Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: Big Apple, Bobby Convey, Chris Wondolowski, Commissioner Dan Garber, Juan Agudelo, Juan Pablo Angel, MLS Eastern Conference, New York Cosmos, New York Cosmos LLC, New York Red Bulls, New York Times, North American Soccer League, Pele, Red Bull Arena, San Jose Earthquakes
The San Jose Earthquakes upset the New York Red Bulls, 3-1, before a disappointed sellout crowd of 22,839 at Red Bull Arena, eliminating New York in the MLS Eastern Conference semifinals by a 3-2 aggregate.
The conference champion Red Bulls, 1-0 winners in the first leg in San Jose, had tied the home-and-home series at 2-2 in the 78th minute as captain Juan Pablo Angel, playing what was likely his last match for New York, headed home a Juan Agudelo cross. But the eighth-seeded ‘Quakes quickly replied when Bobby Convey, scorer of San Jose’s first two goals, set up a headed strike by young sensation Chris Wondolowski. [November 4]
Comment: If the MLS founders knew back in 1996 that their league would go 15 seasons without its largest market club winning a championship, their first question would be how their highly vulnerable project could possibly have survived 10 seasons.
Nonetheless, MLS has progressed (survived would be too tepid a description, thrived too strong) despite lacking the Big Apple glamor enjoyed by its predecessor, the North American Soccer League. While the New York Cosmos won five NASL titles over 10 years, the MLS championship has gone to minor markets like Columbus, Kansas City and, yes, San Jose. That’s a decade and a half without the New York Times and other media outlets there giving a good blankety-blank about domestic soccer in the midst of a gridiron football season.
If MLS simply must conquer New York to make a dent in the media capital of the world, it may have found the solution. A group called New York Cosmos LLC, an English-backed group fronted by Pele, is bidding to join MLS, and Commissioner Don Garber has said he would prefer that the league’s 20th club be based in New York.
That’s the ticket: Put enough teams in the Big Apple and, sooner or later, one will win an MLS championship.