MLS Pushes the Incest Envelope

If a tied game is like kissing your sister, then MLS grabbed a female sibling and stuck it's tongue down her throat this week.

Five games. Five draws. Has this ever happened in recorded history, a week where every single league game ends all even?

KC - Columbus 3-3
San Jose - Toronto 0-0
Los Angeles - New York 2-2
Colorado - Dallas 2-2
Utah - Chicago 0-0

Admittedly this phenomenon was aided by the fact that four teams didn't compete, thus leaving us two games short but even so, it's like someone stepped up to the bar, plunked down a twenty and yelled: "Landlord - one point for everybody!"

Of course the big Kahuna yesterday was the RedBulls - Galaxy match which I'll leave for Dan to disassemble and talk about all the shiny parts.

I just want to know who those two teams were. Surely not the sluggardly, mediocre NY and LA sides we keep hearing about.

What you'd really like to do is grab up every MLS hating EuroSnob you know, strap them into chairs with their eyelids propped open, a la Clockwork Orange, and force them to watch a replay of that match.

THEN let's hear them tell us how they'd much prefer watching WBA and Wigan slog around a pitch for an hour and a half.

And ironically, after 90 minutes of dumbass comments, silly faux-authentic name pronunciations and irrelevant blather it was Max Bretos who put into words what everyone was thinking when he pleaded with the referee:

"Don't let it end"

Ex-DC journeyman Bobby Boswell did what traded players are supposed to do last night: came back and bit DC in the butt as Houston knocked the Red and Black out of the SuperLiga 3-1.

DC, down 2-0 after 28 minutes, managed to pull one back at the 76th on a Francis Doe header but Stuart Holden answered eight minutes later and the deal was done.

I'm pretty sure this means Houston is through to the semis but someone else will have to confirm that.

The Cobra Kai Dojo will be without Sensei Preki in their match with New England today as he had to fly to Serbia to attend to unspecified "family matters".

They'll also be without talent-free hack Paulo Nagamura who's managed to get himself suspended due to card accumulation. Now there's a shock.

Finally, when it comes to The New York Times I'm very conflicted.

Watching The Old Gray Lady slink and slide into irrelevance does allow me to wallow in a bit of schadenfreude, but on the other hand Jack Bell once quoted me, by name, in a soccer article and I will readily admit that I got off on it.

Nonetheless, when an NYT sports columnist wrote a lengthy naval-gazing piece yesterday on the long term effects (or lack thereof) of David Beckham's entry into MLS I was hoping for the best. Unfortunately, "the best" isn't what we got.

His basic thesis was one you can read numerous places these days: The hoopla has died down, MLS is the same, nobody cares any more, it was a once-around the league flash-in-the-pan, the whole thing is basically a failure and the guy was a waste of money.

To that I can only respond: did RedBulls sell 46,000+ tickets last week?

Of course the first big media rush is over; did someone really expect every newspaper in every MLS city to haul out the typeface they've been saving for the second coming of Christ and splash "David Beckham Visits Tonight" across the front page twice every year?

Or the various ESPN afternoon cud chewers to talk about Beckham every other day for eternity?

Or - maybe more to the point - were thousands of celebrity watchers and "big event" junkies who care nothing whatever about soccer going to keep on filling stadiums week after week like doe-eyed Beatles fans at Shea Stadium?

That part of it was always going to be a one-shot deal.

But as the game last night showed - in spades - the guy brings something unexplainable, something unique, something that you have to see.

Something, in fact, that 46,000 people paid to see.

And as my headline hopping yesterday demonstrated, when Becks talks, half the newspapers in the world do a story. A story which, not coincidentally, always includes a discussion of MLS.

And that's the point, isn't it? The guy was never supposed to magically make the other 400 players in the league better, or somehow make a San Jose - Colorado match interesting (not even the Lord himself could accomplish that feat). That wasn't the deal.

He was supposed to do two things: raise the profile of MLS - both in the US and worldwide - and lend a little class and a smidgen of glamor (or glamour, in his case) to a pretty pedestrian soccer league.

And nobody, not even the venerable New York Times, can tell me that he isn't doing exactly that.