Thursday, May 19, 2011

A suggestion for a Sporting KC guest announcer

Since color analyst Sasha Victorine quit traveling to spend more time with his family, announcer Callum Williams has had to deal with rotating partners. First it was Brian Kilmeade from Fox news for the Red Bulls game. He is in New York, very comfortable on television and a big sports fan so he was a logical fill in for Sasha. Kilmeade is not a soccer guy though. He did well with all things considered but still not the perfect match.

Last week against Los Angeles, former EPL player and current Fox Soccer analyst Warren Barton joined Callum on the broadcast. Barton is obviously comfortable doing television and very soccer knowledgeable. The biggest complaints with Barton is his unfamiliarity with Kansas City. No matter where the team plays, Sporting Kansas City should never be referred to as Kansas. Kansas City, KC, Sporting, heck slip and call them Wizards or even Wiz and most fans would not mind. Thankfully he did not do that as often as he did last year when Kansas CITY beat Manchester United.

This week in Seattle, Cliff McCrath will be Callum's partner. I can't complain about him in advance other than to note he has long been involved with Seattle and might have a built in bias towards the Sounders. As long as it is not too over the top I will not mind if he favors Seattle a bit. Hopefully he understands that Kansas City is Kansas City and has a reasonable understanding of how to pronounce the players names. I wish him well.

I do not know if they have anyone lined up for the Colorado game on May 28 but I do have a thought for the next game. Since the trend so far has been to pick up someone reasonably local to the game to partner with SKC announcer Callum Williams, I would like to make a suggestion for the Toronto game on June 4.

I do not know if he would be willing or available, but former Kansas City player Kevin Souter coaches at Ryerson University in downtown Toronto. Kevin was one of the two open tryout players (Nelson Pizzaro was the other) to make the team in 2008. He played well when not injured but ran into the international player limit in 2010 when he was waived. During a period in 2009 when he was injured he joined the broadcast as a color analyst and did rather well. While not extremely comfortable as a broadcaster (he did get better each time), Kevin did exhibit an honest opinion on the team and obviously understood the players well.

Give Kevin a call. He would at least be familiar with the team and some of the players still.

What do you think, get Souter? Other ideas for guest commentators? Should I volunteer?

Kevin Souter subbed into the game against the Galaxy and immediately stole the ball from his hero David Beckham. Here Souter is trying to get the jersey off of Beckham after game

Monday, May 16, 2011

MISL and USL partner to join league

United Soccer Leagues is pleased to announce it has entered into an agreement with the Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL) and will operate North America’s most storied and tradition-rich professional indoor soccer league beginning with the 2011-12 season.

The MISL represents the top level of professional indoor soccer in North America and currently consists of seven franchises for 2011-12, with additional announcements expected in the coming weeks. The league roster includes existing MISL franchises in Baltimore, Milwaukee, Missouri and Wichita. They will be joined in the MISL by a trio of first-year USL indoor franchises in Norfolk, Rochester and Syracuse.

The League will be led by Chris Economides, senior director of USL’s professional leagues. Scheduling, competition and playoff format and rules for the MISL will be determined by the league’s Board of Governors.

“We are obviously pleased to bring the top indoor soccer league in North America into the USL family,” USL CEO Alec Papadakis said. “We announced several months back that we would be operating a professional indoor soccer league in November of 2011, and this agreement with the MISL allows us to move forward with our plans. Combining the experience and tradition of the MISL with USL’s team services and league management resources will ensure the MISL reaches new levels of success.”

The MISL will follow a financial model that is viable for team owners. USL intends to seek affiliation under the U.S. Soccer Federation umbrella, consistent with its other league properties.

"We are all pleased to join USL which has many strong leagues and numerous franchises," MISL Chairman Ed Hale said. "This will give us a platform for future expansion of our indoor game throughout the country."

“This is a great day for the Comets and the Major Indoor Soccer League,” said Comets President, Brian Budzinski. “USL’s footprint is all over the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean. The ability to promote the MISL and the exciting game of professional indoor soccer to millions more soccer fans through this partnership only helps to strengthen our brand.”

Sources say there are several other teams that may join the league in time for playing this fall as well but will have to everything ready by July 1st.

Missouri Comets ball