By Tony Edwards - San Jose, CA (May 8, 2012) US Soccer Players -- In Tuesday's edition, Tony avoids any discussion of statistics and asks which MLS coach got a vote of confidence already, wonders how many season-tickets the Whitecaps have sold, makes plans for the month of June, and shakes his head in disbelief at some of the League's uniform combinations.
Which MLS team's coach got the dreaded 'vote of confidence' this weekend?
Aron Winter? Bruce Arena? No, Robin Fraser.
Chivas USA is 3-6, and they just scored their first goal of the season at home, on a penalty kick. In the LA Times, Chivas General Manager Jose Domene said his team was going to make the playoffs. "We're just a click away. We are built to be a playoff team.” Chivas lost at home to the Fire this weekend to a goal three minutes into stoppage time.
How long did the honeymoon effect last in Vancouver?
One season. As David Ebner in the Globe and Mail details, attendance (while still in MLS' upper third) is down from last year and season-tickets dropped from 15,500 to 13,000.
Let's put that in perspective, Vancouver is off to a much better start this season than they way they finished last season. They have a nice stadium to play in. They drew almost 20,000 to last weekend's game against San Jose, and they've sold 13,000 season tickets. That's more season-tickets than San Jose's stadium capacity; that's more season-tickets than Chivas' overall attendance.
If you're an Earthquakes fan, how are you spending most of the month of June?
Not watching the Quakes, that's for sure. After their game on May 27th (six League games in the month of May), San Jose doesn't play again until June 20th. It helps that from May 26 through June 8th, the US National Team has four games, including opening qualifying against Antigua and Barbuda, although those will be television games for us in the Bay Area.
Looking perhaps to next season, Earthquakes President David Kaval has already said San Jose won't embark on a long season-opening road trip (ala Kansas City and Houston) when they are close to opening up their new stadium. As of today, San Jose is in first place in the Western Conference, with the same number of points and a game in hand on Salt Lake, but Seattle has played two fewer games and is only three points back.
Are the Sounders the best team in the League? Conversely, is Philadelphia the most disappointing?
That's what it looked like during Saturday's entertaining game in Seattle, where the Sounders won 1-0. Philadelphia's attack only looked lively when Freddy Adu had the ball and overall, the Union made Seattle's average backline look good. The contrast in attack on Saturday was clear. Seattle players consistently made useful runs off the ball, clearing space for their midfielders and forwards while Philadelphia seems to be searching for answers in attack.
Is it a banner year for uniforms in MLS?
For all the justified flak the League took during its early years (perhaps 'celery' isn't the most inspiring choice for a team color?), this season ranks among the worst. First, Seattle's 'super cyan' uniforms should've led thousands to call their cable company and ask for Fox Soccer Channel in black-and-white. Then there was the eye-catching outfit Mr. Jon Busch debuted (nice socks and it managed to look much worse on tv) this past weekend, and now the wonderful dark tops/yellow shorts ensemble the Red Bulls delighted a nationwide audience with on Saturday.
I'm all for shirts and shorts contrasting, but for every Vancouver uniform, there's far too many in the League (Columbus and Colorado's road jerseys for instance) that make you wonder.