By Ryan Fleming
Yes, it’s that time of the year again. And no, I’m not talking about the start of baseball, though, that is starting as well. I’m talking about the start of the MLS season.
We’re just a little more than a month away and already teams are making preparations and practicing in hopes to be the new MLS Champion. It’s the time when the cleats are dusted off, the pitches are reseeded (those that are real grass) and the players new to their teams meet their comrades.
After witnessing an outrageous playoffs, where stadium lights wouldn’t stay on even if a high power controlled them, and the LA Galaxy lost out on their chance to become MLS champs, what they’ve been destined for since they acquired the infamous David Beckham five years ago. The 2010 Superdraft has come and gone. With the No. 1 pick, the new expansion team, the Philadelphia Union, selected an 18-year old native of Congo. Toronto FC had the worst draft, selecting a U-17 United States Men’s National Team player, who is at least two years from playing.
Team’s are now not only practicing but also holding scrimmages. Just yesterday, last year’s expansion team, Seattle Sounders, faced off against Norwegian side Rosenborg BK. Clubs up North like the New England Revolution travel south to a more comfortable climate where they will take on FC Dallas and the University of North Carolina on March 10.
FC Dallas, undergoing preparations of their own, won three-straight preseason games, albeit being college level opposition.
D.C. United had a unique situation on their hands. The team basically split in half and leave at different times in order to make their getaway trip to Florida, their training camp destination before the weekend. Players left Tuesday, a day earlier than scheduled to beat the snow that engulfed D.C.
Already teams are going through leaps and bounds to be ready for the MLS opener on March 25 (Philadelphia, Seattle). This year players have become U.S. citizens (Kheli Dube and Kenny Mansally), have thanked the wrong team and are immediately being counted on. We’re just a little more than a month away from the 15th season of the MLS where more surprises, follies and blackened pitches eagerly await us.
Ryan Fleming is a contributing writer for The Soccer Guys. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.