By Kevin Koczwara
Has anyone else noticed Roma’s remarkable run?
Since November AS Roma has not lost a league match. They have gone 22 matches without a defeat, winning 17 of those matches and drawing only five. Their form has been remarkable and little noticed because they aren’t making noise in any club cup competition like their title contenders Inter Milan.
Inter Milan had been top dog in Italy all season, as well as the past three seasons, but they were finally overtaken last weekend by a surging Roma side looking for its fourth Serie A title in club history. Yet, no one is really paying attention in the English speaking media to this remarkable Roma side this year.
Inter Milan looked to have cleared away all contenders early into the season when they were pressing forward with a double digit lead in the Italian top-flight. But now Roma has made a push for the title.
Since the acquisition of Luca Toni from Bayern Munich on Jan 1, Roma has looked like a top European side, something that could not have been said of the club early on in the season when they were floundering. Roma is now locked and loaded in the attack with Toni, Totti and Vucinic leading the charge. Daniele De Rossi looks better than ever in the midfield, and is showing why he is viewed as the future captain of the club and the Italian national team. And the defense has been sturdy and steady, having 10 clean sheets and only four times did they allow more than one goal during their 22-game unbeaten streak.
Inter Milan will have to keep looking over their shoulder as they try to muster up another Serie A title and try and advance in the Champions League because Roma has them and the league title in their sites. And if Roma keeps on with this form it could be one of the greatest stories and turnarounds that will go unnoticed.
MLS Making Strides in Attendance Numbers
For a league that is routinely forgotten by many media outlets, the MLS has done a great job of continuing to grow, get more fans. It is being reported by MLS Daily that the leagues average attendance for this year is greater than the NBA’s and the NHL’s, making it the third most attended sport in the country.
1. NFL – 67,508.69 (2009 season)
2. MLB – 30,213.37 (2009 season)
3. MLS – 18,452.14 (2010 season, as of 04/11/2010)
4. NBA – 17,110.64 (2009/10 season)
5. NHL – 17,004.53 (2009/10 season)
This is remarkable for a small league that is only 15 years old. The MLS is still young, still immature, but it is growing up quickly right in front of our eyes, like the short kid in middle school who has a huge growth spurt an becomes the star of the basketball team in high school. We have forgotten about the MLS for some years now, but it is making its way through the awkward times right in front of our eyes and will soon be moving on to college.
But this does not mean that the MLS can start partying. No, the MLS needs to keep moving forward. The MLS needs to keep expanding and becoming more attractive for the world’s top players. Teams still aren’t profitable and the main stream media still hasn’t caught on to the league, and all that needs to happen for the league to finally get a chance to pat itself on the back.
Kevin Koczwara is a contributing editor and writer for The Soccer Guys. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.