I was a MetroStars partial season ticket holder for the first 3 seasons of the MLS. Haven’t been to an MLS game since. Rarely watch it on tv. Why? Well, I got tired of the complete lack of respect the players had for their opponents, the officials and the game. You can only watch so much dissent and fouls with excessive force before it becomes something other than soccer. The other night I came across the last 25 minutes or so of the Houston Dynamo – Colorado Rapids game on FSC. Some changes for the better…some of the same old stuff.
The match was played in Houston, two time defending MLS champions in what looked like a nice, cozy facility with a typical American width (which appeared to be under 70 yards wide). At least 5 yards too narrow for a professional league. Anyhow, ex-FIFA and MLS vet Tim Weyland was in the middle. The bit of the game I saw was pretty entertaining until, once again, dissent and whining ruined the match. The only positive change I saw from the ‘good old’ MLS days that drove me away was that Tim didn’t put up with it. Colorado assistant, Gary Smith was dismissed from the technical area, presumably for his choice of verbiage and Colorado’s McManus was sent off after having been substituted for due to abusive language and gestures. All this in the brief period I was watching the game. Talk about leaving a bad taste.
I’ll give marks to the league for allowing the referees to deal with misconduct according to the Laws of the Game. I’ll also give marks to the league for using currently styled (adidas) referee kits used in Euro 2008 competition. Maybe I’ll watch another MLS game this season.