While College Football ramps up, with baseball ready for the playoffs, and the NFL season in swing, Major League Soccer has entered the Autumn Stretch run. For those of us in tune with the niche of American Soccer, this is a fun time. The doldrums of mid-Summer are past and most teams can play their game again. More importantly, it’s four more games until the playoffs and the intensity has once again risen.
The MLS regular season sort of reminds me of basball: there’s a lot of hype an excitement at the beginning, followed by a long dour stretch, and then a push for the post-season. Although games in July count for just as much as games in October, the urgency definitely increases. Couple that with the fact that eight of fourteen teams make the playoffs, and nearly everyone is fighting at the end.
There were a lot of goals this weekend, some of them spectacular. Check out the scoring flurry from Colorado’s visit to New York on Saturday. Also plenty of tension. Toronto and the *L.A. Galaxy are virtually eliminated at this point (though not quite), while Columbus, Houston, and Colorado are looking strong. My team, the Chicago Fire, have this Jekyll & Hyde thing going on, but they certainly have the talent to get on track.
So while I bemoan the lack of fortitude by my chosen college football team and decry baseball as boring tripe, at least the soccer has been more exciting. If you’re somewhat interested in MLS, now’s a good time to tune-in; the playoff run always seems to raise the level of play.
*Yes, that’s David Beckham’s L.A. Galaxy (and they’re not very good)