The Monday After

Full slate of games in MLS this weekend including a scoreless draw north of the border between RSL and TFC.  We have talked on multiple occasions about the value of CONCACAF Champions League.  However, after a week of extremely frustrating and demoralizing results, the perils of fixture congestion showed at BMO Field.  Both RSL and Toronto were sluggish in playing to a 0-0 draw  With MLS teams in the final third of the season and most clubs in the throes of a playoff chase, teams remain involved in Open Cup, Champions League and Superliga.  Tired legs were evident in Toronto and the big crowd was not treated to an outstanding display of soccer.

In Columbus, the Crew and FC Dallas dedicated their match to the founder of both teams, Lamar Hunt, with a similarly lifeless scoreless draw.  The festivities drew a slightly increased crowd to Crew Stadium (just over 16k), but a tepid match did little to impress the patrons.  The Crew are also one of the clubs heavily involved in other tournaments, with commitments in both Champions League and the Open Cup.  The hope for MLS, is that this is simply a summer doldrum and not an offshoot of its prominent franchises suffering from over extension.

The WPS Regular Season is coming to a close, but attendance in the nascent league has shown an uptick in recent weeks.  More than 3100 were in Washington on Saturday night as the home team held off New Jersey.   In Atlanta, more than 4200 crowded into the league’s only SSS to watch the home team get blitzed by 5 goals.  The attendance numbers are promising, especially in light of recent announcements that WPS is cutting back its league funding 50% and redirecting resources to the teams.   The league has lost two teams in the last year, and the possibility of further losses could shake sponsor committment (despite a signficant increase jersey sponsors and investment).