November 12, 2003

American (MLS) soccer is getting a facelift.: The MLS looks to be adding the Rochester Raging Rhinos to it's league by November 30th. If talks fall through, Philadelphia, Oklahoma City, Seattle, Houston, and even the Chivas Mexican club are all being considered as candidates in expanding the league.

posted by jasonspaceman to soccer at 10:52 AM - 23 comments

I forgot to mention Rochester is now in the A League.

posted by jasonspaceman at 10:55 AM on November 12, 2003

sweet. I hope they get it. Soccer is quite popular in the Rochester area (well, at least it seemed that way when I went to college there 10 years ago.)

posted by goddam at 11:01 AM on November 12, 2003

This is such huge news around Rochester that I just now heard of it. Actually I guess Rhinos games do get a pretty good turnout, and they're building/about to build a soccer-only stadium...

posted by Bernreuther at 11:09 AM on November 12, 2003

I love the idea that an A League team could get promoted to the MLS. Relegation is the coolest concept in pro sports, and the minute an American sport adopts it as an official system I'm on that bandwagon for life.

posted by rcade at 11:10 AM on November 12, 2003

I think the low number of teams in the MLS is hurting it's overall ratings. They've only got ten teams and many of them are clustered together. Sounds like the Rhinos have a good history and a nice fan support base. Personally, I'd love an OKC team. It'd be more a home-feel for me and I'm quite pissed at the Burn for escaping to the burbs. Bastards.

posted by Ufez Jones at 11:33 AM on November 12, 2003

Rochester deserve it on merits. They consistent get fantastic support that rivals, or even betters some MLS teams. (yoohoo San Jose) However, Rochester will never, ever, get to house the MLS Cup final. It's just a week and a half away. What the average temperature in Rochester right now? The frozen tundra of Rochester just doesn't have the same ring to it. Chivas USA could start up by 2004 as well, and Club America's (another Mexican League giant) corporate owner is in talks to buy the San Jose Earthquakes and rename and remake that team by 2004 as well. However, Chivas plans to field only Mexican or Mexican-American players for their squad and they're still playing a lot of games on where they'll play their matches. Chivas is well-known for their long-standing policy to sign only Mexican players.

posted by GoDizzGo at 11:39 AM on November 12, 2003

The Minnesota Thunder have been looking for a place to play in the city, leaving the National Sports Center (home of the usa cup). If that happens, hopefully we can also join the big boys. Could the relegation/promotion system work in America? I'd love to see it happen.

posted by emoeby at 12:50 PM on November 12, 2003

I think relegation would be great for Major League Baseball. Surely there are some Triple-A franchises that deserve to be in the bigs more than the Detroit Tigers or the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

posted by rcade at 01:19 PM on November 12, 2003

GoDizzGo: We (in Rochester) are supposed to get 2 to 4 inches of snow (depending on which forecaster you listen to) in the next couple of days. The new Rhinos stadium is going to be an outdoor stadium. Has a soccer game ever been played in the snow?

posted by jasonspaceman at 01:19 PM on November 12, 2003

Jason, not sure about snow but the EPL and MLS play in serious downpours, I've seen the games on TV. Decision might come down to visibility and chance of injury, which are both worse in snow than rain, I think. As for relegation, remember that teams in the MLS are owned by the league jointly--it's kind of a Condo Association for Association Football--so one wonders if this is even possible. I say bring in more teams and let the Mexican-operated sides use whatever players they like, both will boost the league.

posted by billsaysthis at 01:44 PM on November 12, 2003

Yes, we've been known to play in the snow. Only difference is, we use an orange ball.

posted by squealy at 01:53 PM on November 12, 2003

Has a soccer game ever been played in the snow? The final game of my Fall under 14 league is snowed about an inch and a half, and we still played. My team and the team we were playing were tied for first in the league, so we needed to get it done. I had to cover the best crosser in the league and I blocked about 4 passes/shots. The ball fucking stings when it's ~28 degrees and windy.

posted by Ufez Jones at 02:01 PM on November 12, 2003

People have been playing pro soccer in snow for ages. Ask the Germans, the French, blah blah blah. They just put on extra layers, maybe some bike shorts under the extra long shorts, long sleeve shirts, and socks. And hey, what's up with the retard helmets the women were wearing at the Women's World Cup. I'd never seen that before. I thought maybe one of the players had an earlier concussion or head wound and was protecting it, but then I saw several of them wearing them in the same game. What are those things? I know they must be protective, but don't they impair the accuracy or the power of the header? So sorry for the hijack. It just came to mind, when I was talking about all that extra gear for a sport that's most fun played barefoot on a hot sunny day ... or in a torrential downpour after a hot hot day.

posted by worldcup2002 at 03:57 PM on November 12, 2003

Or in 4 inches of mud on a warm day.

posted by trox at 04:02 PM on November 12, 2003

Its one of the great pleasures of the season, playing a match in the snow, getting out the special luminous yellow ball, crying like a girl everytime someone kicks the ball against your legs, then spending about eight hours sat in the changing room after the match with your boots still on because your hands are to cold to operate and actually untie the damn things. Bliss.

posted by dng at 04:05 PM on November 12, 2003

Thats fantastic, Jub Jub...

posted by StarFucker at 08:38 PM on November 12, 2003

Continuing the hijack: Soccer Headgear. "We urge all parents, players, and coaches to read the medical reports contained on this site before exposing a player to the potential brain damage that can result from playing soccer. Don't take chances with your child's safety. Insist on protective headgear for all young soccer players." For the love of Pete. We urge all parents to protect their kids from the potential brain damage that can result from being exposed to overprotective parents. What are they going to do next? When I googled "Soccer headgear" today, that was the first link. The second link was (Science Daily) "Soccer Headgear Fails Impact Test." The third link was (Health On the Net Foundation) "Soccer Headgear Offers Little Protection." Brilliant.

posted by worldcup2002 at 09:57 AM on November 13, 2003

Good Lord... When are we all going to wear plastic bubbles and body gear in everyday life?

posted by StarFucker at 10:20 AM on November 13, 2003

You wouldn't send a kid out to bat in baseball without a helmet. They've also invented softer baseballs for children's games. If there's a legitimate risk of head injury, why should soccer put fashion above safety, especially for under-12 players? Seems like a no-brainer to me.

posted by rcade at 10:53 AM on November 13, 2003

Soccer balls aren't made of layers of yarn over a rubber coated cork and don't come flying at your head at 60-100 miles per hour. I've been playing soccer all my life, i have never hurt my head in a game or practice. Some people hurt themselves, others don't...this is why we have warning labels on such things as toasters telling you not to put a piece of metal inside. Some people need that kind of supervision. If you want to wear headgear, go ahead, but don't make it mandatory for everyone cause your kid is a bit slow...

posted by StarFucker at 11:27 AM on November 13, 2003

It is a BLIZZARD in Rochester right now. Not really any actual accumulation yet but it's a matter of time before the grounds turn white. This wouldn't be good soccer weather. Hell, it's not even good going out to get the paper weather. Gusts have apparently been up to 60mph. Luckily my building hasn't been shaking...

posted by Bernreuther at 12:20 PM on November 13, 2003

Soccer in snow is okay. Not the best for spectators. But running around helps keep you warm so the players should be fine.

posted by StarFucker at 12:33 PM on November 13, 2003

About football headgear: I once knocked an old lady out with a football while playing a match at the park. I cleared the ball out of defence, low and hard, and it swerved round like some Roberto Carlos free kick, dodged about three other people and smacked her full in the face - it was some kind of fantastic guided missile. It was beautiful, especially as she had been criticising me for being foul mouthed scum. So maybe the spectators need to wear headgear. It wasn't snowing though. Maybe if it was, she'd have been alright, wearing a hat for protection.

posted by dng at 04:52 PM on November 13, 2003

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