"Overture, curtain, lights..."

Well, here we are.

At four o'clock this afternoon, in Columbus Ohio, the first whistle will blow, the first ball will be kicked in anger, a referee will blow the first of probably 10,000 calls.......

No, not going there. As The King of Swamp Castle so wisely said: "Now now, let's not bicker and argue about who killed who, this is supposed to be a happy occasion!"

And so it is. The last European player has flirted with an MLS team and then signed with someone else, the last "trialist" has been sent packing, the last draft choice has been cut, the last college graduate has signed a contract paying him $13,900 for the rest of the year, Dave Kaspar has dug up the last Argentine left in South America and, even as we speak, something over 2000 people are passing through U.S. Customs at Niagara Falls on their way to the first Soccer Specific Stadium in the US.

I suppose it's too late to call Homeland Security, right? Never mind then.

The best soccer blog you've never heard of, THE BEST ELEVEN has a summary of opening day results since 1996 for each team. Based on that, the Wizards should do well and the Rapids should lose but of course while it's an interesting exercise we all know it's not going to mean a thing come game time.

Partly that's because of the nature of sport and partly it's because MLS is still such a young league that there have only been 12 opening days in all it's history. As the statistics guys would say, not a large enough sample to be meaningful.

But each one of those opening days was another victory all by itself, demonstrating once again that professional soccer in the US is putting down roots where most everyone said it couldn't.

So in a larger sense, regardless of how your team or mine does today - and roughly half of us are going to end the weekend bitterly disappointed - this is still an occasion we can all celebrate.

Enjoy the day.