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Old 04-08-2013, 06:12 PM
 
Location: London
1,068 posts, read 1,743,247 times
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Chicago Fire 2-1 New York Red Bulls. I enjoyed the second half of this game. Now that I have Monday's off at present I thought I'd catch a glimpse of an American MSL game which is shown early Sunday morning on a sports channel in the UK.

I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. The game was open, both teams played fairly high lines and both teams were pushing forward in search of the victory second half.

Chicago Fire were classed as underdogs for some reason. They were 3/1 to win the game in the second half and yet appeared to be making some very penetrating defence splitting passes which led me to believe that they may have had a chance of winning the game. So I decided to have a wager which payed off this time.

They did eventually break with speed to score the decisive goal despite the introduction of Thierry Henry but the quality of the football overall was much better than I expected it to be.

Can someone give me the rundown of the best teams in the MSL? Are New York Red Bulls the best team and who are underrated?

Chicago Fire looked like a good side who can attack with real spontaneity and pace. I think I'll give it another try this week-end. Sunday night through til Monday morning there's nothing but American sports to see me through the night and I enjoy them all but wasn't expecting the standard to be this good.

Maybe I had low expectations but there's some good players in this league it seems.
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Old 04-09-2013, 07:33 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC
3,850 posts, read 3,980,916 times
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Appreciate the positive words about MLS Whiskey! It's a decent league but sometimes due to intense weather, small crowds in big venues, and lots of roster shuffling, some matches can seem less than inspired, but it's not as bad as some people need/want it to be.

The league promotes parity, so it is very different to most international club leagues. It maintains control over player salaries so as not to be so risky financially (which is what killed the NASL, the league the Cosmos and Pele were in). It'll never have the huge gap between the best and worst teams in the league which is so common everywhere else.

That said, NY Red Bull would be among the most talented clubs now (with Henry, Cahill, Juninho, and Olave), though they've never won the MLS title (playoffs). The LA Galaxy have been a bit more talented then the rest of the league for some years now. Whenever stars from Europe are rumored interested in MLS, usually it is with LA or NY. I mean, if you are Frank Lampard, would you want to live in Dallas?

Then we have the newer clubs, most with soccer-specific stadia, and most with enthusiastic supporters. The Seattle Sounders are at the top of that list, but others like Vancouver, Portland and Montreal have nice futures ahead of them.

The 'old guard' includes my own DC United, with 4 championships won, but is kind of in a holding pattern until they can land a stadium deal. Kansas City, Houston, Columbus, Colorado, New England, and Chicago have all won championships or come close several times.

Real Salt Lake and San Jose have been strong in recent years.

The troubled teams (either from poor performance or poor attendance) are Toronto (despite having a nice stadium), Dallas (110 degrees in the shade), Chivas/LA (2nd sister to Galaxy), and Philadelphia (good fans and stadium, meager results).

But with the parity, it would not be a shocker for any team to get hot and go far.
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Old 04-12-2013, 08:31 AM
 
Location: London
1,068 posts, read 1,743,247 times
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Thanks for putting the regional variations into perspective. The English Premier League has similar problems to a lesser extent. Liverpool, Manchester and even Newcastle never have too much trouble attracting star players but some less fashionable parts of the country do suffer from player's preference for London.

I like the American principle of parity it must be soul destroying to support a team that are never in contention or will never truly challenge without the financial assistance of a wealthy benefactor.

It's interesting to see Montreal gaining in momentum. I have a cousin living out there and can see many talented French players being attracted to life in Quebec.

Juninho is a real talent I always enjoyed watching him play and Henry we all know is capable of changing a game with a moment's skill, brilliance or invention. I thought NY Red Bulls looked dangerous in attack but also looked like conceding goals at the back. Overall Chicago Fire impressed me.

I will make a more informed opinion on the other teams you have mentioned when I get the opportunity to see them. I have heard of DC United but haven't seen them this season.

I guess Philadelphia suffers as a result of not being the most fashionable of destinations. I've heard their sports fans are quite raucous though.

This week DC United host NY Red Bulls and on Sunday night Dallas host Los Angeles. These are the games I'll be looking out for this week.
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