MLS Week 17 Notes and Thoughts

MLS Week 17 Notes and Thoughts

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On July 26, 2010
  • 2011 Expansion, 2011 MLS SuperDraft, Don Garber, MLS Weekend Recaps

FC Dallas and the Columbus Crew continue to impress. (Getty Images)

Just as I mentioned in the highlights post earlier this morning this past week was really all about the friendlies and other games going on and not the regular season slate in Major League Soccer. Nothing wrong with that I suppose, I really don’t want to get in to why I don’t like how SuperLiga is scheduled. This post is not meant for that discussion.

Anyways, I do have several notes from this past weekend to present and discuss. A couple aren’t exactly related to week 17 in the league but they are still MLS related nonetheless.

It was a short week in MLS. Five games in fact which isn’t a whole lot these days in the grand scheme of things. Five games used to be a full weekend in the league but not anymore. And now that we’re at the All-Star break its a good time to relax just a bit for some.

I wanted to start this morning with the two Hunt teams, Columbus and Dallas. Take a good look at these two sides right now. One sit atop the eastern conference with 34 points after 17 games and the other sits third in the competitive western conference with 26 points after 16 games. Between the two of them they’ve only lost five games all year. But I’m noticing more and more that both sides do things very similarly and it because of their management.

Time and patience with the Hunts are causing their two teams to be successful on the field. Maybe not so off the field but definitely on the field their two clubs are some of the best that the league has to offer right now. We’ll know more about the Crew once they get into their heavy schedule here in a little bit with the CONCACAF Champions League group stage. If they can get through that and continue to lead the east it will be impressive.

Dallas on the other hand has no extra competitions to worry about this year aside from a friendly with Inter Milan next month. They’re out of the USOC and have no SuperLiga or CCL to even think about this season. I spoke earlier this year how important that was to Schellas Hyndman’s young team. Depth isn’t quite there (yet) but FC Dallas, like Columbus, is building for the future. Columbus did this a few years back were they stunk up the place but then patiently waited on Sigi Schmid’s plan to unfold. When it did the Crew won a MLS Cup.

Now I’m not saying that will happen this season for Hyndman’s team but don’t be shocked if they make it interesting come this fall. The problems of the past with this team are actually looking like a thing of yesterday and not today. Defensively they’re one of the better clubs in the league and offensively things are showing up.

Its not always pretty with these two Hunt teams but its all effective in the standings. Strong veteran play with quality young stars is yielding success. Its only a matter of time before that on the field success translates into off the field success (better gate number, etc.) with these two sides.

Garber Says MLS Has Arrived

Take a look at this little Q&A with Houston Chronicle reporter Jose Ortiz and MLS commissioner Don Garber. With the All-Star game in Houston this week there will be plenty of discussion about the future of MLS and where things are going now that the league has guys like Nery Castillo and Thierry Henry. Garber will definitely be tooting the league’s horn all week, and for good reason because the league is getting to a place it needs to be..competitive with the world’s best leagues when it comes to getting big named players on the open market.

For all you expansion lovers there is an answer mid-way down in that interview that talks once again about how many clubs Garber sees the league having. He gives the usual 20-24 number. I wouldn’t be shocked if we hear more this week about the talks for club number 20 heat up. No doubt the league is taking that number carefully as it would signal a huge step for the young league to get to 20 clubs. I’ve talked at length on here about waiting for the right market, owner and everything for this expansion bid.

With the owners meetings this week we’ll likely hear a few candidates thrown out to the press about club number 20. Don’t be shocked if its the usual suspects (ie: the southeast, NYC, etc.) with maybe one surprise to throw us all off.

Portland, Vancouver To Decide Draft Positions This Week

Found this little nugget over the weekend. A coin flip this week will decide who goes first in the expansion and SuperDraft (not to mention the allocation order) next year. Portland will call either heads or tails and will find out if they get to go first or if their rivals to the north will.

Should Portland win the toss they’ll have the decision to go first in either the expansion or SuperDraft. Based on the link above and a couple other rumblings I’ve heard for next year one club will get first dibs in the expansion draft but then will be second in the SuperDraft. I’m pretty sure this is how things were back when Real Salt Lake and Chivas USA came into the league.

Another interesting note from the article is that Portland wants to also host next year’s All-Star game at their renovated stadium, PGE Park. Sounds like a good move to me for next summer’s game.