DS, 10.22: Attendance; Grading Beckham; DC’s Psyche; Why I Don’t Predict &$%t & (a little) More

I could wait on the whole Greg Ryan press-conference thing, but don’t think I’ll feel the need to post on that unless he keeps his job…and, at that point, the post would only read “Holy Shit!”  So, on with the rest of today’s points of interest.  To your left, you’ll see…

The Beautiful Game posted a blurb on Major League Soccer’s (MLS) attendance for the 2007 regular season, an item he picked up from Throughball; maybe I should credit the latter, but I like the idea of building daisy chains of attribution.  At any rate, attendance did pretty well this year, as we all know.  But the thing that most impressed me – the reason why I’m posting on this, really – was how well the numbers have held during the playoff push.  That normally doesn’t happen, which is something Ian Plenderleith flagged in his wrap of the weekend’s action.  I count this the best news of the year.

Yahoo! Sports’ Martin Rogers combined all the Beckham-related data points into a fair portrait of Beckham’s overall impact in 2007.  It’s a pretty good, and fair, read.  The bigger thing for me, though, is the fact Beckham will still be around next season (unlike Denilson) and I expect that, with a healthy body and a full preseason to get him with his Galaxy teammates, Beckham will earn higher on-field marks in 2008.  The Galaxy as a whole ought to be better next year.

– DC United v. Chicago Fire looks to be one of the best post-season pairings – which could explain why The Mouse Networks grabbed the series.  While the Fire’s solid-to-hot form helps, knocks/injuries to key DC players should tighten up things a little more still…then there are the clammy fears grown from defeats and humiliations in season’s past to make the Black & Red Faithful that little bit queasier.

– From where I am, that is, as a New England fan/abuser, history doesn’t mean squat this year unless it’s recent.  And that’s been bad enough that even the Red Bulls have me feeling anxious.

– Speaking of the post-season, a body doesn’t realize how short it is – in terms of games, that is – till he counts the games between the first round and MLS Cup.  Just four steps to victory…the end is coming.

– Finally, file this one under, why would I want to bury that?  Then cue an nervous grin pinched tightly to an aspect of innocence.  While wrapping up the season with a series of awards, The Fullback Files mentions taking a look back at his pre-season predictions with expectations of shame to follow.  Here my predictions – for the Western and Eastern Conferences – and shame doesn’t even begin to describe it.  I “expect great things from Colorado?”  Sweet Jesus….

Portland Timbers’ Record Night: An Anthropological Study

To stray a bit from my regular topic, I need to talk USL-1 for a second – specifically about my local team, the Portland Timbers. But, first, a little background.

Not too long ago, I was a season-ticket holder. When circumstances got in the way, my attendance record took a bit of a hit, but I still manage a few games a season (only three this time around). This isn’t about fan bona fides, though, but about context – the point is, I’ve seen a Timbers’ game or two in my time. And, using the game as an excuse to meet up with some friends I haven’t seen in a while, I figured I’d take in one more : the Timbers v. the visiting Charleston Battery.

So, what did I see? Continue reading