What I Am Thankful For – MLS Edition

A turkey looks around its enclosure at Seven Acres Farm in North Reading, Massachusetts, November 24, 2010, one day before the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S.  REUTERS/Brian Snyder  (UNITED STATES - Tags: ANIMALS)

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  The last week has been a barrage of news and rumors in the world of MLS, and the next few weeks will likely be the same with the 2018/2022 bid announcements and re-entry draft.  But for one day, let us step back and give thanks for all of the good things that MLS (and soccer overall) gives to us every day.  Sports are an escape for every day living, an alternate world where curving a soccer ball earns you millions or being the right height guarantees a job for twenty years.  And without it, society would be a much more depressing place.

This Thanksgiving, here is what I am thankful for:

I am thankful for Dax McCarty going to DC United – quite a good trade yesterday for DC United, sending Rodney Wallace to Portland for the former FC Dallas player.  The Black and Red now have another creative midfielder to score goals, something that has been mysteriously absent from RFK this year, as well as another offensive threat to pair with Andy Najar.  I think this is the beginning of a good rebuilding for DCU.

I am thankful for expanding technology to watch even more games – do you realize that I can practically travel anywhere and watch a soccer match?  If I have a laptop/mobile device, wireless, and headphones, I can pull up ESPN3, foxsoccer.tv, YouTube, or a number of video sites and watch highlights or an entire match.  It has never been easier to enjoy the beautiful game and the league(s) of your choice.

I am thankful for balanced scheduling, at least for another year – even with two new clubs this season, I will still have the opportunity to watch every club at least once in my home team’s stadium.  You can’t say that about many American sports, and I think it’s something we sometimes take for granted.  And in that vein…..

I am thankful for living so close to an MLS club – I live within a half hour of an MLS club, and have the opportunity to see my home team in action, something residents in many large cities (let alone rural areas) do not have the chance to do.

I am thankful for U.S. soccer supporters – overshadowed by English hooligans and fan clubs, the U.S. has its own great fan base for soccer.  At the national level, Sam’s Army travels to all the matches and provides a good base of support for Bob Bradley’s squad.  At the club level, every team has great supporters, and some like Seattle go above and beyond the call of fandom.  Good fans really help make a match a great one.

I am thankful for Don Garber and Sunil Gulati – I am the first to criticize these gentlemen at times for their boneheaded decisions, but their jobs are not easy.  They have to grow a sport in a country where the sport’s landscape is already crowded and soccer is sometimes seen as a foreign influence.  Their job is not easy and I am thankful they are there to do it.  Plus, they provide constant topics for posts on the site.

And finally, I am thankful for you – Thank you to everyone who reads, comments, Tweets, and shares the content on this site.  Without you, this site would not be as dynamic as it is and full of diverse thoughts and opinions.

What MLS or soccer things are you thankful for this year?

10 Responses to What I Am Thankful For – MLS Edition

  1. Charles says:

    I am thankful I don’t have to read The Kool Aid crap Gaffer is offering up and that there is a bit of soccer news. I hadn’t seen the trade yet.

    What was Portland thinking ?

    I don’t know a ton about Wallace, but he is not a GREAT defender.
    Judging by where Dax went in the draft and who he went before he is very highly valued.

    I guess if you cannot with the MLS Cup, and lets face it he was shut down, you stand to be devalued by at least some.

    Portland is already falling into line in third place behind Seattle and Vancouver ( in that order ) !!!!

    • The Gaffer says:

      Thanks Charles! I can always depend on you to bring me back down to earth!

      The Gaffer

      • Charles says:

        Have a good Thanksgiving Gaffer.
        I do hope you are thankful for a Florida team soon.

        The Ft Laud Strikers-Sounders playoff game in the sold out Kingdome was one of my fondest memories of the NASL Sounders, the Kingdome ( where I went at least 500 times for various sports ), and really for ALL my sports watching life.

  2. Charles says:

    I am thankful that Seattle has the best soccer stadium in the world, a great fan base and great ownership…..I have season tickets and live minutes from the stadium. Very lucky.

    I am glad that after 35 years of playing, coaching, watching soccer in the US, the US has a GREAT league. YES GREAT league.

    Could it be better ? For me, for everyone a few minor changes ( and for guys that aren’t fans at all, thousands of major ones ), but it is a GREAT league. There is no comparison to MLS and the old NASL, the ALeague ( which both were VERY fun in their days ). There is no comparison to MLS and the boring Euro leagues. Can you image DC winning 4 titles and finishing in last place in ANY other league over the last 15+ years ? ooops any other soccer league ?
    Can you imagine worst to first ( well almost first ) runs like LA and NY did over the last few years ?

    I am thankful that the quality of MLS is going through the roof….even while they haven’t started making real money yet. It has been done with a great college system that is cranking out players at a rate unheard of outside of Brazil. A team just traded a starter on one of the best teams in MLS for the 39th pick in this years draft ( and allocation money ), you can argue that was dumb, I probably agree, but someone thought there was value in the 39th pick in the US, THE US !!!!

    I am thankful the Sounders and Vancouver play in the same league again. As someone with a brain I hate the Whitecaps, Tino Lateri (look it up on Wiki you soccer newbies ) and anything do with the Whitecaps. Sounders and Whitecaps have played 111 games against each other, THAT is the type of rivalry that The Don is hoping for. I am thankful that I will be there for 112 or 113, it will be awesome.

    Ps. open up QWEST for the Portland games and Vancouver games and I will have one more thing to be thankful for, watching Timber and Whitecap fans cry.

    • Dave C says:

      Best soccer stadium in the world? I know you’re the number 1 cheer leader for the MLS (metaphorically speaking), but seriously…the Q-West field is the best soccer stadium in the world?

      • Charles says:

        Baudet ( the newest Sounder about Seattle):

        “Anyone would love to play here for a lot of reasons and one of those reasons is the fans. It is a phenomenal fan base. I’m already looking forward to playing there,” he said. “It doesn’t get any better than in Seattle. I’ve been a professional for 13 years, playing in France and England, and I’ve never seen anything like it.”

        So you have a brand new stadium built for $500mm
        + the greatest atmosphere a well travelled player has seen.

        = Greatest soccer stadium in the World.

        Obviously I am biased, as I live minutes from it.?
        But it at least has to be in the conversation, no ?

  3. Charles says:

    The Timbers are going after an international player with the Dax trade.
    Nyassi was traded too, to Colorado.

    The Timbers said they were just rolling the dice on Bornstein and Findley.
    Findley might not be a bad dice roll and since they can think long term maybe Bornstein works out ? I am not a Bornstein fan so don’t ask me to say that.

    I think that Portland is coming closest to trying to mirror was Seattle did, but they didn’t have nearly as good a USL team to start with. IF their gambles work out. Dike, Bornstein and Findley, they might a playoff team.

    All the talk will be about the Internationals they sign of course, but there is still no team to win it all with a DP.

  4. Lloyd says:

    I am thankful for mls fans like Charles.
    Charles happy thanksgiving brotha.
    I went to Mendoza, Argentina 2 years ago. I went with My daughter and wife to visit my wife’s family and Friends. Soccer or futbol means the world to them, and not just any soccer, but their own soccer. Argentine Soccer. They admire soccer in other cultures but you can see that all that matters to them is Their National team, The Club team whether it be in the 1st division or in the local division. To say the least it was inspiring!!!
    I am thankful for U.S. soccer and the MLS

  5. IL says:

    Indeed, there has been a lot of negativity about MLS lately. Much work is still ahead, but the league is healthy and that is something to be appreciated.

  6. Charles says:

    We can be a glass is 1/2 empty or a glass is 3/4 full.

    Vancouver will be the second or third most successful franchise money wise in their first year because MlS has grown so little over the 16 years.


    MLS is growing so fast that the last 4 teams added are close to the most profitable out there…and more money is lining up because of it.

    I tend to think the latter. I think the MLS had to rely on the soccer only crowd to survive the early years. Thankfully they are able to get away from that…it was never a winning strategy, as it is not their favorite league (yet) AND they all want to change the only formula for a league to draw any real money in the last 30 years…really ever.

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