Here in Seattle it is easy to forget that MLS is not yet 30. Our soccer traditions go back much longer. But due to the fits and starts of American pro soccer and of Major League Soccer there aren't any real holiday traditions.
Yesterday was a friendsgiving at our house. Even though none of us are NFL fans, the thing we did after dinner was turn on the Seahawks for the NFL's third game of the day. College football dominates Black Friday and New Year's Day. The NBA owns Christmas. MLB makes a huge thing out of Memorial Day and the Fourth of July, them being the Boys of Summer. Sometimes these dates overlap – the NHL Winter Classic series is mostly on New Year's Day (always? I don't know, never been a hockey fan. I've watched some Winter Classic action. I'm looking forward to those kickass Kraken sweaters).
It's not just American sports that claim holidays.
The most mature pro soccer league in the world, the Premier League, owns Boxing Day. Many other leagues around the world try to own their independence or founding day.
MLS hasn't done that.
Here we are playing on another Thanksgiving weekend, but it's not a thing. It's just what happened to happen. MLS often has games that fall on Halloween (and the day before), people dress up, but there's been no effort to make it an annual tradition. MLS has played on Labor Day, but not regularly. There are a few teams trying to make the Fourth of July happen, which is similar to how Detroit and Dallas started the NFL tradition.
There are practical reasons this hasn't happened – immature league, floating FIFA dates, shared stadia.
But it's time.
Apple would love to be like Amazon and shouting to the world that they have LAFC or Messi or the Sounders or something every Halloween, Thanksgiving, etc. Imaging if TNT could scream that they have the Open Cup Final every single "slowest day in sports" (the day after the MLB All-Star Game).
Start the league on President's Day weekend every year. One idea that has been floated is having MLS Cup on Black Friday. These are just ideas. MLS could have better ideas. They know that almost all of their stadia are available at certain dates.
Give us a consistency around which we can plan travel, around which we, the [blank team] at Hearts, can proselytize to our friends and family when their lives are open to traditions.
It's time for MLS to own a holiday or two.
Puget Sound Soccer
Sounders v. LAFC; Reign season recap and offseason opportunities.
Seattle Sounders v. LAFC at 6:30 p.m. PT on MLS Season Pass
The most competitive rivalry in the Western Conference resumes. Like much of MLS, homefield advantage is massive. Seattle is 4-2-3, +5 at home against LAFC in the regular season, but only has four points on the road against the better LA team. In the playoffs, the Sounders own the rivalry, going 2-0-0, +4 in the two previous matches.
Defiance retained 9 players with both Henry Brauner and Wade Webber being promoted into more influential roles. Defiance will need a new head coach. The annual business meeting was last week. Here's our recap.
Reign offseason schedule
Reign are currently in a free agency period and the trade window is open.
Lesle Gallimore and Laura Harvey recently held their end of season press conference.
The expansion draft is Dec. 15, when Bay FC and Utah Royals will add some more talent, if they haven't used allocation money to acquire players and grant draft protection to every other team already.
Looking back at the week's news
Miazga saga continues; Violence in Brazil-Argentina could result in points loss; Praise Rose
FC Cincinnati's Pat Noonan critical of 'fabricated' allegations against Matt Miazga. The allegations are that Miazga needed to be escorted by security away from the referee's room after Cinci beat Red Bulls. The counter is that Miazga was only escorted by a comms person about 90 minutes after the match (a timeline that strains a bit of credulity). Even Noonan isn't denying that Miazga, who saw two yellows in the match and is suspended this weekend, entered the referee's room.
Points deduction for Brazil? 2026 World Cup qualifying campaign in jeopardy as FIFA open investigation into Maracana chaos condemned by Argentina captain Lionel Messi. Security officials handed their batons to Brazilian fans and watched as Argentina supporters were beaten with them.
The midfield magician: How Rose Lavelle continues to stun and cut opponents. Currently a free agent, Lavelle's impressive skills were overshadowed in the NWSL Final due to the loss. Her importance to Reign's future was never more apparent.
Humbug! Red Bulls ticket deal has 'Messi clause'. The Sounders 3-pack has no such clause, though it is unlikely that they would host Messi next year.