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.
Are you a fan of Major League Soccer? Do you have two X chromosomes? If you answered yes to both of those questions -- or you're just curious -- head over to the new Women United Football Club website, which has been getting some buzz on Twitter today after launching and appears to be a legitimately awesome gathering place for MLS fans of the fairer sex.
I would attempt to put the concept into words but surely the site's founders can do a better job, so I'll leave that to them:
"In America and abroad, MLS has scores of female soccer fans, but there is little in the way of communities or reporting to serve them. We're changing that in 2012. This is a place where women of all ages who are MLS fans can meet, mingle and blog about their thoughts. Join us as we get to experience the thrills and spills of pro soccer in a whole new way!"
Love the concept. Love the design of the website. Love that some of the founders hail from Kansas City (Midwest represent!).
And even though myself and all the rest of the XY chromosomers out there aren't the target audience, I'm glad female MLS fans have a sweet place to come together online. It's the least they deserve.
Site is up and emails out! Register, join your favorite team's group, pick an avatar, and join in the...
— Women United FC (@wunitedfc) March 9, 2012
C’est ce samedi que sera donné le coup d’envoi de la saison 2012 de la MLS. Sur le coup de 18h00 (HE), tous les yeux seront rivés sur Vancouver, où Montréal fera ses débuts dans la compétition. Un duel 100% canadien (diffusé en direct sur TSN et RDS) très attendu : d’un côté, des Whitecaps très francophones (Rochat, Hassli, Le Toux) qui ont surtout transféré une pléthore d’attaquants durant l’hiver ; de l’autre, l’Impact qui aura à cœur de prouver que la défaite 3-0 en préparation contre son ancien adversaire en D2 n’était qu’un accident de parcours.
Autre match très attendu en soirée, celui qui opposera le LA Galaxy et le Real Salt Lake, deux des grands favoris à la conquête du titre. Le tenant de la Coupe MLS n’a pas perdu chez lui en 2011 et son dernier faux pas à domicile remonte au 5 juillet dernier (0-0 contre Seattle). Mais sera-t-il remis des efforts consentis en milieu de semaine en Ligue des champions ?
Dimanche, la rencontre Dallas – New York marquera les débuts de la MLS sur NBC Sports Network. Si les New Yorkais sont bien cotés par les ordinateurs, beaucoup d’observateurs doutent de la bande à Thierry Henry, qui s’était toutefois imposée deux fois au Pizza Hut Park la saison dernière. Plus tard dans l’après-midi, Galavision retransmettra un duel qui s’annonce chaud entre Chivas USA et le finaliste malheureux de la dernière Coupe MLS, Houston.
La première journée de compétition prendra exceptionnellement fin lundi, avec Portland – Philadelphie (direct ESPN / ESPN Deportes). La Timbers Army espère que ses favoris, qui restent sur 171 minutes sans but à domicile, marqueront rapidement contre l’Union, qui a fini 2011 avec 200 minutes sans trouver le fond des filets en déplacement.
LE PROGRAMME COMPLET
Samedi 10 mars
18h00 : Vancouver – Montréal
18h00 : Colorado – Columbus
19h30 : DC United – Kansas City
22h30 : San José – New England
22h30 : LA Galaxy – Salt Lake
Dimanche 11 mars
15h00 : Dallas – New York
19h00 : Chivas – Houston
Lundi 12 mars
21h30 : Portland – Philadelphie
Photo Courtesy of NESN.com/SeattlePi.com
First Kick is right around the corner, but apparently so is March Madness.
I know, it kind of snuck up on me, but the Big 12 kicked off their conference tournament on Wednesday. I'm less interested in that than I am in the uniforms that Baylor debuted in their opening game today, an 82-74 win over Kansas State.
Baylor's jerseys are, apparently, "lime green." But am I the only one who sees an uncanny resemblance to the Seattle Sounders' "Electricity" jerseys?
I can't be. That's straight up the same color. Can someone please tell me I'm not crazy?
Needless to say, Wednesday's CONCACAF Champions League games were exciting.
Perhaps even more so because of the nearly unprecedented attendance. Between the two CCL matches, 71,001 fans showed up. That's an average of 35,500.
By comparison, UEFA's four Champions League games this week averaged 49,776.25. That includes 75,632 fans who packed the Nou Camp in an attendance figure nearly as ridiculous at Barcelona's 7-1 destruction of Bayer Leverkusen.
Take what you will from it, but it's fair to say that the bar for CCL matches hosted by MLS teams has been raised.
More predictions today from FIFA 12. Not only is it one of the greatest time-sucks/soccer video games ever created but it is also a predictor of Golden Boot winners.
According to EA Sports the game "predicted that Galaxy striker Robbie Keane will win the 2012 Budweiser Golden Boot, awarded to the top goal scorer at the end of the regular season. EA SPORTS has predicted Keane will score 19 goals this season."
19 for Keane? It's catchy and it rhymes, so why not.
Here's a look at how FIFA 12 predicts the rest of the race will play out. Personally, I'm wondering if Juan Agudelo will get 10 starts in 2012 let alone 10 goals.
Frankie Hejduk is a legend in Columbus. His eight years playing for the Crew, including captaining them to the 2008 MLS Cup title, made him a fan favorite. (Drinking beers in the parking lot with the diehard supporters when he was suspended for a game didn't hurt his Q rating at Crew Stadium either.)
Now, after he finished his career with the LA Galaxy last year, it looks like the Crew might abide the dude again.
“There’s some Crew players that just resonate,” Crew President and GM Mark McCullers told The Columbus Dispatch recently. “Brian McBride still resonates. Frankie resonates and that certainly has value for us. I would love to have Frankie in the organization."