As Manchester United were edging Manchester City in a five-

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As Manchester United were edging Manchester City in a five-

Messagede blueberryjerry » 24 Nov 2016 04:29

As Manchester United were edging Manchester City in a five-goal thriller, Juventus were triumphing in the Turin derby and Barcelona squeaked home 1-0 at the Nou Camp, thousands of miles away in California something far more soccer-significant was occurring. Dion Bailey Seahawks Jersey . The post-match fireworks were purchased. Final preparations were in place. The FIFA president was in town. It was April 6, 1996. Spartan Stadium, the home of San Jose State University, was about to play host to the inaugural match in Major League Soccer when the hometown Clash took on D.C. United in front of a sold-out crowd approaching 32,000. You have to trace it all the way back to American Independence Day, 1988 for when the first MLS seeds were sown. This was the day the US beat back other bids, including one from Brazil, for the rights to host the 1994 World Cup finals. Those rights came with a caveat, one condition from the world governing body: FIFA mandated the United States Soccer Federation to structure a top-flight league. Easier said than done. The year before those 1994 World Cup finals, which eventually would go on to draw a record number of fans, MLS hired its first employee - Mark Abbott. A lawyer by trade, Abbotts soccer connection came via a law colleague, Alan Rothenberg, who was also the president of the USSF. With Rothenberg appointed as CEO of USA 94, it was left to Abbott to draw up MLSs constitution. Then, in his spare time, Abbott criss-crossed the nation in the search for founding investors. A total of 10 clubs took part in that inaugural season. D.C. United, defeated 1-0 during the season opener in San Jose, would eventually go on and be crowned champions when they beat the Los Angeles Galaxy 2-1 in the first MLS Cup. Saturday afternoon in Seattle, MLSs 19th season gets underway when the Sounders, a club like the Whitecaps celebrating their 40th-anniversary, entertain the current champions, Sporting Kansas City. To show the measure of how far MLS has journeyed in the intervening years, MLS Cup 1996, which was played in Foxboro, Massachusetts, attracted a crowd of just over 35,000. Today, the Sounders claim that same amount of supporters in season ticket holders. This is not to say that MLS has not had its share of let downs and disappointments. The leagues worst moment happened just ahead of the 2002 season with contraction occurring and gone were the Miami Fusion and the Tampa Bay Mutiny. Long gone, though, are the days MLS teams were merely tenants in NFL buildings - begging their landlords to go easy on the rent and allow them access to the stadiums to play matches on days and at a time of day which were most preferable to attracting in the fans the league so desperately needed. Like all sports teams who look to build on the previous seasons accomplishments, MLS will, as well, in 2014. Nobody needs reminding that we are in a World Cup year and the momentum those previous tournaments have provided the league. As it did for South Africa 2010, MLS will shut down for the opening fortnight of group games this June. During this time, the league has mandated each of its clubs, along with the players to be active in their communities. One of Toronto FCs newest designated players, Jermain Defoe, was part of Englands squad for their World Cup warm-up friendly against Denmark at Wembley in midweek. You can be guaranteed that, come the conclusion of Brazil 2014, a number of other players will make the transition to MLS. The most famous of the class of South Africa 2010 to do just that was Thierry Henry, who went into that World Cup still a Barcelona player. Three days after the World Cup final, Henry was introduced as a member of the New York Red Bulls (who visit the Whitecaps on Saturday, live on TSN at 7:30pm et/4:30pm pt). This year is also a pivotal one for soccer in Canada and not just for our three MLS clubs. In January, the Canadian Soccer Association announced it will bid to host the 2026 World Cup finals. In August, we host the FIFA U-20 Womens World Cup finals and, in April, the Ottawa Fury kick off their inaugural NASL campaign. As for our three MLS clubs, Toronto FC have set the bar awfully high. Whilst they sit out the opening weekends fixtures and have a final week of preparation before opening their season in Seattle next Saturday, nothing short of a playoff berth will suffice. With new head coaches at the helm in Vancouver and Montreal, expectations are less lofty. The so-called opinion makers across the league have already written off their chances to make the post-season. However, thats on paper and we all know matches are won and lost on the pitch. Flying under the radar could work to their advantage. As MLS has blossomed and flourished over the years, it has given rise to allow the soccer-playing kids right across North America to dream and believe that they, one day, can fulfil their childhood ambitions. Tell Patrice Bernier when he was a prospect in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League that one day he would share a flight with the 1993 Stanley Cup-winning captain of the Montreal Canadiens, Guy Carbonneau. The Impact left for Dallas yesterday morning where they open their season on Saturday night. Bernier is now the captain of a club that just so happen to play in one of the best attended leagues in all of world football. Then, share a thought for Matt Besler, who will lead the MLS Cup holders Sporting KC out onto the pitch in Seattle on Saturday afternoon. During that inaugural MLS season in 1996, Sporting KC were known as the Kansas City Wiz. Playing their matches out of the NFL Chiefs Arrowhead Stadium , where a nine-year-old Besler served as a ballboy. You can reach and follow Noel Butler and @TheSoccerNoel on Twitter Drew Nowak Seahawks Jersey . Just ask last seasons Supporters Shield winners, the New York Red Bulls, who were resoundingly defeated last weekend by a rampant Vancouver Whitecaps in a match which produced two contenders for MLS Goal of the Week from Sebastian Fernandez and Pedro Morales. Kam Chancellor Seahawks Jersey . Hes coming back to fulfil them. One of Europes top coaches, Blatt was hired Friday by the Cavaliers, who ended a sweeping, 39-day search with an out-of-the-box selection they hope changes their fortunes. . Teams one through twenty competing in Englands top flight are each fatally flawed. A wide-open, highly competitive and mistake-filled season has followed.PORTLAND, Ore. -- The plan was for Clint Dempsey to go 60 minutes and see how he was feeling less than 72 hours after playing 90 minutes in a U.S. national team exhibition against Mexico. When the one-hour mark arrived, Dempsey and the Seattle Sounders were trailing rival Portland by two goals. He wasnt about to check out. Dempsey scored the first hat trick in his MLS career, including goals in the 85th and 87th minutes to help the Sounders rally late for a wild 4-4 draw with the Timbers on Saturday. "You always feel good when you are contributing, scoring goals or getting assists," Dempsey said. "Im in a good rhythm at the moment and its about continuing that form." Trailing 4-2 for most of the second half after goals from Diego Chara and Maximiliano Urruti early in the half gave Portland the advantage, Dempsey led Seattles stunning late comeback to earn a point in the first Cascadia rivalry matchup of the season. Dempsey scored in the 85th minute to get Seattle within 4-3, a goal that felt was coming with the pressure the Sounders were pushing forward. Seconds later, Seattle defender DeAndre Yedlin was taken down in the penalty box by Portlands Ben Zemanski and referee Hilario Grajeda immediately pointed to the penalty spot. Yedlin said he was hoping to draw a penalty on the play and Zemanski obliged by clipping the young Seattle defender. After a brief discussion with Gonzalo Pineda, who was expecting to take the penalty kick, Dempsey stepped up. He converted the chance, beating former Seattle goalkeeper Andrew Weber to get Seattle even. "That point today felt like more than a point. It kind of felt like a win," Dempsey said. The afternoon was an advertisement for the league, even if it gave the coaches heartburn. Play was wide open and end-to-end. There were 41 shots and countless near misses. There were four goals in the first 25 minutes -- including goals from Seattles Kenny Cooper, Portland Diego Valeri and Dempsey -- along with the two late scores. Jermaine Kearse Seahawks Jersey. And the biggest star on the field burned brightest even if he was a little tired at the end. "Hes a leader. He wants to lead this team. He wants to show that last year was not the Clint Dempsey that were going to see this year," Seattle coach Sigi Schmid said. "And he wants to show people hes ready for the World Cup. I think he did that today." Seattle walked off thrilled with the final result and knowing there were other missed chances in the final minutes to get a winner. Meanwhile, the Timbers stood stunned as the worst start in their brief history continued. The Timbers have generally been slow starters since joining the league in 2011, but now have just three points after five games, not the opening anyone in Portland expected after reaching the Western Conference finals last season. "You should never give up 4 goals, and you should never tie a game if you score 4 goals," Portland coach Caleb Porter said. Chara was the star until Dempsey took over. On his 28th birthday, Chara scored in MLS play for the first time since September 2011. Seattle defence was willing to give him space and he took advantage with two perfectly placed shots from outside the penalty box. His first goal in the ninth minute deflected off goalkeeper Stephen Freis hand but had enough force to get into the net. His second goal, and what appeared to be the winner, came from about 25 yards and Frei had no chance at the save. Both times, Seattles defenders failed to step up and defend Charas shot. "I feel good, but obviously completely not happy with the game," Chara said. "We should have won that game, so to score 2 goals, for me, is good, but Id rather see a W than me score 2 goals." Urrutis goal in the 57th minute appeared to give Portland plenty of cushion. But Dempsey said otherwise and both sides had to settle for the draw in one of the wilder matchups of a rivalry dating to the mid-1970s. NFL Jerseys China ' ' '
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