Sounders verses Toronto FC game like days of old NASLMarch 17, 2014 at 9:06 pm | Posted in Vancouver Whitecaps, Vancouver Whitecaps In MLS, Whitecaps season 2014 | Leave a comment
Tags: Jermain Defoe, major league soccer, Micheal Bradley, MLS, NASL, new york cosmos, Soccer Bowl, TFC, Toronto Football Club, Vancouver Whitecaps
While we Whitecaps fans eagerly anticipated Sunday’s match against Chivas USA, there is no doubt what the big match was last weekend. It was Saturday’s clash between the Seattle Sounders and Toronto Football Club.
The match was eagerly anticipated because of the star power involved. It was Jermain Defoe and Michael Bradley’s first match for TFC; the first time the biggest signings of the MLS off-season appeared before the public on the pitch. On the opposite side appeared Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins. A crowd of 39,000 watched the match in Seattle’s massive stadium. The match was available on both Canadian and American television on Saturday afternoon.
The star power on the field, the TV coverage and the match day atmosphere reminded me of the old days of the North American Soccer League. It was rather like watching the New York Cosmos playing the Tampa Bay Rowdies or the Vancouver Whitecaps at Giant’s Stadium back in the late 70s. I kicked myself for not going down to Seattle and watching the historic match.
Major League Soccer is making big strides, although watching the Whitecaps and Chivas play in front of 6000 in Los Angeles brought me back down to earth. Lets see what the MLS can do in re-marketing their least successful team in the huge Los Angeles market. I hope they bring the LA Aztecs back, but I am not holding my breath.
The star power did not disappoint: Defoe scored 2, Dempsey scored 1, and Bradley dominated the midfield. Defoe’s class won the day, and watching him take two goals with breathtaking ease was well worth the time spent in front of the television.
While some complain about the manner in which the likes of Dempsey and Defoe are hired by MLS and sent to hand-picked franchises, I am happy to look in the other direction. I can hardly wait to see Defoe and Bradley in action in Vancouver. I don’t care if they are on the other team provided I get to see them play.
Back in the day the New York Cosmos were a stacked team favoured by the league, but a gritty team from the village of Vancouver beat them and went on to make Canadian sporting history by winning the Soccer Bowl.