The 2011 Major League Soccer season kicks off next Tuesday when the Seattle Sounders host the Los Angeles Galaxy at Qwest Field. By the weekend's conclusion, all 18 teams will have played their opening match. With the action only a week away, now is the perfect time to take a look back at past opening day records and statistics.
1) Champions start well.
We all know that soccer fans are a different breed than your typical, run-of-the-mill North American sports fan.
Part of that is just because of the nature of the game — 90 minutes of constant action with no breaks can lead to a, shall we say, “focus” that is often lacking at other stateside sporting events.
But another part of that is because, until very recently, there was no bigger outsider in sports than the North American soccer fan.
The Tweet and Lowdown:
Club legend Ben Olsen takes the reins as D.C. United aim to erase memories of recent regular-season struggles.
Setting the Scene:
Last year was a season to forget for DC. Unable to score up front and frail at the back, 2010 produced one of the worst seasons in team history, with just six wins on the year and the lowest point total in the league.
Washington, D.C. (21 de diciembre de 2010) – D.C. United anunció hoy que el club ha nombrado al ex arquero del Houston Dynamo Pat Onstad como Entrenador de Porteros del cuerpo técnico que encabeza el entrenador principal Ben Olsen.
“Por mucho tiempo, Pat ha sido uno de los mejores porteros en la Liga, y estamos dichosos de tenerlo con nosotros. El ha sido un ganador y nos dará una nueva perspectiva a nuestro staff”, dijo el Técnico Ben Olsen.
Day 3 of MLSsoccer.com’s Entrance Exam takes a look at the third pick in the draft, D.C. United’s Perry Kitchen.
A US youth international who recently turned 19, Kitchen was a member of the University of Akron’s national championship team in 2010 and is a projected starter for United along the back line.
MLSsoccer.com Question 1: What’s been the most unexpected difference between MLS and college so far?
Kitchen: Unexpected difference? Um ... I don’t really know, honestly.
Washington, D.C. – D.C. United announced today that the club has signed Assistant Coach Pat Onstad to a short-term playing contract. The eight-season MLS veteran returns to the playing field after joining the Black-and-Red on December 21, 2010 following his retirement from the Houston Dynamo. Onstad will serve as a player-coach in the absence of goalkeeper Steve Cronin, who has been placed on the Disabled List following a fractured wrist suffered in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. at the beginning of preseason training.
The Carolina Challenge Cup continues Wednesday evening for D.C. United, who will send out a whole different lineup against the Chicago Fire to the one that beat hosts Charleston Battery last weekend.
“It gives us a chance to look at some more players and tinker with some things and figure out where everyone is at,” assistant coach Chad Ashton told MLSsoccer.com over the phone.
Judging by the team’s performance in Saturday’s win over the Battery, things are continuing to progress for DC as the March 19 home opener draws near.
Santino Quaranta discusses the team's preseason training in Charleston, SC and the upcoming Carolina Challenge Cup match against the Chicago Fire.