Soccerstoriesbook's Blog


MAKE THAT OTHER WASHINGTON THE OFFICIAL CAPITAL OF THE U.S. NATIONAL TEAM

A boisterous sellout crowd of 36,241 was on hand at Qwest Field to see the hometown Seattle Sounders defeat the expansion Philadelphia Union, 2-0, in the curtain raiser to Major League Soccer’s 15th season.  [March 25]

Comment: Enough with trying to hide in places like Foxboro, Massachusetts; and Columbus, Ohio.  Award all competitive U.S. National Team matches on home soil to Qwest Field for the foreseeable future.  It’s become obvious that fans of Mexico and Honduras and Costa Rica and Guatemala will trek anywhere from Anchorage to Key West to support their team when it plays in the USA.  But it’s a safe bet that Sounder fans would snap up every available ticket before any fan of a CONCACAF enemy could make a move for his wallet, then provide the singing and chanting customary at Sounder matches that would at long last spell home-field advantage for the U.S.  (Bring back Seattle’s own Kasey Keller to start in goal and it’s a lead-pipe cinch.

MLS, PLAYERS AVERT STRIKE

Major League Soccer was spared a strike or lockout five days before its 2010 season opener when owners and the players’ association came to terms on a new, five-year agreement.  Although the players did not achieve their goal of free agency within the league, the per-club salary cap will be increased from $2.3 million to $2.55 million, and more than half of them will receive guaranteed contracts, up from the previous 18 to 20 percent.  [March 20]

Comment: The accord spares MLS management a public relations nightmare:  the first professional player work stoppage in recent memory that would have had popular support.  Most fans, denied their fun and games, usually side with management, or they blame both sides.  But this is MLS, whose new CBA gives the three dozen or so players being paid the minimum $34,000 a whopping 5 percent raise.  How could Joe Fan have possibly dismissed MLS players as “spoiled” or “pampered” when a number of them aren’t earning much more than a substitute school teacher? 

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