07 August 2006

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.


At 08 August, 2006 10:56, Blogger WFY said...

I have wondered why Philly does not have a team in MLS. That market supports everything except Temple football.

At the very least, a soccer franchsie would give them another way to boo the home team.

At 08 August, 2006 14:35, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am also completely in the dark on youth soccer. I think a goal for DCU should be working with both the MD and VA youth soccer associations for some loose affilitation, but mostly to provide insight on how to fit DCU Academy into the regional youth soccer scene.

Then of course I would think consulting a European academy figue would also be a good idea.

In the meantime, does the District of Columbia even have an association? If not, why doesn't DCU help set one up? Is there a DC prep league in district high schools? I think DCU can be highly influential in framing youth soccer development in the District. I know comparatively speaking, the current pool of youth participation is miniscule when compared to the outlying suburbs in VA and MD. But this also spares DCU the hassle of the associations which I would imagine to be hostile to outside (professional) influence. It would also be a great way to rally support for Poplar Point, and develop this nation's first truly urban soccer youth system.
How does the DC Charter School system relate to an Academy? Can there be an opportunity there?

At 08 August, 2006 16:43, Blogger Kinney said...

WFY - Philly doesn't have a team because they weren't part of the original plan and since then no investor has come forward to put up money. Not sure why they weren't part of the original plan but I bet it was because they chose NY, DC, and NE instead. Are you still planing to come to the United game against LA?

cproyale - Good point about the DC soccer association, I don't know the answer to that. Soccer Dad has accepted the challenge to writed on the topic and will be posting some time this week. I will link the article for everybody.

rwhgeek - I completely forgot about you guys, and this affects DC because I bet we have more long commuters than the average team. The fact of the matter is though, that with 13 teams we were going to have more weekday games no matter what. Hopefully by 2008 the Thursday night games will just take the place of the Wednesday night games we have had up till now.

At 09 August, 2006 09:00, Blogger WFY said...

Kinney: I am still planning on going to the game vs. LA. How far in advance do I need to get tickets?

At 09 August, 2006 18:20, Blogger Kinney said...

WFY - It really depends on what you want. If you don't mind being in the 300s or upper deck (not always open if attendance doesn't look large enough) then you should be fine walking up. If you want better seats you should probably get on that within the next week or so. If you want to sit with the supporters I can give you the info.


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