Happy Cyber-Monday everyone! I've been scanning the internet using some of the new apps that check for deals and its been making things a lot easier. Although it feels like cheating when you don't even have to work on your search-fu to find bargains. Cyber-Monday is another day for celebrating the glories of American consumerism by blowing off work. When the app does all the internet browsing for me that means I actually have to do real work and that sucks. Fortunately, I can always cruise the internet for soccer articles!
Is Hating the Timbers Healthy? I know you'd never willingly go to a Timbers blog, but Stumptown Footy has a good article up about how the Sounders-Timbers rivalry is good for the league and the sport. It includes a link to an academic study on the importance of rivalries to growing interest in a sport. The bottom line: framing a rivalry using a regional villain is more effective among fan-bases which are less involved. On the other hand, building up heroes with connections to the community is more effective among fans which are already highly involved with a team.
So, based on the findings and simple logic, growing the sport in the Northwest demands a little vilification of our food cart loving, fixie riding neighbors to the South. By the same token it is vital that they cast us Sounders fans as elitist yacht owning Microsoft millionaires. As an avid fan of the league, and to fight off the off-season doll-drums, its important for me to do my part in growing the rivalry through some classy trolling. So go recommend my comment mocking their missing the playoffs and we'll see if we can get more recommends than the article has comments.
More links after the jump:
Impact Dare Dynamo: Trolling a message board is one of those guilty pleasures that one should really never do, but just about everyone has engaged in once or twice. It must be 10x better when you're coach Jesse Marsch of the Montreal Impact and you're trolling the entire league. Take a veteran close to retirement just before a team is ready to open a multimillion dollar stadium? Check. Take a local boy done good and unanimous fan favorite? Check and check. Take a Humanitarian of the year and a player deeply involved in the local community? Check (sigh).
Rivalry Games Are Good: It isn't just the Portland Timbers talking more about rivalries. The change to an unbalanced schedule for 2012 will mean more rivalry games in the region. Of course, the opposite view is that the addition of more games will reduce the power and importance of the rivalry. My personal view is that the rivalry here in Cascadia that a few extra games won't diminish it in the least. There are more than enough rabid, die-hard supporters here in the Northwest. I'm not so sure about some of the weaker rivalries in other parts of the league.
Mr. Smith Goes to Chivas: Chivas USA made some interesting moves after losing some big pieces of their team to the Montreal Impact. First they traded with the Impact to bring in veteran Sounder James Riley to replace Zarek Valentin. They also traded some supplemental draft picks to Sporting Kansas City for midfielder Ryan Smith. Supplemental draft picks are one step above a bag of practice balls in the MLS trade hierarchy. Still it's still probably a good deal for the Sporks as the speedy winger had left abruptly for England last season and seemed unlikely to return.
Akron Upset: NCAA soccer powerhouses Akron Zips were upset by unranked Charlotte and have been knocked out the NCAA tournament. The loss ends the Freshman season of DeAndre Yedlin who has played right back for both the Zips and the Seattle Sounders Academy. Yedlin posted immediate revenge on the entirety of the NCAA soccer universe via twitter following the loss.
Words Do Hurt: Sitting behind a desk and writing up comments on the latest drafts and waivers around the league is pretty easy. So easy you often forget that the player that you're ragging on might see your postings and be offended. Rarely though do you see a player publicly come out and criticize us nattering nabobs of negativism. Well, here's a little snippet on Randy Edwini-Bonsu firing back on twitter against a fan claiming he was too poor a player to make the Ghanian national team.