Gothamite

North American Pro Soccer 2019

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1 hour ago, Ferdinand Cesarano said:

 

 

This is a terrible take.

 

Landon Donovan has been the leading figure in U.S. soccer for a very long time.  He bridges the period when MLS was cheesy and worthy of dismissal, to the current period when MLS is legit and is comparable to any European league outside the Big 4.

 

Donovan had multiple successful stints in Europe (along with one difficult one).   He played very well at Everton, and is looked at with respect by English fans. He also played in Mexico, which is something that very few Americans have done.

 

He gave up his captaincy with the Galaxy in favour of David Beckham.  Though Donovan later criticised Beckham and the circus that his presence caused, he was a pure team player while they were teammates.  And he was a team player not only with respect to his team, but with respect to the league, as if he could sense that the arrival of Beckham marked the turning point for MLS, when the quality of play began surging and the image of the league drastically improved.

 

And the m-f-er is still playing!  He just completed a season with the MASL's San Diego Sockers.

 

Donovan also has set several good examples throughout his career, first by establishing that a top American player need not leave his home country in order to be considered world class, and later by retiring and coming back on his own terms, making the point that being a contented person is more important than everything else. Finally, he has contributed to goodwill, by virtue of his expression of support for the Mexican national team in the last World Cup.

 

You absolutely do indeed name the league's MVP trophy after "a dude like that", because a dude like that is someone whom every fan should know about for as long as the sport of association football is played on this continent.  Landon Donovan deserves enormous respect.  He is a giant, and will always be a giant.

 

Wow, there's so much to unpack here. 

 

I couldn't disagree with pretty much this ENTIRE assessment more. There is a lot of that that's either cast in a MUCH more favorable light than it really was, or is just flat out wrong.

 

You calling him a "Great example" is weird because he was known for setting flat out terrible examples several times throughout his career due to his lack of motivation, poor attitude, or both (The most egregious example is the way he behaved after being left off of the USMNT for the 2014 World Cup. He decided to take a break from soccer leading up to the tournament and not train with the team, and then was absolutely indignant when he was left off of the roster, as if he were entitled to that spot). That was a big chunk of his issue everywhere he played. Also, he didn't just magnanimously step aside when Beckham came over. He had that taken from him by a player who outclassed him by a country mile, and he was STILL annoyed about that.

 

As for his time in Europe? He was ok with Everton, but never really that great, and the rest of his time there was near disastrous (And, lol, he is decidedly NOT looked at with respect by English fans. At least none that I know). 

 

Also, him “fostering good will” by rooting for Mexico was a stunt he pulled because he was getting paid by Wells Fargo to do that! 😂 That also pissed a TON of people off. 

 

Look, I guess I get where MLS was coming from (At least in theory) when they named the MVP trophy after a guy who had played as long as he did. But they're absolutely going to look back on that in 20 years and realize it was dumb to name a league MVP trophy (Which he only even won once. Former Sac Republic coach, Preki, won the damn thing twice!) after someone who's going to be as wholly forgettable as Landon Donovan. 

 

:censored:, Clint Dempsey would've been a better choice, and I STILL think that would've been a big mistake. 

 

 

I also say this as someone who was a HUGE Landon Donovan fan all the way back from when he was winning MLS cups with San Jose. That dude burned so many bridges during his career, and has earned just about every bit of criticism he gets. 

 

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It wasn't really that long ago that the only recognizable names in MLS were Landon Donovan and Dwayne DeRosario, and most of American soccer fandom would still say, Dwayne who? I get why the trophy bears his name. He was the league's identity for a long time, deserved or not. 

 

And Gothamite's correct: trophies can get renamed. There are no rules for running a league. They can write them as they go. 

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I’d love for every association football league to have the Nile Ranger Trophy, for the player acquitted of the most off-field crimes.

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23 hours ago, Bucfan56 said:

Also, him “fostering good will” by rooting for Mexico was a stunt he pulled because he was getting paid by Wells Fargo to do that! 😂 That also pissed a TON of people off.

 

I can't believe that anybody had a positive reaction of any sort to that nonsense. Of course, it would be the unironic Soviet-style communist that would think it was anything other than an ill-conceived corporate advertising stunt.

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2 hours ago, GDAWG said:

 

 

 

Too bad they just couldn't join the Canadian Premier League. 

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Sad if the Fury are done completely. I had a feeling they would go to the CPL for next year seeing as how they were almost forced to go there this year. If being done completely is the case this would open up the door for the CPL to place an expansion club there. If I recall the Fury owners had no interest in the CPL and were fully on bored and content with the USL.

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6 hours ago, Red Wolf said:

I can't believe that anybody had a positive reaction of any sort to that nonsense. Of course, it would be the unironic Soviet-style communist that would think it was anything other than an ill-conceived corporate advertising stunt.

 

Of course everyone knows that Donovan filmed a commercial for which he was paid.

 

Still, Donovan actually believes in fostering goodwill, as he made perfectly clear in interviews, and also in spats with other U.S. players — people who have taken the sporting rivalry between two teams to the ugly level of xenophobia and racism (and who thereby illustrate the danger inherent to competions of national teams).

 

Donovan has chosen to stand in opposition to racism and to be a symbol of friendship at a time when racism is becoming increasingly entrenched within the fandom of the U.S. national team. He experienced the rivalry between the U.S. and Mexico first-hand, and he saw the appallingly disgusting behaviour on the parts of fans of both teams. Precisely for that reason he uses his platform to counter, rather than to exacerbate, that hate. 

 

This player has already shown that he is a champion and a legend. And he shows now that he is a leader and a role model.

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15 hours ago, Wings said:

 

Too bad they just couldn't join the Canadian Premier League. 

Actually, 

 

They could have. 

 

Prior to the launch of the CPL the league wanted them but they didn't want to go so FIFA gave them a year to make the change and they opted not to. All along the CPL said they were willing to talk. 

 

This really sucks for all the fans in Ottawa and the people who have lost their jobs due to this but it was avoidable. Hopefully it will just be a season off and they'll be back in the CPL.

 

Speaking of the CPL. Wandered over to Tim Horton's field last night for the celebrations. Got to see the trophy in person, very underwhelming (I'm sure no one is surprised to hear that). Also, the championship gear is really ugly. I was going to grab a shirt but I'll never wear it so I passed. 

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13 hours ago, Ferdinand Cesarano said:

Of course everyone knows that Donovan filmed a commercial for which he was paid.

 

Still, Donovan actually believes in fostering goodwill, as he made perfectly clear in interviews, and also in spats with other U.S. players — people who have taken the sporting rivalry between two teams to the ugly level of xenophobia and racism (and who thereby illustrate the danger inherent to competions of national teams).

 

Donovan has chosen to stand in opposition to racism and to be a symbol of friendship at a time when racism is becoming increasingly entrenched within the fandom of the U.S. national team. He experienced the rivalry between the U.S. and Mexico first-hand, and he saw the appallingly disgusting behaviour on the parts of fans of both teams. Precisely for that reason he uses his platform to counter, rather than to exacerbate, that hate. 

 

This player has already shown that he is a champion and a legend. And he shows now that he is a leader and a role model.

 

That would be a lot more laudable if he wasn't cashing a check to say it.

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1 hour ago, GDAWG said:

 

 

 

Former NASL can't play well with others.  Color me surprised.

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More on Ottawa:

 

(from the Ottawa Citizen) 

https://ottawacitizen.com/sports/soccer/mls/ottawa-fury-fc/over-and-out-ottawa-fury-fc-says-goodbye-after-league-denies-permission-to-play/wcm/f8e23ca3-22bd-4be7-baa3-24788507e312

Quote

Asked why Fury FC didn’t join the CPL at this stage, Goudie said: “We saw ourselves potentially being in the CPL some day, but we felt like it should be on our terms and we should have the right to be able to choose what league we play in — if we were going to move to the CPL, it would be our decision.

 

Whatever your personal opinion is on quality levels aside, FIFA sees USL and CPL as the same tier. FIFA has said that they won't sanction a Canadian team in the USL any longer or vice-versa.

There's a lot of finger pointing in the article and I obviously don't know how much is true (if there was a delay in applying for another year of sanction in the USL) but I'm seeing one thing; Ottawa was basically told "play in Canada or don't play". 

 

Again, it's a shame that ownership's stubbornness has cost people their jobs and the supporters their team. 

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Hopefully an Ottawa franchise in the CPL with a completely different and better ownership will come about in a year or two. 

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1 hour ago, Gothamite said:
15 hours ago, Ferdinand Cesarano said:

Donovan has chosen to stand in opposition to racism and to be a symbol of friendship at a time when racism is becoming increasingly entrenched within the fandom of the U.S. national team. He experienced the rivalry between the U.S. and Mexico first-hand, and he saw the appallingly disgusting behaviour on the parts of fans of both teams. Precisely for that reason he uses his platform to counter, rather than to exacerbate, that hate. 

 

This player has already shown that he is a champion and a legend. And he shows now that he is a leader and a role model.

 

That would be a lot more laudable if he wasn't cashing a check to say it.

 

Athletes get endorsements all the time; there's no reason that this particular athlete should be expected to forgo all endorsements in order for his viewpoint to be considered valid. 

Furthermore, while I am generally hostile to the influence of advertising, I will note that there have been any number of cases where ads were used as a means to advance social change.  I am reminded of the Dove "Campaign for Real Beauty", which promoted body-positiveness, the "United Colors of Benetton" series of commercials promoting racial harmony, and the various commercials that have featured the inclusion of gay couples, from companies such as Campbell's Soup, Kohl's department store, and (of all things) Cottonelle toilet paper. The fact that these messages were delivered as part of advertisements does not diminsh their significance. In this case Donovan got an ad in which he could promote goodwill and anti-racism.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with this.

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3 minutes ago, Ferdinand Cesarano said:

 

Athletes get endorsements all the time; there's no reason that this particular athlete should be expected to forgo all endorsements in order for his viewpoint to be considered valid. 

Furthermore, while I am generally hostile to the influence of advertising, I will note that there have been any number of cases where ads were used as a means to advance social change.  I am reminded of the Dove "Campaign for Real Beauty", which promoted body-positiveness, the "United Colors of Benetton" series of commercials promoting racial harmony, and the various commercials that have featured the inclusion of gay couples, from companies such as Campbell's Soup, Kohl's department store, and (of all things) Cottonelle toilet paper. In this case Donovan got an ad in which he could promote goodwill and anti-racism.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with this.

 

So capitalism is okay so long as its woke. Roger. 

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1 minute ago, Red Comet said:

So capitalism is okay so long as its woke. Roger. 

 

I certainly do not claim that capitalism is OK.  I have already mentioned that I am generally hostile to advertising; this is an ideological position.  However, being ideological is not an excuse for being dogmatic, or for refusing to see nuances. One can identify the power of brands to influence the debate on social issues as a problem, while at the same time acknowledging those who make a relatively positive contribution within that context.

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https://frntofficesport.com/2019-mls-cba-negotiations/

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The MLS Players Association offered updates around ongoing negations with the league over the 2020 collective bargaining agreement Thursday, warning that players are ready to strike if demands aren’t met.

 

Bob Foose, the MLSPA’s executive director, said players have been preparing for the possibility of a work stoppage for more than two years. The current CBA, signed in 2015, expires on January 30. The union admitted to also having multiple conversations with other major sports leagues on a variety of topics to help guide this round of negotiations.

“The players are really serious when they say they will do what is best for the player pool,” Foose said on a scheduled conference call with the press.

Joining Foose on the call were active MLS players Alejandro Bedoya, Diego Rubio, and Jeff Larentowicz, who are all members of the MLSPA – Larentowicz sits on its executive committee.

 

According to the union, players’ demands heading into 2020 include higher wages for players, a truly open market free agency system putting the league more in line with other U.S. professional sports leagues, and more charter flights for teams.

 

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25 minutes ago, dfwabel said:

According to the union, players’ demands heading into 2020 include higher wages for players, a truly open market free agency system putting the league more in line with other U.S. professional sports leagues, and more charter flights for teams.

 

The free agency thing is big.  It's appalling that MLS players have to deal with conditions that resemble what baseball players faced under the reserve clause, wherein a team controls a player's rights in perpetuity.

This is a result of the odious single-entity structure, which should never have survived court challenge.  But now that it has, we're stuck with it.  So, if the players can get a negotiated form of free agency within the single-entity structure, that's going to have to be good enough.

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