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An interesting trend among MLS media guides


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.


  1. The RSL media guide matches the RSL season ticket holder handbook. Black with a distressed team crest in grey and black, with the committed to the core logo at the bottom. It looks like they may be trying to establish a sub brand with the whole “committed to the core” concept. I have seen worse.

  2. please tell me when we changed our nations colors to black and red? can we one day have a uniform that in any way represents this country.

    maybe some red and white stripes… i dunno blue in it somewhere?

    i cant believe that the US soccer fed or whateverwould not just spit in Nikes face for either of those kits.

    un-american uniforms for soccer and historically usa olympic teams is just despicable. be proud of your damn flag and your damn colors.

    dont tread on me!

    bastardizing our tradition and nations colors is = treading on me

  3. Great stuff, Ives.

    Attended the DCU charity luncheon today. It’s always held just before the season starts. Don Garber was in attendance, as were many members of the DC Council, and Ward 8 (Anacostia) activists. There were several speeches, all aimed (not so subtly) at winning the hearts and minds of the DC decision-makers re: getting a stadium approved at Poplar Point. The introduction of the players was almost an afterthought.

    I have stopped hoping for anything re: the stadium either way. I will get excited if there’s good news, but I’m tired of having my hopes dashed.

    Garber introduced the new MLS commercial that will be shown starting this weekend. The theme is ‘Football. Futbol. Soccer’ as part of an effort to draw in all kinds of soccer fans in this country. I thought it was pretty well done.

    It was amazing how much turnover there has been in the team over the off-season. There were several players that I wouldn’t know if they were carrying name tags. Gallardo is small, and, from across the room, I couldn’t tell if Niell stood up when he was introduced. He might be 5′ 4″ in Huggy Bear platform shoes. I shudder to think of him taking on someone like Waibel.

    I saw Quaranta looking very excited and pleased to be there (or anywhere, I guess.) I noticed a lot of people going up to him and welcoming him back, and he responded warmly and genuinely. If he really has had an attitude adjustment and sees this stint as his last chance, I think he might be a very good player for us.

  4. Modibo: “Maybe the lack of players on the guide covers is a shot across the bow prior to next year’s collective bargaining renegotiation. As in “hey you players don’t get too uppity and into yourselves – we’re all about real estate and abstract symbols here, not egotistical, injury prone, and REPLACEABLE players.”

    You know, Modibo, that’s not as crazy as some might think. Let’s face it; all the clubs are technically owned by the league, so the league could have issued such a directive. Considering that practically all the clubs except Columbus followed it (you really couldn’t expect Houston *not* to publish a cover of its players raising a second consecutive MLS Cup), it makes sense.

    I really think that the collective bargaining negotiations are going to get ugly. Maybe not lockout ugly, but pretty damn ugly (of course, the league suits are arrogant enough to lockout the players, if it came to that).

  5. BTW, *all* the Chivas USA media-guide covers have had the team crest superimposed over the red-and-white vertical stripes. Yes, the team crest replicates CD Guadalajara’s (except for the stars and the club name).

  6. “CHIVAS USA- Cover features the team crest and is covered in the red and white stripes of the team jersey.”

    You mean the Guadalajara team crest. When will that team get it’s own identity?

  7. Speaking of media guides, whatever happened to the media guides for the league that the fans could buy? I bought them for years and then they just stopped selling them. Why?


  9. I have word from US Soccer, (not personally but from a friend that does), that the color of the jersey is anthracite. Yes, that’s right, anthracite. What is anthracite you ask?

    “coal of a hard variety that contains relatively pure carbon and burns with little flame and smoke. Also called hard coal .”

    So there you have it. I still have a problem with the fact that we have no consistency with colors. Though it is certainly a much better looking kit than the polo shirt home kit -or- the pinstripe pajama top from a couple of years back. Or was it even that long ago? The horrors just seem to run into each other blurring and confusing my memory.

    Ahhhhh, oh ya … back to the media guides.

  10. Rejected RBNY Cover (2) :

    Arena, Dema, Waterreus, Mathis, Schopp, Vide – flying off into the sunset, – which also happens to be the sun in our logo – hand in hand.


    Red Bull Gives You Wings

  11. I am surprised the RBNY Guide was simply stated. I figured it’d be the garish Bull Logo with REDBULL emblazoned on it. That must have been the rejected cover with an “Oh yeah, we also own this soccer team…” in fine print on the back.

  12. If the Rapids used the picture for the cover shot that they’re using in everything else, it is a real crowd from I think the all*star game. Not sure but I’ve seen it on the season tickets.

  13. Rejected Galaxy cover, take one: Members of the Riot Squad fan brigade shouting, “Fire Lalas!”

    Rejected Galaxy cover, take two: Pictures of the starting defenders and goalkeeper with the caption, “Not in our house!”

    Rejected Galaxy cover, take three: Pictures of parking charges before Beckham ($15) and after ($20).

    Rejected Galaxy cover, take four: Anything with AEG logo on it (as all soccer fans know, “AEG” stands for “Amazingly Enterprising Gougers”).

    Rejected Galaxy cover, take five: Beckham wearing a Galaxy jersey (after all, who would want to buy one when you’ve got a picture of one being worn by The Man Himself).

    Note: That last rejection probably was an actual one.

    Rejected Chivas USA cover: Picture for a sellout crowd for a home match….

  14. What happened to the pinstripes? I liked that one. We should keep it, it’s unique.

    Anyway, here’s the rejected NYRB cover:

    An image of all the money spent without winning silverware.

  15. I LOVE the new away jerseys, they should make all black our home uniforms from now own to be different from all the reds and blues.

  16. Chicago just got a new VP of Communications less than a month ago. Obviously his first (non)action was to maintain the franchise’s chokehold on information by getting the media guide out late (though perhaps this was the habit at the Texas Rangers where he worked prior to Chicago).

    Maybe the lack of players on the guide covers is a shot across the bow prior to next year’s collective bargaining renegotiation. As in “hey you players don’t get too uppity and into yourselves – we’re all about real estate and abstract symbols here, not egotistical, injury prone, and REPLACEABLE players.”

  17. Btw, not getting the media guides out until the a few days before the season starts (or two of them at all), is small-time. None of the other “big” leagues would be so slow. Hell, I know the Milwaukee Brewers had theirs on sale at Cactus League Spring Training a month ago.


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