MLS Daily Sweeper, 12.13: A Contribution to MLS Underground’s New Direction; Stadiums; Collapsed Rumors; Parsed Trades

– For those who haven’t seen it already, MLS Underground is under new management and, with that, is headed off in a new direction.  And this isn’t so much a sharp right-hand turn as it’s a three-to-four-point turn with an e-brake slide.  Rather than deal in its former insider-dish/rumor-hawking stuff (and I’m still baffled by the commenter to the post who said “there are enough rumor blogs out there…says who?), MLSU is changing its focus to supporters’ groups, whether it’s history, circulating their songs, or making them go national.  It’s a cool idea.  So cool that it triggered something I was thinking about, maybe last night, maybe another night…or maybe I just dreamed it.

That can be found in the comment left by manlyferry – who happens to be me, though I’m leaning toward a change in handle (not yet affected): the basic idea – and I give this with my blessing to anyone who can get their shit together and get it off the ground before I can get my shit together and get it off the ground (should give you, oh, a decade or three; and that assumes it’s even possible, or even desirable) – is to build up a database on places for visiting fans, even away fans, to stay as they visit MLS and, what the hell, USL-1 cities.  These should be cheap options at most, free at best – e.g. places with people who are willing to put up other people (he writes, knowing he has no space of his own); but a simple guide to cheap hotels, contacts in the city to help people with getting around, etc.

The idea is to facilitate, say, summer tours for people wanting to follow MLS teams.  As I said in the comment, it’s like following the Grateful Dead, but without all the shitty music…yeah, you’d lose the drugs, but, on the upside, you get to keep your kidneys.  Pie in the sky?  Quite probably.  But a fella can dream, can’t he?

At any rate, cool concept for MLS Underground and tip of the hat to SF of The Offside Rules for making it happen.

– As I read the latest good news on a stadium for the Kansas City Wizards – looks like the local mayor, Mayor Mark Funkhouser (great name; possibly separated at birth from Christopher Lee) has decided to support the plan that includes a stadium for the Wizards – I can’t help but wonder if the people running the KC show didn’t just do it better than Dave Checketts did with Real Salt Lake.  Something I read today makes me think so.

– Speaking of stadium news, the Philadelphia/Chester deal continues to run into hurdles, but some people involved seem confident they’ll figure it out in the end.

– I flagged a couple rumored moves yesterday (shit!  Maybe this is one of those “rumor blogs”?!) and, it seems possible both were BS – which here means bullshit (damn you, Lemony Snicket).  I feel pretty safe saying that Muriej Zurawski won’t be going to the LA Galaxy; not only did put the kibosh on that one, Nick Green, over on 100 Percent Soccer, ridiculed anyone who bit on that one (toward the bottom; good word on trusting agents for sources, too).  Down the Byline put down the other rumor – Jared Borgetti to KC – on impressive authority.  MLS Rumors is sticking with it, though, and added a team from yesterday’s tally in the form of the Chicago Fire.  Yes, I know it’s a rumor.  Rumors are fun, dammit.

– Finally, people continue to pick at that whole Zach Wells for Bobby Boswell trade today – me, along with the rest of them.  And I started today with the idea that, when it comes to a straight-up swap, I know I’d rather have Wells than Troy Perkins.  And, based on age and financial considerations, I was going to take this as far as saying I’d rather have Wells than LA’s Joe Cannon.  That’s as far as I got upon reading Steven Goff’s write-up for the WaPoThe DCenters caution-laden, yet welcoming reaction started the process of reconsidering, but it took the comments posted (e.g. in the actual comments section) on the DC United Offside to convince that I was giving Wells serious props based almost solely on how well he handled himself in the CONCACAF Champions Cup.  He came in cold and did pretty damn well and I suppose that impressed me quite a bit – too much possibly.  So, I’m back to the wait-and-see.  Still, interesting move for both clubs.

Right.  All for today…and I’ve done plenty.

9 Responses

  1. Interesting about MLSU, huh? It’d be interesting if they (he) could pull it off. It’s actually great timing considering I’m just waiting for Monty, pres of the Midnight Riders, to get his Q&A back to me so I can publish my post on our group (it’s a personal piece).

  2. I also really like MLSU’s new direction. We’ll see what it’s legs are.

    As for the whole MLS Tour information idea above, maybe it would be nice to start a recurring thread on this and invite posters from around MLS to offer info on that. At the very least, a line-up of Supporter’s Groups’ e-mails and Web sites might accomplish teh same thing in that it would give anyone who is considering a tour like that a list of contacts to put something like that together for themselves.

    Been out of contact recently and so have yet to weigh in on the whole Boswell/Wells thing. Here in Houston, I really like the deal, but it’s clearly part of a much larger deal that is not completely finished on our side. Clearly, you do not go into the season with a 40-year-old keeper (even if he is uber-Canuck-keeper Pat Onstad) being your only keeper. So, clearly, more moves are in the offing here.

    Both players have big upsides. For Wells, his positioning is good and he’s very athletic and quick. On the downside, he is a bit of a butterfingers at times. Witness the Morelia goal in SuperLiga ( Onstad would have gathered that in. Not so Wells. Now some of that is a maturing process and Wells did make some nice saves in that same game. I just want to say that after seeing all of Wells’ games this year, I was always waiting for the one or two bad things to happen that would spoil an otherwise impressive outing from the kid.

    As for Boswell, I am very high on this kid. He’s 24, one season removed from being 2000 MLS Defender of the Year. He clearly has tremendous upside. This looks like another in a long line of spot on moves from Dominic Kinnear and the Brain Trust a la Orange. Kelly Gray for Nat Jaqua; Alejandro Moreno for Joseph Ngwenya; a bucket of spit for Richard Mulrooney; and now Wells for Boswell. This deal looks more in the Moreno/Ngwenya mode, meaning a trade that helps both teams. But if your standard of a trade is “Are you better off now in some way than you were before?” I’d have to say that, for Dynamo the answer is yes.

  3. Why not go whole hog and get some cheesy, lowball tour outfit to run “MLS Experience Tours”, akin to the Euro-futbol extravaganzas, but with added bush-league flavor?

    Instead of touring the Camp Nou, noshing of prawn sandwiches at the Theatre of Dreams, and dodging hurled projectiles at the Stadio Olimpico while ogling bored Italian models, you could be sleeping in fleabag motels, swapping shirts with hard-up junkies (not by choice), and sleeping on the vomit and beer soaked floor of the rec room of this guy whose sister my cousin Bob used to sleep with in college?

    Good times. As an added benefit, you’d be almost certain to get a contact high 🙂

  4. Fullback, I take exception to your characterization of MLS Supporter’s Groups as drug-addled crazies. It’s now well known that the league, with the exception of an anonymous candystriped team t hat plays its games at a place not named Pizza Inn Park, has the problem relatively under control.

  5. Actually, I view what Fullback describes as an option. I’m not talking about a “yobbo” violent element, but 15 or even 10 years ago, when my tolerance for crashing on beer and vomit-soaked floors was pretty high, I would have been fine with something like that. I’ve been the host in houses like that, to the tune of two months with 15 people in a five bedroom house.

    Call that one the discount package.

    But the important thing is just having the contacts. People who know the lay of the land of a given city, who can investigate rates at motels, knows where the cheap, relatively convenient ones lurk.

  6. Well, those “candystripers” have actually been doing that with some Revs supporters over the past couple of seasons. However, there were always people in each of the groups that could vouch for new people.

    I guess the problem with putting your name out as someone open to hosting people is you never know when some jerk is going to rob you. Sadly, that’s actually happened among US supporters while traveling overseas.

  7. Right. It’s got some kinks to be sure. That’s why some kind of reporting system – not completely dissimilar from what they do with ebay – might make it work. The goal is to make sure you have a network that allows for reporting, self and otherwise.

    In any case, I don’t think the hosting side of things would work all that well (though one advantage to my former lifestyle was having absolutely nothing worth stealing). I suspect the cheap hotel list and help with transportation options would be the more popular feature of such a service.

  8. @ Martek

    Sheesh, lighten up man–I’m not characterizing MLS Supporters Groups as drug-addled crazies–I’m one of you. (Touchy lot, aren’t we?) What I was referring to was the relative gap in glitz and glam between the jet-set Euro-leagues and the “hey, my sister used to date your left back”, up close and personal nature of a second/third tier sports league that gets little to no respect in this country and isn’t the least bit glamorous (long may it continue!).

    Euro-tour = fantasy camp + golf-vacation
    MLS-tour = college bar crawl

    And I like it that way!

  9. Without the drugs? Son, the USL-1 has a team playing in Golden Gate Park.

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