Good morning all. You might not have realized it but the longest off-season in soccer is down to its final four weeks. Yes, Major League Soccer is just a month away and you get the impression that there aren’t many teams really ready for the start of the league’s 13th season.
It doesn’t matter if your team was strong or weak in 2007, every MLS team has major questions that remain unanswered. Whether you’re Houston (are the forwards good enough?) or San Jose (where is the offense going to come from?), D.C. (will Ben Olsen recover?) or Los Angeles (can Ruud Gullit build a good defense?), you have issues to address and not much time left to do so.
Is anybody really panicking? No, not really. Not when the league’s current playoff structure does little to penalize slow starts. Consider Houston and D.C. United. In 2007, the two teams combined for a 1-5-1 record last April. D.C. United still went on to post the league’s best record while Houston won its second straight MLS Cup.
In short, the new MLS season is just a month away, but the real pressure won’t start then. That will come later, which brings welcome relief to several unprepared teams.
Apologies for the short MMCB today. I’m heading to the Red Bulls scrimmage, which will take place within the hour. I will check back in once I’m at the Salzburg training facility.