Friday, March 20, 2009

West Coast swing

What a week for the West Coast.

First, Vancouver gets an MLS team. Not sure if it technically counts as a West Coast town since it's in Canada, but it's west enough. Then, Seattle spanks New York 3-0 in their franchise opener. And now, Portland gets invited to the party.

Portland was officially named the league's 18th team on Friday and will begin play in 2011, along with Vancouver. This gives the Western part of the US (and Canada) a full eight teams. That's eight teams that are West of the Rockies anyway (is Dick's Sporting Goods Park officially west or east of the Rockies? They're part of the eight).

It won't happen but the league should stop at 18. This is a good number of teams to have and provides plenty of geographic equality. But the league likely wants a presence in St. Louis as well as possibly another Canadian team so we'll probably get to 20 soon enough.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to Portland-Seattle, Seattle-Vancouver and Vancouver-Portland.

As far as 18 teams goes... I hope the league keeps the schedule at 30 games. That could mean teams play their eight conference rivals twice (nine teams per conference), each team from the other conference once and then there would be a final game which probably would be a rivalry match so we may see Chivas-Galaxy and Seattle-Portland three times a season. I'd really like that number to be two so the games are more special and more meaningful (too many can water down the product) but the league is not about to cut down those types of games.

All those matters will be sorted out in the weeks, months and years to come. For now, rejoice Portland! And Vancouver! Welcome to the league!


joel es latest soccer news said...

You are right LB! I doubt that MLS stops expansion at 18. I hope that Portland and Vancouver can generate the same buzz.

Joseph D'Hippolito said...

Uh, Luis, Vancouver is right on the Pacific Ocean (I've been there). So, yes, it's a "West Coast" team, even if it's Canada's West Coast....

Paul said...

Hey, Luis: Denver is technically east of the Rockies. Sorry. If it helps, Denver is in the Mountain Time Zone, though, which is considered "west" by most of the country. And Denver teams almost always play in the Western Division of whatever league it is. But, yeah, you've crossed the Continental Divide by the time you get to Denver. Or Dick's.

L.B. said...

Thanks Paul for clearing that up. Even though it seems like a minor detail, if I were to say eight teams west of the Rockies in print, it'd be wrong. And I don't like getting factual mistakes into my stories!