Thursday, July 19, 2007

Beckham -- 'Nuff said. It all starts Saturday.

Around these parts -- United doesn't have a home league game until Beckham and the Galaxy come in on Aug. 9th. We'll just have to make do with the Superliga. Morelia comes to RFK on the 25th and Club America comes on the 29th. The atmosphere promises to be electric. I just hope some D.C. United supporters show up.

Breaking news: United's U-17 (SUM) club won the championship this afternoon -- part of the MLS All-Star festivities. The youngsters from the D.C. area beat the Kansas City Wizards' representatives by a 3-0 score. Team headliner and local legend Shane Cook tallied one of United's goals. The win puts the squad into the 2008 Club World Cup tourney, competing next August, in Spain, for the Quixote Trophy. Congrats to the lads.

Last bit of news. The guys that are trying to move the Oakland A's to Fremont, Calif. have staked a claim to bring back the San Jose Earthquakes. The hope is that they can build a stadium adjacent to the San Jose Airport, perhaps as soon as 2010. Personally, I still think the city of San Francisco would be a better place for the team, but what do I know? For now, they have plans to play games at two (currently) undisclosed locations while a new stadium is constructed for the team.

One more team. The talent pool for the MLS keeps getting thinner, but it should be little surprise that there is a desire to expand while the Beckham thing is hot. Hopefully, this will be done more intelligently than the NASL handled expansion in the giddy days of Pele, and the stars that followed him here. There certainly should be a team in the Bay Area. And I think there should be a team in New York City. Right now, the NY Mets' ownership is attempting to craft a proposal for an entry to be based in Queens. Interesting how Don Garber, who came over from the NFL is crafting relationships with baseball people.

Since an odd number isn't good, there will be at least one more opening in the next few years. I know there is a push to move into St. Louis, and there is a tentative deal to put a team in southern Jersey, outside of Philadelphia. My instincts tell me Seattle is the best candidate, for a number of reasons. Geographic balance, market size, interest, and the chance to give the league a presence in the Northwest, making it truly an almost national/continental league. The league would still lack a presence in the South. So long as the league continues to play games throughout the summer, the lack of a southern team isn't the worst thing. Someday, though, the league will have to give North Carolina and/or Atlanta a shot, to spread the gospel and the reach of MLS soccer in that part of the country.

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