Mar 22, 2008

Friday Footie Link List, March 22, 2008

First things first: shameless self-promotion time., which has (not without merit) billed itself as the very first online soccer news service covering MLS, is back. Actually, it didn't really go anywhere, but it has relaunched with a new domain: (though the old one will get you there as well). Why is this self-promotion? Because I am involved with it. In fact, it is this which has been keeping me from my Soccer-Source duties.

The new site really is great. Each team has its own mini-site, for example the Red Bulls are (they even have a poll on how the team is expected to do this year. The Houston Dynamo site has one too). I could go on about how great it is but even shameless self-promotion has its limits and I've just reached mine.

Speaking of the Red Bulls, the team has launched an official blog, the Red Bulls Reader. It offers a lot of inside stuff you couldn't get anywhere else (especially not even with a press pass). This week they had a post on the team's bowling trip in Austria, to name just one recent example.

Still on the subject of New York/New Jersey's team (more on that impasse in a bit), WVHooligan has an excellent season preview of the team formerly known as the Metrostars. In response to the question if the team has done enough to improve from last year, WVH states "I don’t think they have done nearly enough to compete with DC, New England and even Kansas City or Chicago." Yep, I'm going to have to agree with that. All of the aforementioned teams made improvements to their roster (in some instances, such as DC United, significant improvements) while Red Bull did essentially nothing. Word has it the new coach is close to signing one or even two players from South America. Unless they're a top notch defender and playmaking midfielder I honestly don't see how the team will make the playoffs this year. But that's just one man's opinion.

MLS Rumors is class. MLS Rumors is quality. MLS Rumors does stuff soccer (and other) journalists everywhere should but don't because they're lazy and lack initiative. Case in point: they track down the U.S. Trademark and Patent Office to get us, the fans, the likely names of MLS' next team, which will begin play in Seattle next year. This is stuff that's publicly available, folks. Why didn't anybody else think of that? Why didn't anybody other than Al Gore think of inventing the Internet? We are all mere mortals and they are simply several levels ahead of us.

Finally, PitchInvasion (which, I just notice have adapted the same WordPress theme for their site that I did for ASN) have another story of the high quality we have come to expect from them, on the possibility of a second team for the New York City area, likely to play in Queens. Very interesting stuff, that. (Full disclosure: the story also contains a reference to an interview this site did with the brains behind the team's supporters club, the Borough Boys, which I like to think gave the whole venture its start, though that is probably like Al Gore thinking he invented the Internet).