Friday, August 04, 2006

2006 MLS State of the League - Preview

My recap of the address can be found here.

In 30-minutes (2:30pm ET), MLS Commissioner Don Garber will give the annual 'State of the League' address. The point of this address is to update people on what has happen to MLS over the last year and where he sees things going in the next year or more. This address normally is not used to give overly detailed information on the league; instead it is more of a big picture event.

Garber's speech will be carried live on the MLS website.

Things to expect this year:
- The new TV deals with ABC, FSC, HDNet and Univision
- New soccer stadium in Chicago and the soon to be open stadiums in Colorado and Toronto
- Excitement about the quality of foreign teams that are playing/training in the US
- The ratings of the World Cup and how that shows soccer has a home in the US
- Maybe something about the better attendance numbers (even through they really are about the same as last year)
- A list of cities that are interested in future MLS clubs
- Talk about New York moving forward on their stadium now that all bonds have been sold to finance it

Things that would be a surprise:
- Changing the league to a single table for 2007
- Approval of the 'Beckham rule'
- Use of goal line technology to decide if the ball was in or not
- KC to move to Philadelphia next year
- Changing the playoff system for 2007

Things that would be a shock:
- Announcing that Clint Dempsey and/or Landon Donovan have signed overseas contracts
- Another team, other then Toronto, will be added to the league in 2007
- A USL team will move up to MLS in 2007 or 2008
- Any talk of reopening shop in Florida
- That he will resign as commissioner

Let's see where I stand on the 'shock' level in about thirty minutes.

By the way, there will also be an online chat with Garber at 3:30pm ET.

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