I received a UPS package on Monday and when I saw the heavy square box I knew right away it was the 2008 MLS media guides. Sure, it was several months earlier than I have ever received them but after hearing that the league would fine teams that turned guides in late, I knew they were on their way earlier than usual.
A quick scan of the guides revealed some interesting tidbits, such as the fact that while Oscar Echeverry has yet to be officially introduced as a Red Bulls signing, there he is on page page 50, with ‘Signed by Red Bulls’ under the ‘How Acquired’ section. You also had Herculez Gomez sporting a blowout haircut, Eddie Gaven looking like he just stuck his hand in a light socket and New England including draftee Mike Videira in its media guide even though he is supposed to be in Europe looking for a deal.
The most interesting trend was the lack of player photos on the covers of the guides. Considering the turnover of players, it does make a little sense not to put a player on the cover, but when you have a player like David Beckham, it seems like a no-brainer to put him on.
Of the 12 media guides I received (Chicago and FC Dallas apparently didn’t get theirs done in time), only two of them had players on the cover. One cover had a coach while two others had pictures of fans. Here is how all the covers looked (though to be fair, some of these may not be the finished product):
- CHIVAS USA– Cover features the team crest and is covered in the red and white stripes of the team jersey. Rejected alternative– Brad Guzan in an Aston Villa scarf.
- COLORADO RAPIDS– A picture of a ‘crowd’ at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. The picture looks pretty staged and all the fans have their backs to the camera. Rejected alternative– Photo of fans beating on a pinata that strangely resembles head coach Fernando Clavijo.
- COLUMBUS CREW– Picture of Guillermo Barros Schelotto. Rejected alternative– Picture of the new stage at Crew Stadium.
- D.C. UNITED– Authentic picture of D.C. fans, looks like The Screaming Eagles. Rejected alternative– Sketch of Poplar Point stadium proposal.
- KANSAS CITY WIZARDS– Photo of head coach Curt Onalfo with arm raised in celebration (complete with pit stain). Rejected alternative– Picture of soccer streaker Tiffany May wearing nothing but a Wizards scarf.
- HOUSTON DYNAMO– Photo of Wade Barrett, Brad Davis and Craig Waibel holding up the MLS Cup trophy. Rejected alternative– Oscar De La Hoya in fishnets.
- LOS ANGELES GALAXY– Galaxy logo on a plain white background (with small HerbaLife logo included). Rejected alternative– David Beckham wearing an Abel Xavier wig.
- NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION– A photo of the team’s jersey. Rejected alternative– Photo of the team’s Eastern Conference championship trophies.
- NEW YORK RED BULLS– A navy blue cover with small team logo in the middle and some generic soccer image on the bottom. Rejected alternative– Picture of Jozy Altidore with "The Farewell Tour" above it.
- REAL SALT LAKE– All black cover with team shield in the middle and ‘Committed to the Core’ slogan on the bottom. Rejected alternative– Same cover, but with ‘No longer the worst team in the league’ slogan.
- SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES– Photo of two MLS Cup trophies. Rejected alternative– Photo of Frank Yallop
- TORONTO FC– Big team logo on top of a red-brick background. Rejected alternative– Photo of John Carver leafing through a copy of "MLS for Dummies".
What do you think of these media guide covers? What would you have preferred to see on the cover of your team’s media guide? Share your thoughts below.