July 5, 2006
Former French International and current NY Red Bull Youri Djorkaeff missed last night's game between the Red Bulls and the LA Galaxy for what is being called "personal reasons" .
What personal reasons you might ask?
Well, according to this AP story, Djorkaeff headed to Germany to take in the France-Brazil World Cup quarterfinal showdown. This NY Post article makes it sound like the Red Bulls brass is less than thrilled with Djorkaeff's jaunt to Germany.
This story makes me laugh at the fact that even players like Djorkaeff can get so into the World Cup that they can blow off work to support their favorite team.
But, it also makes me sad to think that Djorkaeff would think so little about an MLS regular season game that he would blow it off to head over to Germany to watch France play when he likely could have found a bar in the great NY City area that had a boatload of France supporters watching it on TV. I know sitting in a bar isn't the same as being there, but I would like to think that Djorkaeff had a little more commitment to his club than that.
The ongoing debate about the development of players in the US
Robert Wagman of SoccerTimes.com had a nice article on what MLS has to do to better prepare US players for the World Cup.
It even has some quotes from USL president Francisco Marcos who has been in Germany for the entire World Cup.
I like the fact that this article is constructively criticizing MLS and not one of the plethora of articles either blindly defending what MLS has done to date or merely piling on and bashing MLS and US Soccer in the wake of the Men's National Team not advancing out of the group stage at the World Cup.
I can't wait to see what Wagman has next as he plans on providing what he feels would be a better way for MLS and US Soccer to develop players.
Attendance update - Rochester vs Montreal & MLS
After 4th of July games where both Kansas City (21,936) and Colorado (39,205) got crowds that are much larger than their average, the Rhinos are now only ahead of the New England Revolution when it comes to average attendance.
The good news is that the Rhinos are ahead of their only real competition for the attendance title in the USL 1st Division. The Montreal Impact are averaging 10,605 fans per game through their first 6 league home games this season. The Rhinos have averaged 11,026 fans per game through their first four matches at PAETEC Park.
The really interesting number when looking at the Impact's attendance is the fact that their 2 games on Wednesday evenings have averaged 11,792 fans and their 4 Sunday games have averaged 10,011 fans per game.
MLS teams usually have a heck of a time drawing a good crowd on a weeknight. Somehow the Impact have capitalized on the fact that Wednesday evenings aren't a traditional "hot night out on the town" and given fans something fun to do on a Wednesday night.
Perhaps some MLS teams need to take a road trip up to Montreal for some pointers..................
The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author, and not necessarily those of the Rochester Rhinos or SoccerSam.com. Feel free to send any comments or complaints to firstname.lastname@example.org. James promises to read (but not to respond) to all of them.