Hands Free Football

Dave and Carol talk about MLS

Ep 24: Insert Funny Pun About Defiance

Landon Donovan’s back!  Who’s excited?  No, really.  Who?  It’s an awfully quiet room in here.  This week Carol and Dave were joined by Paul, one  of the founders of 253 Defiance, the south sound chapter of the Emerald City Supporters.  We discuss the Sounders future, expansion drafts, and of course the return of the man, the myth, the legend: Landon Donovan.   Some of us were less enthused than others.

2 Comments

  1. So, a call to action about how one feels about players who leave the team?

    Disclaimer: my first team is the defunct MN Kicks (NASL in the 70’s), and while I will be supporting the Loons in MLS after all these years as a neutral, the team with my soul is in England…the Arsenal. Everything below should be ready with a big fat “In My Opinion” banner.

    I think the connection with the team and players differs between the smaller leagues like MLS and the larger ones like the EPL. MLS players are, for the most part, more accessible, a bit more of John Bunyan’s “Everyman” than players in the larger leagues. MLS players are less insulated from the fans, so relationships are more intimate. You’re closer to the pitch, so you see their highs and lows. You two have had drinks with Brad Evans and others. I’ve sat in the bar of the Hotel Columbus with Jason Kreis, Matt Jordan, and Dante Washington after a Burn/Crew game. That level of intimacy is more humanizing of the player than, say, a Cesc Fabregas or Thierry Henry for an Arsenal Fan.

    This leads to a variation of your question…do you follow the players or the team? I’d say with that intimate connection, you do both. You always want your team to do well, and since the player is more than “just a player” you also want them to have success (or in some cases, failure) even when they leave, just not at the expense of your team. You’re interested in them because they are more than just wearing your kit, they’ve become unique people (which is, of course, the single best way to break down intolerance and bigotry too!)

    For the larger, more formal teams, even an influential player for your team is rarely someone you have, can, or even imagine having a connection to outside the team badge. There’s always going to be exceptions (particularly to long serving players), but, as an example I have little interest in how players who’ve left the Arsenal are doing, unless they were a bridge burner (see Adebayor), and then I just hope it sucks for them.

    However, even now I still look out for names of people I’ve met through the game, or who were parts of the US professional soccer structure in such a way I could be a “homer” (like players for the Kicks, Strikers, Thunder, etc…all previous incarnations of the MN pro soccer team). They aren’t just goalkeepers, midfielder, etc…they are actually people to me.

    Wow, that kinda sounds…cold. But then again, so it Minnesota!

  2. Thanks for the plug! Love the show and keep up the good work!

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