Before you settle in to watch tonight's LIVE, streaming pre-season games from Arizona, head over to TheCrew.com for a LIVE stream of the “State of the League” conversation from 6:00-8:00 PM with MLS Commissioner Don Garber alongside Columbus Crew Owner Clark Hunt and Crew President & GM Mark McCullers.
Have a question the commissioner? Ask him via Twitter using the hashtag #Crew96. Make sure to follow the Columbus Crew on Twitter for further updates.
Watch the "State of the League" here.
Speaking from past experience, there are few adventures in sports that trump away days. When I think about all of the hours in my pre-professional blogging life spent on my feet with a song coming out of my mouth the best memories often center around stadiums that were not my club's home ground.
These golden moments don't just happen though as they require an incredible amount of coordination between the clubs, the supporters and (hopefully) a good travel agent. And, for the most part, they aren't the quick, 1-hour jaunts associated with some European leagues.
In a league that connects two coasts and spans two large countries the distance a supporter can travel for a match is more often than not extreme by world football standards. This excerpt from a recent article in The Guardian highlights this fact best:
"The average journey for North American fans is still one of the longest you would undertake in most other leagues; the bigger journeys are more expeditions than road trips; Portland Timbers fans going to New York is the same as going from London to Baghdad. LA Galaxy at Boston is longer than Tokyo to Manila.
The journey those Fire fans made to Toronto clocked in at 1,000 miles round trip, and that's their second closest game; in England, no-one can travel that far at all, and it's pushing the longest trip most European fans would have to make. Only fans in Russia can hold a candle in terms of the distances traveled to see a team play, and even there, the average distances tend to be exaggerated by a small number of teams in Siberia and the far-east."
Seriously, there are fans out there who are logging more air miles than Chelsey Sullenberger these days and I salute them for it. Special acknowledgment to those who travel to and from Canada to be with your team; anyone willing to brave both the TSA and customs for only a 33.3% chance at witnessing a win is alright in my book.
Eddie Gaven's beard is a sell out! But for a five-year sponsorship deal your beard would be too...maybe even during the playoffs for the right price.
Cheerleaders: love 'em or hate 'em they are an inextricable part of the American sports landscape. But for many of the MLS fans that weighed in on the league's Facebook page yesterday they aren't part of one sport: soccer.
"I don’t understand this notion that cheerleaders don’t belong in soccer. Cheerleaders have been around the game forever. Maybe not in Europe, but if you look at Mexico, Colombia and most of all the other Latin-American countries, you will see that many of those clubs have had cheerleaders for many years and the game didn’t get ruined. They get to cheer the crowd at halftime, when no one has anything to do other than eat, drink and wait for the second half. Cheerleaders are not going to change what happens inside of the field, and that’s what I care about. So I say, sure, bring them on." - Edgar Acero
"When it comes to soccer, cheerleaders are nothing but a distraction. Then again, that's pretty much their purpose in just about any setting. But by that definition, so are concession stands, play areas that give parents a much-appreciated outlet for their offspring and just about anything that happens away from the field during the course of a match. Many people spend 90 minutes fixated on the play itself, but countless others scarf down giant, salted pretzels, play around on Twitter or ogle pretty girls with pom poms. Who am I to say any of those things don't belong? To each his own." - Andrew Wiebe
"I’m opposed to cheerleaders in MLS, but only because I’m opposed to cheerleaders in general. It adds nothing to the product on the field, and anyway, why would you spend money on tickets if your only goal is to see scantily-clad women? You could just as easily stay home and use man’s greatest invention: the interwebz." - Nate Sulat
"I'll admit that as a former Texas high school football player I have a strong association with cheerleaders & pointyball. So as much as I enjoy pretty women, team spirit and soccer it just seems a little odd --not to mention possibly degrading-- to me. Not because it's "Americanizing" the game, as some allege, but because they just remind me of autumn Friday nights in Anytown U.S.A. Also, rejection. - Shawn Francis
What's your take on cheerleaders in soccer? Let us know in the comments below.
Por alguna razón, Kristel Valencia, el Gringo Simon, nuestro productor (y eterno hincha del Arsenal FC de Inglaterra) Carlos Rodríguez y yo creemos que 30-45 minutos no es suficiente tiempo para hablar del deporte que nos apasiona a todos y cada uno de nosotros.
Con esto en mente, les damos una calurosa bienvenida al blog de Tiro Libre, un espacio para quitarnos los guantes y hablar de fútbol como se debe: a las patadas.
Como parte de la colección de blogs de MLSsoccer.com y FutbolMLS.com “The Sideline”, el blog de Tiro Libre hará su trabajo apoyando, criticando, argumentado y polemizando acerca de todos los temas que rodean el fútbol de los Estados Unidos y del mundo.
“The Sideline” es esa línea sobre la banda de la cancha que separa el mundo del jugador y el de los demás. Es a partir de esa línea que inicia el espacio desde donde todos miramos y gozamos del fútbol. Entonces, ¿qué mejor nombre que ese para un lugar donde podemos dar nuestra opinión después de mirar y gozar?
Los dejo con nuestro último podcast, en el que el hondureño Marvin Chávez reveló los motivos de su salida del FC Dallas. A pesar de su sorpresa, el 'Hijo del Viento' sigue adelante, ahora con los San Jose Earthquakes… al menos allí tendrá acceso a la playa ¿no?
Nuestro segundo invitado es el ex capitán de la Universidad Católica de Chile, Milovan Mirosevic. Ya está en con su nuevo equipo, el Columbus Crew, junto a Sebastián Miranda… aprovecho para agradecerle a Sebastián, ya que nos tocó llamarlo a él para hablar con Milo… ¡Eres un maestro de Relaciones Públicas!
Esperamos que nos acompañen y que interactúen con nosotros por medio de sus comentarios, ya sean buenos o malos, ya que desde el “Sideline” todo se vale.