It was a big week in MLS, even without any meaningful games going on. There was an upbeat article on the front page of the marketplace section in today's Wall Street Journal, and the league's second and third sponsorship deals were announced, with an interesting competitive backstory included.
As you may know, Chivas USA owner Jorge Vergara is also the director of Omnilife, a Mexico-based nutrition products and supplements company. Once of Omnilife's biggest competitors is Torrance, CA-based Herbalife. Chivas USA shares the Home Depot Center with... the LA Galaxy. As you can see, Herbalife is sponsoring the Galaxy kit. A nice story, and a nice $4 million (approx.) annual check to LA for the sponsorship. The Herbalife deal almost defrays Beckham's annual salary. Almost.
As for Club Canada, Toronto stadium sponsor BMO has stepped up to sponsor the Toronto FC kit for the club's first season. No word on the dollars behind the deal, but with TFC reaching its season ticket cap of 14,000, hopefully the club was able to pry additional dollars from BMO, the Bank of Montreal. Sponsoring Toronto FC. Weird.
The US will be wearing a new, blue pajama top (I agree, Bruce) during their matches against Ecuador this Sunday (noon et, ESPN2 and Galavision) and Guatemala on Wednesday (9pm ET, ESPN2 and Galavision). Meh. The shirt really looks like it was picked off the sale rack at Target. Come on, Nike, you can do better than that.
BTW, Northern NJ-based US fans, you're invited to join me and 25 other Garden Staters at the Sportz Bar in East Hanover on Route 10 West on Sunday to watch the US-Ecuador match. It's a trial run for those who can't escape to the city to watch at Stout Pub. Drop me a email if you'd like to come, or just come on by.
Thanks for Digging
Big Ups to D at the DCenters for his investigation into exactly what it takes MLS to update its teams' online rosters on MLSNet. I'm currently in the online media world myself, and I feel their pain, but yeesh.
Dan R and the gang at MetroFanatic always do a fantastic job bringing the fanatics closer to the players at Red Bull Media Day, and this week was no exception. Check out short and sweet interviews with Reyna, Wattereus, Parker, Stammler, Altidore, Laventure, Kovalenko, Wynne, Vide, Wolyniec, and Regan. No one does it better. Thanks, guys.
Watch Party: FIFA DATE
Here's what's on the tube, while you're dodging NCAA Hoops (all times et):
SATURDAY, MARCH 24:
8:30am: INTL: England U-21-Italy U-21, FSC
11:00am: INTL: Brazil-Chile, FSC
2:00pm: EURO: Spain-Denmark, TELEM
2:30pm: EURO: Estonia-Russia, FSC
4:30pm: EURO: Norway-Bosnia, FSC
7:00pm: MEX: Atlante-UNAM, GALA
7:15pm: COL: Bucramanga-Dep. Cali, GOL
9:00pm: MEX: Chivas-Morelia, TELEF
11:00pm: MEX: Necaxa-Club America, TELEF
SUNDAY, MARCH 25:
1am: MEX: Monterrey-San Luis, GALA
Noon: INTL: USA-Ecuador, ESPN2, GALA
2pm: MEX: Toluca-Chiapas, UNI
3:00pm: ARG: San Lorenzo-Independiente, FSC
3:30pm: INTL: Mexico-Paraguay, TELEM
5:30pm: ELS: San Salvador-ALianza, GOL
6:00pm: JAM: Jamaican Cup Semifinal 1, FSC
7:30pm: COL: America Cali-Cucuta, GOL
8:30pm: JAM: Jamaican Cup Semifinal 2, FSC
9:30pm: CLUB: Marathon (HON)-Alajuelense (CRC), GOL