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Old 02-23-2011, 12:40 AM   #1
Reno_eNVy
 
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I figured my World Cup thread was decently busy and the domestic soccer league, Major League Soccer, goes into full swing March 15th.

Just hoping this thread can get some interested in the Beautiful Game and maybe get some of those who scoff at American soccer to watch some MLS.

It's still preseason but there is a televised match tonight in the quarter-finals of the CONCACAF Champions League (a tournament in the conference consisting of North America, Central America and the Caribbean in which the winner goes on to the FIFA Club World Cup.)

It airs at 5pm PST on Fox Soccer Channel or CONCACAFchampions.com (short notice, I know) and it is a match-up between Real Salt Lake and Columbus Crew. Both clubs have a history of quality play, especially RSL's defense and goalkeeper.

Here's a preview of the match for any interested

I hope there are others out there who enjoy soccer as much as I do. Even if you watch EPL, La Liga, Serie A, Bundesliga... I just love talking about and analyzing the sport so please speak up!
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Old 02-23-2011, 12:49 AM   #2
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I'm a soccer player and fan, but really only somewhat follow the European leagues. I would be more of a fan, but I don't have cable, so I only watch the occassional match when I can for free online. I would say my favorite team is Liverpool, with Chelsea a distant second.

I have to admit, I don't really enjoy watching MLS after comparing it to the European talent. It seems that when I do watch it, it's mostly turnovers and fouls, making for a boring match. However, it's been a year or so since I've last seen them play, so hopefully it's gotten better since then. Of course, I'd still rather watch MLS than other professional sports, such as American football, baseball, hockey, etc.

I play midfield, and so I enjoy the versatile players such as Zidane (now retired, bummer), Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Xavi, Michael Ballack, etc. I tend to have favorite players rather than favorite teams though.

I'll check out the game you mentioned and see if I can watch it online.

 
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Old 02-23-2011, 12:52 AM   #3
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Chelsea, Bayern. and Toronto FC baby

 
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Old 02-23-2011, 01:01 AM   #4
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Looks like the game can be viewed online here.
http://www.quiroz-solutions.com/

 
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Old 02-23-2011, 01:02 AM   #5
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The MLS games I have watched have always been on par with second division European leagues at best, but without the passion. It's just boring, and the weirdness of the league structure means that many games are essentially meaningless.

I'd rather spend my time watching Champion's League, Premier League or Bundesliga games.

 
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Old 02-23-2011, 01:07 AM   #6
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I should also mention that I find it silly that the MLS has resorted to naming things to capitalize off of the European success (i.e. CONCACAF "Champions" League, and "Real" Salt Lake, "Sporting" KC).

 
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Old 02-23-2011, 01:09 AM   #7
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I follow mostly EPL with Manchester United being the team I support. I also like to keep track of American players over there especially Tim Howard (I always follow the keepers.)

I have never really followed MLS before, but I will be moreso this season. We moved to Atlanta last year and there are rumblings of a team here in the future. We have a WPS team that is a good time and there are going to be a few MLS preseason matches played at their ground.
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Old 02-23-2011, 01:12 AM   #8
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Love soccer. Can't wait for this year's Gold Cup. USA should dominate what with their A team back in the game. Donovan, Jermaine Jones, Dempsey, Holden and Bradley will lay down the smack.
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Old 02-23-2011, 01:24 AM   #9
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I'm a casual soccer fan. What drew me to the European leagues originally was the league structure. Growing up with all American sports I thought the idea of relegation was awesome. It makes the end of the season interesting for both ends of the table. Obviously this wouldn't work in America as there are not enough legitimate leagues. Like many others I've slowly been getting into it more and more, however, the MLS has just not really stuck with me. Maybe it is the level of play, especially compared to the European leagues. I really do enjoy watching European matches though. I'm not sure why but I've always liked northern England, and when I was a teenager I liked Newcastle, so that team has stuck with me, especially since they're always an underdog against the giants.
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Old 02-23-2011, 04:15 AM   #10
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Yeah a lot of the complaints I see have been debated to all ends in the MLS community including promotion/relegation... but considering they just confirmed the second-tier American league (neoNASL) I doubt pro/rel will happen for a long time. But it should become more interesting with two expansion teams coming in this season (Vancouver and Portland) and another in 2012 (Montreal) followed by most-likely another NY team or a southern team in 2013.

As far as the names go, there are some legit reasons for it them:

- Real Salt Lake is in affiliation with Real Madrid
- Sporting KC will be an actual sporting club... they're in the works to get rugby and lacrosse clubs going. So the name is not just to make themselves feel special
- As far as the CONCACAF "Champions" name.... every single confederation has the same name for their tournament (except the CONEMBOL Copa Libertadores). UEFA Champions League, AFC Champions League, CAF Champions League, OFC Champions League. It's just pretty much industry-standard.

And MLS play and atmosphere can be hit and miss... at times they look on par with EPL and La Liga with great movement on and off the ball and supporter clubs that rock the house. Then there are the matches that are a little lackluster, often due to complicated schedules working around the CCL, Gold Cup, World Cup (last season), etc., that result in exhaustion and injury. But attendance has received a huge boost since the Yanks did so well in the World Cup group stage. Average attendance across the board is 20k+, with bigger markets like Seattle and LA pulling averages of 32k+ and 25k+, respectively.

I'm also a fan of the fact that MLS is a much more physical league and the domestic players don't do pathetic dives to draw free kicks.... that's a job for the international players
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PLAY FOR GLORY, THE GLORY LA!

 
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