Friday, April 13
Stories Of the Day: Too Much Hype
MLS Southeast Expansion: Major League Soccer officials concluded their recent trip to the Triangle (North Carolina) for exploratory discussions, which included the NASL Carolina RailHawks, regarding expansion to the region. The trip comes not to long after a similar visit to Florida, where they met with Orlando City of USL Pro. The league, through Don Garber, has been very clear about expansion. Team 20 WILL be in New York City.
Until then, it would be nice if everyone jumped off the crazy train and just treated relaxed a little when it comes to potential expansion. Things are going well and there is no need to add more expansion buzz for a few more years.
Mullan Melodrama: With Colorado coming to Seattle Saturday with Brian Mullan in the lineup, everyone has been keenly focused on Steve Zakuani’s devastating injury suffered a year ago. It all seems to be about how the team and fans are going to react to the return of Mullan, though Zakuani says “My advice [to the fans] is let it go and use that energy to support the team,” Zakuani added. “The guys will need it.”
That’s a good thought. And though I would probably get skewered a bit from the fans for suggesting it, it would be nice to see the media let it go as well. Players do stupid things all the time, but obsessing over the visiting team only distracts the home club from focusing on what they need to do. And with Colorado sitting third in the conference and coming in with a new coach this year, it would be wise not to let side stories leave the club in the bottom half of the table.
Schmoozing in Vancouver: The Whitecaps revealed today - what they termed a major strategic announcement - the addition of former Vancouver Olympics chief John Furlong as the new executive chair of the club. The announcement was vague in what role Furlong will play with the club.
According to this report from Steven Sandor, the decision grew out of a casual chat Whitecaps owner Greg Kerfoot had with Furlong several weeks ago, prompting the response of being surprised by Furlong himself. That tidbit makes this sound like one of the many lower division attempts at swaying public officials by forming ‘advisory councils’ comprised of city officials and prominent figures that meet on a few occasions. I have never really seen any of these councils amount to much more than their obvious intent to make important people feel special and included.
On the surface it would appear like a good addition, but the Vancouver Olympics were of the Winter variety, having no connection whatsoever to the sport of soccer. Hopefully Furlong has connections in the corporate and political world via the Olympics that will pay off for the Whitecaps, though that would have been more beneficial when they were trying to build their own stadium prior to the renovation of BC Place.