The Columbus “hooliganism” story continues to percolate in the British press; meanwhile, we look at the problems the Chicago Fire’s Sector Latino have had with security at Toyota Park, and consider the outlandish possibility of Israel and Palestine co-hosting the World Cup in 2018.
- The Guardian’s Marina Hyde, in another one of her periodic fluffy and patronising articles about MLS, “giggles” at the brawl in Columbus. Admittedly, the incident does have its amusing side, but to suggest the Hudson Street Hooligans are representative of some general desire amongst American supporters to imitate English firms is just as laughable.
- In a game that had been postponed twice and that took almost three hours to conclude due to power outages, the Houston Dynamo downed DC 2-0 last night.
- Soccerlens looks at an exciting youth tournament to be played in Chicago this weekend, including elite teams from Mexico, Nigeria and Germany. I’ll be at Loyola University for the Fire against Nigeria’s 36 Lion tonight!
- MLS Commish Don Garber gave his “State of the League” speech yesterday ahead of tonight’s All-Star game in Toronto, and managed to say nothing of any real interest. Looks like that further Canadian expansion will be awaiting further announcement.
- JL Murtaugh of Section 8 Chicago interviews one of the leaders of the Fire’s fastest growing supporters group, Sector Latino, who bring an intense passion to their support that has led to them being targeted by stadium security, according to the group. They say security are racist. Their intense support is exactly what MLS needs more of, and security’s treatment of them is what we need less of.
- A More Splendid Life calls the recently concluded Canadian Championship a roaring success (Montreal won it, and clinched a birth in the CONCACAF Champions League as a result), but warns that the owners of Toronto FC need to invest in real grass to prevent their team stagnating on the field, and wasting the opportunity their success off the field has brought.
- The Times looks at Chelsea’s skyrocketing wage bill, as they look to top £150million this season, a simply unsustainable figure in the long run. Break even by 2010? I don’t think so.
- Jeremy Wilson in the Telegraph looks at how Premier League clubs preseason tours are now predicated on building their brand worldwide (Fulham in South Korea? Portsmouth in Nigeria?) rather than on actually preparing for the season. And Richard Scudamore takes the chance to bring up the Game 39 concept again.
- The debate over a potential British team at the 2012 Olympic Games in London gathers steam; Olympic officials are saying it’s a certainty, but the Scots continue to fight against it, fearing the consequences for their independent national team.
- Speaking of West Ham’s Inter City Firm, 101 great goals links to a long documentary from the ’80s about them called “Hooligan”. Could someone let me know if this is worth watching?
- James Montague reports on the possibility of Israel and Palestine co-hosting a World Cup. About as likely as Alex Ferguson coaching Chelsea next season, but a noble sentiment.
- In Australia, the A-League plans to expand, with the addition of a North Queensland team. That will bring the league to ten teams from its current eight, with the Gold Coast Galaxy also set to join; 12 teams seems to be the eventual endpoint of expansion down under.
- Colombian clubs linked to money-laundering.
- The Road to 2010 World Cup looks at the African contenders at the Olympics.
- The Run of Play gives us a Dictionary of Generic Narrative in Football.
- Grant Wahl gives us a sentimental take on why the “Chocolate Box” is his favourite stadium in world sport.
The two sides in the infamous Battle of Crew Stadium: