Sylvae MLS News

31Aug/110

Los Angeles Galaxy Ins and Outs, August 31, 2011

Redemption Song for Chad Barrett The last time Bruce Arena's Los Angeles Galaxy forward Chad Barrett saw time on the pitch was in a scoreless draw with the Seattle Sounders, on July 4 at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California. Injuries to his knees prevented Barrett from seeing further time on the pitch. Until the CONCACAF Champions League tie with Alajuelense. Barrett scored in the 77th minute to give Los Angeles a 2-0 victory and plenty of momentum heading into next Monday's contest with Sporting Kansas City at Livestrong Sporting Park (kickoff: 3 p.m. PT/6 p.m. ET, Fox Soccer Channel). "That's what you want," Barrett told MLSSoccer.com's Luis Bueno. "You want a tap-in for your first goal back. It couldn't have worked out better for me." Juan Pablo Angel played forward since Barrett was sidelined, but would make way for Robbie Keane after he was traded to Chivas USA. The skills the Irish striker brings to the table have proven invaluable to the Galaxy's chances at success. "He hasn't even played with us for a week and you can tell how well he connects with us," Barrett said of Keane. "That's just because he's that type of gifted player. ...
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31Aug/110

EA FIFA Attracts Inner-City Youth, Accelerates Soccer’s March Towards Mainstream

Every day, there is a reason to think soccer is getting a bit closer to being called a 'Mainstream Sport' in the U.S.  Indicators pop up in all corners of the country.  It feels like a movement.  Fans are displaying passion for soccer and MLS in powerful, indescribable ways. Soccer has passed being a phenomenon in the U.S.; it is beyond anyone's imagination, the level in which it has become part of the culture.  People are attending matches, playing on teams and buying merchandise like never before in this country.   Articles and blogs are documenting this massive, yet subtle turn in consumer tastes with unprecedented coverage.  The Internet, more importantly, technology, has made a major difference on all of it.  Ironically, it might be faux soccer that ultimately tips the scale over for real soccer becoming a mainstream spectator sport.  Video games are now infiltrating a part of society that Soccer has failed to reach in the past, the inner-city.  Without a doubt, soccer video games are present in middle and upper classes of families throughout the U.S.  But not until recently, did soccer become a video game fad for the underclass.  EA Sports, the same video game company that designed the super ...
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31Aug/110

MLS: 10 Reasons the MLS Will Be Better Than Ever in 2012

The MLS has gathered more and more attention from a global football audience in the past few seasons. There are many reasons for football fans across the globe to show more interest in American soccer. Since the 2009 Confederations Cup, the United States has seemingly made a push to become one of the world's top football nations. In 2009, Bob Bradley lead the United States past tournament favorites Spain and into the final versus a very strong Brazilian side. The Samba Kings emerged victorious, but U.S. soccer had proved that they belonged among the world's elite international sides. One year later, the World Cup kicked off in South Africa. The U.S. was grouped with powerhouse England, Slovenia and Algeria. After earning two comeback draws versus England and Slovenia, the U.S. was set to face Algeria. We all know where this is going. Ian Darke's commentary on Landon Donovan's injury-time winner sent the entire country into celebration. The U.S. had topped its group. But a devastating loss at the hands of Ghana sent the U.S. home in the Round of 16. This summer, the national team suffered a minor setback after failing to win the Gold Cup and qualify for the 2013 Confederations Cup in Brazil. There is no ...
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29Aug/110

Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Sporting Kansas City: Into the Midwest Cauldron

Forget about August being the month from hell. That honor now belongs to September. Bruce Arena's Los Angeles Galaxy open a grueling month of matches on Monday, September 5 when they travel to Livestrong Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kansas to take on Sporting Kansas City in an important Major League Soccer encounter. Due to Hurricane Irene postponing the match between the Galaxy and the Red Bulls, teams have been creeping up on Los Angeles, who still lead Major League Soccer with a 14-3-9 record (51 points). In their last meeting with Sporting, the Galaxy scored a 4-1 victory at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California. Landon Donovan scored a brace in the 44th and 46th minutes, Juan Pablo Angel added a third in the 64th minute and David Beckham added a fourth in the 87th minute of play. Donovan, forward Robbie Keane and midfielder Chris Birchall will be unavailable for action, due to international team obligations to the USA, the Republic of Ireland and Trinidad and Tobago, respectively. Beckham will, however, be available and is expected to wear the captain's armband on Monday night at Livestrong. He currently leads the team in assists with 11 on the season.Also ...
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29Aug/110

MLS Team Colors Lack Uniformity

Watching Toronto FC vs. FC Dallas for two nights (first night got cancelled because of lightning strikes close to the stadium) compete in CONCACAF Champions League took some time to get used to.  Usually, FC Dallas plays in red, but for these two nights, they were dressed in blue.  Toronto's main theme color is red.  They were the home team, so they got the privilege of wearing red over FC Dallas, which they did the first night—a deep red.  The second night, they wore a sort of red/orange.  The confusion among team colors merits a review of whether MLS teams are doing a good or bad job in selecting their colors and uniforms.  Overall, there are too many teams with similar color schemes, too many reds and blues. Compounding this problem, teams don't wear their team names anywhere on the uniforms, giving the space to advertisers. Advertising on the uniforms is fine.  It's one more way to generate revenue.  But, team names should always be visible and easy to spot for sports fans.  For example, if D.C. United has Volkswagen on the front of their uniforms, there's room right below the VW insignia to put their team name. Also, there does ...
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29Aug/110

Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Houston Dynamo: Defense Wins Game

Before another packed house at Empire Field, the Vancouver Whitecaps picked up their fourth victory of what has proven to be a troubled inaugural MLS season. With a goal by substitute winger Shea Salinas, his first as a Whitecap, the team improved its record to 4-13-9. It was a solid performance and the win was a big lift for the team, but the bigger story lies under the surface, and it's one that should give Whitecaps fans hope moving forward. After enduring some deservedly harsh criticism after the Portland game last week, the Whitecaps back line, including goalkeeper Joe Cannon, put in a solid shift to blank the Dynamo's vaunted strike force. It is a soccer truism that defense wins games, and for much of the season the Whitecaps defense was not doing its job too well. Whether it was due to injuries (captain Jay DeMerit and Alain Rochat, notably) or a combination of youth and fatigue (Michael Boxall and Greg Janicki), the Whitecaps were hard pressed to field a consistently strong defense. Add to that the constant flip-flopping in goal between Cannon and Jay Nolly, and you've got a recipe for poor organization and communication issues galore. All of ...
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29Aug/110

Sports Talk Radio’s Impact on MLS Can’t Be Overlooked

Sports talk’s impact thus far on pro soccer is everything and nothing at the same time for U.S. sports fans. It means everything because sports talk is the main vein of contact among sports fans. The impact is nothing because that’s about how much relevance U.S. pro soccer gets from sports talk. The national radio airwaves are dominated by the Big Three: football, basketball and baseball. This is simply a fact that cannot be denied. If it is not pro football, pro basketball or pro baseball, the next most popular subjects to be covered by sports talk are college football, college basketball, pro hockey and NASCAR.At some point in the near future, pro soccer must infiltrate the bandwidths in order to become a mainstream product. The idolizing of football, basketball and baseball has become monotonous. By having soccer in the mix, there are more actual sports to talk about.  For MLS to make a lasting impression and bring change to radio talk show formats, it will take massive doses of communication with the hosts of the shows. The eyes of these hosts must become lit by the passion of pro soccer in the U.S.For this to happen, though, sports fans ...
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29Aug/110

The Royal Wedding’s Influence on Soccer

At first glance, Soccer appears to be quite distant from anything related to the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.  But there's more to it than meets the eye. The English Premier League is, of course, one of the greatest club Soccer leagues in the world and has been for many years.  England is a powerful entity in the world of Soccer for its incredible, rich history of club Soccer at various division levels, its venerable stadiums and its performance in multiple World Cups, including winning one.Possibly, England's greatest contribution has been it link to Soccer's beginnings.  Most sports historians will tell you that the origins of Soccer as an organized sport began in 19th century England.  It was cultivated there and streamlined there over generations to how we recognize it today in its most modern version.  England's impact and continuing influence on the game is indistinguishable from any other country in the world.As the Royal Wedding went under the microscope, so did the Constitutional Monarchy.  The modern world is finding less and less understanding for a monarchy's purpose.  There's greatness in foundations and human rights issues represented by monarchies, but does the end justify the means?  Any monarchy ...
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29Aug/110

For MLS, No Overtime Means No Chicken Wings

Getting to see extra time due to a tie in a sporting contest is what sports fans live to see.  It's the driving force to watching sometimes.  Fans want to see how long a game can go. The longer it goes, the more dramatic and more memorable it becomes. Remember your first game?  Weren't you rooting for overtime or extra innings?  It's past nail biting, call it cuticle biting time.An added dose of game time provides more entertainment and more opportunity away from your real problems.Buffalo Wild Wings has captured this essence in spectating and capitalized on it in its commercials.  They've done it with a comical edge.  Each of them takes the extra time to the extreme. Their marketing group so far has done multiple spots for basketball, football and baseball.  One for hockey hasn't been spotted yet, though it might be in production.  As for Soccer, doing a spot may be tough to do. There is extra time in Soccer's World Cup and other FIFA-sponsored regional cups, but only in the knockout rounds. The extra time does not always end the game because penalty kicks are used if teams can't win in extra time.   Using PKs to end a game is a ...
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28Aug/110

2011 MLS Power Rankings: Week 24

The 2011 Atlantic hurricane season got into full swing this past week with Irene making landfall, not only wreaking havoc physically, but also wreaking havoc on the 2011 Major League Soccer schedule.Unless a miracle happens in the East, the 2011 Supporters Shield winner will come from the MLS Western Conference. Four teams have a strong case at laying claim to this trophy. All four sit at the top of this week's MLS Power Rankings, led by the high-flying Seattle Sounders.No hurricane's going to stop these power rankings from making webfall. Onward!Begin Slideshow
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