‘Murrica’s Game – Bored to Death

After going to all the trouble last week of “researching” all the teams, I was pumped to actually get to watch some MLS action on opening weekend. But when I tuned in on Saturday I discovered to my great dismay that not a single match was televised. Ouch. What a slap in the face, television. But surely I was mistaken. There must be games on. How could MLS be a real sport if the season opener can’t even get on television? Impossible!

So I got out my pipe and deerstalker hat and went to MLS’s website to see if I could solve this mystery. Through my brilliant detectivising skills I managed to sniff out the TV schedule. Here’s what I found:

None of these matches actually occurred.

That’s right. MLS’s own website had every single match-up listed incorrectly. THANKS FOR THE HELP, GUYS!

Presumably MLS is actively trying to reduce its viewership to appease its core hipster fanbase. Maintstream is teh suck. And their devious ploy was successful, because even if matches were aired on TV, I certainly missed them all. Well done hipsters, you’ve won this round.

But I was not to be deterred.

Sunday passed in the fog of a hangover, but Monday would be my day. Philadelphia was heading to Portland in a showdown between two teams high on my list for potential fandom. And miraculously, it would air on television.

I tuned in early. I listened to all the pregame chatter. I got excited about Kris Boyd’s debut. I managed to restrain my urge to give Taylor Twellman another concussion.

The stadium looked fantastic, bursting at the seams with passionate fans despite the driving rain. The players walked onto the field and the national anthem began. But instead of being sung by a famous guest, it was left in the hands of 20,000 insane Timbers fans. Voices and fireworks erupted throughout the stadium and as the song ended and the smoked cleared, a tifo display went up around JELD-WEN field.

AND THAT WAS THE BEST THING I SAW HAPPEN THE ENTIRE MATCH.

Seriously. The next 45 minutes was one of the worst advertisements for American soccer I have ever had the misfortune to witness. I don’t think three consecutive passes were strung together on the ground by either team during the entire opening period. Long balls to nobody alternated with misfired shots and heedless runs straight into opposition players. It was so excruciating it literally knocked me unconscious.

Supposedly the second half was much better and the teams managed four goals between them. But it was too little too late. I was already bored to sleep.

I watched the highlights though, and they were alright. Philly got the game going with a deflected free kick that was mysteriously not given as an own goal. Then down the other end another set piece and another goal. This time the owngoaling defender put it in the correct net. But I have no idea how. His header was hit tamely at keeper Zac MacMath who somehow managed to Rob Green the ball into his own net.

The next goal was quality though. Kris Boyd lost his marker as he ran away from goal and when the cross came in he glanced a beautiful backwards header backwards into the corner of the goal. The final goal would have been absolutely brilliant, if I believe for one moment that Kalif Alhassan actually intended that ball to go anywhere near the back of the net. He sent in a lofted cross from a tight angle that eluded everybody and arched beautifully into the goal. Or should I say, somehow stumbled ass backwards into the goal. Because it was a total fluke. But whatever, they all count.

I'm mostly disappointed I missed the guy with the chainsaw going to town on that tree.

So my first attempt at MLS this season proved to be a complete and utter failure. But I’ll try again. I will keep watching until I find something I like or gouge my eyes out from disappointment. Until that day comes, I’ll be here chronicling my efforts in further installments of Murricah’s Game. Til next time.

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7 responses to “‘Murrica’s Game – Bored to Death

  1. Your experience mirrors my first year following MLS. The truth is you can’t expect quality like what we all see when we watch EPL or Serie A. As to the site glitch, that’s embarrassing and odd. I pulled correct TV info from their site right before my post last weekend. It appears they moved the matchups ahead one week somehow. Anyway, my point is not to be deterred by an ugly half. Everyone will have a few and Philly will have more than most. But there are squads that both play to win and to entertain and attract new fans. Peter Vermes has spoken of just that. KC, SEA, at times HOU, DC, DAL & POR, & maybe VAN & COL this year all play with some drive, skill, and an attack-first focus. If you don’t want to be bored, don’t pick a boring team. Peter Nowak has made clear he cares not for aesthetics or fancy “goals.” He just wants to bully teams and rack up 15 draws a season. Once you develop an attachment to a team, it becomes easier and more fun to overlook the gaps in quality from the EPL and just enjoy getting to see some pretty decent soccer at reasonable times and/or in person. I look forward to hearing more of your thoughts.

  2. @KC: I’m not going to let it stop me. But it was a very frustrating beginning, especially since I had high hopes for these teams. KC stole a win with a set piece, so I’m wary of them as well. But I’ll keep plugging away!

    Also, to the rest of my 5 readers. Is the title “Murricah’s Game” confusing? I’ve had two complaints from friends of mine who were decent enough to read my “writing” saying they had no Idea what “Murricah” meant, and asked if it was perhaps the name of a player or coach they were unfamiliar with. I’ve changed it to ‘Murrica, which hopefully will help clear up the matter.

    But if you’re confused and just too polite to say anything. It means America, said like a redkneck.

  3. I got the ‘Murrica thing. I’ve long been fond of a good Bill Clinton or George W. Bush impression. Both used a similar redneck-y drawl to pronounce “America”. Hell, even Obama’s been known to say it that way occasionally. Folksies it up a bit for the plebes.

    I know KC’s goal was late, but they dominated the shit out of DC. DC had 1 shot on goal to KC’s 8 and DC had 7 total shots to KC’s 17. Sporting had about 60% of the possession too. In short, the goal had been coming all game long, with plenty of attacking play (which was your point), even if it took 93 minutes to finish it off.

  4. So this is the CCL bootroom right? I see Hercules Gomez has now scored 7 goals in 5 games. I don’t see why this dude isn’t part of something with the nats anymore, he’s not that old. Should at least be an option for qualifying or gold cup stuff right? I mean, after Altidore, who does he really have to prove he’s better than?

  5. @Arkie: Klinsy thinks he’s Mexican.

    Re MLS being boring, you see boring matches in any league. Remember those awful Liverpool v. Chelsea CL semis from a few seasons ago that always ended 1-0 on agg? Dreadful. Stay away from any MLS matches being played at noon over the summer though. It’s like watching a turtle cross Death Valley.

  6. Since u changed the spelling it just clicked to me what it meant. Great stuff though man, keep it coming

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