MLS Pre-Season: Your Running Commentary

Fourteen of 19 MLS teams will be in pre-season tournament action today as the Disney Pro Soccer Classic, Carolina Challenge Cup and Desert Diamond Cup all feature matches.

D.C. United and the Montreal Impact kick things off in Orlando as the first match of a four-match schedule at Disney World. In Charleston, Eastern Conference rivals Chicago and Houston do battle. Out West in Arizona we will catch a glimpse of two Western Conference powers as Real Salt Lake face the Seattle Sounders.

Two teams not in action are Chivas USA and the Colorado Rapids, which faced off on Friday night in Las Vegas. The Goats won that pre-season clash, 3-0, on goals from Eric Avila, Juan Agudelo, and Juan Correa.

The other three MLS teams not in action today are preparing for the Portland Pre-Season Tournament, which kicks off on Sunday. The Timbers, FC Dallas and San Jose Earthquakes are all taking part in the tournament, along with Swedish side AIK.

SBI will be providing live streams for as many matches as we can find streams for, so stay tuned to SBI for those. If you will be watching today’s action and want to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play on the action, feel free to do so here in the comments section below.

Here is a rundown of this weekend’s pre-season matches involving MLS teams:

THIS WEEKEND’S MLS PRE-SEASON SCHEDULE

(all times Eastern)

TODAY

DISNEY PRO SOCCER CLASSIC

1pm- D.C. United vs. Montreal Impact

3pm- Philadelphia Union vs. Toronto FC

6pm- Columbus Crew vs. Orlando City

8pm- Sporting Kansas City vs. Tampa Bay Rowdies

CAROLINA CHALLENGE CUP

5pm- Chicago Fire vs. Houston Dynamo

7:15pm- Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Charleston Battery

DESERT DIAMOND CUP

6pm- Real Salt Lake vs. Seattle Sounders

8pm- New York Red Bulls vs. New England Revolution

SUNDAY

PORTLAND PRE-SEASON TOURNAMENT

5:30pm- AIK vs. FC Dallas

8pm- Portland Timbers vs. San Jose Earthquakes

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10 Responses to MLS Pre-Season: Your Running Commentary

  1. rrr2e2 says:

    AIK is a legendary club in Sweden. 1 of the largest. Good to see such good cooperation between MLS and ALLsvenkan

  2. Nathan says:

    Kekuta Manneh. Remember the name.

  3. Harry says:

    I’d like for someone to make the argument that Super Clubs in MLS would be bad. What is a good argument for a salary cap in MLS? and what is a good argument to prevent super clubs? If an investor wants to come in and make LA Galaxy or Seattle Sounders a super club then why is it a bad idea to stop them? I can list several reasons why super clubs would be good for the league and very good for our national side in the long run. I’m curious what some of you MLS supporters think the drawbacks would be.

    There are no other leagues on the planet with salary caps so you cannot say that if MLS didn’t have a salary cap then the league would dissolve. Because, again, 80 leagues on the globe and 80 leagues with no salary cap and 0 of these leagues have dissolved.

    • chris says:

      Well no one wants to see only 4 teams win the title. You can still have dynasty’s with a salary cap, such as the Galaxy, Sounders etc., but it is less about how much money is spent and more about smart player transactions and a savy FO to build a deep team. A salary cap also keeps an ebb and flow of teams on top and those not. You wont have the same two teams battle it out for the title year after year after year.

      Yes there maybe no other league with salary caps, even though many are considering spending restrictions such as the EPL, but none operate in our unique sports landscape. If you want this league to spend out of its mean and have smaller market teams in debt to stay relevant then super clubs are the way to go. But im not going to watch a team whos happy just not to get relegated and never will be able to challenge for a title

  4. Harry says:

    I’d like for someone to make the argument that Super Clubs in MLS would be bad. What is a good argument for a salary cap in MLS? and what is a good argument to prevent super clubs? If an investor wants to come in and make LA Galaxy or Seattle Sounders a super club then why is it a bad idea to stop them? I can list several reasons why super clubs would be good for the league and very good for our national side in the long run. I’m curious what some of you MLS supporters think the drawbacks would be.

    There are no other leagues on the planet with salary caps so you cannot say that if MLS didn’t have a salary cap then the league would dissolve. Because, again, 80 leagues on the globe and 80 leagues with no salary cap and 0 of these leagues have dissolved.

    • Fredo says:

      If there was no salary cap there would be no league. Shut yo face!

    • Rob says:

      “What is a good argument for a salary cap in MLS?”

      Same good reasons that make sports like hockey and American football so successful in North America – parity.

      Particularly within a single entity structure like MLS, promoting the viability of all constituent teams is going to be an obvious objective.

      • Harry says:

        parity has not made American football successful. It would be successful no matter what. There’s no parity in college football and it’s watched by more people than the NFL.

        so anyone have a real argument?

        • RAMONE says:

          Depends on what you mean by “super clubs”. Going with the La Liga model or one that has at least 5-7 teams with a reasonable chance of winning the league? Americans have little appetite for any sport (and that would include football and basketball) that has its power concentrated in just 2 teams every year. If MLS suddenly became the equivalent of LaLiga and lets say LA = Barcelona, Portland = Real Madrid ( ;) ), Seattle = Valencia, NYRB = Athletico Madrid, Chicago = Athletico Bilbao, (note there are only 4 other clubs who have ever won the title in Spain dating to 1929) Americans would quickly lose interest.

          I am not saying there needs to be as much parity as there is, but almost no sports league would in the US survive if the Lakers of Celtics won every year, and about once a decade some other team became semi-competitive. If the Patriots or 49ers won every superbowl for the next 7 years, then the Giants won one followed by the Pats and 49ers winning another 7-8 in a row. If the Yankees and Red Sox won every single WS title for a decade followed by a blip of the White Sox winning one followed by another decade of dominance with those teams.

          Americans like their leagues where teams have a chance. Supporting a team that is basically a level (or two) below the best but competes against the best is a surefire way to turn American fans off. Duke football in college for example – nobody really cares because they are never really competitive despite the fact that they play in an AQ conference and if they WANTED to be competitive, they probably could be. The only thing that keeps teams back is money.

          I personally believe the time is coming in the next 5-7 years when the salary cap will rise, where there may be a luxury tax option for teams who want to spend more (and the collected luxury tax will be distributed among the league to help support those who can’t spend like that). It will be a hugely scaled back version of the EPL or LaLiga though where honestly only 2-4 teams have any real chance of winning the league and if you are a fan of Espanyol or West Ham too bad, so sad – you are almost surely never going to see a league championship in your life even if you live to be 115. American’s simply won’t tolerate that idea. Sure there are clubs in the NBA who have never won a championship (but it is only 6 of the 30 clubs), never won a SuperBowl (14 of 32 teams but 10 of those have been good enough at some point to play in the game at least once) or a World Series (8 of 30, but 6 of those have been good enough to be in the WS at least once).

          The problem with superclubs is they dominate always. Even in American sports where there are dominant teams (Yankees/Cardinals – 35%, Steelers/Cowboys 23% in a rather young superbowl history, Celtics/Lakers who are the closest to what I would consider superclubs winning 51% of all NBA championships) they account for a smaller percentage of championships than say Real Madrid/Barcelona (65%) or ManU/Liverpool (33% – more parity historically though not right now) and even smaller clubs if they are managed well have a shot. Even with the Lakers and Celtics being an American version of superclubs in Basketball, you have still had most teams at least win once and even more play in a NBA championship series.

          Having huge disparity at this time in MLS wouldn’t be good for the league. Having Columbus (and 50-70% of MLS) fans know they will never win because their owner is too cheap and their situation isn’t one that lends itself to “superclub” isn’t going to continue to grow the league. Someday it may have the base to do this, but not yet.