Daily Sweeper, 10.4: Where’s the USOC? Seattle, Rumors +, MLS Love

– Martin Rogers, Yahoo! Sports’ guy, wrote an article wondering – or, rather, explaining – why the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup gets overlooked year after year.  Lots of good points get in – notably, the familiar one about how the Open Cup looks too much like Major League Soccer’s (MLS) playoffs – including one I’ve never yet considered:

“Perhaps the Open Cup’s history is also part of its problem. Whereas MLS is a relatively young product that is confident in its future prospects, the Cup dates back to an era where there was little interest in the game.”

Elsewhere, as if trying to prove Rogers’ point both Sports Illustrated and ESPN ran the same Associated Press article.  Way to celebrate the tradition guys.  At least the bigger, soccer-specific sites came through (or at least  the ones I visit): USSoccerplayers.com and GOAL, especially, turned in swell write-ups.  The little guys – e.g. amateur blogs (like this one!) – did their part as well, but, twit that I am, I didn’t lift the links as I traveled.  My bad.  Still, I’ll link to the FC Dallas Offside’s lamenting write-up ’cause he deserves some sympathy after a tough loss.

– A couple MLS-to-Seattle tidbits to pass on: first, MLS Rumors (GOD!! I LOVE THAT SITE!!!), is doing its normal business of spreading, well, rumors (caveat, caveat) that a Seattle MLS club could start play early as 2008.  Mmmm…not the best idea, as I see it – or at least it’s one that will continue the lopsided conference issue…though that could be fudged by going single-table.  In related news, American Soccer Daily reminds all  of us about the big concern about a Seattle franchise:

“Plans for a soccer-specific stadium, a requirement for any new MLS franchise, have not been mentioned, making 67,000 capacity Qwest Field with its FieldTurf surface the likely home for the club.”

Yeah, that does suck…not getting around that really.  There’s also the issue with jacked-up security dudes at Qwest (NOTE: This comes from the Timbers Blog, which doesn’t mean it’s manufactured or unfair necessarily; it’s just that Timbers’ fans hold all things Seattle and Sounders in the same regard as a herpes rash.)

– Finally, Dan Loney really does Says It All by sharing what makes MLS so darn endearing.  All those precious mistakes…as fun as watching a toddler fall down…

5 Responses

  1. Kewl–another thread about soccer, ex-girlfriends, dangerous keyboard tricks, and NW rivalries!

    And here I was about to nap though the afternoon.

    On a “I’m actually commenting about something more than the sake of commenting” note, the idea that MLS would be considering to expand into two markets without an SSS plan in place, and one, specifically, to play in artificially-turfed cavernous Qwest field, makes me wonder if
    a) the Seattle rumor is serious “from outta the lower end” and/or designed to make St Louis/Philly tighten up their plans,
    b) the Seattle ownership group’s real sugar daddy rhymes “Aaul Pallen” (as had been previously rumored,
    c) MLS sits around with the USSF and smokes some serious weed during their policy meetings, and they have no real clue what they’re doing.

    Then again, I suppose it could be all three….

  2. I think it would take something quite a bit more powerful than weed, even serious weed, to waive the ol’ SSS plan rule. It’s one of their better ones. I think it’s the national footprint thing – e.g. wanting a NW presence badly enough – that has them waiving the rule to get in. The wisdom of that is…well, let’s just say I’m more hopeful than sold on a NW team surviving in either major market.

  3. I think it may be Paul Allen. MLS has been trying to get him to take up ownership almost since day one. It’s as if they’re more interested in getting him in than the actual team, like his participation would somehow be more “affirming” than any kind of on-field success.

  4. please note that the security incident not only didn’t occur at Qwest Field, the individual guard that acted was an employee not of Qwest, nor the Sounders, but of Starfire Sports. So blaming the Sounders, Qwest Field, Vulcan SEG, or the future MLS Seattle organization is wrong headed.

  5. First of all, love the handle.

    As to the specifics, I can’t think of a park I’ve been to where the security staff isn’t regarded as something between hostile and clueless – and that includes PGE Park. Back in the Timbers Blog archive, there’s an open letter to the Timbers’ FO that makes some mention of that issue and refers to the Timbers Army feeling shut out, etc. I believe the dynamic has improved significantly since Merritt Paulson took over (emphasis on “I believe”), but this is just part of tension between soccer fans’ way of enjoying a game and, um, the “fan-management theory” employed by most U.S. facilities.

    Since sticking my mouth between Sounders’ and Timbers’ supporters, though, I’m seeing that either group will use any club available to whack the other. And that is what it is, y’know, nature of the beast and all that.

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