Big ups to USSoccer.com for adding video & audio content to bring fans closer to the national team as they prepare for Germany. Users have been able to check out training sessions, interviews with players, pre- and post-game reactions, even video of a pre-Poland pep rally at the US Air Base near Kaiserslautern. However, the Fed and their web folks have clearly not prepared for the rush of users stampeding towards their site for the Matchtracker of today’s US-Poland match. Today’s match, taking place during the workday in the continental US, has clearly generated too much demand for USSoccer.com’s web servers. Just with the flood of faxed World Cup ticket requests that couldn’t get through, it appears that the Fed has once again become a victim of its own success. It can’t match the demand of its customers. Bad business, indeed.
A big thumbs-up to the Metro FO for tapping into its fans’ demand to connect to the team. On Saturday, Feb. 25th, the Superclub on the Passaic launched the “Pride and Passion Pub” next to the Stadium Club at Giants Stadium. The pub is a lounge decorated with MLS and international jerseys and scarves, as well as multiple video monitors which on Saturday showed a loop of old MLS promos. Many Metro players, including Amado Guevara, Chris Henderson, Mark Lisi, and Jeff Parke were mingling with the fans, as was Metro GM Alexi Lalas. The pub opening was a great draw, with more than 200 fans passing through over the course of the afternoon. Metro VP Ticket Sales Steve Powell told me that the pub was an effort to connect more with adult fans of the team. Powell said that the FO has a good grasp on how to reach the youth player, but in the past hasn’t reached out to adult fans so well. Hopefully the pub will become a destination for Metro fans before and after each game.
Vote for Woly
John Wolyniec's sudden-death game winning volley blast vs. Columbus in 2003 is among the final five nominees for MLS Goal of the Decade. Place your vote on this one, folks, because the goal, coming off a 45-yard Amado Guevara serve, is a one-in-a-lifetime tally.
Oh, Jack, Jack, Jack
Imagine you're Jack Bell, soccer columnist of the NY Times. The US is playing a key friendly today in preparation for the World Cup. In your column today, do you A) lead by noting the US-Poland match is the first of the year with our Euro-based players on the squad, or B) bury your mention of the match 12 paragraphs into the column, after noting the political intrigue behind Costa Rica's friendly with Iran. Well, B was the choice.
Jack, you don't have to be a cheerleader for the team, but building awareness of the US match is key to the growth of the sport in this country. Props for leading with a story on the Metro's Mike Magee, but the US makes a good story, as well. Shame for burying them.