Tag Archives: sport

Philadelphia MLS Name

Over at goal.com, Shane Evans has a good article on the naming of Philadelphia’s new MLS team.  Overall, I agree with his opinion that MLS names need to reflect the simple majesty of club names worldwide (Manchester United, Real Madrid), rather than being used as marketing tools as they are in the US.  The Columbus Crew are an example of a team who try to milk their name for all it’s worth as a marketing tool, constantly referring to themselves as “America’s hardest working team”.  That may have been an acceptable consolation when Columbus was miserable, but Columbus Crew still feels a bit forced, especially when combined with the men-in-hard-hats logo. 

As a name, however, Crew could be an acceptable nickname like the ones that organically occur in other countries (such as the Canaries of Norwich or reffering to Wolverhampton Wanderers FC simply as ‘Wolves’).  The same cannot be said of the New England Revolution, LA Galaxy, or Colorado Rapids.  No one would ever casually refer to LA as the ‘Galaxy’ in such a way that it would gradually catch on as a nickname.  That is how most college nicknames developed, and that is how club names should come about: organically, rather than artificially.

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Preview: Thoughts on MLS Week 25

After Week 24, Columbus had cemented their position at the top of the league table, while Houston continues to prove that they are turning into a consistent power in the west.

The Revs may be a bit down after getting knocked out of the Champions League and getting steamrolled in Columbus, but don’t look for them to stay down for long.  Chivas USA comes to Foxboro tomorrow battered by injuries, and New England’s injury list is gradually shifting towards the “Probable” end of things.

Columbus travels to Toronto for a game that may just claim the position as the league’s most forced rivalry.  TFC has won once since June 14, doing little to suppor the notion that strong home support propels teams to better records.  Columbus will be without captain Frankie Hejduk, but I’m not convinced he is the heart of the team or even the defense, and the Crew usually score enough to cover their holes in the back.  Look for Columbus to keep the streak going.

Just like Toronto, Los Angeles hasn’t won since June 14, and travels to Kansas City to try to break that streak.  The Wizards haven’t exactly been world beaters lately, but they usually play well at home, so count on them to earn at least a draw against Beckham’s boys.

DC has both the home field advantage and current form edges over FC Dallas, and I’m sure with as much as MLS teams care about the Champions League, they’ll be playing as full a roster as possible.  Dallas needs points to keep from slipping further into the cellar, but I can’t see it happening in DC.

New York and Real Salt Lake have both been enjoying strong stretches in August and early September, but The Red Bulls may have the home edge, claiming three consecutive home wins in August.  NY has been playing well lately, and Salt Lake has only won once on the road all season.  The Red Bulls will triumph in the Big Apple.

Houston travels to San Jose in what is probably the game of the week.  The Quakes and Orange are both red hot, and the two teams actually play a week later in Houston.  I’m thinking draw on this one, with the next week’s contest deciding the mini-series.

Chicago has been wildly inconsistent, so a trip to Colorado might be the cure for what ails them (like it has been for so many other teams).  The Rapids will have to fight to prove that their win over KC in their last game at Dick’s Sporting Goods park wasn’t a fluke.  I forsee a draw, as Colorado fights to stay in the playoff hunt, and Chicago continues to baffle the pundits.

San Jose Signs Youngsters Ghebru, Somma

The San Jose Earthquakes recently signed German midfielder Michael Ghebru (pictured left) and South African attacking midfielder Davide Somma as long-term projects.

Ghebru, 20 years old, is a small, pacy midfielder who has spent time in the youth organizations of several German clubs, inlcuding Kickers Offenbach.

Somma is a 6’3 attacking midfielder who has spent the last four years in Italy’s third and fourth divisions, most recently with Olbia Calcio.  The 23 year-old was born in South Africa, but moved to Florida at the age of 15.  He won his chance to play for Perugia when he was 19, after a month-long tryout.

MLS 9/4: FC Dallas 0-Colorado Rapids 1

Both teams sporting significant roster changes, Colorado emerged victorious on the road at Dallas behind a Mike Petke goal off of a Terry Cooke corner.  Despite 10 corners and 7 shots on goal, Dallas couldn’t get one past Colorado keeper Preston Burpo.  Burpo seems to have won Interim Head Coach Gary Smith’s favor over the sometimes-dynamic sometimes-inept Bouna Coundoul (whose bench spot was taken by Australian newcomer Chris Sharpe because of Coundoul’s Senegal National Team duties).

For Dallas, Captain Duilio Davino’s return from injury was delayed, as he remained sidelined by the toe injury that has kept him out of four matches thus far.

With the win, Colorado jumps from last to a tie for third place in the airtight West, while Dallas slips to just a point above LA and San Jose, in danger of dropping to the cellar once those teams play Saturday.

US Open Cup: DC United 2-Charleston Battery 1

DC overcame a determined USL-1 foe to claim their second US Open Cup behind goals from Luciano Emilio and Fred.  DC struck early with Emilio’s 4th-minute goal, but Charleston returned fire just 10 minutes later when Ian Fuller capitalized on good passing from Nelson Akwari and Chris Williams.  DC maintained offensive pressure, but sweated out the next 40 minutes before Fred notched the game-winner.

The US Open Cup win gives the MLS a little breathing room after disappointing losses in the Champions League by New England and Chivas USA.  Still, top flight sides are expected to knock out opponents from lower divisions.

The final’s attendance is an aspect of the game that has me concerned.  I know Cup matches typically have poor attendance, but DC has enjoyed great crowds this season, and the team hasn’t won anything since the 2004 MLS Cup.  You would hope that a cup final would draw more than 8,000+.  Some of it may have to do with the competition and the game being on a wednesday night, but you’d think United fans would be salivating at the chance to win some hardware that isn’t a Supporters’ Shield.  Nevertheless, United Head Coach Tom Soehn can breathe a little easier, as the pressure of DC’s slowly slipping stature in the MLS standings is sure to be relieved a bit by the Open Cup championship.