MLS Newswire, 08.17: Odds ‘n’ Ends

– If you haven’t read Ryan Hunt’s Free Kicks this week, his breakdown of FC Dallas, the (second-) most talked-about team in Major League Soccer (MLS), is worth the read – especially if you put it side by side with Buzz Carrick’s still-bigger breakdown from earlier in the week. Combine the two and you’ll know more than any non-Dallas fan should about the Hoops. One detail worth flagging in Hunt’s piece: “Following Sunday’s match at Houston, six of the Hoops’ final nine games are at home.”

– Smack in the middle of an article about several things, J Hutcherson, of USSoccerplayers.com, takes a jab at white-elephant notion that soccer-specific stadiums must turn a profit, pointing to stadiums in Bridgeview, Commerce City, and Frisco and their sometimes tepid attendance. The line that caught my eye:

“With MLS still set on making sure we don’t get any real information concerning break even points or operating costs even when asking for public money for stadium construction, it’s hard to get a feel for soccer-specific success. The single-entity kick in for shared losses further compounds, leaving us with nothing more than speculation on what clubs might technically be able to turn a profit, what that profit might be, and if one club’s relative success can be duplicated in another market. Add in suppressed player salaries especially for those Americans with no chance of joining the contingent playing abroad, and the basic definition of profit becomes slightly skewed.”

In my world, transparency is more than king; it is god. Spending more time working on finances, as opposed to keeping them secret, seems a better way to keep MLS afloat. On a related note, maybe shirt deals, like the one recently signed by the Dynamo, will do enough to lessen the impact of sometimes spotty attendance.

– In another “tucked-in” item, Ives Galarcep had something interesting to say in his (abbreviated) Q & A about the league’s proposal to expand to 18 teams by 2012:

“DAVE– What do you think of Don Garber’s proposal for 18 teams in MLS by 2012? If it happens, what changes to the rules do you see happening to keep the league some-what balanced?”

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