact that, while there are an awful lot of people who follow soccer in this country (look at the World Cup ratings), there aren't a lot who follow MLS on a national scale.

*The Colorado Rapids will celebrate their first championship with a rally late this afternoon at Skyline Park in downtown Denver. Governor-elect John Hickenlooper will attend.

*The NASL, with eight clubs, has been provisionally sanctioned by the USSF to serve as the second division in 2011. USL PRO, with an anticipated 16 clubs, will be the third division. Locally, Rockville-based Real Maryland has dropped to PDL (fourth tier).

For Americans abroad and the Champions League TV listings.....

*Americans abroad:
D Frank Simek, F Mike Grella for Carlisle vs. Rochdale

*Soccer on TV:
UEFA Champions League
Spartak Moscow-Marseille 12:30 p.m. DirecTV (481)
Chelsea-Zilina 2:30 p.m. Fox Sports Net, CSN Plus/DC (tape at 7 on FSC)

Braga-Arsenal 2:30 p.m. FSC
Auxerre-AC Milan 2:30 p.m. Fox Soccer Plus
Ajax-Real Madrid 2:30 p.m. Fox Deportes (tape at 5 on FSC)
Roma-Bayern Munich 2:30 p.m. DirecTV (483)
Basel-Cluj 2:30 p.m. DirecTV (484)
Partizan Belgrade-Donetsk 2:30 p.m. DirecTV (485)

Foxsoccer.tv will carry seven of the eight matches live.

By Steve Goff  | November 23, 2010; 9:58 AM ET
Categories:  Americans Abroad, Euro Champions League, MLS, TV, USA 2nd division, USL, USSF  | Tags:  MLS  
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Next: Memo to MLS: Jaime Moreno has not retired

Comments

I watched about an hour of it, and the first goal was actually pretty sweet. Excellent service.

Posted by: Matte | November 23, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

The time schedule was the same last year and got a better rating. It's amazing how critics conveniently forget that part. The matchup was way more impactful than the time, but analysis like that is lost when trying to pile on MLS because reporters had to work late on a Sunday in cold weather.

Posted by: beach3 | November 23, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

First of all, it was nice and toasty in the press box. Second, it was the COMBINATION of all those factors, not only the late start, that contributed to the abysmal ratings.

Posted by: Steve Goff | November 23, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

The last 10 minutes of extra time were fun to watch, as was the first goal. The rest of it, meh. Can't say I blame the locals for leaving early.

Posted by: Juan-John | November 23, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Many of the people who are complaining would also be complaining if LA and NY had been playing at noon or early afternoon LA time. And then the match would have been head to head with the whole NFL schedule rather than one game.

Was the game really that bad? If you were a fan of Colorado, do you really care how beautiful the match was? Go back and look at some of the DC United Cup wins. They were not all sweetness and light.

Posted by: lrg123123 | November 23, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Blame Canada!

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 23, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

PS: as a Wallace hater, I shall also suck it.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | November 23, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

I don't know what the official attendance was but the stadium didn't look full at all.

Posted by: Twitch703 | November 23, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

I helped contribute to those low ratings; sorry! Giants-Eagles was much more important, since I'm a lifelong Giants' fan.

Posted by: kdiff813 | November 23, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

These aren't sexy teams, a 9:00 start and summer sports leagues (MLS and Nascar) should have their championships decided days before Halloween, not days before Thanksgiving.

Posted by: timmy6 | November 23, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

These aren't sexy teams, a 9:00 start and summer sports leagues (MLS and Nascar) should have their championships decided days before Halloween, not days before Thanksgiving.

Posted by: timmy6 | November 23, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

The game was also up against the AMAs. So if Goff is at all tetchy, then perhaps he's just massively disgruntled that he had to miss Justin Bieber.

In any event, I watched the game, and thought it was boring as all get out.

Posted by: OWNTF | November 23, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

If there is a comment to be made about the Cup Final, it's that with the current calendar, it will always end on a Football weekend, and with flex scheduling for NBC on Sunday night (at least I think it's kicked in at this point) you will always have an Event to compete with.

Second, I would say there are many MLS fans that don't make an effort to watch the game. Maybe I'm wrong about that, but I would think I'm not.

Finally, climate and season starting during football be darned, finding a manner to align with the accepted international calendar is a good thing. Even if it means adopting the FMF's method of Apertura/Clausura with playoffs.

So, provided we can all get over the weather, I'd like to see us make the switch to Last weekend of July - End of Nov/Beg of Dec; Second week of Feb - First week of June.

Let's also combine SuperLiga/InterLiga and play it every year in Florida, Texas or Southern California.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | November 23, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

The TV ratings for the MLS are always varying degrees of craptastically bad. 1 for the finals is nothing to be impressed with whatsoever (last year's). The game has never gotten respectable ratings and there are no indications that anything in the foreseeable future will elevate to numbers to be of any relevance to drive TV revenue upward.

Posted by: csd1 | November 23, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Take the crowd and ratings for this game, reduce by 75%, and you have what will happen in most cities if they conform to the euro calendar.

I watched pieces of the game, but skipped between MLS Cup and the Giants/Eagles game. Garber has a deathwish if he wants MLS to take on the NFL so directly.

Posted by: me_ahogo | November 23, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

I watched...on the DVR. Thankfully I also recorded whatever show was on after the scheduled time slot or I would've missed the winning goal. It was a "bad time, bad location, too late, too small market team, too few stars" Cup Final. The league can, to some degree, fix the first three items on that list. That will help.

Posted by: soccerman | November 23, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Too few stars? By that I guess you mean no beckham, donovan or Henry. What a pathetic lot soccer fans in this country are.

I hope the Rapids win the next three Cups and LA and NY fail to make the playoffs ever again.

Posted by: hacksaw | November 23, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Gotta change to the Fall/Spring schedule like everyone else. There is a lot of sports to watch in the fall: NFL is heating up; college football down the stretch (that is why the final can not be on a Saturday, thank you ESPN) Nascar and F1 final for those who like autoracing; international soccer leagues in full swing; NBA and NHL are starting off.

By switching to the Fall/Spring schedule you end up competing with the start of the NBA and NHL playoffs and the start of MLB and NASCAR. All major football leagues are also finishing up, but a Saturday or Sunday night game wont make fans choose between the MLS final and a Manu or Real Madrid game.

Seriously, by Sunday night I had already been in front of my TV for much of Saturday and Sunday watching sports...which of course probably said a lot about my social plans from the past weekend.

Posted by: vmrg1974 | November 23, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Stars mean ratings. Sure, there can be final after final between Columbus and KC, with no DPs, playing the attractive, attacking soccer. And you'll be able to watch it on Fox Sports Midwest.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 23, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

"No one watched the MLS Cup on TV". Well big surprise. here are a few of the issues.
1. Cup was on a Sunday night. SUNDAY night
2. against a big NFL game on TV
3. it is on pay TV. yes ESPN. Still pay TV.
4. some of us occasional fans wanted to see NY Red Bulls, LA Galaxy, or some of the top markets. But instead we got Colorado and Dallas.
5. Not even Dallas was supporting Dallas. The news here in Dallas is the revival of the Dallas Cowboys

For MLS to get more people to watch, i would suggest moving the cup to a Saturday night. Yes, blasphemy. but against college football, they may have a better chance. plus, can't they just get one of the network to carry the cup match on public television? Not even Univision was carrying it.

Posted by: UnitedinTx | November 23, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

I watched the game, and fell asleep late in the second half. Boring, boring, boring. Rewound to see the winning goal - both Colorado goals were garbage.

Posted by: danboleo | November 23, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Let's face it, this MLS Cup was a massive flop, and the worst failure for MLS Cup since inception. True, Fierra's goal was nice. But the crowd reaction of sitting stonefaced as if nothing had happened almost negated the moment. The game was tense in the final minutes, but that hardly redeems an otherwise thoroughly lousy, 110+ -minute hackfest-pingpong game during which only very few and very brief interludes of actual soccer broke out.

Train wrecks take some time to actually come to a stop before the responders can render aid. The train wreck that is MLS Cup has finally ground itself into a steaming, smoking, stinking pile of completely derailed wreckage. Triage must begin immediately.

First, the league should do away with the neutral site idiocy. BMO was riddled with empty seats from the beginning, and as the game wore on it got a lot worse. The crowd may have had some life for those who were actually there, but it was dead as a doornail on TV. I admit this would not have helped with this particular matchup. Had the game been in Dallas there would have been all of 27 people there, unless they gave out free KISS tickets to attendees; which might have gotten them into the tripple digits. But generally, playing the MLS Cup match at the ground of the higher seed is the way to ensure a more passionate, enegetic and thus more telegenic crowd.

Officiating. The main cause of most MLS games degenerating into dreary hackfests is the officiating. MLS needs to spend some money and get better officials, period.

Announcing. I like Ian Darke, but John Harkes needs to cut his verbal output by 75%. What is Seamus Malin doing?

Speaking of production, find some cameramen who know how to do soccer. Also, get rid of Alexi Lalas, he adds nothing to the "studio team".

And start the game earlier. 9pm on Sunday? Are you kidding me? Just about any other time slot would have drawn better ratings.

Posted by: Ron16 | November 23, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Ironic, I was just driving into work this morning wondering when the MLS finals were gonna be this year, guess I got the answer.

Posted by: rfe18 | November 23, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Brian Carroll to Philly from Columbus. Jeremy Hall (NY Red Bull) to Portland for 34d rd 2011 draft pick. Portland also got a foreign slot from LA for allocation money. It is good for 2011/2012 and, if not used, returns to Galaxy. Rapids traded Jlien Baudet & Danny Earls to Seattle for Pete Vagenes. Is the draft tomorrow? We are driving to Columbus so will have to check tomorrow night.

Posted by: VirginiaFan | November 23, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Sure, sweet talking FIFA pre-2022 decision is one reason for the consideration of a fall to spring schedule, but I also think that Garber knows full well that they just can't compete with American football. And with the NBA and MLB slipping on television, playoffs in May would not be a bad thing at all.

I'd have no problem as a fan with them taking a long winter break and finishing in late May. Could be the freshening up that MLS needs.

Posted by: Kev29 | November 23, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

that should be 3rd round draft pick.

Posted by: VirginiaFan | November 23, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Officiating. The main cause of most MLS games degenerating into dreary hackfests is the officiating. MLS needs to spend some money and get better officials, period.

Posted by: Ron16 | November 23, 2010 12:27 PM

Better players usually helps in that regard as well.

Posted by: Kev29 | November 23, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

The league needs to just stop trying to view the MLS Cup match as some sort of major event that it is not (yet).

I think the suggestion on BS to host it in Las Vegas for a few years running is interesting. Make this a destination event...and if the game itself aint the draw...the gambling is.

Posted by: DCB23 | November 23, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

This game also had the bad luck of competing against Mike Vick on national TV in the game after his perhaps-best-of-all-time performance against the Skins.

Posted by: jamest1 | November 23, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Kev29: agreed on better players.

Posted by: Ron16 | November 23, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

This game also had the bad luck of competing against Mike Vick on national TV in the game after his perhaps-best-of-all-time performance against the Skins.

Posted by: jamest1 | November 23, 2010 12:45 PM

The NFL is not stealing many viewers from MLS - simple as that. The NFL has tens of millions of viewers - period. The Cardinals and Panthers could have played on NBC Sunday night and the MLS Cup rating still might have been 0.5. The problem is not with the viewership being stolen by American football, but with so much of it being on TV in the fall and how that pushes MLS into awkward time slots.

MLS got the rating on its own Sunday - with a cruddy cable time slot and two teams that 99% of Americans don't even know exist. MLS needs to sway people who watched Arsenal-Spurs and Real Madrid-Bilbao over the weekend to care about MLS Cup, not necessarily Eagles-Giants viewers (though everyone helps).

Posted by: Kev29 | November 23, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Kev29 and Ron16: Better players and better refs didn't stop the World Cup Final from becoming a hackfast (well, Netherlands hacked). When the stakes are high, the game can get cynical.

Posted by: jamest1 | November 23, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

You all realize that cable is THE home of sports these days, right?

That cable is acquiring the rights to just about EVERYTHING because of its dual income stream, right?

That the only way MLS Cup ends up back on ABC is for it start at noon on Sunday, right?

I agree with everyone's sentiment that the Final should be played at the home of the higher seed. We don't need to rotate the Cup Final as enticement to build your own stadium. The economics of running the team will satisfy that end. So everyone sits on pins and needles confirming flights for Stoner, Alexi, Maca, Ian Darke, Harkes, and Max Bretos. Big deal.

And I STILL prefer that MLS lose some of its early season crowds to the football bunch instead of being swept into oblivion when it matters. I have no issue standing in the cold for two hours watching soccer. Why, it's 70 degrees here today in Washington, DC.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | November 23, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

I blame Mike Shanahan. AND Bob Bradley.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | November 23, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Is the NASL with 8 teams really a "National" league? With Portland & Vancouver moving up, St Louis folded and Rochester, Richmond, etc. all committed to USL Pro, how can NASL be D2? All these minor league clubs need to get settled in one league with a couple of divisions or I predict that the vast majority will fail in 5 years or less.

Posted by: soccerman | November 23, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

I love how we are all the brush fire waiting for the gasoline of the following to be added:

Single Table
International Calendar
TV Ratings
Refereeing
Playoffs
David Vaudreuil

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | November 23, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

MLS needs to sway people who watched Arsenal-Spurs
Posted by: Kev29
===========

It's Stan Kroenke's fault dammit!

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 23, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

As someone who watched the final on ESPN3.com through my XBox, I'd like to raise the point that relying on the Nielsens to gauge a broadcast's success has become outdated. Not only have DVRs changed the way people view traditional TV, it’s getting easier and easier to find programming online, and soccer fans in this country are accustomed to using alternate means for watching games. For TV ratings to really mean something, somebody needs to figure out a way to work DVR's and online streaming into the equation.

Posted by: Kenobi | November 23, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Not only have DVRs changed the way people view traditional TV, it’s getting easier and easier to find programming online, and soccer fans in this country are accustomed to using alternate means for watching games. For TV ratings to really mean something, somebody needs to figure out a way to work DVR's and online streaming into the equation.

Posted by: Kenobi | November 23, 2010 1:43 PM

Ratings services can adjust for DVR's now - and can account for internet viewing as well. You see the former with primetime ratings, the latter ("internet touches") was hyped to bits by ESPN during the World Cup. Examples:

http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2010/07/18/world-cup-ratings-out-of-home-viewing-adds-14-non-tv-platforms-add-32/57429

http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2010/07/07/world-cup-on-espn-delivers-young-upscale-audience/56355

Whichever way you slice it, Sunday's rating was poor.

Posted by: Kev29 | November 23, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

MLS bigwigs love ESPN, so that it where the game will stay, and as such will kick-off when the Bristol folks say so. Forget Saturday night: too much committment to college football. It's on Sunday becasue that is a dead zone for ESPN.

Game needs to go to higher seed ground; better atmosphere in the stands means more attractive show for ESPN. There has been no better MLS game on TV than the '97 Cup. The world-wide leader would support that approach.

International schedule? Two words: Donald Trump. Remember the USFL. Enough said.

Stop expanding. Build up your existing teams then expand.

Maryland buying up land near M and T Bank Stadium. Baltimore United: Unleash the
Balmer.

Posted by: lgm6986 | November 23, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

The time schedule was the same last year and got a better rating. It's amazing how critics conveniently forget that part. The matchup was way more impactful than the time, but analysis like that is lost when trying to pile on MLS because reporters had to work late on a Sunday in cold weather.

Posted by: beach3
-------------------------------------------

Come one, man, don't be so nitpicky. Of course the matchup was the primary factor, but don't you think a 9pm ET start is suboptimal? Which other major sports leagues has their national championship game start at 9pm on the east coast? Answer: None

Posted by: PrinceBuster21 | November 23, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

"The Colorado Rapids will celebrate their first championship with a rally late this afternoon at Skyline Park in downtown Denver. Governor-elect John Hickenlooper will attend."

Good to know their season-ticket holder will show up.

Posted by: Ron16 | November 23, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

So if we condense all the worst case scenarios from this thread into one, we get this:

"Welcome to ESPN3.com's coverage of MLS Cup 2017, live from Vancouver as Northwest Division runners-up Portland with Robbie Fowler takes on Central Division champs Baltimore United led by 42 yr old wunderkind Frankie Hejduk. Along with Dr. Joyce Brothers and Hristo Stoichkov, I am Max Bretos."

Posted by: IamAM | November 23, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Not only have DVRs changed the way people view traditional TV, it’s getting easier and easier to find programming online, and soccer fans in this country are accustomed to using alternate means for watching games. For TV ratings to really mean something, somebody needs to figure out a way to work DVR's and online streaming into the equation.

Posted by: Kenobi | November 23, 2010 1:43 PM

Ratings services can adjust for DVR's now - and can account for internet viewing as well. You see the former with primetime ratings, the latter ("internet touches") was hyped to bits by ESPN during the World Cup. Examples:

http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2010/07/18/world-cup-ratings-out-of-home-viewing-adds-14-non-tv-platforms-add-32/57429

http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2010/07/07/world-cup-on-espn-delivers-young-upscale-audience/56355

Whichever way you slice it, Sunday's rating was poor.

Posted by: Kev29 | November 23, 2010 2:05 PM

Dammit, technology! Always one step ahead.

Posted by: Kenobi | November 23, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

I do have a question -- what has happened to Rob Stone? He had the expression and elocution of an undertaker in every interview he did.

Posted by: Ron16 | November 23, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

"Welcome to ESPN3.com's coverage of MLS Cup 2017, live from Vancouver as Northwest Division runners-up Portland with Robbie Fowler takes on Central Division champs Baltimore United led by 42 yr old wunderkind Frankie Hejduk. Along with Dr. Joyce Brothers and Hristo Stoichkov, I am Max Bretos."

Posted by: IamAM | November 23, 2010 2:27 PM

:-D

Posted by: Kev29 | November 23, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

do have a question -- what has happened to Rob Stone? He had the expression and elocution of an undertaker in every interview he did.

Posted by: Ron16 | November 23, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

===========================

That game was a corpse.

Posted by: OWNTF | November 23, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Rob Stone, who will always be remembered for coining the word "Soctober," was demoted to sideline reporter. He occasionally shows up as the commentator of other events, like bowling.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 23, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

When is the Baltimore stadium feasibility study coming out?

Posted by: OWNTF | November 23, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

OWNTF: Too right.

I-270: He is also of "You just got BURNED, Johnny Walker!!!" fame.

Posted by: Ron16 | November 23, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

I have to agree that from a neutral perspective, this was a truly awful final.

The laundry list of problems above pretty well covers it, but there's a bigger problem, and it's one that looms large for MLS.

In a single game, winner take all scenario, there is a STRONG incentive for teams to play negatively. A choppy, foul-ridden game benefits the poorer of two teams, and it's a lot easier to clutch and grab, dive and moan, put 10 guys behind the ball, and make sure that open possession is unsustainable than it is to play fluidly.

When a referee is too cowed to issue cautions for persistent infringement, and clearly won't give a penalty or a red card, the picture is pretty well complete.

Dallas ain't Brazil '70 by a long shot, but they at least TRIED to move the ball in open play. Colorado had a great strategy, and deserved the victory. But MLS's bad referees and playoff structure where mid-table teams qualify for playoffs, where the advantage given to the higher-seeded teams is almost negligible, makes a bad game a lot more likely than it should be.

Single game championships are held in the NFL, but the playoff structure, seeding, nature of the game, and weaker parity make poor games more rare. They're held in college basketball, but the high scoring nature of basketball tends to accentuate relative quality of teams. They're in college football, sort of, which is a total cluster**** in general, but for all the controversy over BCS standings, at least two very strong teams are nearly sure to play (even if they're not the strongest).

But soccer is a game where results are often determined on the margins-- a single mistake can determine the winner. Sadly, in MLS, that mistake is too often by the ref.

It's hard to win the Supporers Shield. It's not hard to finish between fifth and eighth (or tenth). But there aren't Barcelonas in MLS, and while the Shield winner shows its quality over the long haul, in a single game, the eighth place team can even things out with negative tactics, and a team built to counterattack has even more leverage.

With four playoff teams determined by a balanced schedule, the league can optimize quality and still have its playoffs. Higher seed breaks a tie, if that's needed. Playing a two-legged series reduces the possibility of a fluke result. The more soccer that is played, the more likely that quality will win out.

But instead we get MLS's system, where stifling tactics are easily deployed to close gaps in talent, and where referees aren't good enough to keep play moving. And they're going to compound the problem by adding two more teams of lesser quality. Worse, by abandoning a balanced schedule, the ability for teams to sort themselves out by quality alone for the purposes of seeding will be diminished.

Wrong direction, Garber. I'm afraid that Sunday's bad final showed the league's future very clearly.

Posted by: Mastodon_Juan | November 23, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Lets also not forget that the final was played between the 4th and the 7th best teams in the league. And what does MLS do to address this problem? Oh...they're going to INCREASE the number of teams that make the playoffs. These idiots are doing all that they can to devalue the regular season and prevent the year's best teams from winning championships.

If they were smart, they'd reduce playoff teams to 4.

And another think, Mr. Garber. None of the fans care about an Eastern Conference Championship. More available silverware IS NOT what this league needs. Eliminate the conferences. Make playoffs more exclusive if not eliminate them all together, and get behind and support the US Open Cup.

Posted by: FAkeemail9875 | November 23, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Ironic, I was just driving into work this morning wondering when the MLS finals were gonna be this year, guess I got the answer.

Posted by: rfe18 | November 23, 2010 12:28 PM

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

I would say you should probably check out a dictionary to look up the meaning of the word "ironic".

Then, if you're a soccer fan, pay more attention.

Posted by: fischy | November 23, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

I blame George W. Bush.

Posted by: FAkeemail9875 | November 23, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Approximately 116 days until United's first 2011 league match!

Posted by: Curious99 | November 23, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

ironic adj [ahy-ron-ik]
1. like rain on your wedding day
2. a free ride when you've already paid
3. good advice that you just didn't take

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 23, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

@I-270Exit1,

What's really ironic is that a song about irony says a bunch of things are ironic that, well, . . . aren't.

Posted by: benonthehill | November 23, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

I blame George W. Bush.

Posted by: FAkeemail9875 | November 23, 2010 4:47 PM

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

I blame the butterfly ballot. If Palm Beach had a better ballot, or did something to help confused voters, history would be very different. We'd all be a lot better off.

Posted by: fischy | November 23, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

All those Jewish voters who wanted to vote for Gore, but mistakenly voted for Buchanan and wound up giving the election to Bush -- I'm pretty sure that's actually irony.

Posted by: fischy | November 23, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

I'm tired of hearing people moan about how the final wasn't LA vs NY. I'm not too upset that it was two 'small market' teams. 75% of the MLS is 'small market'.

I am upset that they decided that Toronto in late November at 9pm was the right time to have the MLS Cup. Until they go to a home and home system for the Cup, the final needs to be on a late Saturday afternoon somewhere south of the Mason-Dixon line.

...and it definitely needs more media attention.

Posted by: silverrey | November 23, 2010 8:31 PM | Report abuse

I have to disagree a bit. I watched the game and thought it was compelling. It wasn't elegant-it was a violent, roller derby-esque game-but it held my attention. It's our style. It is interesting to watch an MLS game after a weekend of la liga and epl. It is NGO an exaggeration to say that there are numerous plays not even whistled that would be yellow (or even red!!!) in other leagues. Anyway, it wasn't beautiful but I didn't think it was boring.

I have to agree with others who have said that it would be a positive step to make the cup a home game for the higher seed. Terrible atmosphere. Horrible when Colorado celebrated that they had to frame the shot not to show an empty stadium.

Posted by: Pigmansweet1 | November 23, 2010 11:49 PM | Report abuse

I hosted a MLS Cup party and all in attendance enjoyed the game despite everything everyone has mentioned above. I think they should play the game on Friday night. The sports competition on Fridays is basically early season NHL and NBA. I realize Friday is date night but the actual sports competition on the TV is far less worrisome than Saturday and Sunday during the Fall.

Posted by: croftonpost | November 24, 2010 12:06 AM | Report abuse

re: "Terrible atmosphere. Horrible when Colorado celebrated that they had to frame the shot not to show an empty stadium."

That happens at *every* MLS Cup.

Posted by: Ron16 | November 24, 2010 7:15 AM | Report abuse

That happens at *every* MLS Cup.
__________________________________________

Really?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MLS_Cup#MLS_Cups

Posted by: universityandpark | November 24, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

re: "Really?"

Yes, really. Even in well-attended MLS Cups, fans depart the stadium pretty quickly once the game ends, and very few hang around for the trophy presentation. By the time the trophy is presented, the camera has to stay very tight on the happy champions and their shiny trophy, lest the emptied-by-then stadium be shown. The confetti raining down on the champs is not from people in the stands, but rather is from the two MLS-supplied confetti cannons flanking the trophy presentation area. MLS Cup 2010 was not unique in this respect.

Posted by: Ron16 | November 24, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

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