Saturday, January 06, 2007

It's Not A Myth

Soccer Silicon Valley Blog seems to think one years worth of attendance numbers that break down paid tickets versus comps somehow proves that San Jose didn't have an attendance problem. Obviously San Jose had other factors driving the moving of the franchise. Spartan Stadium was, to be blunt, crap for hosting soccer games. More so they struggled to find ownership that was committed to keeping the team in San Jose. The San Jose Earthquakes may have had good attendance in 2005. But in in the history of the Major League Soccer (MLS) their attendance wasn't compelling. That doesn't mean that the area isn't capable of better numbers. Having multiple changes in ownership doesn't help give the front office the kind of focus and stability needed to build sales over time. Nevertheless, it's not a myth that San Jose was lacking butts in the seats. All-time League Averages Through 2005 (San Jose's last season)

  1. Los Angeles (1996-2005 ) : 21,677
  2. Salt Lake (2005) : 18,037
  3. MetroStars (1996-2005) : 17,617
  4. Chivas USA (2005) : 17,080
  5. DC United (1996-2005) : 17,050
  6. New England (1996-2005) : 16,426
  7. Columbus (1996-2005) : 15,985
  8. Chicago (1998-2005) : 15,657
  9. Colorado (1996-2005) : 14,393
  10. San Jose (1996-2005) : 13,022
  11. Dallas (1996-2005) : 11,584
  12. Tampa Bay (1996-2001) : 11,072
  13. Kansas City (1996-2005) : 10,992
  14. Miami (1998-2001) : 9,345

Friday, January 05, 2007

ex-Gunner Boa Morte Joins West Ham

ex-Gunner, ex-Saint and now ex-White Luis Boa-Morte has been bought by West Ham. It's another one of the annoying "fee undisclosed" deals. Speculation in the press is that the deal was worth $9-10 million for Fulham. It's not a surprise with Boa-Morte having been linked with a number of clubs last summer. So who does Fulham, which is having a decent year (not in the relegation zone for them), bring in to replace Boa-Morte? Does this mean Fulham is confident that they'll win Clint Dempsey's work permit appeal?

Beckham : No New News Is News

It's amazing the hub-bub that can come about over one person. When you get down to it, there is no news on David Beckham and if he will remain with Real Madrid or not. Yet it doesn't stop the reporters from writing "news" (and one would assume their bosses are asking for it). A friend pointed out an article by Andrea Canales. Yes, this is the person who decided that because the LA Galaxy haven't set their ticket prices and that their coach Frank Yallop wouldn't let a friend down that David Beckham is set to move to Los Angeles (more on that one here). At least this time Canales had some other reasons such as Beckham looking for more playing time (what player doesn't? ). When someone who reports on the game for a living claims " since Beckham let pass by the deadline to extend his contract with Real", you have to wonder what they actually know. Afterall, there are no deadlines for players to sign contract extensions with their clubs. So it's no surprise to see that Canales failed to report that Real Madrid has offered Beckham a contract extension worth more than he's currently making. Is Los Angeles really ready, let alone capable of matching an offer of $11 million / year plus 50% or more of his image rights going to him? I find it hard to believe. Surely I'm not the only one.

Ronaldo Hooks Up With His Dentist

It looks like El Gardo, ex-El Phenomeno, ex-world class player has hooked up now with his dentist. Yes, it's true, Brazil's Ronaldo, the man who tried to inspire a triangle haircut fad and has infamously British... I mean, bad teeth is dating his dentist. I can't wait to see the jokes on this one!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Ronaldo To Real Again?

Bob over at the Offside pointed out that the rumor of Cristiano Ronaldo leaving Manchester United has surfaced again. And he rightly says it's a farce. Cron doesn't want to leave and ManUtd doesn't want to sell. You don't have to be half as bright as a fire flies ass to see through that rumor.

Scotland, Celtic, Rangers Adrift Sans Gaffer

Driving home late the other night after getting back into Denver (no, the snow hasn't melted yet), I was listening to the BBC. I knew the gap at the top in Scotland was getting pretty big. But I thought maybe by the halfway point Rangers and Hearts would close it a bit as Celtic had let their foot off the gas (recently had a run of 3 ties in 4 games). But no, the news was about how Le Guen had taken the captaincy away from Barry Ferguson and that it was liking BF would be sold with the winter transfer window open. The plot thickened this morning. Apparently Rangers are more concerned about the here and now in keeping Ferguson than giving Le Guen time to build the club. Now officially it says Le Guen left by mutual consent. But from the the news I've seen during the 6 months he's been at Ibrox and more so over the years, I suspect he felt he had little choice. It's hard to want to stick around when management isn't going to be patient and is ready to let the axe fall.

90 Minutes Soccer Radio

Has anyone listened to 90 Minutes magazine's soccer radio? I listened to it once a couple weeks ago. I thought it need a lot more soccer in there to call itself soccer radio.

Spain Player Moves And What A Blog Should Be

I wish there was more coverage of La Liga. It's a great league and doesn't coverage here in the states that reflects that. Heck, many modern pundits argue that it's the single best league in the world right now. I was happy to find a blog that is covering news involving Spain and La Liga. I was unhappy to find all the ticky-tack stuff on the web site, especially the automatically playing Queens of the Stone Age video (and I LOVE QOTSA). I wish I had a budget to carry lots of fancy photos, exclusive video, and such. Just moving this blog to a special host and having it's own URL would be a budget breaker for it right now. But I'm not putting fancy bells and whistles down because of that. It's that for most people they don't want those things. They're not going to a soccer blog looking to find music videos, animated GIFs of dancing babies (at least they didn't literally have that at this blog; I've seen others do it though), and other such things. Most folks are looking for news. And it's not so much that the video's in there someplace but that it doesn't always work for everyone (it's 100% across the screen in my browser) and more so that the site visitor has no choice in playing it. If you're at the site, it plays.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

New Soccer Web Site

I want to welcome the RSL Fan Report to the Internet. I look forward to seeing more interesting takes on Real Salt Lake and other soccer news there. They already have an interesting take on Freddy Adu.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Mascherano, Transfer To Investigate

I see that Juventus have announced they've given up for the time being on their pursuit of Mascherano. It's too bad since it surely would end use of that, well, downright uncreative and annoying term "Tevezcherano" when referencing Javier and his fellow Argentine Tevez. I do have to say I need to find more information on wacky, poor and even nefarious transfers like the ones listed at Caught Offside. I know I mentioned this one a few weeks ago. That I'm bringing it up again shows that I'm either bored, still entertained by Ali Dia or a bit of both.

Bets On MLS DP

Anyone want to place any bets that for 2007 the MLS doesn't land any big names for it's much vaunted designated player slot? And by "big player" I'm willing to allow for a lot. For example at this point in time I doubt that most fans in Spain would be excited if their club landed Martin Palermo. But for the MLS, he would qualify as a big, big player. Signing McBride is not a big player signing. He's about to retire (remember, at this level people don't make a like a bell curve at the end of their career and slowly trail off) and was a Yank that was willing to forgo being in Germany to come back and play for the the then new MLS. I'm not sure if I'd consider Claudio Reyna a bit signing or not. I would consider Beckham, Kikin Fonesca and others big signings. Any takers?

Monday, January 01, 2007

No Big Moves So Far

Speaking of the winter window, it's open again. No surprises in that there haven't been any big moves so far. The night is still young and I wouldn't be surprised to see a few names moving around. Real Madrid are likely to be looking to sell one or two strikers (most likely Ronaldo and Cassano) and Beckham has yet to sign a new contract with them and could leave on a free. Chelsea have money and it would make sense for them to be looking for a GK, CB or some young promising English player's career they feel needs to be ended. There haven't been many rumors involving Arsenal but that may just be that at this point they have a lovely new stadium but little other choice than to sit tight and hope they don't miss out on a spot in Europe next year. Anyway, they were plenty busy this last summer bringing in Baptista, Rosicky, Gallas and Denilson (yes, I chuckled at that last one too). And there are plenty of other teams to look at. I'm just wondering about some of the less obvious moves. Will Upson stay and Birmingham? Will Gooch join Real Madrid? Will Cassano join the LA Galaxy? .....And where in the world is Francis Jeffers?

Winter Transfer Window 2007

Digsy over Caughtoffside takes up issue with Manchester United's Alex Ferguson downplaying the importance of the winter transfer window. And he has some good examples why it's important. Unfortunately Digsy has done what we humans too often do, we slip into thinking about things as being black and white. If they were, Sir Alex would be wrong and Digsy right. But things aren't black and white. SAF was downplaying the importance of the winter window in the grand scheme of things. Sir Alex was not claiming that the winter window lacked any importance. There's no doubt that the winter window is important. As Digsy point out, Chelsea will be looking to spend money to bring in some fresh blood that could be the difference in the title race. Nevertheless, the summer window is much more important than the winter window. Generally that's when you're buying and selling players to rebuild your team. The winter window tends to be used more for adding reinforcements due to injury or in desperation to try to avoid relegation or gain promotion.

Sunday, December 31, 2006

As The Beckham Turns

The Sun is reporting that Real Madrid has offered David Beckham a 2 year, £100,000 / week deal. If it's true, it goes to show that Beckham still is valued at levels that one would imagine can't be matched by the MLS. Add to that, Posh's movie career, assuming that appearing in a Tom Cruise Scientology film is a start, is not dependent on having Mr. Posh around in Los Angeles (I have a hunch they can afford a nanny or three). And as for business interests, the Beckham's have a deal with Coty (Paris), Ray Ban, and others. If business interests are a reason to move, such as is sighted by rumors of him going to LA, than there are many other interests more compelling than a soccer academy. It would seem that he has plenty of reasons, both monetary and otherwise, to stay in Europe. But strangers things have happened. Personally, I'm with Blog FC in that Ronaldo and / or Cassano are bound to be sold. I wouldn't be surprised in if it wasn't one of them that popped up in the MLS rather than David Beckham.