Tuesday’s column: Opening weekend suggests MLS finally coming of age

i-316bc183af6a49ab460e088db12b0ee7-vancouvermountains.jpgVancouver’s North Shore Mountains provide the apt backdrop for the Whitecaps’ MLS opener against Toronto last weekend (AP Photo).

Was that the most story-line filled opening weekend in MLS history? Have crowds ever been bigger or more enthusiastic? Does that tell us something more about MLS in general?

I argue that it does in today’s column.

Still, MLS is by no means perfect.

For instance, MLS officials have yet to be convinced holding MLS Cup at the home stadium of the regular season champion would work economically in every market: Were getting there.

We’re really getting focused in many ways on some of the traditions in the sport,” MLS Commissioner Don Garber said Sunday in Carson. “I can imagine it’s pretty soon where we’ll be moving away from a neutral site, but we’re not there yet: A. We’ve got some markets that we’d like to bring the cup to; and B. I’m not sure every market could handle it.”

Garber did confirm Sunday the league in in negotiations to have MLS Cup in Carson this year, however.

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  • Joseph D’Hippolito

    If it doesn’t go to the Home Depot Center, I would love to see MLS Cup in Vancouver. Then again, it was in Canada last year and having it abroad two consecutive years wouldn’t boost the league’s visibility in this country.

  • UCLABZ

    It’s hard to look at any single event and say “soccer has arrived,” but it sure is continually getting bigger and bigger in the US. I used to always hear people say, “Soccer will never become a major sport in the US.” I hardly ever hear anyone say that anymore.

    Right now soccer’s main obstacle in the US seems to be the world-wide competition you noted. American’s seem to have a hard time cheering for a team that is not the best in the world.

  • Studs Up

    MLS 8:0 Rest of the World

    That’s how many MLS games I watched over the weekend as compared to other leagues. This is definitely shaping up to be the best season yet. Tremendous effort by the league to up the ante on all fronts and let’s hope the fans of the sport respond in kind by turning out like they did on the opening day – special hooya to the Galaxy fans. Totally amazing.

    Already got my tickets for a drive up the coast to take in all the MLS cities…high gas prices or not.