My MLS Journey Begins…

I am unquestionably a football snob. There, I said it! I support my local League One club and dismiss anyone who supports one of England’s big Premier League teams. I’m sick of hearing people say “I know I live in Bromley but my Dad was born in Manchester”. I despise anyone who switches allegiance as their club plummets down the league and I believe unless your team has been relegated (at least twice) then you have nothing to be unhappy about.

I suppose you would think that due to my love for the underdog and unimpressive football, Major League Soccer would suit me down to the ground. Wrong. Whether it is because of the ridiculously over enthusiastic commentary or the complicated league system, I have filed the MLS under the ‘completely ridiculous’ category, until now. After becoming friends with a group of American’s and the odd Canadian I am concerned that my snobbery might be causing me to miss out on something wonderful. Let’s all be honest, how many of us love football for the beautiful passing game that Barcelona play? Not me. Although I appreciate it, I love real Sunday morning football, glaring misses, awful defending and bad decisions.  According to my preliminary research the MLS is full of awful defending, finishing and goalkeeping; everything that I love to moan about at 3 o’clock on Saturday. It has become my mission to find out what the MLS has to offer me, your average football fan. I plan to engulf myself in it, document my findings and perhaps even help you appreciate Major League Soccer.

My first job is to find a team to support. As you know I am a big advocate of following your local side. It turns out New York Red Bulls are the closest team to my address in England (just 3372.803 miles away) but hold on. The ‘Red Bulls’ are unquestionably far too good for me to support. Currently in fifth position in the eastern conference and with Thierry Henry up front for them there is no way I would feel at home at the Red Bull Arena. So I had another look. Lying second from bottom in the Eastern conference and a measly 3447.989 miles away from my home address in England are Toronto FC; my new MLS team.

I already feel excited about my new club. If I could compare Toronto with a side in the English Premier League they are probably an unfashionable Swansea or perhaps a Norwich City.  Looking through their squad it looks remarkably average; Torsten Frings is without doubt the stand out name. One thing I have learnt about the MLS already is that most teams have one stand out player who used to be excellent, but now are the wrong side of 30, Frings is just that.

I urge anyone reading this to pick your own MLS team and follow them whilst I continue my MLS journey. Fittingly, Toronto FC’s next game is on September 10th away at top the table Columbus Crew. I expect them to lose.



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12 responses to “My MLS Journey Begins…

  1. I’ve followed the MLS since I first moved to Chicago in 2003 and it has rarely been easy but the standard has slowly improved.

    I picked my local side Chicago Fire to support and they have ever since been mostly rubbish.

    Good luck with your quest.

  2. pablo

    Ever plan on coming to Portland, Oregon to check out a home game?

  3. TFCRegina

    You picked a team that puts the fun in dysfunctional!

    Here’s hoping for a good season VI for TFC.

  4. Bill

    Feck man – you’re nutbar – Toronto FC?

    They put the shit in shite.

    Their performance really is on par with getting relegated down five years straight and out of league football.

    Do you like to have girls stomp on your bits for pleasure?……that’s what you signed up for.

    That being said – if you need a scarf, let me know and I’ll send one over to ya.


  5. good on you…be ready for some painful years; if things go right though, our academy could start to look like West Ham with similar results though the first team…one thing to look forward to this fall is (CONCACAF) Champions League

  6. After only three awesome articles, it’s official. We need to bring you over here for a TFC match. 😀

  7. Good to hear you have joined the TFC faithfull, and a good read.
    Don’t listen to Bill, he likely supports someone like Columbus, just kidding.

  8. ryanc

    Columbus is not top of the table, just top of the Eastern Conference (and yes, I too think conferences are stupid). If the league were a single table entity, Columbus would be sitting 6th with a game in hand on most above them.

  9. snic

    Jimmy, thank you for opening your mind and giving MLS a chance and for such a well-written blog. I love the idea of an outsider’s view- I think it will help us MLS fans understand our league better!

    The only issue I have is the elementary way in which you chose your team. If you were a true fan of the underdog, you would have chosen one of the expansion teams (Vancouver, Portland or upcoming Montreal). The advantage to choosing one of this year’s expansion teams is the home game experience and the Cascadia rivalry between Vancouver-Portland-Seattle (2009 expansion team, but not an underdog by any means) which dates back to the 70s. These games (in the flesh, of course) redefine (American) “football” fanaticism and as you may know, these energized fans can sometimes change outcomes of games. Come to a game, I’ll show you what I mean.

    But back on the location issue- a super quick search of flights puts flying to the west coast of the USA as $200-400 USD cheaper than Toronto. In addition, the Pacific Northwest has arguably the best selection of craft beers, food and it rarely snows and gets below freezing.

    I look forward to reading and to your future “team”…


  10. Jody

    Jimmy have to ask the question what about New England Revolution? I think they might be a tad closer than the NY Red Bulls – and this year it’s been absolutely painful to be a Revs fan. But glad you’re giving MLS a chance.

  11. Mile-Hi

    Sounds like this will be an interesting blog, love to her a Non-Champions League soccer fan’s take on MLS. i agree with you a lot about fans, both here in the US and Europe; too many times I hear people saying they don’t like MLS because there not as good as Man U and Barcelona…my reaction is ya duh, but why is that a reason to just dismiss the entire sport in this country…

    Personally there is nothing better than to be apart of your local team from good times to bad times. If your planning on going to Denver and seeing the defending champs hit me up!

  12. Auzzy

    Oh Bill, Bill Archer, is that you? So, how do like them apples, 4 goals for the team that puts the “shit in shite,” vs 2 goals for Columbus? So what’s Columbus then, if it’s worse than shit? I mean, piss yellow is pretty bad, but I’m not sure if it’s worse than shit, so I’ll guess you’ll have to come up with another term to describe Columbus now…

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