So, how'd you enjoy First Kick 2009? I had a dinner out with friends instead, but the highlights I caught revealed few surprises. The Red Bulls back line is molasses and is going to rival the likes of DC, TFC, and LA for the most goals conceded this year. Osorio will dig up a Sudamericano "savior" in the summer, but he'll probably make things worse.
As for Seattle, the atmosphere looked great, but that's to be expected on opening night for an event so long hyped. Seattle's home kit looked predictably terrible, but it did match the grass nicely. So much so that the players often seemed camouflaged. Oh, and Fredy Montero may be an early Golden Boot candidate. The question becomes, how long does the honeymoon last? And what are the odds that they pull a TFC and travel poorly? What gaps will injuries reveal?
By the way, if you didn't catch the match, you could watch the replay on the new MLSNet.com Match Center Video (formerly MLSLive.tv), now streaming at double the bitrate (800k) and providing 130 regular season games plus playoff matches. They've got my $19.95 already, and I'm looking forward to giving it a whirl this weekend.
In more MLS news, Portland is going to make it a trifecta from the Pacific Northwest joining MLS over the next few years. The question becomes, how long does the East-West conference structure survive? Or will we be back to the three-conference structure? Maybe, just maybe, the time approaches when the single-table holy grail is to be achieved.
But all these new teams dredge up the specter of the talent vacuum I discussed yesterday. Will journeyman MLSers and young, talented collegians continue to bypass the league, leaving it bereft of the domestic talent whose development used to be one of its stated goals? One prime example was on display in the UEFA Cup yesterday as Marcus Tracy finally took his Aalborg bow, and seemingly performed pretty well against Manchester City.
Good news for the national team. Not so much for MLS.
What do you think? Is Seattle the real deal? Is MLSNet's video offering the biggest steal in streaming sports media (beyond Ustream.tv and Justin.tv)? Is MLS expanding too fast? Is there enough talent to pad the rosters? Happy to see Tracy have a good debut? Let's hear your comments below.