Category Archives: MLS

Jackets 3, Blues 4 (SO) and other assorted sports heartbreaks

I was flipping back and forth last night between several events — the Jackets game, the Miami-UMD game, the US Men’s Soccer World Cup Qualifier against El Salvador, and the Vermont-Air Force game, which I hadn’t intended to watch, but when it’s double OT for a place in the Frozen Four, it’s hard not to be compelling. As a result, I saw mainly fragments of the CBJ game and can’t offer any kind of educated opinion on how they played. With my eye on the playoff standings, it’s good that they came away with a point at least, bad that they gave away two points to a team chasing them, but as it stands right now, all five Central teams are in the playoffs, and I really want that to happen. So my feelings are mixed all around. I wish the Jackets would clinch and then I could unreservedly cheer for Nashville and St. Louis to get in.

Beyond the CBJ loss, it was an all-around disappointing day for Central Ohio sports. I went to the Crew’s home opener — good crowd on hand, good atmosphere with the Nordecke completely full and a thousand or so TFC fans making the trip down. Crew took the lead in the first half on a PK by Schelotto following a TFC hand ball. They looked to be headed to the 1-0 win until Padula scored a shocking own-goal with about six minutes to go. Schelotto had been subbed out by then, and without him in the lineup and other regulars missing due to injury and national team duty, there was just no real offense being generated, and it ended in the 1-1 draw. Which felt like a loss, to be sure.

Then it was home to watch the DVRed Ohio State-BU game from the NCAA regionals. Which also felt like a loss, because it was one. A huge one. The Buckeyes were just outplayed from the very start, eventually went down 6-0. They did start to make it interesting by the middle of the third period, scoring three goals to maybe make a game out of it. Markell pulled the goalie very early to try the hail mary, but BU just scored into the empty net. The final was 8-3. Buckeyes are out.

On the brighter side, Miami held on for a 2-1 win over Minnesota-Duluth, which means the RedHawks will be making their first ever appearance in the Frozen Four. Way to go!

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The let’s just get this over with photoblog

Some photos from the past week and a half of being out of town, back in town, then out of town again.

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The Sprint Center, KC.

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What a beautiful building, what an ugly, horrible name.

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Other side of the Sprint Center

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MLS games shouldn’t be played in cavernous NFL stadiums

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Kick off.

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The Cauldron

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KC throw in

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Jimmy Conrad gets a straight red

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LA defense wins the ball

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Wizards free kick

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Ahem, hey, Kansas City…

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…Thank you

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Game ball arrives at Crew Stadium

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Tower in the fountain of sparks

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Crew scored early

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Eddie Gaven with the ball

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Moreno chased down by two Galaxy players

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Ned Grabavoy with the free kick

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LA throw in

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First half ends 1-1

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The wall blocks an LA free kick

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Will Hesmer comes out and wins the ball

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Crew try to get the ball upfield

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Ezra Hendrickson battles

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Biggest crowd of the season heads out after yet another Crew loss.

I’m undecided yet about whether or not to take my camera to the Crew game tonight, so unless they make a late charge into the playoffs…ha ha ha ha, gasp, sputter, hee hee hee…this is probably the last soccer photoblog of the year. Soccer haters rejoice!

Crew 2, Toronto FC 0: Photoblog

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La Turbina

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Toronto forward walks around the Crew defense

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Toronto corner

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Crew on the defensive

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Crew goal!

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Where does Local 103 get a Columbus city flag that’s so large?

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Subs warming up

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Schelotto with the corner

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Frankie Hejduk crosses it in

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Save, Toronto FC

This week’s Saturday links of interest

I’m all agitated and annoyed again by the elitists wanking over the situation in Nashville, so here’s a link people ought to read:

Other interesting things you should look at:

That is all.

MLS Salary Info

As a bit of an addendum to this post, I see that the MLS players’ union has released the full list of salaries for players in the league. It’s fairly sobering for those of us accustomed to following the big sports here (and yes, I’m even including hockey in that) to see what some of these guys make, and that Ned Grabavoy would have as difficult a time buying one of those fancy condos downtown on his salary as I would on mine. Eep.

It does however raise an interesting question: which Columbus athlete is more overpaid for his performance, Adam Foote at $4.6 million, or Eddie Gaven at $188,000?

Toronto FC doing well with fans

They’ve yet to win a game, but Stephen Brunt writes about how the new MLS entry from Toronto is a big hit with fans in the Big Smoke. Good read, good to see people excited about the team.

I’ll get my first look at Toronto FC in a few weeks, when they come to town to play the Crew.

It’s not exactly Footballers Wives

Today’s Dispatch lets us know about the extracurriculars of Crew midfielder Brandon Moss:

It’s hard to imagine how international soccer icon David Beckham might spend his free time when he arrives in Los Angeles to play for the Galaxy this summer. Yoga with Madonna? Sushi with Tom and Katie? The possibilities are endless.

It’s especially hard for Crew midfielder Brandon Moss, who will spend a lot of his free time this summer with a pooper scooper in his hands, cleaning up after the dogs at the Johnstown kennel where he will work a third job in between playing and practicing with the Crew and coaching a local youth team.

Moss makes only $1,500 per month in salary from the Crew, according to the article, which is a mere 1/2667 the weekly salary David Beckham will reportedly receive from the LA Galaxy. By way of comparison, the average Wal-Mart employee’s annual pay is only 1/1356 of CEO Lee Scott’s (including bonuses). Yikes.

Crew head coach Sigi Schmid thinks the league needs to address the disparity between the highest and lowest paid players:

“It’s shameful,” Schmid said. “Take Moss — he went from a regular contract (minimum $30,000) to a developmental. He’s sucking it up for us this year, but if we can’t move him back up to a regular contract, then there’s a guy who might have to say, ‘I have to hang it up.’ ”

Schmid is not alone in his opinion that perhaps the league, which is in its 12th season and pays the salary of all of its players, has grown up enough to offer all of its players a man-sized salary.

Seven of 13 MLS teams play in soccer-specific stadiums, and revenues, boosted by sizable new television contracts, are at an all-time high.

“We’ve had steady and controlled growth that has been successful,” Schmid said. “The footprint of this league has expanded, and (commissioner) Don Garber and everyone involved have done a masterful job. The salary structure — it’s been that way because it had to be that way. But are we ready to make the next jump?”

If MLS is intent on becoming a true “major league,” the answer is yes.

“The league higher-ups will tell us everything is great, even with guys making $11,000 a year,” said Crew goalkeeper Bill Gaudette, 25, who spent two years making a developmental salary before being promoted to the senior roster this season.

“But how is it great when you’re barely putting food on the table and gas in your car? When you have to get rides to practice every day because you can’t afford to drive yourself?”

Schmid said temporary relief could come in the form of higher win bonuses, which also would curb resentment of the salaries of higher-paid players and big-name signings. Currently, teams reportedly split about $3,000 for each win.

“The league is getting tired of hearing me say this, but we’ve got to have bonuses that are motivational,” he said. “It can’t be $100 per player. At a minimum, it has to be $1,000 per player per win. A player might say, ‘I know this guy is making 30 times what I do, but if he helps us win an additional six or seven games, he’s going to put $6,000 or $7,000 in my pocket.’

“Then, it’s, ‘Hey, welcome aboard.’ “