Tuesday, November 13, 2007


I'll bet Kasey Keller is thinking the same thing as Seattle gets the next MLS franchise. It's probably too far for a road trip (Vegas MLS team, where are you?), but I'm excited nonetheless. That area of the country has produced too many good players to remain a blank on the MLS map.

Another milestone was the ownership announcement of Drew Carey. The last time I was in the pressbox at the Home Depot Center, I discussed this with a couple of reporters. I said the next step for MLS was for a fan to own a team. I pointed out that other top sports in the U.S. had owners who became wealthy and then indulged their love of the game by fulfilling dreams of owning a team in the sport they love.

"Soccer needs some owners who are soccer nuts - who care about the American game passionately, not just as a real estate investment or a venue for events, or an extension of a brand, or part of a portfolio. Of course, those other types of owners are important, but that new blood is needed to take this league to the next level. Someone in the power structure who loves the game for its own sake won't overlook the things true fans want and need from the game."

Voila. Carey comes along. Oh, he's been around for a while, and I'm not sure what this ownership with Seattle means to his long-held loyalty to the Galaxy (he's got his own box at the stadium), but this is involvement from a diehard.

Incidently, what the other reporters and I also discussed that day was how much more affordable it was to become an MLS owner than to try to own any other major sport franchise in the U.S.


Bonji said...

Andrea, I totally agree about MLS needing a passionate, fan owner. As a Rapids fan I get to see first hand what it is like to be owned by someone who seems the team as a means to a real estate development deal or a foray into a new market. It sucks. Carey will be sure his team has the tools to be great. I'm really excited for Seattle's MLS team.

Anonymous said...

One name, Antonio Cue. He's a real soccer fan that understands the game. I know this first hand as we ran into him by accident at a restaurant outside of the chivas playoff rally. Try talking to Phil AEG or Kraft about their respective teams.

FC Uptown said...

Good stuff, AC. I agree. A soccer "Mark Cuban" style rabid fan is great. You must also be noticing - online anyways - Jeff Cooper in Collinsville, IL. As exciting as Seattle is, St. Louis has huge potential and really has the ducks in a row v/v the stadium. New blood = good blood. You want guys who love it, that dream of taking on the big boys in the US sports landscape.

FC Uptown said...

AC, you mention relative cost of "buying in" to MLS. We also know MLS is expanding. The MLS ownership group has recently become a more diverse bunch (Chivas USA owner, DCU ownership). Is this group diverse enough? Also, what is preventing a female led ownership group from buying into the MLS? Are there no wealthy/interested females in the US? People say sports ownership is "a boys club"; but isn't the modern era supposed to be about challenging these fiefdoms?

glen said...

I think it's great to have a out spoken owner like Drew Carey. He'll be out there in the public eye promoting the MLS, the sport of soccer and his team. Couldn't be better in my opinion. I think they'll have a great team right from the start. Lots of talent from that part of the county.

I still think the Seattle Sounders could be just dropped into the MLS with the same roster they won the USL1 league with and be competitive from the start!

The Hammer said...

I think it's also a very intelligent thing to have an owner who is popular, and rather than taking all the heat for management, he allows the fans to be part owners, and have a say in who gets appointed. That way you whiny bastards have nobody to blame but yourselves when Seattle gets relegated! :)

Anonymous said...

This is great news. As a Portland Timber supporter, I now have a team to hate and cheer against each and every time I see them and an owner I now despise in Drew Carey. I hope to heckle him like United fans heckle Roman Abramovich.

Please don't make the mistake that all is hunky dory and well because we little people up in the Northwest now have "our" MLS team. The rabid and passionate fans of Portland (Soccer City USA) will never support the Sounders, never, ever.

I do wish them well, their success will bode well for us, and when Portland joins MLS in 2010 or 2011 we will have a built in rivalry and it will be "on" again.

Want proof:

A few weeks back, the Portland Timbers beat Toronto 4-1 in an exhibition with 8K watching, and the Timbers had some "guest" players because USL season had ended already. It was some sort of tryout maybe or future free agent signings. Roger Levesque, Seattle Sounder extraordinaire played for the Timber and it caused a rift of huge proportions, which ended in our potential MLS owner chastising the fans in the stands for their lack of class and loyalty to the team colors. Our fans heckled Levesque non-stop and several incidents were ugly in the stands culminating in the Timber players for the first time in my memory refusing to aknowledge the fans in the supporters section. Some fans are now refusing to buy season tickets if Levesque joins the club. Levesque like Burpo before him has sparred with players and fans in Portland so it's a touchy subject.

Bottom line, don't expect people in Portland to make the 3 hour drive to Seattle support the Sounders unless it's to cheer against them or unless it's some AYSO kiddies who want to see Becks once a year. The average Timber fan would rather not. Incidentally, isn't that what makes rivalries fun.

elopingcamel said...

FC Vegas!!!!!!!! This needs to happen so badly.