My wife says that soccer is on all the time. Where I used to say that was one of the great things about the game, I now don’t know if it is a great thing. Right after a very excellent Champions League we went immediately to the Copa America - Women’s World Cup - Gold Cup - Friendlies - MLS. I woke up today and realized I had completely forgot about the Community Shield.
Soccer is indeed non-stop.
The best argument for having a playoff tournament at the end of the season is the international calendar. MLS’s best teams let their best players go and continue with the regular season without them. Given the roster restrictions, and salary cap, the team can’t just stack up enough depth to overcome such losses. Clint Dempsey’s Seattle Sounders were in the midst of a three-game scoreless streak when he joined them for the fourth game this weekend. They fell 3-0 Vancouver.
Vancouver is the class of the conference. After 23 games they are on 39 points, barely edging FC Dallas, whom I hate. LA Galaxy, Sporting KC, Seattle, and Portland round out the playoff teams (as of right now). The weird MLS scheduling means that while LA has played 24 games, Sporting has only contested 20. So the three point gap LA enjoys over KC is precarious at best.
DC United are dominating. They are continuing their form from last season, and only have NYRB on their heels. The nine point gap is mitigated only by the fact that DC has played four more games than NY. DC has the better defense but NY has scored more per game. The casuals mostly care about NYCFC and Orlando SC. Well, Pirlo has come in and made nice passes. Lampard is yet to really show anything in his very short time in the league. David Villa has been hard working, and showed his talent. In Florida, KaKá has been scoring goals, smiling, and helping Orlando lose close matches. They sit on the edge of playoff qualification.
Give it up for Arsenal, who are finally back in the League conversation. Sure, the Shield is merely a glorified friendly, but beating Jose Mourinho is never just anything. Surely Jose would have gloated over the victory despite it’s status, and so the win is a boon to both the Gunner players, but for Arsène himself in the eyes of his (many) detractors.