Ok MLS, let me get this straight. You prod a second-tier European club to pull another pre-season tour of the States to take part in the '07 All-Star game. You schedule the event at a spanking-new soccer-specific stadium. You tell everyone how excited you are... and then you schedule the game on... a Thursday?
I know there won't be much TV sports competition on Thursday, July 19th to compete with the MLS All Stars' match with Scottish power Celtic at the Big Wang in Colorado, but there's something a little bush about holding the game during the work week. Yes, I know that MLB and NHL put their all-star showcases on weeknights, but for the most part, MLS matches are played on the weekend, and the All-Star Game should be as well.
Of course, the Thursday date fits right in with ESPN2's regular MLS timeslot this season. Keeping in mind the busy July soccer calendar:
The US Open Cup Round of 16 (Tue Jul. 10)
The Copa America Final (Sun. Jul. 15)
MLS All-Star Game (Thu. Jul 19)
The U20 World Cup Final (Sun. Jul. 22)
The start of the SuperLiga (Tue. Jul. 24)
...and that's a lot of "meaningful" games in a very short time frame. Maybe Thursday night isn't such a bad idea. Hopefully the game will take some viewers away from that repeat of Scrubs NBC'll have on. Of course, if you haven't seen it, it's new to you...
A Winning Weekend
Kudos to the US U-20s and the MNT for picking up good results this past weekend. Of course, the U-20s entered their final qualifying match knowing that they had already qualified for the World Cup this summer, but a loose, relaxed, and talented squad blew away host Panama 5-0 to win the group.
There were signs of a hopeful future in the MNT's 3-1 win over Denmark at the HDC. Strong individual performances by Chicago's Justin Mapp, Chivas USA's Jonathan Bornstein, and FC Dallas' Kenny Cooper were the difference makers. Here's hoping the win provided some confidence to the team for the upcoming Mexico match (Feb. 7th in Phoenix).
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