MLS Matchday One: Your Running Commentary

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Good afternoon everybody. Today is the start of the Major League Soccer season and there are some quality match-ups to start the year.

Here are today’s games:

  • Toronto FC at Columbus
  • Chicago Fire at Real Salt Lake
  • Houston Dynamo at New England Revolution
  • D.C. United at Kansas City Wizards
  • Los Angeles Galaxy at Colorado Rapids

If you are wondering who I’m picking in today’s games, check out my game previews on ESPN.com, which are at the bottom of my piece on the influx of foreign players into MLS.

If you are following MLS matches today and tonight, please feel free to share your thoughts and opinions (as well as some play-by-play) in the comments section below.

Enjoy the soccer.

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228 Responses to MLS Matchday One: Your Running Commentary

  1. ADG says:

    I thought Direct Kick was free on all providers today? Mine is shutting me out…

  2. Spencer says:

    I’m watching the games on the PPV channels, mine are free this weekend.

  3. kswiss says:

    I’m excited to be able to see my United play for the first time this year. Should be a good game against what could be a strong Wizards team this year. Anyone know why I can see but can’t hear the games on MLSLive.tv?

  4. Nic says:

    The crowd in Columbus is looking sparse. You’d think with the thousands of TFC fans traveling down to Ohio there might be more local interest in the game. Here’s hoping to Saputo and Gillett buying the Crew and moving them to Montreal.

    On another note, Moffat’s strike was pretty nice.

  5. kswiss says:

    Nevermind, I got the audio back as I was posting that.

  6. DCM says:

    So much for FREE Direct Kick today. Comcast’s website says free preview on April 7th while other sites say free preview for opening weekend.

    There went my plans for the next several hours. I guess I’ll just wait for the excitement of NCAA & MLS (on FSC) to take up my pic-in-pic later on today.

    Oh well!! ~ sigh

  7. Phillip says:

    Goal by Columbus…

    1-0

  8. kswiss says:

    Nice first goal of the season by Adam Moffat.

  9. NYRB says:

    why wasn’t the opener on ABC? does anyone know?

  10. Nic says:

    If the first 40 minutes of this game is any indication, Toronto doesn’t look like they’ve improved much in the offseason. They are in dire need of an offensive focal point, someone like Guevara but not a headcase.

    Any chance of MLSE splashing out a few hundred thousands loonies to get the player they so need?

  11. NYRB, it was speculated that this game was going to be on ABC, but they decided to show DC v. LA as a lead in to the Euro Finals later this summer.

  12. soccerhockey says:

    TFC just hates scoring.

    The Crew Stadium atmosphere looks great.

  13. kswiss says:

    Columbus up 1-0 at halftime.

    Goal by Moffat

    PK save by Hesmer

    Columbus looks pretty decent in the first half, though 45 minutes against Toronto isn’t enough time to make any sort of conclusion about the team in general.

  14. Danny says:

    I’m sure everyone is aware, but this is a free weekend with MLS direct kick. If you have In Demand, Direct TV, or another provider there’s no reason not to watch at least this weekend. Who knows if you subscribe, but get it while you can anyway.

    BTW, Hesmer makes a great PK save and keeps my fantasy team shut out going. :)

  15. expat lumberjack says:

    toronto’s red and columbus’ yellow look exactly like ketchup and mustard. really horrific color combination. it’s hard to watch the game without wanting to gouge my eyes out with a spoon.

  16. DCM says:

    Just talked with Comcast here in Indy and the free preview is not until “middle of April” here. Odd time to do it I think, but being outside of a MLS teams immediate area might be the reason for it.

  17. Danny says:

    My free preview is coming from “In Demand.” Seems nice. I’m a subscriber to the internet version. I might have to move up this year.

    As far as the Mustard/Ketchup, don’t you think the whole gouging you eyes out is a bit rough bro? Yikes!

  18. Rocco says:

    Just bought the Direct Kick package for 1st time. $79 bucks doesn’t seem bad. I have a DVR so I’ll catch a lot of games on tape.

  19. chris says:

    is anyone’s mlstv working?

  20. expat lumberjack says:

    my mlslive is working, but to get there i clicked on the little tv icon next to the game listing on the scoreboard on mlsnet.com.

  21. Nic says:

    MLSLive froze up during an annoying interview with the lead singer of that band, but I reloaded it and it started to work fine again.

    Just reload.

  22. koolcaio says:

    Evo Galapucho, what do you know about dc? you are just a dc hater like the rest!!

    vamos united!!!!

  23. chris says:

    thanks expat, for some reason mine isn’t working. black sreen and no audio. i hope they work this out.

  24. DCM says:

    Just bought Direct Kick for the 1st time as well… my couch is going to get a workout this season, thank god I have my bike on a trainer in front of the TV. I only wish the games were shown in HD.

  25. DCM says:

    Cunningham must have lost sight of the goal in all the red smoke from the flares thrown by TFC fans sitting behind the goal.

  26. Nic says:

    chris,do you have a mac?

  27. chris says:

    nic, nope. i just tried it again. not working again. i figured it takes a week or so for mls to work this out. i’m not too upset, but if anyone has some kind of miracle trick, i’ll take it.

  28. Nic says:

    It wasn’t working for me originally either. Oddly enough, I tried watching other video content (I think it was a Greg Lalas/Shep Messing thing) and then clicked again on the watch CLB vs. TOR and then clicked again on MLSLive.tv. Then it worked.

  29. PJhardy says:

    Somebody for Columbus should have got on that stage after scoring and played air guitar.

  30. Nic says:

    I cannot believe these announcers (Columbus local guys) are arguing that Jeff Cunningham be given a run for the National team. Shocking.

  31. soccerhockey says:

    serious, the Cunningham plug is way off.

    that fan falling onto the field at the goal celebration by the corner flag was classic! hilarious crew fan.

  32. eric says:

    Funny, TWC is in between – they’re about to hook me up with Chicago – RSL, but the other Direct Kick channels are off…

  33. kevin says:

    i was surprised to see that columbus’s supporter’s group grew by about 2x!!! i’m guessing it’s the beckham effect. hopefully, it will affect all the other teams too!!

  34. Amit says:

    The Crew vs. TFC game was pretty good. Columbus was very good. They looked like a contender. We’ll see if that continues.

  35. KINGTUTS says:

    Toronto looked aweful up front. No creativity, horrible shot selection, second guessing themselves on feeds they definitely should have taken and obviously a serious lack of finish. Marshall in D was their lone bright spot (which is saying something). Edwards looked very ordinary in goal, Sutton on the bench seemed wasteful. First goal their back four had their feet nailed to the ground, no one challenging!!! Gross! Second goal, Edwards came out hard and then stopped like a dear in the headlights. If you come out to challenge a player, make sure you come out and challenge the player, not stop at 70% steam, get flat footed and then beat like a rented mule. Samuel scoring the PK could have changed the outcome (why was Brenan not taking ths shot??? not that it should matter I guess) of that game, but if TO cannot score on PK (which shouldn’t have even been a PK by the way) then last year’s scoring draught could be just as bad this year. Cunningham better be paired up with Dichio to start for the game against DC. Hopefully James is back soon, they need another athletic defender that is gonna make the kinda pin point passes their mid-wings are incapable of doing. Nice first corner of the game, but like the commentators said, you can only try that once… so you better finish. Has Cunningham lost his magic? Or is he just not getting the bare minimum service he needs from the middle of the field? Guevara, please get here soon!!!!!!

  36. eric says:

    RSL pinging it around like they’re Arsenal on Chi-town. Ouch. The Fire look like they haven’t figured out the turf. Not impressive crowd in Salt Lake, but on the plus side, Blanco is pushing and shoving 10 mins into the season.

  37. oracledba says:

    it is brutal to watch a game with college football lines – utah doesn’t play for another 7 months you think they could re-line the field

  38. eric says:

    Still entertained by RSL – Chi in the 30th, but it’s getting sloppy out there. RSL with more chances (8 shots!), and Blanco is doing his thing, but Rolfe and Mapp have been invisible on the wings.

  39. Amit says:

    Its seems that referee Terry Vaughn is confused by the football lines. He seems to be forgetting what sport he is officiating.

  40. Nic says:

    Conde not playing for the Fire. I wonder if they’ll finally realize he’s hellbent on leaving and just deal the guy. Is selling him back to Colombia an option?

  41. alex says:

    Dear RBNY,

    Please see attached box marked “return to sender”. It contains one lazy, useless football director, feel free to discard as necessary.

    Fr.

    TFC

  42. alex says:

    Agreed on the comments about RSL – Chi. Salt Lake came out on fire, but has slowed since. Beckerman and the other guy (morales?) look amazing in the centre.

  43. eric says:

    Haven’t got much of a beat on Ian Joy, who I’ve heard about for years and am seeing on the field for the first time. But he just picked up a yellow for hacking down Mapp on the wing in the 50th.

  44. eric says:

    Curious decision to pull Mapp in the 55th or so. He had just started to get involved and earned a couple of free kicks in a row. He didn’t look like he was hurt as he jogged off. Maybe Chicago is worried he was going to break if he fell one more time?

    Blanco is playing like he wants to be the MVP as many have predicted, and call Conde the LVP, Chicago have no cohesion, even factoring in opening day form.

  45. KINGTUTS says:

    Berckman was written off by many, but I believe the guy still has some serious hops. Amazing game by Kyle so far. Great stuff. Get Robbie Findley on the pitch. The kid can finish and is being wasted on the sidelines. Findley does a great job getting behind the defenders and think Bekerman’s vision and Robbie’s ability to shake of his marker and get open will be magic this year, once he starts, well, starting on the RSL team. Andy Williams’ time is over… Robbie Findley is not only the future, he should be the present too!!! My guess… Findley comes on late, scores the winner.

  46. mikeK says:

    Showing what he learned in St. Pauli, and I like it. Didn’t he do a stint in the MLS before going to Germany?

    Decent game. Bit chippy. I’m watching on MLS live. The Fire announcers are horrid. Such homers.

  47. Dominghosa says:

    Working right now, fellas. Scores and goal scorers so far tonight?

  48. eric says:

    The game is picking up in pace and atmosphere, due mostly to Blanco who is full of theatrics and sweet back heels which the crowd loves to hate.

    Ha ha ha! Kovalenko into the game, 68th.

    RSL has to win this game, they’ve played too well.

    Own Goal of Demo cross! 1 – 0 RSL!

  49. DCM says:

    OG.. tough way to start the season.

  50. sprool11 says:

    Caliguiri just called Brian Mullan, Chris Mullan…what a tard!!

  51. eric says:

    Soumare is the culprit, but it’s really about Demo’s cross, which was whipped in low and trouble all the way.

  52. mikeK says:

    Scores:

    Crew 2 0 TFC

    RSL 1 0 Fire in the ~80th

    We let Dema go because ___________.

    Atleast we signed… Oh. No one. That’s right.

  53. eric says:

    Ugh! Robbie Findley makes an awesome hustle play to block the goalie’s clearance… but then dives when he’s 1 v 1 with the keeper and picks up a yellow. Don’t let him room with Charlie Davies anymore.

  54. AlexS says:

    Revs have some nice chants going on in Estadio Gelete right now… wonder how many seats they sold?

  55. AlexS says:

    Bah! Onstad with a save that goes to Christman, who taps it in.

    Revs 1-0 Dynamo

  56. eric says:

    Blanco – or your front runner for 2008 MVP – hits a great volley from 18 yards out to tie it 1 – 1 in the 92nd.

  57. AlexS says:

    ^ Turns out it was Noonan.

    DeRo with a header, just over the bar. This game’s going to be entertaining.

  58. eric says:

    End of game in Salt Lake, 1 – 1. Charge Blanco with a total heist of points from RSL, who just might make some noise this year if they can stay healthy.

    Morales and Beckerman were excellent in the midfield, Demo is going to make NYRB fans cry all year long, they’ve got 4 entertaining forwards.

  59. AlexS says:

    ^ And by Noonan I mean Ralston. That would be one hell of a shot over the north atlantic though!

  60. eric says:

    FSC is in full swing – showing us a stupid replay while Christman scores for NE. 2 – 0

  61. AlexS says:

    BAH! Nice job from FSC, missing a quick restart goal against the Dynamo by replaying the could that set up the free kick. Onstad makes a save and Christman is there to head it in.

    Revs 2-0 Dynamo

  62. Steve says:

    Phew.

    Blanco saved our arses.

    The Fire looked terrible, the ref was terrible, and Commisioner Garber please outlaw artificial turf!!!!!!!

    I’ve got a bad feelign about New England this year. And that’s a good feeling if you live in New England. These guys are Supporters Shield all the way.

  63. AlexS says:

    Ah, it’s about time the Revs go into bootball mode! I was shocked… for half an hour they were playing up the middle and down the sides by making MORE THAN ONE PASS!

    Holden misshits a good chance, as does Ashe. If the Dynamo get clicking soon it could be 5-2 Dynamo by the end of this.

  64. Max says:

    Why, oh why did I drop Will Hesmer as my fantasy captain? That surely would have been a Jose-like masterstroke.

    By the way, what’s with the Crew announcers using the phrase “scoring by committee” 16 times today?

  65. Steve says:

    btw… ….new Revs unis are terrible.

  66. eric says:

    I’m trying to use my Direct Kick free preview to watch DC – KC, but they’re playing both the English and the Spanish announcing feed at the same time. If you’re wondering, no, it’s not helping my spanish.

    Man, what am I going to do when my wife is out of grad school and she expects a social life on weekends again!

  67. AlexS says:

    Refs lets the Revs get away with murder twice, only to call a foul on ERob after Christman miss dribbles and hung onto him as he went down.

    And the Revs unis look like last years to me, complete with the red underarms.

  68. DCM says:

    KC’s setup for the next 2 years looks like a joke on TV. The pitch looks fine, but the view beyond the field off 0 sets looks amateurish. I can’t imagine what someone abroad would think of MLS from seeing replays from this “stadium”.

  69. AlexS says:

    Phantom foul on Holden as he schools two revs… ah, good ol’ MLS officiating!

  70. Steve says:

    Never, ever, ever let any KC home games on national TV. It looks like major amateur hour though it sounds a lot better than Arrowhead.

    mlslive.tv = the best $19.95 you’ll ever spend.

  71. eric says:

    What a blast by DeRo – which I was positive was in. Nope, side net.

    Of course, the FSC geniuses acted shocked that he took the kick instead of Mulrooney…

  72. Louis says:

    Woohoo! Starting Christman for Queens FC paid off

  73. AlexS says:

    DeRo… that wasn’t a goal?

    Nope, looked in to me at first but it hit the back pipe just on the outside of the net.

    Halftime.

    Revs 2-0 Dynamo. A fair score given the events – neither goal was easy for the Revs and were good plays by the trailing attacker. But this one still has legs, I expect a few more goals before it’s all said and done.

  74. eric says:

    Steve – agree on both counts.

    I assume KC has actual stands on the side of the field that the camera is on… but it looks even more low rent than an FA Cup game at one of those League 2 fields.

    I guess it’s cool that the whole field is in the outfield of the baseball stadium, but the seats are all wrong.

    BTW, still 0 – 0 in the 23rd. Haven’t seen much of a chance by anyone.

  75. DCM says:

    link to kc.wizards.mlsnet.com

    Here’s the seating chart/map for KC. I would find interesting to see how many “good seats” there really are out of the 12,000 setup for the soccer configuration of the stadium. The baseball capacity is 6,537.

  76. Chase says:

    Great stuff so far, I thought Columbus had a great crowd and looks to be a playoff contender, excellent stuff from Blanco, despite the draw RSL looks vastly improved and could make some noise in a weak Western Conference (I shudder having to use that phrase), the Revs look great even without Twellman (especially Mansally).

    BTW was anyone else hideously annoyed by the Fire-RSL announcers on the MLS pass preview thing? I was done with them, when they claimed that Robbie Findley was “great” in Olympic Qualifying.

    And can they not do anything about the gridiron lines when the football season doesn’t start until September? Personally, I think the KC stadium is kind of neat, looks way better than a completely empty Arrowhead…

  77. eric says:

    Hartman with a Huge save on Emilio after Gallardo sets him off and running. More of that, please.

  78. Sack Lodge says:

    anyone else impressed by how the rev’s two gambian guys are playing? wow, they are good.

  79. DCM says:

    Chase,

    I think Utah has a fake field where the lines are permanent versus New England who knew ahead of installing their field that the field was going to be multi purpose. There are several football fields around where I live that have permanent football lines that were part of the installation.

  80. Steve says:

    I’m a Fire fan and I agree with every comment about our announcers. They had me wishing for Christian Miles for gosh sake!!!! Thank goodness I only have to deal with them for road games. My apologies to the rest of you.

  81. eric says:

    Right before the half Lopez does his first useful thing for KC all day and draws a dangerous kick just outside of the box…

  82. aristotle says:

    One of the minutemen shot Joseph!

  83. aristotle says:

    Heartbreaking for Houston. N.E. living a charmed life.

  84. AlexS says:

    Hell of a save by Ries off a Holden header from a good Mullan pass… that’s more like the Dynamo I know!

  85. aristotle says:

    That looks like a separated shoulder.

  86. AlexS says:

    Bad foul call! Holden was to the ball well before Ralston got there and tripped over him! Just because he hurt his shoulder doesn’t mean it’s a foul!

  87. Spencer says:

    Disappointing crowds for most of the games so far. KC, and Colombus have seen their last year hopefully. Sorry fans, but you can’t raise the salary cap if teams are losing money every year from not selling enough tickets.

  88. aristotle says:

    Wow. That’s not good. He can’t even walk off the field with a shoulder injury.

  89. aristotle says:

    I guess he can.

  90. eric says:

    … which is straight into the wall, 0 – 0 at the half for DC – KC.

    Not too thrilled by the Argentine DP’s on either side, Gallardo was better with a couple of dangerous passes, but sill sometimes hits those ballooning corner kicks. I’m worried about Lopez, this judgment is based off an entire half of soccer, but he had no first step and didn’t show much vision or power on his shots to make up for that.

    DC was better in the first half, but Burch gave the ball away a ton, ruining many attacks.

  91. AlexS says:

    Dear Bobby Boswell – never shoot with your feet. (And if I have to eat those words sometime, I will do so happily)

  92. Chase says:

    That’s what I was thinking DCM, it really is terrible, luckily they are moving into a new stadium soon.

    Ralston got airborne on that challenge, looks like he messed up his shoulder.

  93. aristotle says:

    Spencer:

    Look out for a barrage of K.C. fans telling you that you don’t know what you’re talking about.

    “New owners that are good…blah blah…new stadium….blah blah…202% ticket increase..blah blah…how dare you blah blah!:)

  94. AJ says:

    Ralston injury looks awful. Not good for a captain to go down, espcially when he’s our main attacking midfielder. Spencer Wadsworth will have to step up big time.

    Also impressive are the Gambians for the Revs. Nyassi has been great going up and down the right and Mansally has been causing issues with his speed upfront. Can’t wait to see what the team looks like when Twellman gets back and he gets together with Mansally.

    The Ralston injury, if its serious, will be an issue though. As I said, Wadsworth is the other attacking central mid on the roster. Possibly Cristman or Wells Thompson could move in there.

  95. AlexS says:

    Franco Caraccio on for the Dynamo in the 65ish, for Wondolowski.

    This match looks and plays a lot better than low table fixtures in the Prem.

  96. eric says:

    New drinking game – drink every time a Rev player flops in front of Holden!

  97. aristotle says:

    That wasn’t a great save by Onstad. He’s had a very poor game. He just stood there and didn’t move at all. That was a RIDICULOUS miss by Cristman.

  98. AlexS says:

    Eric, involuntary manslaughter is a crime!

  99. aristotle says:

    Castro is not going to be much more popular than Fidel if he keeps that up!

  100. eric says:

    47th in KC – goal by some Columbian Wiz player I haven’t heard of

  101. AlexS says:

    Great game for Mansally and Nyassi.

    Mansally off in the 80.

  102. MiamiAl says:

    Trujillo scored for K.C….D.C. is getting nothing up front…

  103. eric says:

    Alex – I actually haven’t been watching much of the game, mostly reading the comments. I did see him whistled for one on the wing I thought was weak just before I switched back which seemed to corroborate some of the comments. I admit – it just sounded funny, and I have a growing man crush on Holden, who is becoming Bobby Convey circa 2005.

    I assume you are talking about Ralston, hope he’s ok. But speaking of non-flops, props to Christman for not going down on his breakaway, even if he banged his shot off of Onstad….

  104. kpugs says:

    I can’t stand the Revs. But how much better is their wing play without Noo-Nan slowing things down and shanking shots left and right do to his mediocre-at-best finishing ability?

    They really are better off without him.

  105. aristotle says:

    Ching can’t even play at the club level in MLS anymore. We are really desperate on the USMNT at the striker position.

  106. AlexS says:

    Handball in the box not called makes a Dyanmo fan cry (especially with that BS on in the Razor last year) T_T

  107. DCM says:

    Soon to be Sports Illustrated ‘Sign of the Apocalypse’ section:

    “So where are your seats for the Wizards game on Saturday night?”

    “They are right behind the left field foul pole.”

    ~ Recently overheard conversation between two KC Wizards fans.

  108. kpugs says:

    I agree with Alex on the foul. Too bad Ralston got injured, but Holden won the ball. It was a fair challenge and not Holden’s fault Ralston went tumbling. Holden got the ball first, in any league with good officiating that’s not a foul.

    But this is MLS.

  109. Chase says:

    The Revs look pretty damn good right now, they aren’t missing Dorman, Noonan, and John too much so far…

  110. aristotle says:

    The fat lady is starting to sing.

  111. aristotle says:

    Saprissa 3-0 Houston

  112. eric says:

    Thanks MiamiAl! Trujillo has looked very good, and had a 2nd called back by the flag.

    I still haven’t seen Lopez do anything. In fact, I’d say Carolos Marinelli is having the best game by an Argentinian tonight.

    Ooh! DC has won called back, and Lopez makes me look dumb with a SWEET lob. 2 – 0 KC.

  113. aristotle says:

    Houston are going to need a striker, soon.

  114. MiamiAl says:

    Oh Man!..Claudio Lopez scores for KC…D.C United is down 2 goals to KC 62nd min.

  115. kpugs says:

    The Dynamo look completely awful and at this point not the least bit intimidating.

  116. MiamiAl says:

    Looks like Soehn is too busy looking ahead at Champions Cup on Tuesday, that is why Fred was not starting…

  117. AlexS says:

    @ Eric:

    Oh, don’t listen to me, I’m just being a homer right now. And I wasn’t referring to Ralston’s shoulder separation, just that Holden being around a rev winger results in a foul (most of which are deserved for Holden playing physical on them). Now, I wasn’t happy that the ref calls a foul on the play where Ralston hurt himself because Holden was there first and Ralston came in after, but something else entirely.

    As a non-homer review of the game… NE just outplayed the Dynamo. Don’t know if it’s the cold, if it’s the game on Wednesday…

    … if it’s Ashe’s defense on the left combined with a slower centerback pairing and the speed of the revs.

    As I type this, Nyassi owns the entire Dynamo team.

    Damn.

  118. eric says:

    I was trying say that DC had a goal disallowed when KC scored on the restart. And was that Trujillo with the nice feed to Lopez on the goal – Who is that guy?

    Forget European, South America will carry MLS!

  119. kpugs says:

    Time to get the Beckham cams ready. Don’t worry I’m sure they’ll have one ancient giant camcorder focused on the rest of the match.

  120. NYRB says:

    Many of the new players have been good today. Amazing!

  121. Chase says:

    WOW, what a run from Nyassi, incredible, Ianni just got embarrassed.

    I have to disagree on the crowds Spencer, I thought Columbus and KC have had decent crowds and atmosphere (especially KC who had easily the worst atmosphere last season in the cavernous Arrowhead).

  122. MiamiAl says:

    Why don’t any of these games come in HD…I love Rupert Murdoch and what he has done for the soccer fan with Fox Soccer, but how come the games out of BPL are not broadcast in HD?? It’s such a tease…

  123. Louis says:

    I was skeptical, until I got my free laptop!

  124. aristotle says:

    Chase:

    13’000 is a decent opening day crowd? I guess you don’t think MLS should try to survive, huh?

    Was that the Ethiopian emperor playing for New England?

    No, that’s right that was Haile Selassie. Sounds the same though.

  125. Chase says:

    Is it just me or is the picture distorted for the Galaxy game, its too vertically stretched…

  126. DCM says:

    Aristotle-

    ???? regarding your bit about today’s crowd(s).

  127. eric says:

    DC has looked better since Fred came on in the 57th for Burch. No wonder they were rough in the first half.

    I have a theory from the 2nd half of last year that DC only goes when Fred is on, he seems to be the barometer of the whole team. As I type he fires a cross in the box that Erpen screws up. Should’ve got one back.

  128. Brant says:

    Toronto fans were a great crowd. I think part of what hurt Columbus this week is that most of the public schools are just wrapping up Spring Break this week and many of the families aren’t returning to town until this weekend.

    No one – I mean *no one* – sticks around Columbus over Spring Break, if they can help it.

    The Crew had bad luck last year for the opener, too. It was bone-puckering cold and 20mph winds for a night game. But the year before they had over 20k for the opener.

  129. DCM says:

    Nice sequence and goal for the Rapids

  130. Chase says:

    Sorry aristotle, forgot you are the all-knowing source for information on American soccer, I was saying I personally don’t think the crowds and atmosphere were that bad as they were presented on TV, and spare me your alarmist “the league is going to collapse” bs…

  131. eric says:

    88th min, DC putting all kinds of pressure on KC, still down 2 – 0…

  132. MiamiAl says:

    No Ben Olsen or Jaime Moreno = D.C United 0- KC Wizards 2…Emilio looked very slow out there.

  133. kpugs says:

    Awesome news for me, thanks for the Updates Miami.

  134. eric says:

    It’s not going to happen for DC, there’s the whistle. 2 – 0 KC, nice showing. Big props to Harrington, who was everywhere, and here’s hoping for more from Lopez, who was mediocre until he conjured up a goal.

    DC misses Ben Olsen, and probably need something from (gulp) Santino Quaranta to have enough depth. Their new defender, Gonzalo Martinez, did have a good game though.

  135. kpugs says:

    L.A. DIVERS, this is unreal. All ball on that Ruiz “foul.” Beckham falls over and the linesman can’t raise his flag fast enough.

    God I hate the way L.A. get treated.

  136. kpugs says:

    This league really wants L.A. to win.

  137. NYRB says:

    nice crowd. COL 1-0 LAG

  138. NYRB says:

    Condul losing teeth already?

  139. Louis says:

    Ruiz plays so dirty, he blatantly kicked the keeper

  140. EricJ says:

    I must admit that I am very happy to be rid of Ruiz from Dallas.

  141. aristotle says:

    Chase:

    You cover up a stupid comment by making a nonsense personal attack?

    Spencer made the comment about the crowds being disappointing and MLS not being able to make enough money off crowds of that size, and I was simply supporting his point of view.

    You said you disagreed because you apparently think 13,000 is a good opening day crowd. 13,000 is a poor crowd. That’s not an opinion or a matter of being an authority, it’s a fact. Only an imbecile like you would try to say 13,000 is a good crowd.

    I also never said anything about the league collapsing, but obviously the league wouldn’t survive with an average “good” crowd of 13,000. Your pathetic. You have to put words in peoples mouths to cover up for you’re idiotic comments.

  142. kpugs says:

    Coundoul is awesome.

  143. hincha tim says:

    Just got home from the RSL-Fire game. Some comments:

    1) RSL dominated the game, and the midfield especially.

    2) Except for the last minute the RSL defense was very very solid. They neutralized Blanco until a last minute goal (for the second year in a row).

    2) Beckerman and Williams played well in midfield.

    3) RSL forwards missed 3 easy goals.

    4) With the nice services that RSL had, if Deuchars “Dr. Goal” who is quite a presence is for real, they are going to surprise a lot of people this year.

    5) Chicago did not look good at all.

    6) The ref really sucked. His lack of calls on clear fouls (for both sides) was ludicrous. If the MLS wants attractive soccer, they need to get rid of refs like that one.

    7) Can’t wait for the new RSL stadium to be completed. They need to outlaw artificial turf for soccer.

  144. kpugs says:

    Tim, I’m totally surprise. Awful officiating in MLS?? NO WAY!!

    I agree with you, only I’ll take it a step further. While I haven’t bothered to learn ref’s names in the league (sorry zebras), there is only one ref I can remember that I think is actually good. I know him when I see him at the games. They should get rid of anyone but him, or at least teach them the rules of the game.

  145. Z. Daily says:

    Question is Becks the only player on the LA Galaxy allowed to wear the long sleeves?

  146. aristotle says:

    Z:

    Maybe, but doesn’t he do that to to cover up all of the tattoos on his arms?

  147. Robby says:

    The Galaxy vs Rapids game is one of the most uninspired matches I’ve ever seen. The Galaxy look so tired, and it’s Game 1!

    Not one piece of creativity, or style (outside of Becks)….sad reminder of the centuries behind MLS is from any sort of organisation that produces quality for its customers.

  148. Z. Daily says:

    Yeah I understand that but look at the LA players(Landon Ruiz) and then Rapids’ players

  149. kpugs says:

    Beckham has preferred long sleeves his entire career. And Gordon is also wearing long sleeves, albeit under the short sleeve jersey.

  150. kpugs says:

    Should have been a straight red there. Gordon ripped him from behind, no ball in site. I guess since that was the first booking he felt it shouldn’t be straight red. Or it’s a combo of bad officiating and the league rule that L.A. players cannot be sent off.

  151. Z. Daily says:

    I am Talking about the jersey not the undershirt. i know becks has been wearing the long sleeves since i think ’99

  152. aristotle says:

    I don’t see why L.A. can’t create more chances with Beckham and Donovan in the midfield.

  153. kpugs says:

    Penalty! I can’t believe this, I’ll eat my humble pie!

  154. kpugs says:

    “HOW DARE YOU CALL A PENALTY ON US? WE ARE L.A. GALAXY!”

  155. DCM says:

    What kind of cr*p was that call? A PK for that even the Rapid players were caught off guard by the whistle!

  156. eric says:

    Wow! Cancel the “MLS wants the Gals to win” conspiracy, or at least put it on ice. That was fun watching Becks try and hold back Xavier.

    I was just about to ask if Christian Gomez was really in the game when he stole the pass that started the whole sequence.

  157. kpugs says:

    DCM, it was harsh but come on, he didn’t get the ball at all. Just because the Rapids player decided to try to stay up instead of dying doesn’t mean it’s not a foul. It was sloppy and would have been a foul outside the box, so why not inside?

  158. aristotle says:

    kpugs:

    You and the referee must think about the Galaxy the same way!

  159. kpugs says:

    diving*

  160. NYRB says:

    that penal call was crazy

    2-0 Col

  161. kpugs says:

    And now FSC’s quality shines through, what the hell is going on.

  162. aristotle says:

    you, too, huh?

  163. NYRB says:

    All right then, satelite problem?

  164. aristotle says:

    Maybe the Galaxy has requested that no one be able to see the rest of this game.

  165. DCM says:

    I’m not a GALs fan… I watched the replay and Xavier got the ball first and then the player. But hey, if LAG can’t put the ball into the net none of this matters anyway.

  166. kpugs says:

    Beautiful. This is great stuff.

  167. j1 says:

    I can’t watch the game right now anyone know who scored the pk?

  168. aristotle says:

    It’s getting hard to see why anyone would want to play for the L.A. Galaxy organization anymore. They have a nice stadium?

    Goooooaaaal! Nice.

  169. aristotle says:

    Gomez

  170. NYRB says:

    3-0 goodnight LAG

  171. eric says:

    Troy Roberts replaces Michael Gavin. That about sums up the Gals – and there’s 3 – 0!

  172. DCM says:

    3 – 0… welcome to the rest of LA’s season

  173. j1 says:

    who scored the third?

  174. aristotle says:

    Omar Cummings

  175. Marshall says:

    Oh my goodness. Does no one in the Galaxy defense feel like running to try to catch up to the breakaway? Do they not care to work for their keeper? Maybe I’m missing something in the mini-feed of FSC I’m getting online, but that sure looked like jogging…

  176. DCM says:

    j1

    2nd Christian Gomez

    3rd Omar Cummings

  177. NYRB says:

    Herculez looks so different

  178. brian says:

    I just got back from the crew game. I loved the final result. I need to give a shout-out to the TFC fans. It was great to see the road support and watching them cheer their team on. However, it was even better when they were silent from the 80th minute on. TFC, i wish you the best of luck this season.

  179. markspence02 says:

    Does anyone else think that Herculez Gomez’s mustache make him look like Nacho Libre?

  180. aristotle says:

    How does a midfield and front line containing Beckham, Klein, Donovan, and Ruiz produce this kind of crap?

  181. eric says:

    How much does RSL pay guys like Espindola, Mantilla, Morales, etc? If I had to fill out a roster with a bunch of $30k players, I’d much rather gamble with 3rd tier Argentinian prospects or the Gambian guys the Revs trotted out than these guys LA signs.

    (If I’m totally off on these very unheralded international players, I’d like to know what they are paid)

  182. eric says:

    Sick! Collin CLarke!

  183. kpugs says:

    This game is making my weekend on top of DC losing.

    Abel Xavier is AWFUL!

  184. NYRB says:

    4-0 worst score of the night.

    Same old LAG. Alexi Lalas are you watching?

    Sexy football indeed

  185. DCM says:

    Good question, it can’t be the altitude & all of the travel can it? They just don’t look good at all. Becks is looking a little tired… and then Clark dribbles right through the LA box like a scene out of ‘Victory’…

  186. kpugs says:

    It is amazing Aristotle. And with all those guys attacking they can’t produce.

    AND their defenders might as well not even be there. Great strategy using 90% of your salary cap on 3 dudes.

  187. eric says:

    Ouch, Rapids fans. Mastroeni subbed in at 4 – 0 for mop-up duty. I’m still not over looking at Colorado and thinking what if they had the sense to dump Pablo and keep Beckerman, not the other way around. He and Gomez would be great together.

    Oh well, RSL certainly can use him.

  188. NYRB says:

    good defense from Colorado. They are playing like they are behind.

  189. aristotle says:

    The referee should stop the game. This may be more embarrassment than Beckham can stand.

    How is this ever going to get fixed if there is no one to fire the whole front office? If anyone hires Lalas again it will be amazing. He needs to go back to broadcasting. He was pretty good at that.

  190. kpugs says:

    It’s the curse of Beckham. Since leaving Manchester Unitd in 2003, his clubs have won one league title, one domestic cup (both at Madrid), and appeared in one SuperCup final with they lost (L.A.).

  191. kpugs says:

    Amazing, and Colorado are now just playing playground soccer at this point.

  192. this is so embaressing. i feel better as a Bulls fan.

  193. starks says:

    You mention that one league title as if it is so insignificant. Winning a title in Spain is certainly nothing to scoff at.

  194. aristotle says:

    The Rapids are oozing confidence.

    The Galaxy are LOSING with confidence!

  195. kpugs says:

    Starks, his accolades with United. Tell me again how great it must have felt to win a single one in 4 years in Spain at a club that is expected by its owners and fans to win it every year.

    Manchester United (1993–2003)

    * Premier League – Champion (6): 1995–96, 1996–97, 1998–99, 1999–00, 2000–01, 2002–03

    * Premier League – Runner Up: 1994–95, 1997–98

    * FA Cup Winner (2): 1996, 1999

    * FA Cup Runner Up: 1995

    * UEFA Champions League Winner: 1998–99

    * Intercontinental Cup: 1999

    * UEFA Super Cup Runner Up: 1999

    * Community Shield Winner (4): 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997

    * Community Shield Runner Up: 1998, 2000, 2001

    * FA Youth Cup Winner: 1992

  196. NYRB says:

    My god! the LAG defense is not up to the task at this point. Too much money spent on 3 players.

    Red card for Xavier

  197. kpugs says:

    Hahaha, why are they paying Xavier again?

  198. kpugs says:

    Roid rage!

  199. aristotle says:

    I think if Beckham had had a better game with England he would be playing better now. He seems depressed. Can you blame him? I don’t think he is going to stick this out.

  200. kpugs says:

    Ok guys, I’m out. It was cool talking about all the games with all of you. See you this week in the comments section.

  201. eric says:

    Seriously, LA should fire Lalas right now, before this game is over, and pick someone with some good South American and/or African connections.

    Wipe the slate clean, now, don’t sell this as anything put a failure.

    How on earth is this team fixed in the next two years? They’re in danger of wasting Beckham’s time here, ‘cuz they sure ain’t built to rebuild.

  202. aristotle says:

    It’s too bad LA didn’t keep Babayaro. They could have had a full complement of overpriced has beens on defense.

  203. Bob says:

    LA looks atrocious. Lalas will be the first to go, I am sure.

  204. NYRB says:

    Woah. what the hell was that?

    4-0, Fight, the fish without a knee. Worst night for LAG yet?

  205. A.S. says:

    Woo boy. What an odd game. Landon Donovan getting into a scrap? What?

    And I hate Ruiz as much as the rest, but that was nasty.

  206. aristotle says:

    kpugs:

    If it’s like this I’ll see you in the funny sections!

  207. eric says:

    Did you see that? Corky plays for the Rapids!

  208. Tyler says:

    By no means do I have any affinity at all for Colorado or LA… but with that being said, the officiating in this match has been deplorable. Abbey Okulaja is beyond description.

  209. Cory says:

    and there you have it folks….a prime example of sexy football!!!!!!!

    For reals though, Lalas need to go……………..bad

  210. starks says:

    Yes, I agree with that. I just think it’s a bit harsh to refer to it as a curse, when he still was highly successful by almost any standards.

  211. Neumannator says:

    Hey Alexi! Do everyone a favor and resign. And I’m not just pissed cause you let Michael Bradley go for nothing. Seriously you are a joke. If that was sexy football then you need some viagra.

  212. BrianK says:

    Week #1 observation:

    Alexi ‘Platitude Boy’ Lalas must resign immediately.

  213. Cory says:

    Man i feel bad for david in this situation….he is languishing at the Galaxy where they would rather spend most of their money on dps and surround him with a bunch of scrubs…it didnt seem that anybody on the Galaxy were there 2 play

    the main reason for the rout was the victimization of that back line…the gals are just to slow out there and teams are going to send their fastest ppl str8 at vanney and xavier…on top of that the offensive strategy of the gals was seen during the preseason and allowed teams 2 b ready…the gals may get a few but they r goin 2 have to make them count, which they didnt 2nite

  214. groovester says:

    Well, MLS still has a major ref problem that if it doesn’t fix, will hamper the development of the league. Some of the calls were just plain and simply atrocious. Anyone outside of CONCACAF would find it embarrassing.

    Second, I hate LA has much as the next guy and hope they don’t do well, but at the same time I don’t want them to become a laughing stock for the league. If they are going to be a showcase team doing tours overseas looking this bad how can anyone take MLS seriously. Can’t imagine Beckham staying more than a year if things don’t get better. And there would be no way i could see him recommending the league to any of his former teammates back in England or European.

    Add the bush league stadium KC is playing in now and you have a pretty crappy MLS opening night.

    But there is always tomorrow.

  215. Spencer says:

    So I’ll take one for the team and try out for LA. I know its hard to play for someone that did that bad. But seriously they have the worst defense I’ve ever seen. I should try out for them next time they have open try outs. Wouldn’t shock me if they held some really soon.

  216. sidenetting says:

    that game was proof they should revote the 2007 MVP for Joe

    Cannon

  217. kpugs says:

    Groovester, I agree with your first two points completely. The officiating is awful and has been for years. The “good” thing is it’s no secret whatsoever. Eventually the league will have to listen to the fans and media and address the situation.

    However, I thought this was a great opening night. DC Scum going down, the pampered L.A. Galaxy (who for some reason are considered MLS “giants” by anyone who isn’t a real fan of the league) taken down by the still-building Rapids, the defending champs losing to the team they beat in the final last year.

    I think it was a great opening night, and to be honest I’ve never seen so many people into the start of an MLS season. I am optimistic as hell right now. Whether I’m right to me, well, that’s another story. ;)

  218. eric says:

    Crappy MLS opening day? No way!

    I was very entertained by the games, moments of very good soccer all over the place, and it was good to see Columbus and RSL looking frisky.

    Blanco was fantastic, and single-handedly won a point for a Chicago team that looked all out of sorts, the Conde mess left them playing like they just met before the game. They might figure it out, but they’ve got a lot riding on Mapp and Rolfe figuring out how to play on the wings.

    Not panic button time in Houston, but after Municipal broke through their backline repeatedly (and only failed to score plenty due to poor finishing) in the CCC, and then getting waxed by NE, you’ve got to be worried, no matter how good their midfield is (which is very, very good).

    LA needs to nip this in the bud right now. I believe that they have the firepower (if everyone stays healthy) to still make a run at .500, but that’s best case. If that isn’t good enough for the Gals, fire Lalas now. He’s the Isaiah Thomas of the MLS, and he’s made a team that is going to have a hell of a time pulling it together. I hope they don’t waste Beckham’s stay, or drive him back overseas. As someone pointed out, there is legit MLS pride riding on the Gals, since they’re the team the world media will track. That said, it was pretty entertaining to watch their implosion, down to Landycakes getting all hot and bothered at the end.

  219. NYRB says:

    Can we have an option to g0 directly to the “Last page” instead of clicking “Next” so many times?

  220. j1 says:

    Fulham land Inter Milan prospect Muscatiello

    tribalfooball.com – March 30, 2008

    Fulham have swooped for one of Italy’s brightest young talents, Luca Muscatiello.

    The 16 year-old midfielder has spent the past five years with Inter Milan and been likened to Italy and AC Milan star Andrea Pirlo.

    Muscatiello has settled quickly at Fulham and is convinced he’s made the right decision for his career, says Controcampo.

    MLS clubs rival Sparta Prague for Villa’s Berger

    tribalfootball.com – March 30, 2008

    Sparta Prague face competition from MLS clubs for Aston Villa attacker Patrik Berger.

    The former Liverpool star is off contract in June and while he has expressed an ambition to return to Sparta, the Czech Republic veteran also has offers to move to the United States at the end of the season.

  221. jpc says:

    I gotta say, I was much more entertained by the MLS games yesterday then the Premier League games, even though the quality is obviously lower… New England is dope this year. Even without twellman, the two Gambian kids are for real, especially the right wing. And I love watching Adam Christman, the kids gotta rocket for a right foot, and is always in the thick of action. And Sharlie was just being Shalrie. Houston was disappointing, except for Holden, who has an opportunity to become a real special player for the league and country… Colorado is also very exciting to watch. Cooke, clark, gomez and mastroeni may prove to be the best midfield in the league by years end, they were all phenominal last night. Oh, and also, CAN WE PLEASE GET JOSE BURCIAGA JR. A NATIONAL TEAM JERSEY, PLEASE!!!!!!!!! I am convinced Burciaga has a shot to score anywhere inside 30, he shoot fireballs, plus, who’s our left back????? As for LA, they’ve got landon and Beckham. Does anyone else pull their hair out when they were watching both Vanney and Gordon, uggghhh, two completely useless players. and vanney used to be a good player. they better sign some players pronto, they’ve got the money right? I was under the impression that Landon and Beckham don’t count against the cap. oh well

  222. Aquaman says:

    Best comment that didn’t make sense of the night: “Kimura is putting a figurative Kimura on Donovan tonight”. I believe he was looking for the word kimono, but a figurative kimura is funnier because it sounded like he was ripping his skin off and blanketing him in it. Like Landon was Buffalo Bill.

  223. Zungazan says:

    Galaxy fans:

    “Uh, wait. Um, I thought it was all Frank Yallop’s fault. Hmm, let’s see. Oh, it’s Alexi whose to blame. Get him!”

    and on Craigslist:

    “For sale: Galaxy season tickets. Will trade for Chivas USA tickets or bus rides to San Jose.”

    PS: First soccer game I’ve seen in HD. Holy Moses. Heaven on earth.

  224. Joey says:

    I thought it was an encouraging start for MLS, as long as you’re not a Galaxy fan. I went to the CO-LA game last night, it was a great crowd with good energy, and it was amazing to be with so many like-minded people who enjoy heckling Landon “orange shoes, receding hairline” Donovan. The Rapids midfield looked awesome, and the young players really stepped up, including an unheralded defense that showed good positioning most of the time. Hopefully the performance of the young guys means Jovan Kirovski will not be needed. I’m excited about this Rapids team, some very hard-working and enthusiastic young players to complement the veterans. Go CO.

  225. Spencer says:

    So the average attendance was 15k. New England and KC had the worst attendance both under 13k. Salt Lake takes the cake for once again being a great market even though it’s the smallest city with a team. They had just over 20k the only team to get that high. Honorable mention goes to Dallas and Colorado with 17k or 18k each.

  226. Nick says:

    Claudio Lopez? WOW. My Wizards could be pretty good.

  227. Edward says:

    Seeing as a sold out stadium for the Wizards is under 13k, don’t you think it would be kind of hard to have above that?