State of the League - DCU Implications
Garber gave the annual state of the league address (audio) and also answered questions from some fans in an online chat. What did he have to say? For a good recap lets go to My Soccer Blog (no not mine, Mike's). However, for the DC United Implications you should look no further.
- Thursday is the new Saturday Afternoon -Yep, ESPN2 will be broadcasting Thursday nights. This is sweet, I look forward to any weekday games to break-up the monotony of life, the fact that I can watch these games on the TV instead of a tiny computer screen in a big bonus. Not to mention the fact that FSC will be airing their Saturday night games again (they have already started) as well as a Sunday game on Telefutra (got to bone up on my Espanol). All of these networks have paid for programming so we should see more pimping of MLS on the TV. DC United Implications - Many people are worried about bad attendance on weekdays matches and showing this on national television. Not really a problem for DC United, but the other FO's are just going to have to hype the games better. But we won't have to have any 4 pm games in August humidity like last years match against Chivas. Not to mention the cash is great for the league.
- "Our Friends Down Under" - No, not the sheep shaggers. Garber, I assume was talking about the teams directly under our border. He said that they were in the process of figuring out a combined tournament in passing and didn't really elaborate at all. This arose a few weeks ago when a Telefutra press release mentioned them televising such a tournament, since then though there have been no concrete details to come out. We do know that it will be when both leagues are in mid-season. DC United Implications - This can only be good for DC United. It still isn't clear if this is going to be part of CONCACAF or just an MLS v. MFL tournament. Nor is there any word on if it is to replace or compliment the current CCC that DC United flamed out in so spectacularly against Pumas. Either way, any international competition with something on the line is good for both MLS and DC United. I fully expect DC United to be competitive in this tournament and really hope that they can win it.
- Brotherly Love? - Toronto next year. Another team in 2008. Two more by 2010. We will have an unbalanced schedule next year. DC United Implications - We can only hope that one of the teams by 2010 is in Philly so that we can add two more road trips to the schedule. Garber said that there has been a great deal of progress in getting a team there, so it might be a possibility.
- The Children are the Future - Garber announced that the league was close to announcing a plan to allow teams to retain the rights to players they develop in their academies. This would be huge for the league and the development of US Soccer. I don't like this close to announcement annoucement however, as this would have been a great place to make a huge announcement that could change the face of US Soccer. It probably means that they are not as close as they had hoped, I am thinking that this doesn't get resolved until the off-season. DC United Implications - Let me just preface this with the disclosure that I know almost nothing about youth soccer. If anyone with more knowledge than I about youth soccer would like to blog on the implications of this I would be more than grateful as I am interested in this. Soccer Dad perhaps? I found his post for the most recent Carnival of American Soccer very informative. Anyways, that out of the way let me just say that this helps DC United. I am not sure how much, as I think RBNY might be ahead of us in youth development, but also I don't think that any MLS team is really far ahead. If run correctly, a youth system started tomorrow should be way beyond the best youth system at this moment within a year. I really don't think that any team has done that much yet, DC should have a small advantage because it has been running something for a couple of years but it will soon disappear if they don't bolt out of the starting gate with a plan and the resources to implement it.