- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On November 2, 2009
- 2 Comments
- Evening Links and Thoughts, Luis Gil, Peter Wilt, Tom Soehn
I hope everyone is getting use to the longer days again after the time change this weekend. Nothing like getting darker a bit earlier again here but that’s just how it goes. I have a few goodies to discuss tonight leading off with a big time look at something former Chicago Fire GM Peter Wilt sent Alexi Lalas a few years back. After that I have an update on a U-17 player possibly turning pro and the defense of Tom Soehn.
Back to Peter Wilt though. Buzz Carrick at 3rdDegree wrote a big story on this earlier today and he implied this material towards FC Dallas. I think not only FC Dallas front office members need to look into this but so do a few other clubs in the league. It stems from a email that Peter Wilt wrote Alexi Lalas right before Lalas took over as the GM of the old San Jose Earthquakes back in 2004.
Basically it is 12 keys to running a franchise along with 10 secrets to sell MLS. Obviously Lalas never really took half of these items to heart as he was canned by the Quakes and then the Red Bulls and then the Galaxy all within a couple years. But the items listed are certainly valuable that a lot of clubs outside of DC, Houston, Seattle, and Toronto need to pay attention to.
Now I won’t go and list everything off here but there are some key points that would certainly improve a lot of clubs attendance numbers and possibly their on-field production. One that jumped out at me was “Get people to CARE about the sport, team and league”. It seems far too often teams aren’t going after the real crowd that does care about those three things. I’ve always said a way to fix the attendance issues to is to market to your own, meaning market to those that already love the sport not just the mom and pop crowds that we’ve seen for years. Look at Toronto and Seattle for example do you think they market to the soccer moms out there? Hell no, they quickly marketed this new club to those hardcore fans who then were able to amp up the excitement to those less hardcore about the sport.
Another that jumped out to me was in the secrets to MLS area. Wilt said to use the phones and emails to get folks back. Now I know a lot of folks hate cold calls or junk email but believe me they do work in ways that you’d never believe if done correctly. Especially with email and the internet. We live in an email world these days and I can’t tell you how many clubs I get emails from that don’t give ticket info and what not. I know ticket salesman don’t have the easiest of jobs but I think at the end of the day you have to try and some clubs just don’t try hard enough.
I really don’t believe it is rocket science to get people to come to MLS games. Wilt had the right idea before he was canned in Chicago. Some clubs just get it and others continue to fall behind the bar.
The Case for Tom Soehn
I’ve thought about defending Tom Soehn for his job at DC for these last couple weeks even though I’ve had him on the hot seat for a while. Steve Goff the Soccer Insider just beat me to it at the end of the day and his numbers presented here do bring up a fair argument that could help Soehn out. I still believe he’ll get canned but the fact that his club has had one of the busiest schedules over the last couple seasons and they’ve been a little above .500% at the same time does show how tough it is to be a manager in this league. Goff says that when Soehn was given a full week to prepare for a game his club typically came out on top (in the 14 games that he had a week to prep United was 8-3-3). Next season DC will only have league games and US Open Cup games to deal with so maybe they should keep Soehn around for another year. Maybe.
Gil To Turn Pro After U-17 World Cup?
I’ve only seen bits and pieces of the US’s U-17 team play in this year’s World Cup but the pieces I have seen have mostly been about Luis Gil. He’s thinking of turning pro after this year’s Cup and even thinking of going the MLS route. Gil is still very young and very raw but he will be a solid Generation adidas candidate if he does go pro.
Beckham Going Back To Milan
Yeah GoldenBalls got his wish yet again and I am honestly happy for both LA and Beckham that this deal got done now and not later on. Beckham will officially join AC Milan on December 28 and remain with the club throughout their season which ends on May 16, 2010. He will then re-join the Galaxy when the summer transfer window opens in July 2010. We all knew he would return here after the World Cup which means if England goes far we won’t see him until August. I know the releases all said July but lets be honest he won’t come back until August.