I really had not much in the way of MLS opinion to comment about the last few days. Nothing positive, nothing negative. As far as I was concerned, the matches over the weekend proved little with regard to the overall outcome of the season. It was just another weekend in a fairly uneventful season.
Yeah, there are some close races in each conference to make the playoffs. That’s what I keep reading. However, I’ve read endless reports this weekend how DC has clinched a playoff spot. Wow, they are part of the 66% of teams that will reach that goal. With almost two months until the playoffs start, is that a good thing? After all, the second best team in the East is only 3 points ahead of the worst teams in the West. Wouldn’t it be more interesting if MLS decided to give some recognition to the race for the Supporters Shield? DC hasn’t clinched that yet. Maybe it’s just me, but following the top of the table is much more interesting than looking at the bottom spots to see who is out (as long as LA make it into fourth spot).
But enough of that, the league structure is what it is. We aren’t going to see change there any time soon. So, I just deal with it.
So, what did Mr. Checketts do that got me so excited? I’m sure you’ve all read about his mini tirade regarding the end of Saturdays match. Now, I’m all in favor of acting in the best interests of the home fans. There’s nothing wrong with that. However, the way he did it and what he voiced his opposition to made me question things.
I watched the match. It was a heated match. Both sides where pretty aggressive. There was plenty of lovely physical play. Also, it wasn’t as if the RSL fans were just watching the match and adding a golf clap where appropriate. Heck, I saw objects that appeared to be thrown from the stands in the general vicinity of Colorado players.
It was what a derby match should be, heated. Given that both sides are fighting for a playoff spot, it should have been. Ok, so players should show some restraint when playing in hostile situation. However, I can’t see how Mastoreni’s antics after the final whistle were any more unfamily friendly than what was going on in the stands.
This is just more doublespeak from those who run the league. The league wants to present itself as family friendly entertainment. However, they want to attract the sports fan, which are usually 18-35 year old males. I’m sorry, but to a fair extent those two groups are pretty mutually exclusive. If I want family friendly entrainment, I’ll book a trip to Disneyland….not to a sporting event.
The way I see it. RSL fans now have even more reason to hate the team from Denver. What Mastoreni did was give Checketts crew a great marketing tool for the next episode in the series. Just remind fans what happened Saturday night and I’m sure you’ll see more tickets sold next time they are in town. Instead of asking for him to be fined, Checketts should be thinking Pablo for helping him sell more tickets.
One day we’ll have a real league here.
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