Friday, November 3, 2017

Hooligan's Daily: Detroit hurts MLS chances with revised bid

Yesterday's Scores
Europa League
Maccabi Tel-Aviv 0-1 FC Astana
(Twumasi 57')

Slavia Prague 0-2 Villarreal
(Bacca 15', Deli OG 89')

Partizan Belgrade 2-0 Skenderbeu Korce
(Tosic 39', Tawamba 66')

Young Boys 0-1 Dynamo Kiev
(Buyalskiy 70')

Istanbul Basaksehir 1-1 TSG Hoffenheim
(Visca 90+3')-(Grillitsch 47')

Ludogorets Razgrad 1-1 Braga
(Marcelinho 68')-(Fransergio 83')

AEK Athens 0-0 AC Milan

Rijeka 1-4 Austria Vienna
(Pavicic 61')-(Prokop 41', 62', Serbest 73', Monschein 83')

Apollon Limassol 1-1 Atalanta
(Zelaya 90+4')-(Ilicic PK 35')

Olympique Lyonnais 3-0 Everton
(Traore 68', Aouar 76', Depay 88')

FC Copenhagen 3-0 FC Zlin
(Luftner 40', Verbic 49', 90+2')

Lokomotiv Moscow 1-2 Sheriff Tiraspol
(Farfan 26')-(Badibanga 41', Brezovec 58')

FCSB 1-1 Hapoel Be'er
(Coman 31')-(Sahar 37')

Viktoria Plzen 4-1 FC Lugano
(Krmencik 4', 19', Horava 45', Cermak 56')-(Mariani 15')

Arsenal 0-0 Red Star Belgrade

FC Koln 5-2 BATE Borisov
(Zoller 16', Osako 54', 82', Guirassy 63', Jojic 90')-(Milunovic 31', Signevich 33')

Red Bull Salzburg 0-0 Konyaspor

Guimaraes 1-0 Olympique Marseille
(Hurtado 80')

Athletic Bilbao 1-0 Ostersunds FK
(Aduriz 70')

Hertha Berlin 2-0 FC Zorya Luhansk
(Selke 16', 73')

Lazio 1-0 Nice
(Le Marchand OG 90+2')

Vitesse Arnhem 0-2 Zulte-Waregem
(Baudry 3', Kaya 70')

Real Sociedad 3-0 Vardar
(Juanmi 31', de la Bella 69', Bautista 81')

Rosenberg 1-1 Zenit St. Petersburg
(Bendtner PK 55')-(Kokorin 90+3')

Continental Tables

MLS Cup Playoffs- Conference Semi-Finals Second Leg
Seattle Sounders 2-0 Vancouver Whitecaps (2-0 on aggregate)
(Dempsey 56', 88')

The Detroit MLS bid took a bit of a blow today. They probably weren't going to be one of the teams to get in for 2020, but the announcement of the Ford family joining the fold and the stadium plan changing from a soccer specific facility to Ford Field knocks it down a peg in the eyes of MLS. The league has long emphasised that a soccer specific stadium is the most important factor when choosing their teams and Detroit has crumpled their plan for one and thrown it out the window.

They city the success of Atlanta and Seattle as proof that a multi-use stadium can work just fine, but Detroit is far from Atlanta and Seattle. There isn't proven soccer support in this city for it to work. If an MLS team shows up at Ford Field, it will look more like the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium, with cavernous blocks of empty seats in a stadium that is far too large for the crowd that occupies it.

Sure they can take measures to make the place look smaller, like Vancouver does with BC Place or Atlanta does with Mercedes-Benz Stadium, but it will still look awful.

There's a reason MLS wants smaller, soccer specific stadiums. Even though attendance is capped at a a smaller number, a full stadium looks better in person and on TV. It makes the league look more in demand than 20,000 fans in a 60,000 seat venue would. Just as D.C. United, who took way too long to move out of the giant crater known as RFK Stadium. The Rvs are just as bad. They averaged a 19,367 fans per game this season, which is a smidge under the median MLS attendance of 19,960. But their stadium looked empty as could be because it's designed to hold an NFL sized crowd.

I don't think Ford Field is a bad venue for soccer. I've seen a game there and the field looks excellent. It isn't too small and the sight lines are fantastic. The artificial turf kind of sucks, but that's something I've come to terms with after having watched enough matches at Keyworth Stadium. Grass would be better, but I'm not as opposed to turf as a lot of people are.

The trouble is the environment. It would be hollow, stale, and just not what I look for at a soccer game. Even if Detroit City FC were to play there, with the Northern Guard in full force, it would still feel empty and cavernous. The crowd size just wouldn't be there.

Now, if, by some miracle, you can regularly  get crowds of 40,000 or more, it would be great. Then you'd want a bigger stadium to show off the outstanding support for your team. I just don't see Detroit being able to draw such a strong number night in and night out.

This doesn't even go into the public relations nightmare of using Northern Guard and Detroit City FC imagery in the renderings of soccer at Ford Field. Whoever signed off on that clearly doesn't understand the soccer landscape in the city and should probably have done a little more digging before doing so. You don't provoke the wolf pack known as NGS if you are hoping to endear yourself to a city. They did exactly what I'd expect them to do, which is jump on that within seconds and fight it to the death.

If the Gilbert, Gores, and the Fords want their potential MLS team to be a success at a large stadium, they best stop aggravating the most passionate supporter base in the area. They're never going to win them over, which is fine. The bid and team can be successful without them. But they really should avoid angering them, or else face their wrath. They won't make any friends if they do.

Today's Matches
Eintracht Frankfurt v. Werder Bremen- 3:30pm- FS2

La Liga
Real Betis v. Getafe- 4pm- beIN

Ligue 1
Stade Rennes v. Bordeaux- 3:45pm

Liga MX
Morella v. Cruz Azul- 9pm- Univision Deportes
Club Tijuana v. Leon- 11pm- Univision Deportes

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