I Think…Yes: My Two Teams for MLS in 2008

A while back, and it hardly matters when or where, I suggested that I would switch up my approach ever so slightly for the 2008 Major League Soccer (MLS) season. My plan was to focus on two teams for the season, as opposed to following the grab-bag, where-the-spirit-moves-me approach of years past. And I intend my use of the word “focus” – as in “focus on” – to mean that I’ll make a concerted effort to watch all their games and generally – and only generally – keep tabs on them. Sure, this means I’ll miss some gossip, skip a shitload of match reports, etc., but I think one can learn plenty about a team – if not enough – by watching them play.

After some deliberation, a little soul-searching, some nibbling, a couple nights’ sleep, the discovery that, yes, I really hate trying to pan-fry chicken, I came to this:

I WILL FOLLOW THE COLUMBUS CREW AND THE NEW-MODEL SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES IN 2008.

Not much will change on readers’ end: the only thing you should notice is that all my match reports will be on the Crew and New-Model ‘Quakes. Things like power rankings and collective power rankings will persist…and, arguably, diminish in quality since I’m watching fewer general-interest games…buyer beware, etc. Otherwise, things will look basically the same.

What does this mean for me as a fan? Will I suddenly become a fan of Columbus or San Jose, lose what’s left of my waning interest in New England? No clue, but I think that’s part of my half-conscious plan. I’ll have to see what happens.

What does this mean to me as a soccer blogger? I may find myself reverting back to the grab-bag approach by Week 10. I know what posting on the Crew does to a fella’s traffic count…and it ain’t pretty.

That is all.

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6 Responses

  1. I’m a Rev fan; I have a soft spot for the Crew because it’s hard to really loathe them, and because of some personal ties I have to Ohio.

    I’d suggest, prior to season kickoff, coming up with a kind of “narrative” you’ll be seeking out in relation to the Crew / Quakes, rather than just following it as a fan-interest thing. I mean, fan-interest is cool too, but non-Crew/non-Quakes fans might not be interested.

  2. That’s funny because that’s how I came by my Crew thing: Ohio born and, for a good chunk of it, raised.

    As for the narrative, that’s kind of funny again. My original plan was to go with the Crew and Real Salt Lake and build it around the story of which will be the first to break the three-year-jinx – e.g. three years without making the playoffs. But RSL seems like they have the coverage, whereas the Crew don’t (notable and laudable exception of the Hunt Park Insider). And it’s not that I think the ‘Quakes won’t: I suspect they’ll be covered pretty well actually.

    In truth, I didn’t really think much beyond following one Eastern Conference team and one Western. The Crew was always my first choice, but FC Dallas almost became my pick for the West; them I definitely went away from due to the great coverage Dallas gets from sites like 3rd Degree.

    But the narrative thing is a good suggestion. The only one I have right now is, “Two teams I could eat shit in 2008, but who I hope do not.” This needs some work, obviously…

  3. two solid picks really….if you had said KC I would probably have taken you off my site’s blogroll…haha but really its kinda sad that the Crew don’t have more coverage, I usually have to call a friend in Columbus to see what’s going on there with the Crew before I write anything about them…maybe you will have better luck!

  4. The ‘new” Quakes??? Prepare to get f*@cked over, again. Still smarting from the tail end of a previous season, when a competitive Quakes team was stripped of some good players by the Krafts, to send to their other team the Revs for their stretch drive. How about pulling the team out of San Jose because they didn’t have a permanent stadium, to send to another club which didn’t have a permanent stadium, then awarding a “new” team to San Jose, which doesn’t have a permanent stadium. MLS is a rigged game, run by the owners for the owners; where marketing trumps soccer smarts; where they are always thinking of new ways to pander to the “ethnic” market and to manufacture tradition. And MLS will have no credibility until they implement relegation, as a way of getting rid of corrupt and incompetent owners.
    My current team, InterMilan.

  5. Like the passion, dan. Disagree on a couple points, though.

    Set aside the fact that promotion relegation is never going to happen in the States – or not for a couple decades anyway – relegation isn’t the be-all and end-all for establishing credibility. Is the NFL or MLB or the NBA illegitimate because they don’t cull the herd after every season? Or, to grow from the Euro model, what does promotion/relegation mean to Manchester United, Arsenal, or, to pick your team, Inter Milan? Those teams enjoy advantages in the contemporary European game – e.g. financial resources, European competition, etc. – that promotion/relegation effectively means nothing to them. Talk about a rigged game. Sure, you have your Leeds Uniteds or things like the corruption scandal of Italy’s 2006, but those are aberrations. The drop only happens to other teams.

    That said, though, MLS is a weird animal without question. I don’t agree with everything – single entity for starters and, yeah, that’s big – and the stadium situation you describe looks more like a reason for telling undesirable markets “no” than a meaningful rule. The point is, MLS is what it is: a league struggling in a tricky market. They screw up plenty, but they’ve been right often enough so far to keep the league growing. Getting rid of incompetent owners isn’t a crucial part of the calculus at this point; rich idiots are welcome, but they’ve got to be R-I-C-H and happy to burn (or write off) crap loads of cash.

  6. Fair engough!I would have to agree that milking rich idiots is a fair trade for a U.S. league, any kind of league. We have seen what a bleak landscape it is for our top women players in the U.S. recently.

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