Real Salt Lake lost to Mexican club Monterrey in a game that could have put an MLS team in the FIFA Club World Cup for the first time. The loss was disappointing, but it could also be an image changer for American soccer. Meanwhile, across the pond, Barcelona is one step away from the Champions League title game. Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl checks in with Bill to discuss the world of soccer.
Tuesday night’s game between the Los Angeles Galaxy and the Seattle Sounders marked the start of the 16th season of Major League Soccer. Bill analyzes some of the moves MLS has made to gain more recognition among sports fans.
While most sports fans are watching the baseball playoffs, NFL’s Week 5, or the NHL’s Opening Day, Bill Littlefield still has his eyes on Major League Soccer.
This week on Only A Game, will Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid’s decision to start Michael Vick at quarterback pay off? Plus, we figure out how Buck Showalter turned around the last-place Baltimore Orioles, and Jon Wertheim discusses changing attitudes to mental illness in sports.
The MLS is still having trouble catching on in the USA, but in Toronto the team’s pro soccer squad sells out almost every match thanks to its boisterous, flag waiving supporters that call themselves the Red Patch Boys. Check out Sean Cole’s photos here and listen to his story about the Red Patch Boys Saturday on Only A Game.
Fueled by superstar Josh Hamilton and ace Cliff Lee, the Rangers are serious World Series contenders. But their success is clouded by complications in the proposed sale of the team. This week on Only A Game, Bill talks to Ken Belson of the New York Times about Texas’s financial troubles. Plus, the story of Tennessee Titans draftee and Rhodes Scholar Myron Rolle, and surfing kook Peter Heller looks for the perfect wave, but finds quite a bit more.
Although Steve Ralston played 36 international matches for the USA in his career, he never made a World Cup appearance. However, that doesn’t mean his retirement from the MLS should pass unnoticed. In his weekly commentary, Bill says goodbye to a player whose professionalism and knack for setting up his teammates made him one of the best in the MLS.
Rounds one and two of the men’s basketball tourney held more surprises than anyone had bracketed for. This week on Only A Game, an NCAA hoops update of the men’s regionals, the latest from the women’s dance, and a slam dunk contest to benefit Sudan.
The 2010 Major League Soccer season will begin Thursday when the Philadelphia Union visit the Seattle Sounders. That scheduling note wasn’t a certainty until the players’ union and the league announced Saturday that they’d reached a new labor agreement. Bill Littlefield looks at the new deal’s strengths and weaknesses.
Major League Soccer gets its season underway on March 25. If all goes according to plan, the opener will pit the league’s new club, the Philadelphia Union, against last year’s expansion team, Seattle Sounders FC. But according to Bill Littlefield, there is some suspense regarding whether these clubs and the 14 other teams that comprise MLS will begin playing on time this spring.