Major announcement from MLS tomorrow, LIVE from Toronto! Wonder what it could be!
....okay, it might be more than one thing. They might also announce that TFC, and other teams who so choose, can finally have their extra Designated Players, which will solve everything as well as making all the existing players better, just like it has in New York, Dallas and Los Angeles.
But I think the obvious news is that at least one set of fans will need a passport to see MLS Cup this year.
Despite the fact that the holy MLS Cup will be played in infidel lands for the first time in its glorious history, it's clearly a wonderful idea. Red Bull Arena really can wait a year. (Or, if I have to guess, it can host the All-Star Game.) And am I incorrect in seeing this choice as a slap at SounderTurf, and a mumbled apology from the league for saying all last year it was a perfectly fine surface for a big event?
And now for the bad news. Opening night attendance for both Southern California teams was simply appalling. At least Chivas USA had an excuse for their familiar sub-announced 20,000 gate - a wack-ass Friday night game. The Galaxy boast the best living American player, possibly the best in history, fresh of off setting blue Liverpool on its ear and getting more ink than the Guggenheim. Opening night attendance? An announced 21,376.
In fairness, the Galaxy are still selling tickets at Beckham prices. And in fairness, the economy is still Dracula - it bites and sucks. So maybe AEG is happy with crowds smaller A.D. (after David) than B.C. (Beckham cometh).
The two teams play Thursday night, and be very very wary of excuses that televised weeknight games hurt attendance, because that never used to happen with Galaxy-Chivas USA games.
It's a shame, because opening weekend reminded me of how much fun MLS games are.
No, not on the field. Bleah. I saw three games this weekend, and the Sounders-Union game was the best. It's going to games with the supporters. You and I as hardcore fans take it for granted, and we forget that mainstream American pro sports don't have this. In fact, outside of college football and basketball, there's nothing like the fan experience MLS teams have.
Keep in mind what's been happening the past decade or so - we're building a new fan culture. Yeah, it can be a little reminiscent of idealized visions of England or Brazil at times, but that's the point. No one's building anything new in Europe or Mexico or South America - it's been handed down from grandfathers, hard as marble.
This is kind of true for college sports, as well. Try writing a new fight song for your school. And it's a complete non-starter for other US pro sports. The scoreboard tells you when to cheer, and woe betide the customer who stands at inappropriate times.
But we, the MLS fans that the rest of the country and the rest of the world mocks and scorns? We have it better than any of them. Our supporters groups make bad games fun, good games great, and great games mind-blowing.
So why aren't there more of us? Beats the hell out of me.