Chicago Addick living in Bermuda
Thursday 26 November 2009
  Soccer in America As it's Thanksgiving I'm going to dedicate a little time to football in America, I'm even for this day only going to indulge my American readers by calling it soccer.

After knocking Chicago Fire out of the semi-final of the MLS Cup, Real (Re-ale) Salt Lake again made a mockery of the competition by beating David Beckham's LA Galaxy on penalties in the final last weekend. I have never seen the MLS' flagship game get so much media attention outside of the States, obviously due to Beckham's appearance. I for one was hoping that for Becks' benefit and to quieten those that scoff at his time in the US, he would collect his 3rd league title in 3 countries (only ever achieved by one Briton, Trevor Steven) but it wasn't to be as the hardworking Salt Lake took the game to pk's (as is the American's want for abbreviations) and despite Beckham converting Galaxy's first penalty, they lost 5-4 and it was Real's captain and their very own Becks, Kyle Beckerman (who looks like he needs a good wash) who lifted the trophy. This after they finished the 30-game regular season with the 8th 'best record' or in fact the 7th worst!

Meanwhile a few weeks back the Columbus Crew who won the western conference ended the regular season with the most points (as they did last term) and collected the Supporters Shield, the kind of thing you might buy for a tenner from your local cobblers. I'm all for a bit of play-off action but I actually like to see the best team win, and I'm unconvinced Real Salt Lake were.

Back to Beckham, after battling through the game with a badly bruised ankle and pain killing injections, those airheads on the west coast might finally stop booing the best player they are ever likely to see in their shirt. He's had to put up with some ridiculous mocking for wanting to prolong his international career by playing for AC Milan. After all, it is not unusual for MLS players to go on loan during their off-season. As an example Chicago Fire's talisman Cuauhtemoc Blanco has rejoined Mexican second-division Veracruz in order to get fit for the world cup and is widely expected to return to the windy city for the 2010 season.

Tuesday night Chicago Fire parted company with head coach Denis Hamlett, who'd been with the coaching staff since their inaugural season in 1998. Yesterday was the MLS 'Super Draft,' American's of course have to insert the words 'super' or 'world' into anything that is a little important to them and drafts are something that everyone except Americans fail to understand but Illinois native and ex-Fulham striker Brian McBride resigned for the Fire and ex-Arsenal youth player Steve Zakuani was the draft's first pick you'll be enlightened to know.

Philadelphia Union, the MLS' 16th team basically picked the majority of their squad at the draft. They will start next season in the eastern conference with their very own 18,500 capacity stadium based right alongside the Delaware River between the cities of Philadelphia and Wilmington, Delaware. Polish ex-Fire manager Piotr Nowak looks like a good choice as Union's first head coach. Two further teams Vancouver Whitecaps and Portland Timbers will be added in 2011. After that, it is likely that Montreal will become the 3rd Canadian team and nineteenth franchise with according to this week's media potentially David Beckham selecting and investing in a 20th team.

Two questions then. Does this spread the thin line of soccer talent too finely and where an earth will Beckham set up his franchise, which is expected to cost a cool $40m? There has been some talk into the 20th franchise being in Europe, I can't see it and to me the south-east of America looks ripe for a MLS team, I can see Becks and of course Mrs Becks all over Miami personally.

Also this week it was announced that below the MLS, the second tier of soccer in North America will splinter into two leagues from one. The reincarnation of the NASL seems a strange title to me, but in an effort to squeeze every ounce out of a publicity and marketing effort that is what the owners of the nine teams have done.

Six of those nine teams have come from the United Soccer League (USL) including Tango Man's previously 2nd division Crystal Palarse Baltimore. Who knows where this leaves the USL, which in my mind was always a badly organized and collective riff raff of what basically amounted to local teams, including the financially restrained Bermuda Hogges. Meanwhile the USL have reacted strongly to the defection of it's teams, including the reformed Tampa Bay Rowdies (I used to have one of their shirts) who had previously committed to the USL before joining the NASL earlier this week.

An interesting time for soccer in America then. The MLS has had a slow but steady growth but attendances were down this past season and could have been worse if it wasn't for the very well supported new boys Seattle Sounders, who averaged a very impressive 30,897. The Beckham factor may be losing it's appeal as both Galaxy's home and away crowds were down by over 20%. Certainly the game needs more heroes and they are hard to come by, particularly as the sports media has no interest in creating any.

Personally I like the fact the league is getting bigger, I reckon it gives the MLS more credibility but maybe interest in the game is waning and soccer in the US has reached it's zenith and there is simply no more room for it to grow. Sports fans have no understanding of second divisions either, it is all minor leagues or kids stuff to them and I really can't see the NASL gaining any momentum as it just looks like nine grown men with inflated egos.

I hope soccer not only survives in America but flourishes, and if England can't win the bid 2018 world cup, then let America have it, that will certainly be a stimulus package that everyone from Main St to Wall St can buy into. 

<< Home
About Me
After living in Chicago for four and a half years, I moved to the beautiful if bewildering island of Bermuda in July 2008. This blog is about being an exiled and depressed Charlton Athletic fan and whatever else the day brings.
CAFC Links
  • Charlton Athletic FC
  • CAFC Player
  • Forever Charlton
  • CAFC Picks
  • CASC
  • City Addicks
  • Community Trust
  • Fans Forum
  • Charlton Life
  • / forum
  • Charlton Scrapbook
  • Addicks Downunder Forum
  • Fellow Addick Blogs
  • Addicks Diary
  • Doctor Kish
  • New York Addick
  • All Quiet in the East Stand
  • SE3 Addick
  • Jakartass
  • Charlton Athletic Online
  • Views from an Iberian Valley
  • Charlton North Downs
  • Blackheath Addicted
  • Drinking During the Game
  • Kings Hill Addick
  • A Red Divided
  • Deepest Darkest
  • All in a Day
  • Johnny73
  • Confidential Rick
  • Charlton Casual
  • Many Miles....
  • Croydon Addick
  • Stickleback
  • And Nothing Else Matters
  • Out in the rain
  • Hungry Ted
  • Bermuda - all 21 square miles of it
  • The Royal Gazette
  • Weather forecast
  • Discover Bermuda
  • Bermuda National Trust
  • Bermuda Blogroll
  • Bermuda Shorts
  • Jen in Bermuda
  • Daily London fix
  • Diamond Geezer
  • Onionbagblog
  • 853
  • The Cabbies Capital
  • A piece of my heart still in Chicago
  • Chicago Tribune
  • Chicago's 2016 Olympic bid
  • Chicago Bulls
  • Chicago Bears
  • Chicago Blackhawks
  • Chicago White Sox
  • Chicago Cubs
  • Chicago Fire
  • My Chicago stuff
  • Andersonville
  • Bucktown
  • Chinatown
  • Evanston
  • Gold Coast
  • Greektown & Little Italy
  • Lincoln Park
  • Lincoln Square
  • The Magnificent Mile
  • Old Town
  • Oak Park
  • River North
  • Roscoe Village
  • South Loop
  • Streeterville
  • Ukrainian Village
  • Wicker Park
  • Wrigleyville
  • Ten things to do with a child
  • My Bermuda exploring
  • Paget Parish
  • Southampton Parish
  • Town of St George
  • Ten things to do with a child
  • Travelogue
  • Atlanta
  • Bahamas
  • Beachy Head
  • Beaver Creek, Colorado
  • Bermuda
  • Buenos Aires
  • Californian Hwy 1
  • Charleston
  • Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Dubai
  • Eastbourne
  • Ft Lauderdale, Florida
  • Grand Canyon
  • Hiroshima
  • Honolulu
  • Houston, Texas
  • Kohler, Wisconsin
  • Kyoto
  • Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
  • Las Vegas
  • Lille, France
  • Los Angeles
  • Mexico
  • Miami Beach
  • Mt Fuji & Hakone, Japan
  • Munich
  • New Orleans
  • New York
  • Old San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • Oman
  • Orlando
  • Palm Springs & Joshua Natl Park
  • Park City, Utah
  • Reykjavik
  • Route 66 and Hoover Dam
  • San Francisco
  • San Diego
  • Santa Fe
  • Saugatuck, Michigan
  • Sedona, Arizona
  • Sonoma & Napa Valley
  • St Petersburg, FL
  • Taos, New Mexico
  • Tokyo
  • Uruguay
  • Washington DC
  • The good old days?
  • The men in charge Parts I
  • / II / III / IV / V
  • Carlisle (a) 1986
  • Luton (a) 1989
  • Sunderland (h) 1975
  • Stoke City (a) 1994
  • Crystal Palarse (a) 2000
  • Norwich City (h) 1987
  • Coventry City (a) 2001
  • Barnsley (h) 1985
  • Bristol City (a) 1994
  • West Brom (a) 1995
  • Hull City (h) 1976
  • Burnley (h) 1978
  • Nottingham Forest (a) 1989
  • Sheffield Wednesday (h) 1986
  • Ipswich Town (a) 1981
  • Birmingham City (a) 1993
  • Hereford United (a) 1989
  • Interesting stuff
  • We're not on the telly much but who is?
  • Football Pyramid
  • Football Ground Guide
  • The Political Economy of Football
  • The Fiver
  • London 2012
  • TV Cream
  • Nice cup of tea and a sit down
  • Banksy
    This is a Flickr badge showing public photos and videos from ChicagoAddick. Make your own badge here.
    And not so interesting
    Weblog Commenting and Trackback by Powered by Blogger
    EMail me
    Follow me on Twitter
  • ChicagoAddick
  • CAFC on Twitter
  • Archives
    June 2004 / July 2004 / August 2004 / September 2004 / October 2004 / November 2004 / December 2004 / January 2005 / February 2005 / March 2005 / April 2005 / May 2005 / June 2005 / July 2005 / August 2005 / September 2005 / October 2005 / November 2005 / December 2005 / January 2006 / February 2006 / March 2006 / April 2006 / May 2006 / June 2006 / July 2006 / August 2006 / September 2006 / October 2006 / November 2006 / December 2006 / January 2007 / February 2007 / March 2007 / April 2007 / May 2007 / June 2007 / July 2007 / August 2007 / September 2007 / October 2007 / November 2007 / December 2007 / January 2008 / February 2008 / March 2008 / April 2008 / May 2008 / June 2008 / July 2008 / August 2008 / September 2008 / October 2008 / November 2008 / December 2008 / January 2009 / February 2009 / March 2009 / April 2009 / May 2009 / June 2009 / July 2009 / August 2009 / September 2009 / October 2009 / November 2009 / December 2009 / January 2010 / February 2010 / March 2010 / April 2010 / May 2010 / June 2010 / July 2010 / August 2010 /