Thursday, March 09, 2006

Running from... The Continental

Ah, won't you come in and sit down? I've been expecting you. Can I interest you in a little champange? No... wait... wait... where are you going??

For the fourth straight year, MLS clubs will not reach the finals (thanks, David) of the CONCACAF Champions' Cup, our continental championship. Sometimes, the failures have been outright blowouts, like DC's whupping at the hands of Pumas last year, or Morelia and Necaxa's tattoos of Columbus and LA, respectively, in 2003. Sometimes, like KC's extra time loss at Saprissa last year and matches played last night, the losses are more painful. In Costa Rica, the Galaxy let a two-nil halftime lead evaporate in the first 12 minutes of the second half before falling at Saprissa in extra time. Up the road, the Revs allowed a 90th minute goal, the only goal scored in the two-leg series, to lose at LDA. Say what you want about the timing being bad and the harsh road environments that MLS teams must face in the tourney, but let's face it; MLS clubs aren't helping the stature of the league by continuing to stumble in the CCC.

Just as our teams rejoice at drawing the lone carribean entrant in the tourney's first round (DC over Harbour View in '05, Chicago over San Juan Jabloteh in '04, KC over W Connection in '02), the Costa Rica clubs look forward to playing MLS clubs just the same (This year's results, Saprissa over Kansas City in '05 and Chicago in '04, LDA over New England in '03). Hopefully the proposed mid-season tussle with Mexican clubs will give MLS teams a change to prove themselves on the international stage.

TTFKATM (The team formerly known as the MetroStars)

News today on the Red Bull sale from the NY Times , North Jersey Herald, and Big Apple Soccer.

Other tidbits:
  • Andy Mead has posted the official press release here. MLSNet has been updated as well.
  • Du Nord has some exclusive insight from the NY Times' Jack Bell.
  • My ticket rep has informed me that Don Garber played a huge role in RB keeping Alexi & Mo in place with the club, an keeping the Metro history intact.

I have to say, seeing the words "New York" on the MLSNet header and standings page brings some relief to an otherwise challenging situation. Bucking tradition with a team name without a location was cool in the early days of MLS. I'm glad, though, that sports fans will know, without a doubt, which market the team represents. There are those on the West side of the Hudson which have huge issues with naming the club New York, but I really don't think it's a big deal. New York IS the name of the media market, and is a lot more inclusive than naming the club after Jersey. Hopefully we'll start to see some marketing muscle promoting the team's home opener and beyond. Maybe, by tomorrow, I'll be able to call the club by name.

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