Relegation vs Tradition: MLS Socccer Will Eventually Seek International Standard

If you're a fan of the traditional American style of competition of leagues and rivalries, you may want to avert your eyes for this one. Until it happens, and it will, relegation will be a word that gets tossed around all the time, every year. However, there's just no chance of if happening right now. But evolution comes along with being a successful business, and Major League Soccer has certainly shown it is a dynamic league at connecting with fans and improving business strategies. So relegation has a place at some point, but the question is when. Fans of American sports simply aren't used to the concept, and in today's fair-weather environments where a team's financial state could be heavily damaged by the loss of interest from not playing top teams and regional rivals, it's a hard sell to convince many to entertain the idea at all, let alone that it's a better move. But what everyone can agree on is that top sports and top quality teams certainly help viewership. That in the end is what will make the transition so attractive. So how long until we have enough quality teams? Right now, the list of MLS cities reads something like a list of ...
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MLS All-Star Game: Pep Guardiola Eventually Shakes Caleb Porter’s Hand

This year's version of the MLS All-Star Game offered some great sport on the field, but it will be overshadowed by Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola's snub of a post-game handshake from Portland Timbers coach Caleb Porter. Guardiola's anger centers around a reckless challenge from Seattle's Osvaldo Alonso on Bayern's Xherdan Shaqiri. Indeed, the tackle came in with a lot of pace from behind and was extreme for a preseason match. Alonso was given a yellow card for the offense. When Porter offered his hand to congratulate his opponent, Guardiola and his staff refused to engage the Portland manager. Guardiola repeatedly refused to discuss why he wouldn't shake Porter's hand before eventually saying that he "didn't see him", as reported by Guardiola did mention that he wanted to come back and play the MLS All-Stars again next year in a "revenge" game, to which Porter responded that he was glad that he wouldn't coach the team next season. #MLSAllStar: Caleb Porter's comment on Guardiola wanting a rematch: "Good! I won't be the coach next year!" @MLS — Soccerly (@soccerly) August 7, 2014 ESPN's Alexi Lalas made a fantastic point at the conclusion of the match, that if you're going to get mad about rough play, then don't ...
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Dom Dwyer Becoming MLS All-Star Candidate, Breaks Top 5 in Scoring

Dom Dwyer of Sporting Kansas City isn't just looking up to his teammates anymore. Without question, his mates are looking to him. "He’s a very hungry forward and he is relentless when it comes to being around the box," his coach Peter Vermes told media including the Kansas City Star. "He found some very good opportunities and the second goal he finished was a fantastic finish." It's that finishing ability that Dwyer seemed to just lack as he rose to the top of the league in shots attempted but didn't have the ratio of goals he wanted to show for it. Until Saturday in Montreal. Dwyer finished with two goals on four shots to crack the top five in scoring. His efforts were bound to pay off, as the forward out of London is an extremely hard worker on the pitch. If he can maintain his performance to this point in the season, he's certainly in the discussion for a spot on the MLS All-Star Game roster as a reserve player. His rising stock and impossible to dislike attitude make him a sure candidate and puts him in line to be a superstar in the league. Dwyer is a huge reason why Sporting KC currently find ...
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MLS: Is Sporting KC’s Dom Dwyer Poised for a Breakout Year?

Sporting KC's Dom Dwyer has come a long way from his days at Tyler Community College in Texas. The skilled striker out of London has had an unconventional road to seeing his dream play out, but is right where he wants to be and playing as well as anyone in MLS today. Dwyer has had more than just his pedigree as a staple of his resume. The Englishman can proudly boast that he is an MLS player, because it's something he's aspired to accomplish. "I had dreams of coming to MLS," Dwyer had told The Kansas City Star following the 2012 MLS SuperDraft. "But I never really thought I would until last week." As a sophomore at Tyler CC, Dwyer scored 37 goals and won the national junior college player of the year award. After a move up the NCAA ladder to attend the University of South Florida, he scored 16 goals in 21 games. It was undoubtedly evidence that he was MLS material. Sporting KC picked Dwyer in the first round of the 2012 draft, No. 16 overall. He did make on-field appearances early in his career with the team, but has now morphed into a much more aggressive, well-rounded player. Dwyer is currently ...
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Best Fans in MLS? Social Media Outburst Shows Seattle Fans’ True Colors

There is a bit of confusion for every MLS fan outside of Seattle.Does having the largest average attendance in a stadium that was built for NFL football make your fans "the best?"There's no doubt that the vocal sea of green has created a exciting spectacle of viewing in the high-definition sports age, and Major League Soccer could not be more thrilled.But at what point did we stop using class as a factor in determining anything about fans?Remember the "Malice in the Palace" when Ron Artest went and attacked a fan in the crowd during an NBA game in 2004? Although Artest was clearly in the wrong, it has scared the image of Detroit Piston fans immeasurably.Seattle fans were upset about not winning, and to any fan, losing and being unhappy is understandable. But the outcry on social media following the Sounders penalty shootout loss against Sporting Kansas City in the US Open Cup set a new standard for classlessness.Just how bad was it? Here are just a sample of the comments left on Major League Soccer's Facebook page (next slide).Begin Slideshow
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MLS: Seattle Sounders’ Patrick Ianni with Goal of Year Strike in Draw to KC

It was a goal for the ages, and a mid-season front-runner for MLS Goal of the Year.In minute number 15, Mauro Rosales served the ball to the far post from a set piece, and Seattle defender Patrick Ianni connected with a sideways volley kick, which will make its way onto MLS promos and soccer highlight videos for at least the foreseeable future.Sporting Kansas City was riding high after Jacob Peterson capitalized on a ball that landed at his feet in the box in the eighth minute. Seattle fans' hurt lasted just seven minutes.The hosts were left a little surprised at Sporting's move to sit some of their star players.Kei Kamara, C.J. Sapong, Julio César and Graham Zusi were all on the bench for the start of the game, marking the first time this season that Sporting coach Peter Vermes had chosen to really mix up their starting lineup.There weren't any changes for Kansas City by halftime, but they only waited five minutes into the second half to substitute midfielder Graham Zusi into the mix.Fifteen minutes later, MLS All-Star candidate Kei Kamara entered the game to give Sporting a more familiar feel.Kansas City never committed men forward in extra time despite a red card to Seattle's Alvaro ...
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MLS: Sporting Kansas City Prepare for Preseason Tournament in Orlando

After having a 2011 campaign that excited Sporting Kansas City supporters across the board—one that took them to the Eastern Conference Championship Game—Sporting are ready to put it all in the rear view and get started on 2012.Their 2012 preseason has already generated some talk after first-round draft pick Don Dwyer scored a hat trick in their last preseason game at FC Tuscon.But now it's time to gear up for MLS-level competition, and the first matter at hand for their unofficial games will be playing their opponent from the Conference Championship Game, the Houston Dynamo.Despite topping the East division point-wise, Sporting weren't able to take care of Houston and keep their success riding through to the MLS Cup.But Houston are coming with a new and improved look for 2012.The Dynamo are riding high after securing the services of their former striker, Brian Ching. Add Ching into the mix, and what MLS fans can expect this season will be some solid matches between Kansas City and Houston.After playing the Dynamo on Friday, Sporting will face the newest MLS expansion, the Montreal Impact on Sunday 26th.The 2012 Disney Pro Soccer Classic will conclude on Wednesday 29th against the Vancouver Whitecaps. Games can be seen ...
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Eddie Johnson Returns to MLS, Club Yet to Be Determined

Former MLS and Kansas City Wizard standout Eddie Johnson will be returning to the states to play soccer in 2012.  The only question that remains is which team he'll be suiting up for.Eddie will look to get back to his old form, as his absence from MLS hasn't gone as well as he'd hoped. His last goal in major competition was in 2010 for Greek side Aris FC.Johnson had tremendous success as a Kansas City Wizard in 2005 and 2006, which led to greener pastures for the Florida native.  But after failing to score any goals for EPL side Fulham FC, Johnson was forced out.Most recently, Johnson was technically a part of Mexican side Puebla, but never suited up one game for the club.Terms and conditions of the deal were not disclosed, but we will all know tomorrow where exactly Eddie's future will be.  If not Kansas City, Dallas may be an option, a club the former U.S. striker spent four seasons with.Read more MLS news on
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Cha-Ching! Houston Dynamo Welcome Back Brian Ching

Brian Ching will be suiting up for the Houston Dynamo.  Again.The standoff between Houston and Montreal finally resulted in Ching's release Thursday and one-way ticket to Dynamo country, less than a month before the start of the MLS season.Montreal will receive as compensation a conditional first-round draft pick in the 2013 SuperDraft.Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear weighed in on the transaction, “I am very happy to have Brian back with the team.  This is a very important year for the Dynamo, and if anyone deserves to be involved with the team, it’s Brian.”Ching is one of the original Dynamo players.  His 63 Houston goals is a club record.“It’s been a long and difficult process over the last few months, but we’re happy that ultimately we got the right result and Brian will be a part of the club again,” Dynamo president Chris Canetti said.Montreal was was not as excited about the decision, but optimistic."We have made this decision based on reasons that we felt were beneficial for both the desires and needs of our club and the wishes of Brian Ching," Impact head coach Jesse Marsch said in a statement. "We wish him luck on his return to Houston and thank ...
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Sporting KC First-Round Draft Pick Don Dwyer Scores a Hat Trick

Sporting Kansas City wrapped up the final game of their preseason stay in Arizona with a 5-1 drubbing of PDL's FC Tuscon at the Kino Sports Complex in Tuscon.Former Arizona Sahuaros player and current Honduran international Roger Espinoza had a nice homecoming of sorts, scoring an electrifying goal from about 30 yards out to beat the FC Tuscon keeper in the corner.Sporting's field day on offense was highlighted by the play of their first-round draft pick, Don Dwyer, who didn't score until the final 20 minutes of the game, but essentially owned the game after that.Dwyer found two more goals, one in the 80th minute and one right before the dead of the game to secure his hat trick.  Although Dwyer missed the top 10 in terms of the evaluation on draft picks, he may be the first rounder that has the biggest immediate impact.Sporting KC were able to persevere through cold and rainy conditions, unusual for this time of year in southern Arizona.Sporting will be back in Kansas City on Tuesday for four days, before playing a series of preseason matches at the 2012 Disney Pro Soccer Classic in Orlando.  Games for this event can be seen on, as well as ...
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