Three Big Storylines:
- Last year as your author sat down to write this article the new CBA was only three days old, Targeted Allocation Money had not yet entered the MLS and a bumper crop of new MLS designated players lead by marquee signings like Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Sebastian Giovinco and Jozy Altidore were about to make their debut. New York City FC and Orlando City had yet to play a game. The offseason that just completed is positively sedate compared to the prior year. Is MLS entering a period of stability or just a momentary pause to collect itself before rushing forward again?
- MLS is debuting a self produced show called Soccer Sunday that if successful might be something they will expand and we see more of as the season progresses. Starting at 10 AM, MLSSoccer.com along with simulcasts on ESPN3 and FoxSportsGo is going live with a studio show featuring live look-ins on the first six matches of the day leading up to the national TV games.
- How will NYCFC and Orlando City fair in their second year? NYCFC is already on it's second manager with Patrick Vieira taking over from Jason Kreis, with an off season to adjust can they get more out of the DP trio of David Villa, Frank Lampard and Andrea Pirolo? Amid some controversy involving a discovery claim and D.C. United, Orlando has added DP Italian midfielder (and friend of Kaka) Antonio Nocerinobe to the roster and is expecting close to 60,000 fans for their home opener.
From a Sounders Point of View:
It is way too early for this feature to say anything other than just get three points for the Sounders. But it looks like the theme this year will again be the relative strength of the depth and quality in the Western Conference in comparison to the weaker teams in the Eastern Conference. So until the standings start to shake out, Sounders fans will primarily be cheering for Eastern Conference teams to take points against the Western Conference. If that started with Columbus Crew SC ruining a certain Cascadia neighbors pre-game ceremony by taking three points, that would be great.
National TV Listings:
This is your Sounder at Heart MLS Week 1 Gamethread, watch with us.