Monday, July 5, 2010

MLS Game Of The Week

There were two really good games last night. At 9 o'clock eastern, I watched Colorado draw NYRB 1-1. By the end of that game, the ESPN2 Game Of The Week was about 20 minutes in, and I watched the Galaxy beat the Sounders 3-1 in the remainder of that one.

When I watch non-Revolution MLS games, I tend to ask myself why we can't have such a quality team here in New England as the ones I'm watching. Yesterday was no different. All four of these teams were noticeably better than the Revs, and deservedly have better records as a result.

When 10:30 rolled around, I had to make a decision about whether to finish watching Colorado-NY or to watch LA-Seattle from the start. I chose to finish Colorado-NY because it had been such a great game, and I didn't expect LA-Seattle to quite measure up to it. Omar Cummings stood out-- not only for his goal, but for creating a handful of exciting scoring chances and half-chances. Not only that, but the two teams generally passed the ball exceptionally well. Colorado were clearly the better team, but NY were decent too. It was just a great game to watch.

Having said that, ESPN got it right when choosing the Game Of The Week. This was the game they advertised during World Cup quarterfinal games, hoping to hook in a few casual soccer fans to try watching an MLS game. The fact that it was Donovan's return was reason enough to show this game over the Colorado-NY game. Casual American fans who've watched this World Cup, but hadn't watched a soccer game previously since the last World Cup, have no idea who Omar Cummings is. Or Conor Casey. Or Juan Pablo Angel. Landon Donovan is the guy they'll tune in for.

About the actual game, it was almost as exciting as the first one. The main reason it didn't quite live up is that it was definitely more one-sided. The LA defense had one lapse that led to the goal-- which Steve Zakuani took very well-- and Seattle had a few half-chances and counterattacks late in the game; LA bossed the game otherwise. That said, casual viewers would not be let down by the quality of the game; the passing was great, there were great goals, teams attacked, there was no diving or injury-faking. It had everything I expected from a top-level MLS game. Plus, they got to keep the camera on Donovan when the ball was out of play, and talk about him when there was nothing else to talk about.

It was a great pair of games, and MLS's Game Of the Week turned out to be a very good advertisement for the league. I hope people actually watched it.


No comments:

Post a Comment