Welcome to this edition of Total 90, Bleacher Report's finest (and only) regular newsletter devoted entirely to the performance of American footballers at home and abroad. Bonus points to the first reader to spot the Simpsons reference in one of these stories.
Our first story focuses on a group of representatives from Japan's J-League. A 33-member delegation visited various MLS facilities as part of their broad effort to research methods to increase attendance through community relations and marketing.
The J-League's goal is to increase total aggregate attendance of their matches each year to 11 million, with an intermediate goal of 9.5 million this year. The J-League delegation has also visited Ajax, Arsenal, and Villareal, as well as the other major American sports leagues.
Hmm...I hope the powers that be in MLS are looking at this as a way to improve their own attendance figures.
The NY Metropolitans (my favorite squadron) have announced that they are interested in purchasing an MLS expansion team in the near future. Mets president David Howard said the MLS team would play in a different venue that would also allow the Mets to host more events as well.
MLS had previously announced that the league will be expanding to 18 teams by 2011.
Any expansion team funded by the Mets would be expected to contend for the playoffs each season, only to fall short thanks to a massive collapse during the stretch run. In other words, they would be following the model laid down by the LA Galaxy.
At the deadline for expanding rosters, Chivas USA strengthened their squad by adding former Kansas City midfielder Sasha Victorine and Botafogo product Dejair. Both players will go a long way towards strengthening a midfield that was already one of the best in MLS.
Chivas currently occupies the third of four playoff spots in the Western Conference, with six games left to play.
Lastly, an update out of the CONCACAF Champions League. MLS club DC United fell 2-0 to Costa Rican side Deportivo Saprissa in their opening group game. DC fans will take some comfort in the fact that the loss was mostly due to a rash of injuries rather than poor form.
The other MLS team involved in Champions League competition, Houston Dynamo, had their match against CD Luis Angel Firpo of El Salvador postponed due to Hurricane Ike.