The big announcement this week in MLS will come on Thursday when the schedule is finally announced. Fans all over the League have been waiting for this moment and for AFTN and Caps fans, we can finally start planning our trips to Seattle, Portland, LA, San Jose and beyond. Let’s just hope they didn’t go with the ridiculous rivalry week idea.
The schedule this season is coming out a week later than last year, with the season starting a week earlier. The League have said “We recognize that the timing of [the schedule’s] release has caused some inconvenience and we appreciate our fans’ continued patience”.
That’s all well and good but it’s another sign that the League bigwigs just don’t get supporters culture and the fact that we want to travel away to watch our guys. With holiday time needing booked in many workplaces at the start of the year, it’s just not acceptable and very minor league. They can use their stock excuses all they want, but like a Montreal Imapact fan, it just doesn’t wash.
At least this week’s news will interest the fans. Last week’s turned out to be a huge anti-climax. Hyped up that there was going to be “a major soccer announcement” last Tuesday, fans were speculating as to what it could be. The schedule? A major new sponsor? A fantastic television deal? Don Garbage had seen the light and decided to move on, passing the baton on to a real football man?
When it turned out to be the announcement of the 2011 All-Star game, it was like wtf?
The 2011 game, we are told, is going to be held in New York. Cue big fanfare and big fanny Thierry Henry. Except of course, it’s not being held in New York. Neither city or state, but Harrison, New Jersey. Not as exciting I guess.
What is the point of the all-star game? From reading various fan forums, none of the fans want it. It detracts from the schedule and kills the buzz when the season is in full flow. There hasn’t even been any oppositon announced. Is MLS really that desperate for acceptance into the mainstream American sporting fraternity that it has to shun what the rest of the world does and go with ridiculous conferences and all-star bullshit? Do they really want to be American that much or is that the only way Garbage feels he can hold his head up high and be considered “major league”. Waste of time, money and resources. It would be better spent improving all that’s wrong with the league.
With so much wrong in MLS, the League will always struggle to attract top notch names and talent from overseas. We’ll be left with “names” that are coming to the end of their career and more wanting one last payday or a new way of life, than anything else.
Seems like this may apply to managers too as the ‘Special One’ has told Sky Italia that he would like to end his managerial days in MLS.
“My idea is to stay at the top of European soccer for the next 10 to 15 years. After that I would like to have a completely different experience in the United States – the New York Red Bulls or Los Angeles Galaxy, a home in Manhattan or a home in Malibu. That’s the idea I have”. Nice work if you can get it and I’m pretty sure he could!
Also pretty sure he couldn’t hack all the MLS rules and regulations at the same time.
On a lighter, less ranty note, good news coming out of Portland as it’s been announced that Bright Dike will be missing a lengthy part of the season following a torn achilles tendon. After our run ins with Dike last season, we’re pretty pleased about that. One less player to abuse mind, but we still have Pore and Nagbe. Still crossing our fingers for that accidental leg break on the latter of course.
Talking of missing players. What the hell is happening with Beckham? He was last seen yesterday taking in the Chelski-Liverpool game at Stamford Bridge. Surely he’d be better suited taking part in the Galaxy’s pre-season training?
The Galaxy are playing down the absence but if I was a Galaxy fan, which thankfully I’m not, I’d be getting worried about comments like “Just when Beckham is supposed to return is unknown, even to Galaxy officials”.
Beckham has only made 48 appearances for the Galaxy in four years. That’s just three more than all the matches the team played last season. If we don’t get to abuse him at Empire then that’s going to take a bit of the shine of the season!
Of course we should say above, Empire or BC Place, as it was announced today that a provisional completion date for the renovated BC Place has been given as September 30th.
A coin toss is expected as to who will be the first team to play there. Expectations had been that the Caps would be the first team to play at the new look venue, in a nod to it’s first grand opening in 1983.
Just let the Lions do it. In fact, let’s just play out the whole season at Empire. It’s a much better suited stadium for football. Very old school UK style and will create some great atmoshperes and games in the short time we’re going to be there. I’d love us to stay there for as long as we can.
Finally an update on the Cascadia Summit pre-season ticketing shambles. The Whitecaps finally put our allocation on sale this morning at 10am, nearly a full week after what turned out to be the Seattle only allocation went on sale from Ticketmaster.
Very little promotion for it. No mention on the offical Caps website, facebook or twitter. There may have been an email blast but most people I’ve spoken to have not received it. You know, it’s as if they can’t be bothered with the whole thing and it’s just too much hassle for them. That’s certainly the impression that they’re giving.
Tickets are available from calling the Caps main office on 604 669 9283. Press 2 to go through to a ticket rep. Tickets cost $10 each and there will be a $2 cost per order for mailing them to you. Get in quick though, as it’s first come, first served and only available to season ticket holders.