Like everything in MLS, the advertising has evolved. History has shown us that past MLS advertisements have been cringe-worthy. Since then, MLS commercials have greatly improved. As America has grown more comfortable with the sport, as cultural styles and tastes have changed, the advertising of MLS has also grown up.
When a week or so ago it was written that Don Garber took less money from NBC than he was offered by Fox Soccer, no one complained. A big part of this is how NBC/NBC Sports is handling the advertisements for –and featuring– MLS. The changing of how the league is sold to the public has given everyone hope for not just the league but also the sport as a whole.
From the early horrific, to the cult-like middle group, to the modern classics, MLS advertisements have almost turned into an art form.
Thursday, for a few hours, Landon Donovan was once again the center of the soccer universe. Yearly, or so it seems, I write a piece on Donovan going (or refusing to go) on loan. I’m usually pretty harsh on him. This is mostly because while I believe he has done a great service to MLS and soccer in the USA by staying in MLS, I also believe he has done a disservice to himself. When Brad Friedel surreptitiously called out Landon –or didn’t depending on who you believe, most people grouped into two sides. It was either the Friedel needs to shut up or that Friedel is right camp. I was somewhere in between, and like always I give equal blame to Donovan and MLS.
The FIFA Club World Cup is entering their semifinals right now. Did you know? I’d bet that you probably did not. In fact I would almost guarantee that most people who religiously follow the beautiful game didn’t even know.
I was actually surprise when the other day while listening to the radio, Giorgio Chinaglia was talking –in the vaguest of terms– about it. When I write that Chinaglia’s was speaking vaguely about this event, it is not a condemnation of him or of his understanding of this tournament. In fact, the majority of soccer analysts in the world probably have less understanding than he did about it. However, he went on and, correctly, said that it was a joke of a tournament. He insisted that they should go back to the old format of the Intercontinental Cup when the winner of UEFA Champions Legaue and CONMEBOL Copa Libertadores played a single one-off game. In his mind no other federation really mattered, and honestly, he’s right.