Hello, Four Five Twofers.
I haven’t written anything in, oh, I don’t know, maybe 2 years, but I was inspired; nay, I was compelled by forces beyond my control to write this piece.
That’s right, it is Better Know a Traore time. Continue reading
MLS Cup’s happening tomorrow. Galaxy-Dynamo rematch, blah blah blah. David Beckham’s last game before he goes to Monaco, because certainly playing for that particular second-level French league team is as appealing as other Ligue 2 destinations like Metz (17th in the league this past year, but also the namesake of a really good new Canadian indie band), or Guingamp, a team with a stadium that holds 18,000 in a commune (as French hamlets are called) with a population of 8,000. Certainly, this has nothing to do with the awesomeness of Monaco. Also, Landon Donovan’s last club match (perhaps), because he’s so tired (maybe), or because he’s looking for another January loan to Everton (more likely).
Here’s what you need to know about the MLS Cup, though: there’s an anthem. And not just any anthem. It is:
1. A wee bit reminiscent of the UEFA Champions League theme;
2. In Latin, so they could be singing about anything, really — even, “It’d be great to get more than an 0.8 rating, or at the very least not get doubled up by a Chelsea-Liverpool EPL replay;”
3. Created by Audiobrain, a company that specializes in creating music for sports.
It may be a preordained MLS Cup — I have a horrible vision of Landycakes and Golden Balls scoring en route to something along the lines of 2-0 or 3-1 over the Dynamo. Yet, as one-sided and disappointed as the game might be, the anthem won’t disappoint. (Or, you know, it probably will — to the thousands who see it.)
Football is played in venues throughout the world, each with their own unique atmosphere and character, from the historic grounds of England, where nostalgia and adjectives go to die, to the stadia of Italy, where spectators have entire sections to themselves.
As a relatively young footballing nation, the venues of the United States may not have the history and tradition of some of the grounds around the world, but they are slowly building it. However there is one ground that offers something entirely unique of any sports stadium in the United States and that is RFK Stadium in Washington DC where you can experience the thrill of third world infrastructure in a first world country.
After going to all the trouble last week of “researching” all the teams, I was pumped to actually get to watch some MLS action on opening weekend. But when I tuned in on Saturday I discovered to my great dismay that not a single match was televised. Ouch. What a slap in the face, television. But surely I was mistaken. There must be games on. How could MLS be a real sport if the season opener can’t even get on television? Impossible!
So I got out my pipe and deerstalker hat and went to MLS’s website to see if I could solve this mystery. Through my brilliant detectivising skills I managed to sniff out the TV schedule. Here’s what I found:
That’s right. MLS’s own website had every single match-up listed incorrectly. THANKS FOR THE HELP, GUYS!
Presumably MLS is actively trying to reduce its viewership to appease its core hipster fanbase. Maintstream is teh suck. And their devious ploy was successful, because even if matches were aired on TV, I certainly missed them all. Well done hipsters, you’ve won this round.
But I was not to be deterred.
Ok. Almost there. Pull together guys. We can get through this. I know you’re as sick of reading about MLS as I am of writing about it. But bear with me through one more of these things and we can get back to talking about real footy.
I’ll be doing this for the rest of the motherfucking season. Suck it.
But this is the last post previewing the teams. (In case you missed it, you can check out part one and two and three) We’re down to the last five teams in the West, and I hope to god some of them aren’t terrible. Right now my front-runners are probably Kansas City, Philly, Montreal or founding a cult devoted to Chiva Fighter.
My epic journey into the dark depths of MLS continues. I’ve already looked into the Eastern Conference earlier this week (here and here) and now it’s time to head West. I originally thought following an Eastern team would be preferable because of the whole time zone thing, but now that I actually look at the MLS schedule I realize I might have been wrong. The Western teams all play at like 7-10ish est, which I think would be much more doable for me than the afternoon time slots the Eastern teams play in. Don’t act like you don’t find this stuff fascinating. I know you come for the soccer, but stay for my riveting thoughts on time zones.
Gut Reaction: This one actually looks like a real football crest! Which makes sense, since it’s the exact same one as used by their parent club Chivas Guadalajara who are a real football team. I know they share a stadium with the Galaxy, so there’s a cool San Siro thing going on. LA’s the only city with two teams and I dig the crosstown rivalry. LA’s kind of terrible, but it has a beach and I have friends who live there, so I could go visit and watch a game and it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.
Yesterday I began my quest to try and care about Major League Soccer. I took a half-assed look at some of the teams and today I shall apply the same rigorous research as I explore the rest of the Eastern Conference. I’m not really sure what the title of this post means, but Eastern Promises was a good movie and features probably the best naked man fight scene ever, if you’re into that sorta thing. Anyway, let’s dive right in. To the soccer, not the naked fighting.
Gut Reaction: I love the concept of their crest. Soccer ball flag FTW. But this logo looks like some bullshit a six year old drew with a crayon. I’m a huge Yankees fan and nominal Jets/Giants fan, so habit alone makes it hard for me to cheer for any New England team. But I’ll try not to let my prior sporting prejudices color my judgment. Supposedly Boston’s a cool town, but the stadium’s 40 minutes away. But I’d bet that’s pretty standard for most MLS sides, this is just the first one I’ve bothered to check.
For American sports fans, March is a month usually devoted to college basketball and spring training baseball. But for some special weirdos out there, March means Major League Soccer. I’m not going to lie, I’ve never given a shit about MLS. Maybe it’s because I live in Atlanta and there’s no local team to support. Maybe it’s because there are literally dozens of superior leagues going on all over the world to follow instead. Maybe it’s because I’m a hipster Europhile douchebag and I secretly hate America. Maybe it’s all of the above. But now that I’m a serious Internet journalist, I’ve decided that this year I’m actually going to give a shit. Or at least try really hard to give a shit.
With this series, I’m going to attempt to chronicle my journey down the MLS rabbit hole. Hopefully by the time I reach wonderland, I’ll be a full-fledged fan of some team or other. But which team will it be?