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Tickets & Travel

05 June 6:00 de la tarde

So first Jimmy Conrad won an MLS Cup. Then he won the Gold Cup. Then he played in the World Cup. Then he challenged professional bad-ass Dana White to a mano-a-mano cage match of sorts.

Okay, so that last one isn't so enviable. But whatever. He got a bunch of press out of it, and probably a bunch of MMA-loving Twitter followers

But now he gets to go to Poland and Ukraine for EURO2012?

Now, I've been to a World Cup, a Confederations Cup, a Gold Cup, and an Africa Cup of Nations. But I've never been to a Euro tournament. They say it's the best of them all, at least on the field. All those great, highly paid Europeans doing what they do best.

But come on, Jimmy. Do you need to go over there and drive around and watch soccer and hang out with fans in Warsaw and Kiev and Gdansk? And someone else is footing the bill? Really?

Yes, Jimmy, I am jealous. Very jealous.

At least bring back some real kielbasa. That's the least you could do.

25 April 6:14 de la tarde

What are the chances that the MLS All-Star team will be facing the Champions League trophy winners come July?

The odds certainly improved when Chelsea beat Barcelona in the semifinals this week. They will next face Bayern Munich -- who beat Real Madrid on Wednesday -- in the Champions League final.

Once that's done, though, Chelsea will turn their attention to their US tour, which will, of course, include the 2012 AT&T MLS All-Star Game, July 25, at PPL Park outside of Philadelphia.

You want to be there, don't you? Well, tickets went on presale starting today.

CLICK HERE to get tickets via the VISA presale.

01 April 10:27 de la tarde

Malgré le résultat et la fatigue du voyage, les supporters de l’Impact étaient heureux de leur première expérience de groupe loin de Montréal.

« Pour un début, chez un adversaire qui n’est pas un rival, être à 200, chanter 90 minutes et faire autant de bruit que les 13000 locaux : ça montre un excellent esprit, résume Michael Murray, qui avait effectué le déplacement pour supporter Montréal à Santos Laguna lors de la Ligue des champions 2009. À part la bière trop chère, l’accueil était bon : même quand un fumigène a été allumé, la réaction de la sécurité était mesurée, contrairement à Montréal où elle est vraiment violente. »

Depuis dix ans, les supporters de l’Impact ont toujours autant de plaisir à encourager leurs couleurs à l’extérieur, mais il y a désormais les avantages de la MLS. « Ça ressemblait aux déplacements de D2 : on fête dans le car, on arrive en ville le matin et on y vit des aventures, résume Daniel Nahmias-Léonard, qui était déjà des voyages en 2002. Par contre, New York, ça change de Rochester ! Et il y a l’encadrement de la MLS, régulièrement en contact avec les supporters pendant l’année, ainsi que des clubs, habitués à voir des supporters adverses. Maintenant, il faut que davantage de gens s’intéressent réellement à l’Impact et s’habituent aux déplacements afin d’attirer plus de monde. »

Voilà qui donnera plus de travail à des organisateurs déjà bien occupés. « C’était difficile car c’était notre première en MLS, et avec tant de participants, reconnaît Denis Lebrun, responsable du groupe Ultras Montréal 2002, en charge du voyage. Et pour rendre les déplacements attractifs financièrement, nous avons décidé de traiter directement avec des transporteurs plutôt qu’avec des organisateurs de voyages. On vise 6 ou 7 déplacements cette saison et on aimerait avoir à chaque fois 2-3 autocars pleins pour les villes distantes comme New York, Philadelphie ou Toronto. »

23 February 1:38 de la tarde

 

For a long time, the San Jose Earthquakes were the only MLS club going with a name that dated back to the original NASL. They weren't the first to fully embrace their NASL heritage though (hat tip to the Sounders for inventing that).

But the club is making up for lost time with this year's season-ticket packages, which featuring several nods back to the disco-era Quakes of the past. Among the connections they're making to the earliest incarnation of the Earthquakes are:

  • Throwback NASL jerseys to season ticket holders who paid in full by the final home game of 2011
  • "EST. 1974" has been added below the collar on the back of the 2012 jersey
  • Ticket books include photos, like the one above, from different generations of soccer in San Jose

This is in addition to last year's dedication of the George Best Gate at Buck Shaw Stadium, which will have a monitor playing a loop of Best scoring "The Greatest Goal Ever" for 2012.

It's all good stuff but I'm partial to the old school photos on the tickets. Is there anything more retro-cool than having George Best and Johnny Moore in your hands on game day?

 

21 February 11:09 de la mañana

There aren't many jobs in MLS, or for that matter in the professional soccer world in the United States and Canada. So, if you want one, you might as well give yourself the best chance possible by getting the training you need.

For salespeople, that means heading up to Blaine, Minnesota, to the MLS National Sales Center. Founded in 2011 to train salespeople specifically to succeed in the soccer industry, the NSC is like a front-office equivalent to the development academies each MLS club has established.

"We give a 'selling foundation' to aspiring salespeople that will effectively prepare them to sell for MLS clubs," says NSC founder Bryant Pfeiffer. "This is a big contributor to our desire to sell out every MLS stadium."

The NSC is currently looking for applicants for its next session, which begins in March. Trainees accepted into the program, which lasts up to four months, receive a stipend to help offset the coasts of room and board in Minnesota. There are also opportunities to earn commission while attending the program.

But it is the training and the door-opening opportunity that is most valuable. In addition to the real-life sales experience of selling for MLS clubs, trainees benefit from instructional feedback from audio and video analysis and innovative coaching from local improv theatre instructors. After each month, those who qualify are given the opportunity to apply their training through the selling of season, group and mini-plan ticket packages and are offered a job interview with participating MLS clubs.

Already, 60 NSC graduates have gone on to get jobs at MLS clubs.

"Our belief is that the graduates of the program can not only make a fast impact in growing the game," Pfeiffer says, "but also become dominant salespeople at the same time."

For more information or to apply go to www.mlsnationalsalescenter.com.

26 January 7:57 de la tarde

This just goes to show you that, if the opposition can sell the alleged infraction, you will always get a card even if the referee is not watching.