Sunday, August 06, 2006

MLS News

Yesterday was a big day for the MLS on two fronts.

The MLS All Star team took on Chelsea FC, the 2 time defending champions of the English premier league and defeated them 1-0. Chelsea is made up of some of the world's biggest stars, including Ballack, Drogba, Lampard, Cole, Shevchenko, Essien, Robben. The list is scary. It is the highest paid sports team in the world.

I am not normally a fan of the all star game and can even get frustrated with the concept. However, I was impressed with the MLS team. They played well together and in my opinion actually had the run of the play for most of the game. I was most impressed with Dwayne De Rosario, Nate Jaqua, and Facundo Erpen. Freddy Adu got his time in and had his moments. I felt he tried to do too much with the ball sometimes and forced a few opportunities. However, he did have some moments of potential and in fact, if he had shot a bit quicker, would have sealed a 2-0 victory.

In addition to the game, the MLS announced a new deal with ABC/ESPN which sets up the first time ever that the league will receive rights fees for season games. The deal lasts through 2014 and means that ABC/ESPN will "bear the burden of making sure the MLS programming is successful. The networks will be responsible for producing, programming and promoting their MLS property." It will be very interesting to see how this affects TV coverage and buzz about the sport. I can see this having a pretty big potential impact in the future. ESPN made poker and the X-Games big in the US, is soccer next?


rc said...

Chelsea looked very sluggish, like they had trained very hard leading up to the game. The MLS players were very sharp, being 1/2 way through thier season. Jimmy Conrad looked really good as well, and I could see Jaqua (or however you spell his name) developing into a dangerous 1 vs. 1 offensive player, something the American game lacks. Overall, a game is a game, and I don't think Chelsea took the game lightly, so I was happy to see the MLS come away with the victory.

As for the TV deal, ESPN is a marketing machine. If anyone can promote the game of soccer, ESPN can do it.

wilablog said...

Agreed...We _should_ all be honest with ourselves though, Chelsea had trained hard and have been together this season for only a week or so. In the end though, you are right, a game is a game.