On Thursday night, I watched my favorite soccer league (or what 95 percent of the world in some variation refers to as football) kick off. The match was between corporate whores Red Bull New York and expansion franchise Seattle Sounders FC.
Qwest Field was packed, and it was great to see the city of Seattle happy again, especially to the tune of a 3-0 victory. They were the first MLS expansion team to score in their first game since the Chicago Fire did it in 1998.
The Fire also won the cup that year, so maybe Seattle is going to start seeing some happier days.
This is just the first of three planned expansion teams in the Northwest, and I have to say, it sounds like a good idea.
The Northwest has always been soccer crazy. In fact, the USL is a big deal out there, yes I know people reading this, you have no idea what the hell the USL is. Well here you go, American soccer is like European football in the fact that there's a pyramid.
What makes ours different though, is that there's no promotion or relegation. So an American way of expressing this would be...the USL is the minor league of the MLS, only without team affiliation.
Although, there is one odd, truly American form of promotion going on, and that's the better performing markets in the USL are entering the MLS as expansion franchises.
Seattle was the first, they were an excellent USL market and a stable choice for expansion which, to put lightly, hasn't always gone so well for the MLS.
Fast forward two years and it brings us to the MLS' most recent expansion franchises: Vancouver, BC and Portland, OR. Both of these cities are great USL towns with a lot of passion for the world's game.
Honestly, I think it's a fantastic decision by the MLS to place these teams in soccer hungry cities, especially ones within such a close proximity.
I should create fantastic rivalries, building off the ones that already existed in the Cascadia Cup days of the USL. In 2011, the northwest will be home to the best rivalries in the league.
A lot of people worried about if the MLS would make it, if North America could actually support a major soccer league, but if they keep making smart decisions like this, I think it will.
OTHER NORTH AMERICAN SOCCER RELATED NEWS:
The MLS' only current non-Northwest expansion team, Philadelphia, is hopefully close to announcing an official team name and color scheme, as they said it would come 30-45 days after the end of fan voting.
It has since been 44 days. Keep checking MLSPhilly2010 with us until we find out.
Also the uniforms and logos were unveiled for the upcoming Women's Professional Soccer. I know uniforms and logo aesthetics is my specialty, but I don't really want to go in depth with this, so I'll just toss out two logos I really love.
The first is the logo for the Chicago Red Stars. I love names that have meaning for their city, and I love it when the logo captures that. For those that don't know, the Chicago city flag is what the name is based off of and it's well incorporated into the logo.
Honestly, I think it's a bit cartoony, but it still does its job. If you're interested in learning more about Chicago's flag and why it is important to so many Chicagoans I suggest reading this.
Finally, the other logo that really just made me happy to see is that of the St. Louis Athletica. First off, that name is awesome. Athletica is not a real word, they instead took the word athletic and added a to the end which is prevalent around the world when a word is made feminine.
Then not only that, but the actual logo is amazing. Joan of Arc, that crest, the color scheme. I really don't see anything I dislike about it. I especially love that Saint Louis is spelled out.
So I'm the lucky person that gets to unveil our awesome: Sixty Feet, Six Inches Yeahhh Boyeeeee rating scale. It goes from zero to five yeahhh boyeeeees and features the yeahhh boyeeeee face of Sixty Feet, Six Inches writer Thomas.
Chicago Red Stars
Great representation of your city for a definite plus, but minus points for the cartooniness of your logo. I give it:
St. Louis Athletica
Everything about this logo is fantastic. It represents the team well, Joan of Arc is used as a very empowering symbol for a women's team and they spelled out Saint Louis. I will give it:
So that's all the soccer this blog can handle for now. I do follow the MLS, so let us be your source for MLS news, especially if you're just a casual fan.