Evening Links and Thoughts: Ties, US Midfield Issues, and more

Evening Links and Thoughts: Ties, US Midfield Issues, and more

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On October 22, 2009
  • Coaching Changes, Evening Links and Thoughts, MLS Cup Playoffs, Pittsburgh, Soccer Kits, US National Team

09playoffsIts a pretty full night here at WVHooligan as far as the links and thoughts go. I have a couple stories that kind of make my head spin, a couple surrounding the US national team and a brief discussion on a rule that could really help some young players out with the NCAA.

First up is a post I saw earlier today that I felt needed to be held off until today. It centers on an issue that a lot of non-soccer folks have with our beloved game. Draws. No one likes them and a lot of MLS clubs have plenty of them to go around this season.

This author decided pointed out in a way that I still kind of agree with him on that there are too many teams getting playoff births in MLS. Its an issue that has been surrounding this league since year one for that matter. But at the same time as the league expands its should be a non-issue.

But the solution to “make MLS more exciting” isn’t a bad one. Simplify the playoffs into a four-team, three-game deal. But the more I think about that and the more I see how the league is doing with it’s current eight-team set up going into the final week of the season (with seven clubs in contention for three spots), I think the current set-up is fine. The drama that the league has created is good going into the final week of the season and it will only continue to get better from here on out as the league grows.

If it were the top four clubs going into the playoffs or even the best two from each conference we’d already know three of the four and it would sadly rule out three really good clubs from one conference from getting in.

It took a while for the league to get to the point that it is at but this playoff set up of eight clubs isn’t so bad after all. It does however need tweaking in it’s structure of number of games and what not but that is a discussion for another day.

Cummins To Stay or Go?


Should he or shouldn’t he? For Toronto manager that is the question going into the final week of the year. An interesting quote posted by Duane Rollins here from Cummins who said he’d stay on as manager if they asked him and he’d leave if they asked him. At the end of the day though I totally agree with Rollins on the point where Toronto needs stability in their coaching moving forward. They can’t continue the trend of a new coach each year. We’ve seen what that does to a club, just look at New York…they’ve never had stability in coaching.


Bradley’s Problem With A Crowded Midfield

Link (Subscription)

The bulk of this for those who can’t read this link goes like this. Now that the US has Jermaine Jones along with the rising talents of Stuart Holden, Robbie Rogers and Jose Francisco Torres, the US has a fairly crowded midfield situation going into next year. Let’s not forget that we should see Maurice Edu come back from an injury and let’s not forget that we could see the likes of DeMarcus Beasley or Sacha Kljestan reemerge again.

Is it a bad thing for the US to be stocked in the midfield? Nope, its a good thing really. Now if we can only get loaded up on defense I think we’d be pretty set.


Pittsburgh is the new Wembly?


A very, very interesting thought on which city would be best suited to be the play that could be dubbed as the US Wembly. Some have debated that stadiums like the Home Depot Center, Soldier Field, RFK Stadium or even Giants Stadium are the US version of Wembly Stadium. But this article blows them out of the water suggestion Pittsburgh would be best suited to be America’s town for soccer. Yes there is no MLS team in even the nearest of futures for the Steel City but the authors here were looking for the town that was big enough and didn’t have nearly the Latino following that DC and others have. It sure is an interesting thought. Ever thought of the US playing Mexico from Heinz Field in February instead of at Crew Stadium? It could work is all I am saying though I don’t know if its the best fit for an American Wembly.


A Lesson In US Kit History


I did one of these a while back but not nearly as good as this one with getting grades on all the former kits. All I can say is why don’t we have a red kit these days? Our former red kits have been some of our best.


NCAA Looking To Change Play With Pros Rule?


In the middle of my college players search I found this link about how the NCAA is looking at possibly changing a big rule that could really help players in MLS academies not lose their amateur status. Let’s hope the NCAA gets this right so more guys in MLS academies can still play in college and not affect their status with their clubs.