There were some rumblings on Twitter during NBC Sports Network's first MLS broadcast on Sunday and Keel Cam Part 5 confirmed it: Ryan Meara is essentially Larry Bird in a goalkeeper's kit and gloves.
Don't believe me? Check out the side-by-side photo below of Larry Legend at Indiana State and Meara following his side's 2-1 defeat to FC Dallas.
The best part about it? He joins Mehdi Ballouchy as New York Red Bulls with celebrity doppelgangers. As the Shawn "MLS Insider" Francis pointed out to me a few months ago, Ballouchy bears a striking resemblance to John Oates of Hall & Oates fame.
My love for all things Keel Cam is well documented. New York's mop-topped defender is simply magnificent at providing behind-the-scene moments with his own brand of humor and some spot-on one-liners mixed in for good measure.
He's done it again with "Keel Cam Part 5," an examination of what tagging along for team bonding at the golf course with the Red Bulls might be like.
My favorite lines:
"That has house written all over it."
"Dax, grab your balls."
"Maybe stand up on your toes, just to get the full flex."
"Does Bruno Mars have any golf game? The club looks as big as he does."
"Can I introduce my caddy, Mehdi Ballouchy?"
As Ryan Meara says, anything for Keel Cam. Let the ridiculousness begin...
I give MLS fans credit for not living under rocks, so I won't tell them that the Portland Timbers play their home opener on Monday night against the Philadelphia Union at 9:30 pm ET on ESPN2/Deportes. Oh, wait...
Nevermind that! This is an exciting day. It's the season's first ESPN broadcast and, more importantly, our first chance to see JELD-WEN Field on TV. I like seeing JELD-WEN on TV.
And, with due apologies to the more hardcore non-Portland Cascadia fans, I maintain that the Timbers Army is a big reason why. No disrespect to any other supporters group, but the TA bring their A-game.
Like, remember when they sang the Star-Spangled Banner on national TV? Turns out that we're all going to get a refresher course tonight, because the fans are doing it again this season.
Get pumped, sports fans. Swallow your pride, Seattle fans. Union fans, brace yourself. This might get awesome.
Le coup d’envoi de la saison a été donné et il n’a pas fallu attendre longtemps pour assister à la première surprise : le LA Galaxy, qui n’avait plus été battu à domicile depuis le 14 novembre 2010, a mordu la poussière contre le Real Salt Lake. Buddle a ouvert la marque à moins de 20 minutes du terme, 120 secondes avant que son équipier Franklin ne marque… le premier but contre son camp de la saison. Lors d’une fin de match tonitruante, les virevoltants Morales et Espindola ont fixé les chiffres à 1-3.
Il n’a guère fallu attendre non plus pour voir le premier but de l’année, œuvre de Sébastien Le Toux à Vancouver face à Montréal. Jamais dans l’histoire de la MLS n’avait-on marqué aussi vite lors d’un match inaugural ! Forts de cette avance, les hommes de Martin Rennie ont été patients et ont porté le coup de grâce en début de deuxième mi-temps. Battu 2-0, l’Impact espérait de meilleurs débuts en MLS.
Le bonheur québécois de la semaine est donc à aller chercher chez André Hainault qui, dans les arrêts de jeu, a offert la victoire 0-1 à Houston sur le terrain de Chivas USA (décidément, le Home Depot Center était maudit ce week-end). Houston n’est jamais aussi dangereux que quand ses défenseurs montent sur des coups de pieds arrêtés. Même fin de match complètement folle à DC United, où Sapong a offert la victoire 0-1 à Kansas City après la fin du temps réglementaire.
|Cliquez sur un résultat pour voir le résumé vidéo|
Sporting KC fans have made Livestrong Sporting Park a fortress since the club's gorgeous facility opened last June. And although they didn't get to enjoy their team's last-second victory Saturday night in person, a large contingent gathered at the stadium's Member's Club to watch a 1-0 victory against D.C. United capped off by a C.J. Sapong winner in stoppage time.
Someone had the bright idea to set up a camera on those in attendance, which of course caught their reaction to Sapong's timely goal. Needless to say, it's a pretty awesome display. I can only imagine what the Cauldron has in store once Sporting KC comes home. Based on this video, there is plenty is in the works.
As a videographer for Major League Soccer I have the privilege of watching a lot of games from field level. As a result, I get to see a lot of goals from close range.
Today in Vancouver, the Whitecaps put two past their Canadian rivals the Montreal Impact and I had the perfect view for the 2nd, as Camilo poked one past Donovan Ricketts. Click on the video below and you can see it as I did from field level.*
*Note: I do see everything in slow-motion (it’s like I’m always ‘in the zone’)
First Kick may be the theme of this glorious, glorious day but the word of the day is "free."
This weekend you can experience MLS Live, our online streaming match service, and our long-running TV package, Direct Kick, for free.
Take a look at this weekend's schedule of games and head to over MLS Live to register for today's free preview. Please note that the usual blackout policies may apply. And if you are an iPhone or iPad user download MatchDay 2012 from the iTunes store, where it is currently a featured app, for viewing on the go.
Awesome stuff, right? Don't say we never gave you anything.
Last year, before the season started, I very cleverly predicted that LA would win the West, the Shield and the Cup. I predicted that Houston would win the East. And I came up with a few other good ones that panned out.
Unfortunately I made these predictions on Twitter, and 4000 posts later, I was no longer able to have my moment of glory. Not gonna make the same mistake this year.
Real Salt Lake
US Open Cup
Defender of the Year
Rookie of the Year
Coach of the Year
And the most important question... will another forward come out of the blue and rack up double-digit goals? Wondolowski and Dom Oduro have done so in the last two seasons. This year's version will be... Tommy "Disco" Heinemann.
Feel free to bookmark this and throw it in my face 9 months from now.
Cheers, and enjoy the soccer.
First Kick is all about new beginnings, a chance to wipe the slate clean and start anew. For Joe Cannon and the Whitecaps it's about erasing a rough debut season in MLS and moving forward with a new coach, new players and a new outlook.
It's also about performance, at least in the short term. According to Cannon, tomorrow's match against the expansion Impact won't be about the final score but about how Vancouver plays the game. That may be true for the players but something tells be that the fans wouldn't mind seeing a result as well.
It was the night before First Kick and all through the land,
MLS season previews were being put in our hands.
Jimmy Conrad, Steve Nicol and Simon Borg's preview was fair
And you can't wait for what fruit tomorrow will bare.
Sorry, but I can't help but sing right now. Too excited about tomorrow.