I have been given the honor of continuing on the Power Ranking of MLS Things, but don’t fret, it will still be powerful and ranking-y. Wait…. It will still be entertaining (to me, at the very least) and I will still be ranking the events from MLS from last week!
5. Facebook Live with MLS and Univision
This season, MLS partnered with Univision to broadcast MLS games live on Facebook, giving fans an opportunity to become participants in the broadcast by commenting about the game and receiving immediate responses from the commentators. Previously, Univision commentators would respond to several tweets on air during LigaMX games, but it still did not provide interaction of this caliber. In the first game in this new format, Atlanta United defeated the Chicago Fire 4-0 in an entertaining goal fest by the home side. What happens to this broadcast when the game turns into a snoozefest has yet to be seen, but, as the MLS season goes, it’s bound to happen sooner or later. My only plea is that people stop commenting on the physical appearance of the commentators. We’re all already cringing at some of the calls the referees are making, we don’t need awkward comments making things more awkward.
4. It’s Almost “Mid-Season Friendly” season
This week, Real Salt Lake and the LA Galaxy announced their mid-season friendlies against Manchester United, triggering the beginning of pre-mid-season friendly season. Can these things stop yet? No? The league still needs them to pay the bills? Okay. These mid-season friendlies don’t help draw in long term fans like they are intended to do. In reality, they add games to a season that is way too long, bringing unnecessary injuries and fatigue. Ten years ago, these were fun and exciting, but after seeing them play out and watching MLS grow up, these games have become more annoying than anything else.
3. Chicago Fire Signed-steiger
This week Chicago signed Bastian Schweinsteiger to a one year $4.5 million designated player deal. Is this a big deal? Sure. A reigning World Cup Champ signing for MLS is always going to be a big deal. But do we really need yet another aging world soccer star coming to the US to complain about excessive travel, sketchy refereeing and an inconvenient league schedule? Yeah, probably. MLS has always been about a mixture of cultures and styles, and until the youth development system is at a point to be able to fully cultivate enough higher level players to have an entertaining league, MLS will need to continue to recruit from other leagues around the world to bolster rosters. Until then, I will gladly watch mature players teach younger players lessons on and off the field from their experiences abroad.
2. Beware the Ides of March, Jeff Cassar
(Okay, so I’m like 5 days off from when this actually happened, but I swear I made this joke last week before it actually happened.) Anyway, in an awkwardly timed release, Real Salt Lake parted ways with their head coach, Jeff Cassar, only 3 weeks into the new MLS season. The LA Galaxy defeated RSL 2-1 in Salt Lake City on Saturday, sealing Cassar’s fate. I know the Galaxy aren’t doing well so far this year, but I didn’t realize that losing to LA would be a fireable offense. This coaching change puts RSL in a difficult situation of trying to find a coach to lead them for basically an entire season, but giving him or her no preseason games to make minor adjustments before the games actually count.
1. Minnesota got a point!!
So… the impossible finally happened. In their third MLS game, Minnesota got their first point on Saturday in their 2-2 draw with the Colorado Rapids at Dicks Sporting Goods Park in Denver, Colorado. To put things in perspective, let’s look at the worst team in MLS history: Chivas USA. In their first MLS season in 2005, Chivas USA earned their first point in their second MLS game against the San Jose Earthquakes. Does a worse start than Chivas USA mean impending doom for our beloved Loons franchise?! Of course not. Let them play some soccer and become a cohesive group before saying they will always be terrible, jerks.