Another sweet Beckham-Buddle highlight, but that was three seconds. Another couple of fantastic Ricketts saves, but that took up, what, maybe ten seconds between them? That left eighty-nine minutes and forty-seven seconds, plus added time, of bleah. Maybe they should stop putting the Galaxy on television.
I'd like to thank the Union fans, who, like Morbo's family in "Futurama," are belligerent and numerous. Thank God they brought some atmosphere to the game, because the Galaxy are acting like America's domestic soccer trophies are made in child sweatshops out of depleted uranium. I can't get mad at the Union team for being unwatchable, because expansion teams usually are. The Sounders spoiled us - the fun for expansion teams is usually in the stands, not on the field. Sorry, Portland, Vancouver and Montreal.
Although it was very, very considerate of Major League Baseball to give the Phillies the night off, so that Union fans could cheer on their team instead of making an agonizing choice. If the scheduling was a coincidence, well, MLS dodged a bullet.
In fact, baseball even gave us a playoff game with the exact same score as the Union-Galaxy game, just in case anyone wanted to complain about boring low-scoring soccer games. Sadly, having watched both, the baseball game was pretty exciting, and the soccer game wasn't.
However, there was something interesting regarding the Galaxy today. (Via DuNord, of course. Does he miss anything?)
I usually shudder when Tim Leiweke steps in front of a microphone, and this article is no exception. Either the BBC reporter was not a careful notetaker, or the most powerful executive in the league calls it "the MLS."
However, my tears dried up pretty quick when I read this:
It's all interesting, but I bolded the really interesting part. I wonder if it's true.
Recently, of course, the Galaxy failed to make the commissioner's list of MLS teams that turn a profit. The Galaxy, like FC Dallas, were listed as profitable in 2008, but lost that honor in 2009. I wonder who made up the shortfall - the league? AEG? An insurance policy on David Beckham's injury?
And I realize I'm conflating the Galaxy with the league, but I should have every right to - single entity, and so forth. So if the Galaxy has zero debt, what happened to that $250-350 million debt that the league was supposed to have rung up over its first decade or so? There's no freaking way you can tell me that MLS debt has nothing to do with AEG, because AEG used to own half the teams. And the Galaxy in the Rose Bowl days were a significant contributor to that debt - big salaries, big advertising expenses, big rent.
It would be interesting to see if and how the Home Depot Center is profitable. Although technically not the league's problem, it wouldn't exactly help if AEG announced it was going to knock it down and put up a Circle K to save money. While the soccer stadium part pulls its weight, the tennis stadium is mostly used as a part-time boxing ring, and the track stadium is, well, a track and field stadium in the United States in 2010. The San Diego Chargers don't train there anymore, the X-Games pulled out, and Pete Sampras' academy is going about as well as David Beckham's. US Soccer seems pretty happy with the training facilities, fortunately.
On the other hand, a percentage of the profits from the Staples Center could probably fund six Home Depot Centers for a hundred years, so under-delivery for non-soccer portions of the HDC probably isn't a big concern.
This probably won't cheer up unhappy former Tampa Bay Mutiny fans who saw their NFL owner invest in Manchester soccer, but I still get a fuzzy glow when American soccer executives tell the Premiership how to run its league - even more so when those American soccer executives are right. (Although the bankrupt Texas Rangers are doing pretty good on the field right now - maybe Tom Hicks knows something we don't?)