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:
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.
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.