Friday, September 7, 2012
8 Can't Miss MLS Matchups in September
It's hard to replicate the aura involved with rivalry matches. But, there needs to be a sufficient amount of marquee matches to rally around from week to week. This is part of what it's going to take in order for MLS to keep converting U.S. sports fans mired deep in the traditional spectator sports of the NFL, NBA and MLB.
Not every match can be like LA-Portland, Portland-Seattle, LA-Seattle, San Jose-LA or D.C-N.Y.
To see a listing of all the MLS rivalry Cups, click here.
Part of the argument for attracting more of a national audience involves bringing on more teams. It's hard for sports fans without any connection to MLS to buy-in to watching the league.
Beckham, Donovan and the rivalry matches are the main attractions for MLS, nationally.
MLS is far behind the other sports in national television ratings. Catching up to them could require more expansion than they have, 32 in the NFL, 30 in the NBA and in MLB.
There may be room for up to 36 teams (click here to see article that speculates on the additional cities to get to 36) in MLS. This could be the magic number of maximum teams to attract national audiences.
Galvanizing the public's attention is harder now in the 21st century. The other 'Major' spectator sports established themselves in the 20th century when there were less entertainment options.
These are the projected signature games with outstanding ambiance and possible thrills to see for the month of September:
September 8th-Seattle hosts Chivas USA. This match shows the most incredible American crowd in rarer daytime match.
September 14th-Sporting KC hosts the Houston Dynamo. Two of the best Eastern Conference records play in a charged-up atmosphere.
September 14th-LA Galaxy hosts Colorado Rapids. Donovan may come back, but, Galaxy are still the team to watch, regardless. Now, Juninho is making his stand for stardom. With Beckham and Keane, any home match for LA is worth it.
September 15th-Seattle visits Portland. Cascadia Cup-is there anything else that needs to be said? It's the biggest pomp and rivalry period in the U.S.
September 19th-New York Red Bulls host Sporting KC. Great matchup of two of the best records fighting for the Eastern Conference crown. Beautiful Red Bull stadium seats 25,000, it should be close to full.
September 22nd-Montreal Impact host Sporting KC. Montreal is still hanging around for a chance for the playoffs, a classic daytime start will get fans revved up for the top team in the East.
September 22nd-San Jose Earthquakes visit Seattle. The crowd will rock the stadium as the best regular season team comes to town.
September 22nd-Toronto tries its luck against the Galaxy in LA.
Check MLSSoccer.com for times and best options of Tv viewing.