Major League Soccer

MLS Matchday One: Your Running Commentary


Good afternoon everybody. Today is the start of the Major League Soccer season and there are some quality match-ups to start the year.

Here are today’s games:

  • Toronto FC at Columbus
  • Chicago Fire at Real Salt Lake
  • Houston Dynamo at New England Revolution
  • D.C. United at Kansas City Wizards
  • Los Angeles Galaxy at Colorado Rapids

If you are wondering who I’m picking in today’s games, check out my game previews on ESPN.com, which are at the bottom of my piece on the influx of foreign players into MLS.

If you are following MLS matches today and tonight, please feel free to share your thoughts and opinions (as well as some play-by-play) in the comments section below.

Enjoy the soccer.

  • kpugs

    Ok guys, I’m out. It was cool talking about all the games with all of you. See you this week in the comments section.


  • eric

    Seriously, LA should fire Lalas right now, before this game is over, and pick someone with some good South American and/or African connections.

    Wipe the slate clean, now, don’t sell this as anything put a failure.

    How on earth is this team fixed in the next two years? They’re in danger of wasting Beckham’s time here, ‘cuz they sure ain’t built to rebuild.


  • aristotle

    It’s too bad LA didn’t keep Babayaro. They could have had a full complement of overpriced has beens on defense.


  • NYRB

    Woah. what the hell was that?

    4-0, Fight, the fish without a knee. Worst night for LAG yet?


  • A.S.

    Woo boy. What an odd game. Landon Donovan getting into a scrap? What?

    And I hate Ruiz as much as the rest, but that was nasty.


  • Tyler

    By no means do I have any affinity at all for Colorado or LA… but with that being said, the officiating in this match has been deplorable. Abbey Okulaja is beyond description.


  • Cory

    and there you have it folks….a prime example of sexy football!!!!!!!

    For reals though, Lalas need to go……………..bad


  • starks

    Yes, I agree with that. I just think it’s a bit harsh to refer to it as a curse, when he still was highly successful by almost any standards.


  • Neumannator

    Hey Alexi! Do everyone a favor and resign. And I’m not just pissed cause you let Michael Bradley go for nothing. Seriously you are a joke. If that was sexy football then you need some viagra.


  • Cory

    Man i feel bad for david in this situation….he is languishing at the Galaxy where they would rather spend most of their money on dps and surround him with a bunch of scrubs…it didnt seem that anybody on the Galaxy were there 2 play

    the main reason for the rout was the victimization of that back line…the gals are just to slow out there and teams are going to send their fastest ppl str8 at vanney and xavier…on top of that the offensive strategy of the gals was seen during the preseason and allowed teams 2 b ready…the gals may get a few but they r goin 2 have to make them count, which they didnt 2nite


  • groovester

    Well, MLS still has a major ref problem that if it doesn’t fix, will hamper the development of the league. Some of the calls were just plain and simply atrocious. Anyone outside of CONCACAF would find it embarrassing.

    Second, I hate LA has much as the next guy and hope they don’t do well, but at the same time I don’t want them to become a laughing stock for the league. If they are going to be a showcase team doing tours overseas looking this bad how can anyone take MLS seriously. Can’t imagine Beckham staying more than a year if things don’t get better. And there would be no way i could see him recommending the league to any of his former teammates back in England or European.

    Add the bush league stadium KC is playing in now and you have a pretty crappy MLS opening night.

    But there is always tomorrow.


  • Spencer

    So I’ll take one for the team and try out for LA. I know its hard to play for someone that did that bad. But seriously they have the worst defense I’ve ever seen. I should try out for them next time they have open try outs. Wouldn’t shock me if they held some really soon.


  • kpugs

    Groovester, I agree with your first two points completely. The officiating is awful and has been for years. The “good” thing is it’s no secret whatsoever. Eventually the league will have to listen to the fans and media and address the situation.

    However, I thought this was a great opening night. DC Scum going down, the pampered L.A. Galaxy (who for some reason are considered MLS “giants” by anyone who isn’t a real fan of the league) taken down by the still-building Rapids, the defending champs losing to the team they beat in the final last year.

    I think it was a great opening night, and to be honest I’ve never seen so many people into the start of an MLS season. I am optimistic as hell right now. Whether I’m right to me, well, that’s another story. ;)


  • eric

    Crappy MLS opening day? No way!

    I was very entertained by the games, moments of very good soccer all over the place, and it was good to see Columbus and RSL looking frisky.

    Blanco was fantastic, and single-handedly won a point for a Chicago team that looked all out of sorts, the Conde mess left them playing like they just met before the game. They might figure it out, but they’ve got a lot riding on Mapp and Rolfe figuring out how to play on the wings.

    Not panic button time in Houston, but after Municipal broke through their backline repeatedly (and only failed to score plenty due to poor finishing) in the CCC, and then getting waxed by NE, you’ve got to be worried, no matter how good their midfield is (which is very, very good).

    LA needs to nip this in the bud right now. I believe that they have the firepower (if everyone stays healthy) to still make a run at .500, but that’s best case. If that isn’t good enough for the Gals, fire Lalas now. He’s the Isaiah Thomas of the MLS, and he’s made a team that is going to have a hell of a time pulling it together. I hope they don’t waste Beckham’s stay, or drive him back overseas. As someone pointed out, there is legit MLS pride riding on the Gals, since they’re the team the world media will track. That said, it was pretty entertaining to watch their implosion, down to Landycakes getting all hot and bothered at the end.


  • NYRB

    Can we have an option to g0 directly to the “Last page” instead of clicking “Next” so many times?


  • j1

    Fulham land Inter Milan prospect Muscatiello

    tribalfooball.com – March 30, 2008

    Fulham have swooped for one of Italy’s brightest young talents, Luca Muscatiello.

    The 16 year-old midfielder has spent the past five years with Inter Milan and been likened to Italy and AC Milan star Andrea Pirlo.

    Muscatiello has settled quickly at Fulham and is convinced he’s made the right decision for his career, says Controcampo.

    MLS clubs rival Sparta Prague for Villa’s Berger

    tribalfootball.com – March 30, 2008

    Sparta Prague face competition from MLS clubs for Aston Villa attacker Patrik Berger.

    The former Liverpool star is off contract in June and while he has expressed an ambition to return to Sparta, the Czech Republic veteran also has offers to move to the United States at the end of the season.


  • jpc

    I gotta say, I was much more entertained by the MLS games yesterday then the Premier League games, even though the quality is obviously lower… New England is dope this year. Even without twellman, the two Gambian kids are for real, especially the right wing. And I love watching Adam Christman, the kids gotta rocket for a right foot, and is always in the thick of action. And Sharlie was just being Shalrie. Houston was disappointing, except for Holden, who has an opportunity to become a real special player for the league and country… Colorado is also very exciting to watch. Cooke, clark, gomez and mastroeni may prove to be the best midfield in the league by years end, they were all phenominal last night. Oh, and also, CAN WE PLEASE GET JOSE BURCIAGA JR. A NATIONAL TEAM JERSEY, PLEASE!!!!!!!!! I am convinced Burciaga has a shot to score anywhere inside 30, he shoot fireballs, plus, who’s our left back????? As for LA, they’ve got landon and Beckham. Does anyone else pull their hair out when they were watching both Vanney and Gordon, uggghhh, two completely useless players. and vanney used to be a good player. they better sign some players pronto, they’ve got the money right? I was under the impression that Landon and Beckham don’t count against the cap. oh well


  • Aquaman

    Best comment that didn’t make sense of the night: “Kimura is putting a figurative Kimura on Donovan tonight”. I believe he was looking for the word kimono, but a figurative kimura is funnier because it sounded like he was ripping his skin off and blanketing him in it. Like Landon was Buffalo Bill.


  • Zungazan

    Galaxy fans:

    “Uh, wait. Um, I thought it was all Frank Yallop’s fault. Hmm, let’s see. Oh, it’s Alexi whose to blame. Get him!”

    and on Craigslist:

    “For sale: Galaxy season tickets. Will trade for Chivas USA tickets or bus rides to San Jose.”

    PS: First soccer game I’ve seen in HD. Holy Moses. Heaven on earth.


  • Joey

    I thought it was an encouraging start for MLS, as long as you’re not a Galaxy fan. I went to the CO-LA game last night, it was a great crowd with good energy, and it was amazing to be with so many like-minded people who enjoy heckling Landon “orange shoes, receding hairline” Donovan. The Rapids midfield looked awesome, and the young players really stepped up, including an unheralded defense that showed good positioning most of the time. Hopefully the performance of the young guys means Jovan Kirovski will not be needed. I’m excited about this Rapids team, some very hard-working and enthusiastic young players to complement the veterans. Go CO.


  • Spencer

    So the average attendance was 15k. New England and KC had the worst attendance both under 13k. Salt Lake takes the cake for once again being a great market even though it’s the smallest city with a team. They had just over 20k the only team to get that high. Honorable mention goes to Dallas and Colorado with 17k or 18k each.


  • Edward

    Seeing as a sold out stadium for the Wizards is under 13k, don’t you think it would be kind of hard to have above that?


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