73 visitors and counting!!! For some reason, Friday was the heaviest trafficked day in the short history of the FischFry. It seems my post on Luciano Emilio is prominently displayed on United's page at MLSnet. I'm guessing that's what's drawn the attention. Cool beans! If can get that kind of audience, I definitely will keep writing. I'm flabbergasted and excited. Thanks.
Since it was a soccer post that brought in all that traffic, I thought I'd stick with that this weekend. I'd like to respond to a comment from last week's post on the Beckham signing. Gillmp wrote about Phil Anschutz -- the money behind the L.A. Galaxy. I think he's right in his analysis about the Beckham signing. Anschutz has lots of money, and a great deal invested in the league, obviously. Although his group sold off their controlling interest in D.C. United, they still control almost half the league, and expect to profit off a stadium deal for United. This relationship to the MLS poses what would seem like a conflict of interest -- but in this case, what's good for Anschutz is good for the league, overall. He can focus his spending on L.A., even lose money there, and reap rewards elsewhere. Fans of other clubs will have to learn to live with this arrangement, even if it disadvantages their favorite team.
Gillmp also wondered about why the Rochester Raging Rhinos haven't been given a shot in the MLS, and he expressed his hopes for a promotion/relegation system in this country. As for the Raging Rhinos...I don't know if he mentioned them randomly, or read enough of my site to see that I went to college in Rochester. I would love to see them have a shot at the MLS. It's a small market, though, and a small stadium. I think, when there is a promotion/relegation system, they will be a frequent visitor to the top level.
And there will be a promotion/relegation system. A year ago, I didn't hear anyone discuss it. Now, everyone talks about it..and favorably. The logic of it is compelling, but the financial interests that have invested in the league might not agree. MLS 'owners' would not want to see it for many years...not until they've recouped their investment. On the other hand, if the league can retain the single entity concept through two or three divisions, such a system might come sooner than any of us imagine. Maybe within the next twenty years, depending on the talent level. When there are enough good players to go around, such that a promoted team might be able to compete at the top level -- the way Reading has in the E.P.L. -- then it will be time for that kind of system here. It's hard to gauge right now just how long it will take for us to get there. There will come a tipping point where the talent level starts to take off, but it's impossible to know how far off into the future that might be.
A few other random musings: The U.S. under-20 team did not put on much of a show tonight against their Guatemalan opposition. The game ended in a scoreless draw, and the U.S. did not test the Guatamelan goalie. Freddy Adu continues to be a real disappointment at the international level, though he did have one nice pass that could have set up a goal, with a better finish. Josy Altidore came on as a late sub, and confirmed that he is the future of U.S. soccer. Tomorrow, Bob Bradley makes his debut as coach of the (senior) national team. Sunday, the U-20 squad is back in action against Panama, but I expect that I will be watching the NFL playoff game. English soccer offers a marquee match-up between Arsenal and league-leading Manchester United. A much more interesting game. Cable TV is outrageously expensive, but the extra couple of bucks to see FSC is well worth it.