College Football Is Losing Its Fans

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard

With the 2014 College Football season knocking at the door one sad fact is creeping around the chicken coop, students are not going to the games. Yes, even at Alabama.

Sweep Right

ESPN’s Darren Rovell wrote an excellent piece earlier this year about the decline of the student body at football games. We are not talking about the non power conferences either. He points to places like Michigan, Alabama, Arizona, Georgia and Oklahoma that have seen a drop off in student attendance.

The concern isn’t just that students are not showing up but that the students are the next generation season ticket holder. It means future declining revenue and sparsely populated stadiums which is a double whammy of bad news for some schools.

The University of Iowa was going to give away free tuition to randomly selected students who purchased season tickets. Some legal hurdles put an end to that idea but it shows the lengths that schools are willing to go to to put butts in the seats.

It makes sense that college football programs have checked out to places like Kansas City to visit Blue Hell (a.k.a. Sporting KC) and other MLS clubs. MLS clubs like Sporting KC, Portland and Seattle sell-out just about every match and a great fan experience to boot. Granted everyone but Seattle is filling a facility around 20,000 people which is far less than places like Alabama, Michigan, and Oklahoma but they are still doing something right to continually bring it sell-out crowds.

College Football has a lot of hurdles facing it from lawsuits to concussions. Support from the students they represent didn’t seem like it would be an issue but somehow those are always the ones that sneak up on you.

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What to Watch Fri. 5/23 – Mon. 5/26

Friday May 23rd

Sporting KC vs Toronto FC – 5:30pm MLS LIVE (Free Stream on MLSsoccer.com): Yeah there is no Michael Bradley, Graham Zusi or Matt Besler. However there is still Jermaine Defoe, Dom Dwyer and Claudio Bieler.

Saturday May 24th

Champions League Final – 11:30am FOX: The All-Star team that is Real Madrid will face off against Madrid neighbor and La Liga Champs Atletico Madrid. You’re welcome.

Seattle Sounders vs Vancouver Whitecaps – 4pm MLS Live: A Cascadia Cup match up is always fun to watch.

New England Revolution vs DC United – 4:30pm MLS Live: Battle of two of the top teams in the East. Who saw that coming?

Chicago Blackhawks @ LA Kings – 5pm NBC: Game 3 in LA. ‘Nuff said.

Indiana Pacers @ Miami Heat – 5:30pm ESPN: Paul George may or may not play for the Pacers. Without him it could be tough to steal a win in Miami.

Sunday May 25th (RACE DAY!)

F1 in Monaco – 5am NBC: Start the day with one of the coolest races in the World as Formula 1 heads to Monaco.

Indianapolis 500 – 9am ABC: It’s tradition like burgers on the grill this time of year. Indy gets center stage for a few hours.

Coca-Cola 600 – 3pm FOX: Finish off the race day with some NASCAR. See if Kurt Busch can complete the ‘Double’.

Montreal Canadiens @ NY Rangers – 5pm NBCSN: If the Canadiens can steal this game then this series could go the full 7.

Monday May 26th

NY Yankees @ St Louis Cardinals – 1pm ESPN: Memorial Day is for BBQ’s and baseball. Two of the most historic clubs in MLB history get center stage.

Indiana Pacers @ Miami Heat – 5:30pm ESPN: This is probably going to be the best series in the NBA Playoffs this year.

Chicago Blackhawks @ LA Kings – 6pm NBCSN: The last two Stanley Cup Champs head into Game 4.

 

 

What to Watch Fri. 4/4-Sun. 4/6

Friday April 4th

Oklahoma City Thunder @ Houston Rockets – 6:30pm ESPN: Because Kevin Durant is on a tear and it will be worth watching.

Saturday April 5th

Philadelphia Flyers @ Boston Bruins – 10am NHLN: The Flyers of trying to hold onto that last playoff spot and the Bruins would probably not like to see them in the playoffs.

Seattle Sounders @ Portland Timbers  – Noon NBCSN: It’s the first match up of the year for these rivals. Seattle is off on a good foot while Portland has yet to back three points in this young MLS campaign.

UCONN vs Florida – 3pm CBS: The Final Four is finally here and the upstart but traditional power UCONN gets the task of knocking off one of the top teams in the tournament in the Florida Gators.

Real Salt Lake @ Sporting KC – 5:30pm MLS Live: RSL returns to the scene of the crime so to speak. This time without Jason Kreis at the the helm. Will they get some sort of revenge in Blue Hell?

Wisconsin vs Kentucky – 5:45pm(ish) CBS: The second half of the Final Four will be set in what should be the better of the two games.

Sunday April 6th

Everton vs Arsenal – 5:30am NBCSN: Everton is still in the hunt for a spot in European football next year. The Gunners have got to regroup and put together some consistency if they want to hold onto their Champions League spot.

LA Galaxy @ Chivas USA – Noon UNIMAS: Chivas has five points already this season while LA only has one. What?

San Francisco Giants @ Los Angeles Dodgers – 5pm ESPN: Sunday night baseball and a battle between two arch rivals. Boom!

What To Watch Sat. 3/22-Sun. 3/23

Be advised, March Madness is in full swing. See it on TV and online throughout the weekend via CBS and Turner.

Saturday March 22nd

Chelsea vs Arsenal – 5:45am NBCSN: All aboard for some top flight soccer on a Saturday morning!

Tampa Bay Lightning @ Pittsburgh Penguins – 10am NHLN:  If ice, sticks and some of the world’s best players is more your thing then the NHL Network has you set on Saturday morning.

Montreal Canadiens @ Toronto Maple Leafs – 4pm NHLN: It’s the Habs vs the Leafs. They are both in playoff contention at the end of March. You’re welcome.

LA Galaxy @ Real Salt Lake – 1pm NBCSN: RSL has been nothing but good over the last four or five years. But so have the Galaxy. It’s a display of some of the leagues best players and two teams that don’t seem to like each other very much.

San Jose Earthquakes @ Sporting KC – 5:30pm MLS LIVE: Both teams are coming off of tough Champions League losses during the week. SKC is a tough place to play but San Jose is a tough team. Or as they say in Quakes territory, ‘Goonies never say die!’

Sunday March 23rd

St. Louis Blues @ Pittsburgh Penguins – 10am NHLN: Two of the best teams in the east face off in Pittsburgh.

Real Madrid  v Barcelona – Noon beIN Sports: El Clasico is on. Messi, Ronaldo, Bale, Fabregas and then some. See two of the best clubs square off with some of the best players on the planet.

Dan Henderson vs Shogun Rua – 4pm FS1: The last fight between the two was, in some circles, the best MMA fight…ever. So don’t miss rounds 6-10.

MLS 2014 Preview

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard

The 19th season of MLS kicks off this weekend. Sporting KC will attempt to defend their title against a serious pack of challengers. From perennial favorites like LA, Houston and Salt Lake to the upstarts in Portland and the dark horse in Toronto.

MLS 2014 KICK OFF

Can SKC Do It Again?

Sporting KC may have the most dynamic roster in all of MLS. From Graham Zusi and Benny Feilhaber in the middle, Matt Besler and Aurelien Colin in the back and multiple attacking options up top. Most of the team remains intact minus Keeper Jimmy Nielsen. It’s up to manager Peter Vermes to keep this team motivated. They way he screams, it shouldn’t be a problem.

NYRB 4 REAL?

The New York Red Bulls finally won a trophy of some kind last season when they walked away with the Supporters Shield. With that monkey off their back it’s time for them to take home and MLS Cup or a US Open Cup.

Like usual, there have been front office and player changes this off season. However, Thierry Henry and Tim Cahill still anchor the Red Bull attack and that means that Jonny Steele and Jamison Olave should get plenty of chances like they did last season.

New York finally found a goalkeeper they can rely on in Luis Robles. If he has a season similar to last year then he could be looking at an All-Star spot.

One interesting addition is Bobby Convey. He can do everything when on and healthy. If he can find a role then his service could lead to even more goals.

Sigi’s Last Stand?

Sigi Schmidt is in the last year of his contract. They previous times this has happened to him he has won an MLS Cup. First in LA then in Columbus. Seattle needs more playoff success but what they really need is an MLS Cup Final appearance.

Seattle cleaned house to an extent but they still have Clint Dempsey, Osvaldo Alonso, and Brad Evans. The added Chad Barrett and Kenny Cooper up top and brought in Chad Marshall to provide leadership and stability in the back. The have all the ingredients to win the cup now they just have to prove it.

The New and Improved TFC

If you’re an MLS fan you may have noticed that Toronto FC made some big money moves this offseason. Enter US National Team Captain Michael Bradley, England National Team striker Jermain DaFoe, Brazilian striker Gilberto and multi-MLS MVP Dewayne De Rosario.

One of the bigger additions might very well be defender Justin Morrow. He’s young but with a lot of MLS experience. Look for him to shut down any counterattacks that come his way.

Let’s face facts, TFC has to get into the playoffs…and win. Missing the playoffs would be a disaster. Getting in and not winning a game would hurt but it’s a foundation to build on.

Porter-ball Round 2

The Portland Timbers last season were something that their avid fan support could be proud off. The won the western conference and went deep into the MLS Cup playoffs knocking off arch rival Seattle in the process.

Now they have to do better.

Portland is loaded with attacking options but everything hinges on Diego Valeri and WIll Johnson. If Valeri can stay on the pitch then watch out. If he can’t and Johnson does not repeat the MVP caliber performance that he had last year then it could be a long season in the Rose City.

Portland has proven that they can withstand key injuries but with manager Caleb Porter’s style of play, injuries are always a concern.

The Heat Is On

DC United had, with all due respect, a horrendous year last year. Manager Ben Olsen is back for another go round and has been given a great tool to succeed with in US National Team forward Eddie Johnson.

Johnson needs to be a rock start. DC has hedged their bets though with the addition of striker Fabian Espindola. Add these two with new addition Davy Arnaud and Sean Franklin and they should make a nice nucleus when you add in existing players Chris Pontius and Nick DeLeon.

Now all that’s left is a winning season and a soccer specific stadium to get DC back amongst the elite teams in MLS.

There are a lot of interesting questions to be answered over the next several months and that’s if there are no big player movements. So let’s get this started already!

A Wrap on MLS 2013 & Where The League Goes From Here

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard

The 2013 MLS season came to a close on Saturday as Sporting KC hoisted their second MLS Cup in franchise history with a penalty shootout win over Real Salt Lake. It was the coldest MLS Cup ever played and the culmination of a fantastic rebranding by Sporting KC. Unfortunately a lot of people may not have been watching because the league is still not part of the fabric of North American sports culture.

MLS CUP 2013

An article in the Wall Street Journal this past week pointed out that despite Sporting KC being in and hosting the 2013 MLS Cup, there was not a lot of media coverage and most fans in the area would be watching the Missouri Tigers in the SEC title game which was on at the same time. Whether this still held water come game time remains to be seen but the lack of coverage outside of the soccer community speaks for itself.

So what is MLS to do?

A lot of soccer purists, and to some degree the league, wants to switch to the FIFA calendar which would put the season between August and May. Now outside of North America this works. In North America that is suicide.

SKC FANS

The NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, College Football & Basketball all play during this time. The current league schedule ranges from March to December which in some people’s minds is still ludacris but it gives the league a fighting chance during to grab eyeballs during the summer months.

If MLS did go to the FIFA calendar the playoffs would presumably fall into April & May. The same time as the NBA and NHL playoffs not to mention the Masters, NFL Draft, Kentucky Derby and the start of the Major League Baseball season. So the consensus seems to be that there is no right answer. it’s a tough battle either way.

MLS also has to address the TV ratings issue. For as much support as you see at stadiums including the incredible turnout in Kansas City with the below freezing temperatures the ratings are not there as ESPN analyst and former league MVP Taylor Twellman has pointed out many times.

MLS cannot go head to head nationally with the NFL or major College Football games like the SEC Championship. The MLS Cup this year, when the smoke clears, would have been better served being played on Friday evening and here’s why:

-High School football would be winding down.

-The college football game or games would not be as anticipated as say the Big Ten or SEC title game on a Saturday

-The NBA & NHL are still early in the regular season.

The fact’s are that the MLS is not front and center in the North American sports consciousness. That could change over time but they league, the owners and the pundits cannot get wrapped up in their soccer silo and think that the rest of North America will come along for the ride.

Now a look back at our predictions made back at the start of the season:

5. New Coaches: There are 5 new head coaches roaming the sidelines in MLS this season and that now makes 12 former MLS players now managing clubs. Two of the biggest debuts square off in week one. Mike Petke of the New York Red Bulls and Caleb Porter for the Portland Timbers. Both teams have high expectations, a rabid fan base and a longing for MLS post season glory.  Porter and Petke lived up to and exceeded expectations. While neither of them won the MLS Cup, Portland was the top team in the West and New York the top team in the East and winners of the Supporters Shield.                                                                                                 

4. The Donovan Odyssey: US Soccer poster boy Landon Donovan has taken a leave of absence from soccer but is returning to the the 2-time defending MLS Cup Champions LA Galaxy at the end of March. Will he be the same player on and off the field? Can he lead, along with Robbie Keane, the Galaxy to a 3rd straight MLS Cup? Yes and no, but they did make the playoffs. 

3. Can Toronto FC Make The Playoffs?: Only the Red Bulls have gone through more coaching changes than TFC. However, the Red Bulls have been in MLS for all 18 years (formerly known as the MetroStars) while TFC kicks off it’s 7th MLS season on Saturday. They have never made the playoffs and after another off season of sweeping changes it is left to 1st time coach Ryan Nelsen to get this team into the MLS playoffs for the 1st time. Nope & they did make major changes in the front office…again.

2. Running With The Red Bulls: The New York Red Bulls have arguably the most dangerous player in MLS in Thierry Henry. They’ve shaken up the coaching staff and the team but is it enough to get them their 1st MLS Cup? Maybe. If new signee Juninho  can be half of what he was and the back-line and pull together then they may just be the team the beat. It’s a lot of ‘if’s’ but in the sports saturated New York market the Red Bulls have to win. Not just for the team but for the league. They won the MLS Supporters Shield. Their first major trophy in their history. 

1No Beckham? No Problem: The loss of one of the world’s sports and entertainment icons shouldn’t slow down MLS or the LA Galaxy. The Galaxy will get Donovan back after a few games and they still have the man who lead them all the way to the MLS Cup glory in Robbie Keane. The league on the other hand is entering it’s 18th season and is bringing in more and more top talent from around the world. There is only one David Beckham but the level of play, energy and popularity of the sport are growing and with all due respect to Becks, he probably couldn’t have taken the league any further. Who? Oh the guy with the discounted rate for a new franchise in Miami that will fail miserably…yeah we’re good but we appreciate all you do. 

College Football Uniform Revolution

By Brad Hubbard @bradhubbard

It seems that every program in college football is getting a uniform overall. From the originators of the trend, Oregon, to traditional powers like Nebraska. Now it seems like everyone is in on the multiple new uniform game, except for some old southern folks. Why? They might be happier with championships.

STYLE OF THE QUACK ATTACK

When Oregon let Nike begin playing around with their uniform looks people didn’t know what to think. Nike led the way. Over the years Oregon’s uniforms got flashier (with God knows how many combinations) and other schools began to follow suit. From Virginia Tech to SEC power Georgia, it looked like everyone was going jump into the flashy uniform revolution. But a funny thing happened on the way to fashion heaven, people in the South didn’t care for it very much.

On Halloween night of 2009 the University of Tennessee ran through the historic Pride of the Southland Marching band Power T onto the Shield-Watkins Field with black jerseys on. Not flashy neon orange or some matte finish color, just black jerseys. Tennessee had worn the jerseys back in 1921 and new head coach Lane Kiffin was trying to bring a little bit of swagger back to Rocky Top on Halloween.

He failed.

BACK IN BLACK

The base revolted. The old timers were outraged. The ‘how dare you’ lines came flying out of the mouths of a very proud people. Tennessee has yet to go back to the jerseys and Kiffin has moved onto USC.

Meanwhile the rest of college football has embraced the trend from West to East, North and South. Oregon State has redesigned their digs (not as dramatically as their in state rival but a redesign none the less), Virginia Tech now has a helmet that features turkey feet, Georgia Tech’s embraced the honeycomb look, while Indiana went the red, white and stripes route. Baylor, Oklahoma State, North Carolina (complete with great dance moves), Stanford, Boise State, Houston, Missouri and even Texas A&M and Johnny Football got some variety in their unis.

Some notably absent names? Alabama, Auburn, Tennessee, Notre Dame, Texas, Penn State (minus the names on the back of the jerseys) Ohio State, Florida, LSU and USC have all shied away from the trend. Sure they have made some tweaks here and there but nothing wholesale like Oregon.

What’s funny about all this? The teams that haven’t changed uniforms dramatically have won the last 7 National Titles. Can you see Bama in a black jersey and a matte crimson on the helmet? Maybe. It might look cool. But would the Bama base go for it? Nick Saben might have to change his phone number.

However, the first time Georgia broke out the black jerseys in 2007 it was a big deal…and they lost the game to Auburn. When Georgia let Nike break out some odd black & red combination in an early season match up against Boise State a few years ago guess what happened? That’s right, they lost.

Georgia Black

While new, flashy uniforms are a very cool thing to do for the players, recruits, and fans some teams can get carried away. New uniforms don’t win games. Players and coaches do. While having a ‘3rd kit’ that you can break out like they do in soccer might be s fun thing to do from time to time but it’s not really necessary. For comparison sake, when Sporting KC broke out their ‘3rd kit’ against the Portland Timbers earlier this year in Kansas City guess what happened? That’s right, they lost.

The Rules Apply…Kinda.

By Dave Trausneck @Trausneck

In January, Sideline Signals highlighted the Charlotte’s Web of professional leagues, Major League Soccer; and the league’s confusing player system.

For the sake of this article, and possibly your sanity, you’ll want to take a few minutes to jot a few notes before you proceed further.  Oh, and take and Advil prior… save yourself the headache later.

MLS PLAYER MOVEMENTS

Since that article, some of Major League Soccer’s best players past and present decided the rules may not apply to them… and the league appears to be ok with that.  Reason being, they don’t want to play for the club that currently holds their rights.  And it’s turned into a blinking match between the league and its players.

Gomez and Rogers

We start in Kansas City who currently owns the rights to United States National Team forward Herculez Gomez. Gomez currently plays for Santos Laguna in Mexico, but stated he wants to come back to the U.S. and play.

Backtracking for a minute, KC offered Gomez a raise, but it wasn’t near what he could get on the foreign market, so he took his talents South of the Border.  But, because KC offered something, they get to retain his rights.  The former LA Galaxy and pre-MLS Seattle Sounder stated he may enjoy playing in Seattle if he returns to MLS, but he doesn’t understand the whole cluster of who owns his rights.  He even had an exchange with MLS Commissioner Don Garber over Twitter about it.

By rule, if Gomez returned to the league, anyone that wants him would have to trade compensation to KC for him.

It’s a similar situation for former USMNT player Robbie Rogers.  Rogers recently came out and announced he’s gay.  A staggering admission that made plenty of headlines, but after the dust cleared, Rogers started training with the LA Galaxy.  Rogers, who grew up in Southern California, admitted he could return to soccer (he retired earlier this year when he announced he was gay), but only in the right situation.  In recent interviews, he said he felt better about being in Los Angeles since he has more family in that area, and could draw strength from their support.

Rogers’ rights are owned by the Chicago Fire who acquired them in a way that’s not easy to find on the Internet, and also not easy to explain.  Leaving that to the side, like Gomez, if LA wanted Rogers to play for them, they would have to work out a trade with Chicago to make it work.

While neither of these players have broken any sort of agreement with the league, or the clubs that own their rights… it’s starting to create a sticky situation for the rest of the teams in the league.  Why is it that teams like New York and Los Angeles seem to get first crack at the top talent? It’s no secret MLS wants to put its biggest stars in the biggest television markets. But for league fairness, is it wise business?  Sporting KC is one of the top clubs in MLS right now, and Chicago is a very large market in its own right.  It appears we may be on the verge of the “Robbie Rule” or the “Herc Rule,” like we had the “Beckham rule.” 

Major League Soccer seems to favor the top clubs, then, they come up with a rule the following year that “other” teams can follow.  Oh, Landon Donovan wants to play for LA?  We’ll allow it, and next year every team can have not one, but TWO Designated Players.  Oh, you want to add Robbie Keane too?  Ok, well, we’ll have 3 Designated Players for the clubs next year.  New York you want Thierry Henry, Rafa Marquez and Tim Cahill.  Ok, we’ll make that happen.

Below is a list of the clubs and their “guaranteed compensation for players.”  Notice a trend among the top 3 teams and who “usually” gets crack at top stars who want to play in the U.S.?  Kudos to NY, the Galaxy and the Sounders; they found a way to game the system in their favor.

NYR         $10,860,960
LAG         $9,685,263
SEA          $5,958,813
MTL         $5,288,700
VAN         $4,809,278
TOR         $4,710,844
CHI          $4,333,357
FCD         $4,244,860
DCU        $3,906,065
PHI          $3,832,575
SKC          $3,783,882
HOU        $3,648,640
RSL          $3,646,402
CLB          $3,617,001
POR         $3,564,501
NER         $3,476,086
SJE           $3,371,908
COL         $3,371,325
CHV         $2,607,146

It’s no wonder top players want to go to those 3 clubs.  They want to get paid.  But, if Major League Soccer wants to get serious about their player system, and they want to make sure it’s a level playing field for all clubs.  They’d look at some of these recent cases of players just wanting to go to a club because they “feel” like it.

It sets a dangerous precedent for the league moving forward and could be a major roadblock for the league’s development and potential expansion either to New York for a second team, or Orlando as an expansion franchise.

The Great MLS Talent Drain?

By Brad Hubbard @bradhubbard

Right after MLS Cup 2012 we wrote about the bigger problem facing MLS which was that of Landon Donovan taking an extended leave. He still hasn’t returned but his manager at the LA Galaxy Bruce Arena recently said, “He’s definitely playing this year.” The Galaxy and in particular the MLS could really use his return too.

Andy-Najar

The January transfer window is rapidly coming to a close. In the last few days the MLS has seen the loan of striker Kei Kamara from Sporting KC to Norwich City in the Barclay’s Premier League, the selling of Andy Najar from DC United to Anderlecht in Belgium and the on again/off again situation of FC Dallas midfielder Brek Shea who may or may not be moving onto Stoke CIty in the BPL.

This could prove to be a costly couple of days for the MLS. While Kamara may only be gone for 10 MLS games he also may end up signing with Norwich and stay in England leaving Sporting KC to search for another goal scorer. Shea is considered to be a rising star in US Soccer. While maturity can be an issue at times, that aside he is a tremendous talent and a future face of soccer in America and losing him to the UK is tough to swallow but not unexpected. The biggest loss is Najar.

Andy Najar was born in Honduras and his family emigrated to Virginia when he was 13. While a US citizen he chose to play for the Honduras National Team. He is a Homegrown player and is only 19 years old. Najar’s upside is somewhere north of Alaska. He has talent, plain and simple. Combine his skill, his background and the fact that he was playing for a 4-time MLS Champion club all the while down the street from the White House. Could someone have written this any better?

Najar Highlights

Najar will find success in Europe much like Kamara and Shea will but Najar has a chance to be something special. Possibly even a next generation Arjen Robben. He has that kind of explosive element to him. It’s something that shows up really well in highlights and could have put MLS routinely in places you don’t normally see it, like SportsCenter. 

This offseason has been one for the ages in MLS and it’s not even done yet. The regular season doesn’t kick off until March 2nd! Between now and then the MLS has to try and stop the flow of talented players out of MLS. From Beckham to Montero to Najar and possible Shea and Donovan. That’s a lot of good, marketable names to replace in one offseason. The league can only hope that names like Zusi, Gonzalez, Wondolowski, Pontius, and Keane stick around a little bit longer.

This Space Available

One of the most visible commercial spaces in all of sport is the front of the jersey. For years soccer clubs around the world have sold the space for a hefty amount. The idea is currently under advisement by NFL (which allows sponsors on practice jersey’s) and the NBA. But what happens when there are now buyers?

This is a question that the MLS has had to deal with ever since they allowed sponsors to buy the coveted space. Outside of the New York Red Bulls (which is officially called Red Bull New York) all but three clubs have sponsors on the front of their jersey’s. Funny thing is that two of those clubs are the top two clubs in the league (San Jose and Sporting KC). With three spots available why doesn’t the league, or the clubs, donate that space to charity?

There are plenty of worthy charities out that that would appreciate the exposure and the league along with the clubs could use the opportunity to enhance their stature in the country and the local community. There wouldn’t be much complaining among fans about seeing the Wounded Warrior Project or Big Brothers/ Big Sisters on the front of San Jose’s jersey. MLS could even place their own community works projects on the jersey’s.

Yes you could get into some political hot water if say the Sierra Club or the NRA wanted the space. That could hurt a league still fighting for relevancy in the US sports landscape but the up side of placing MDA on the front of a jersey or Action Against Hunger could do wonders for that club and the goodwill could help the MLS.

 

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