The first weekend of MLS action is in the books. And while I know the word is that this is the year the league makes its great breakthrough, based on the half of the Colorado v DC match I saw, not much has changed.
This was indeed the archetypal MLS game: a chippy, disjointed encounter in bad weather in front of an “announced” sell-out in the exurbs; played at what would look like half-speed to any indoctrinated Premiership fan; full of midfield hardasses determined to clog up play and disappointing foreign stars (DC’s new Brazilians); both teams having a bad hair day. The real drag was also predictable—the lousy broadcast by “ESPN on ABC”, far from showcasing the league’s stated determination to look better on TV, was no different than any of the Mickey Mouse efforts the Disney empire has made in the past. Why was Julie Foudy referring to the league as “the MLS”? Is she British? And why did they slap up a list of “famous Freds”, including F. Flintstone (but sadly not F. Flintoff) to kill air time and “introduce” DC’s new Fred?
It’s time for MLS to go to its broadcast partners with a DVD of any—pick one—Premier League broadcast and say, “this is what we want. Make it happen.”