Saturday, May 17, 2008

Vancouver's recipe for MLS

To make a Major League Soccer franchise, you will need:

- One (1) large metropolitan area with a long soccer tradition
- One (1) billionaire owner committed to building a soccer-specific stadium at his own expense
- At least three (3) natural rivals either in the league, entering the league, or pushing for an expansion slot.
- 48, 172 fans who come out for a mere exhibition game against an MLS side (granted, one with a noted superstar)
- One (1) prominent and highly recognizable Canadian soccer player, national coach, Hall of Fame member, club coach, star executive, team president, spokesperson, TV commentator and newspaper columnist to helm the franchise bid.
- One (1) soccer-specific waterfront stadium
(NOTE: Highly desirable, but can be replaced temporarily by the following concoction: one (1) aging stadium that's shown it can handle high-level soccer matches, one (1) provincial premier willing to step into the breach left by local authorities and spend money on sports facilities even after the 2010 Olympics and one (1) league willing to consider the stadium as a temporary home with renovations. This replacement will substantially increase baking time, however.)

Directions: Place in oven and bake on low heat for several years. MLS entertainment should be ready to serve by 2011, but full soccer-specific quality may not be achieved until 2016.

So, yesterday's conference about the B.C. Place retractable roof went down pretty much as anticipated. Some interesting details came out of it, though, and it looks as if the Whitecaps may now be on the path to an MLS franchise. As mentioned above, it's not a perfect path, but at least it's a path, and Vancouver's MLS chances look much better than they did before, which is great news for soccer in this country.

- Jim Jamieson's story in the Vancouver Province.
- Province columnist Ed Willes has a great piece on how this isn't the ideal solution, but it's the best one currently available (complete with Iron Man analogies)!
- Ben Knight has an excellent take over at the Globe on Soccer blog.

No comments:

Post a Comment