Saturday, February 12, 2011

Think about it

New York Cosmos want to be New York's true team, and play in downtown New York; because that's their fan base. But the Cosmos only played a few games in downtown New York during their pomp at Yankee Stadium. Everything else during their hay-day was played at Giant Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Think about it.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Thoughts on MLS 2011 part 1

By my count, it's only 35 days until the Seattle Sounders host LA Galaxy in the first match of the MLS 2011 season. There are a lot of different questions and story lines coming into the new season. I'm hoping over the next 35 days to write about a few of them.

My first thought coming into this season: Will Chris Wondolowski be able to take his 2010 form into 2011. Wondolowski came out of nowhere last season to take the MLS Golden Boot award, scoring 18 goals. Wondolowski has been described by many as a late bloomer in soccer, now at the age of 28. Prior to his break out season in '10 he had only scored seven goals in his first four seasons in MLS spread across a previous stint with San Jose and some time with Houston Dynamo. Rumored to be on the move in the off season to either another MLS team or to Scandinavian club, Wondolowski is still with San Jose Earthquakes and even appeared in a U.S. international friendly this winter as a reward for his 2010 play.

The Earthquakes have done very little in offseason acquisitions, and obviously hope the players that carried the team into the playoffs last season and upset a much favored Red Bull New York can turn it on again in 2011. We've seen in the recent past that the lack of freshening up a squad in MLS has made several teams do a U-turn in the league, and I have no doubt this will happen to San Jose.

I would love to see Wondolowski put San Jose on his shoulders again this season and carry them to the playoffs; but I can't see this happening. Despite being tagged a late bloomer and having the hot hand last season I don't think Wondolowski can do it on a regular basis over multiple seasons. I don't buy into the late bloomer tag either. He just made good on getting regular playing time, finally, and it shows that hard work goes a long way in this league.

San Jose's biggest offseason signing was that of Steven Lenhart, picked up in trade with Columbus Crew. Though Lenhart has been described as a target man, I find him to lack the vital quality of a target man: Holding up the ball and bringing the rest of the attack into play. Lenhart was the best available, however, for one of MLS's smallest clubs. Lenhart has the size and heading ability already down, but he needs to work on keeping the ball from the opposing defender and making the first pass to teammates joining the attack.

If Wondolowski is to be near the top of the league in goals in 2011 San Jose will need players such as Lenhart and Bobby Convey taking some of the weight off of his shoulders. Convey had a fantastic return to form last season and was rumored to be called up to the U.S.'s Camp Cupcake over the winter. I can't see San Jose doing it two seasons in a row with practically the same squad, and hopefully they won't spend DP money on a player like Geovanni, again. Who wasn't able to give them the push they had hoped for. I don't expect much from San Jose this season, rather, I expect more from this year's expansion teams.

Blog update!!!

It has been a while between blogs, but that is because I'm currently in a transcontinental house/job move. I've gone from Budapest, Hungary to Wolverhampton, England in the past week; where I've had little to no internet at my in-laws. Tomorrow I will be making an 18 hour flight from England to my hometown of Springfield, Missouri, USA for a short vacation (I know it's not a place you think of for a holiday). Three weeks later I will be on my way (back) to Seoul, South Korea where I will begin work for a third time there; as well as get back to playing some amateur footy. So, if you are a regular visitor of the blog please bear with me as blog posts will be few and far between during this time.

Also, thank you for reading. I started this as something to pass the time in my spare time and I've very much enjoyed it.


Friday, February 4, 2011

New Threads

Colorado Rapids will have a new shirt for the upcoming season and you can find it here. It's quite similar to last seasons and I would have thought the team would use a new design or accent colour to make their 2011-12 shirts stand out; as they as the reigning MLS Cup Champions.

Toronto FC's new home shirt is here, and it looks fantastic. This is definitely one of the best shirt of 2011. It is not just the same boring red the club has worn in the past, and it will make the club stand out against the other red wearing teams in MLS.

Red Bull New York will sport these new away shirts in 2011. They're very similar to the away kits the team wore in 2010, but the blue is a bit sharper as well as the red.

DC United has turned MLS on its head with these fantastic new third kits. I've said it before that more teams need third kits, and it seems several will now have them. DC will wear a classy red kit as a third choice and it's nice to see MLS' original flagship team bringing back the red.

Though I've posted a link before, here are the new Seattle Sounders FC kits. I'm not a big fan of these as they look too much like previous Sounders' kits.

Chivas USA will wear one of my favourite away kits this upcoming season.

MLS will have quite a few good looking shirts on display this next season. But my biggest problem is many of the teams don't change their kits significantly enough to warrant the purchase of a new shirt. I don't see Colorado, Seattle or Red Bull NY's shirts looking that much different. Thus, I don't see it worth the $45-$100 to buy a replica or authentic shirt; unless you are truly a die hard supporter.