NFL Draft Day 1 Grades

The first round is over. There were some fans that should be happy and there are othersome that should be scratching their heads. There were not a whole lot of surprises but there were quite a few trades.

Pick #1.  LA Rams – A

On April 14th the Titans traded the 1st overall pick to the newlyrics relocated LA Rams. With this selection they selected Quarterback Jared Goff out of the University of California. The team has some issues but quarterback is on the list.  Jeff Fisher has not had a true #1 QB while with the Rams and this could be his chance.

Pick #2.  Philadelphia Eagles – B

On April 20th the Eagles traded with the Browns to move up to this pick. They selected Carson Wentz, QB out of North Dakota State University. Wentz is a player that knows how to win and has the potential to be a #1 QB in the NFL. Sam Bradford has not shown he is capable of being a true #1 QB so this pick know makes sense.

Pick #3. San Diego Chargers – A

The first team to pick in their assigned position was the Chargers. They selected pass rusher Joey Bosa out of Ohio State. This is not the best pick for the team, they needed an offensive lineman to help protect veteran QB Phillip Rivers. However in this pass happy league landing a talent like Bosa is not a bad decision.

Pick #4 Dallas Cowboys – C

The Cowboys selected running back Ezekiel Elliot out of Ohio State. Running backs are almost a dime a dozen especially when you have the caliber offensive line that the Cowboys have. With the holes in their defense that should have been a place they looked at for this pick. That being said, Elliot has the potential to be a difference maker and could fit in well with this team.

Pick #5 Jacksonville Jaguars – A

This was one of the best choices this team could have made. Jalen Ramsey is a playmaker on the defensive side of the ball and will help to make thus a formidable defense for years to come. The only worry should be if the team struggles because he has not been in a situation of losing a few games in a row before.

Pick #6 Baltimore Ravens – A

The Ravens selected Ronnie Stanley, Offensive tackle out of Notre Dame. This was a fantastic pick for the Ravens because they really need help along their offensive line. Since the team lost Eugene Monroe it has been a revolving door at that position and this pick should end that pattern.

Pick #7 San Francisco  49ers – A

The 49ers selected DeForest Buckner, Defensive end out of Oregon. This selection gives the team a real replacement for Alex Smith who retired at the end of the 2014 season. He also played with last years first round pick Arik Armstead on the 2014 Oregon National Championship runner up defensive line.

Pick #8 Tennessee Titans – A

This pick was passed around quite a few times before it ended up with the Titans. It went from Miami, to Philly, to Cleveland, before ending up with the Titans. With this pick the Titans selected Offensive tackle Jack Conklin from Michigan State. This pick will help solidify the protection for last year’s top pick Marcus Mariota.

Pick #9 Chicago Bears – D

With the first major reach of the draft the Bears selected pass rusher Leonard Floyd out of the University of Georgia. He may be tall but he is not built big enough to bully his was through an offensive line. However he should fit well opposite McPhee in the linebacking core if they play him there. He may not have been worth giving up an extra pick in what is considered to be a deep draft.

Pick #10 New York Giants – B

The Giants selected the third best corner in the draft, Eli Apple out of Ohio State. They play in a division with Dez Bryant and with the league being so focused on passing the third corner is now an important position. He may not be better than Hargreaves but he will still be a good player for the Giants defense.

Pick #11 Tampa Bay Buccaneers – A

The Bucs selected DB Vernon Hargreaves from nearby Florida to help solidify their defensive backfield. They were also able to trade back and acquire another pick in a deep draft. This pick, if used wisely, could help set the team up for future success.

Pick #12 New Orleans Saints – A

The Saints selected Sheldon Rankins, Defensive Tackle out of Louisville. This is a great pick for the team that has not had a good interior pass rush for a few years now. He is going to have to prove that he can stop the run, but with his physicality and size he should be able to do this.

Pick #13 Miami Dolphins – B

At the beginning of the day if Miami had landed Laremy Tunsil here then I would have considered it a steal. Only 15 minutes before the draft started a video was posted to his twitter account that showed him smoking something out of a pipe. He has all of the physical tools to be a great player but does he have the brain power to stay out of trouble will be something to keep an eye on.

Pick #14 Oakland Raiders – C

The Raiders used their first pick on safety Karl Joseph from West Virginia. He could turn into a good player but he is coming off a knee injury that saw him miss all but 4 games last season. When healthy he is the type of player that could replace Charles Woodson, but that is only if he can stay healthy.

Pick #15 Cleveland Browns – B

This is not only because of the pick of Coleman, who was the nations top receiver last year, but also because of the picks the team was able to amass by trading down twice. Coleman should add some speed and talent to the barren wide receiver corps of the Browns and with this veteran coaching staff he should be in good hands to be successful.

Pick #16 Detroit Lions – D

The Lions selected Taylor Decker, offensive tackle out of Ohio State. Protecting the QB is an important thing for a team to do and Decker will do a fine job of that but there are bigger needs on this team. Calvin Johnson retired at the end of last season and that left the team without a number 1 receiver. Drafting someone like Laquan Treadwell or Josh Doctson would have been perfect in this spot.

Pick #17 Atlanta Falcons – B

Keanu Neal, safety out of Florida, was the pick for the Falcons. He can play linebacker and considering this is a major need for the team and he can also provide a playmaker for the team.

Pick #18 Indianapolis Colts – A

The Colts went for the best possible choice at a position of extreme need when the selected center Ryan Kelly out of Alabama. Protecting Andrew Luck was an issue last year that ended up with Luck missing a lot of the season.

Pick #19 Buffalo Bills – A

The team was one of the worst in the league when it came to rushing the passer last season. Shaq Lawson out of Clemson should be a great solution to this pass rushing issue and he will fit in for Mario Williams who left in free agency.

Pick #20 New York Jets – A

With this selection the Jets took Ohio State Linebacker Darron Lee. The team has lacked a little of the outside pass rush and linebacker pass coverage in recent years and Lee would fit both of those situations perfectly.

Pick #21 Houston Texans – B

The Redskins traded this pick to Houston on draft night and the Texans took Wide Receiver Will Fuller from Notre Dame. He is a deep threat with blazing speed. He has had issues running tight routes but that is going to be more of DeAndre Hopkins’ area anyway.

Pick #22 Washington Redskins – A

The ‘Skins kept the wideouts running off the board by selecting Josh Doctson from TCU. He has been considered to be the best receiver of the draft and the team will need him to prove that in a few years. Until then he can mature and learn the pro game behind veterans Desean Jackson and Pierre Garcon.

Pick #23 Minnesota Vikings – A

The Vikings gave quarterback Teddy Bridgewater his first big target. They drafted big, physical receiver Laquon Treadwell from Mississippi. He is a steal at this point in the draft and should provide the strong game that the Vikings need to open their new stadium.

Pick #24 Cincinnati Bengals – D

The Bengals took yet another DB in the first round when they selected William Jackson III out of Houston. They completely ignored the issues in the offensive line and wide receiver positions. Maybe this one will actually prove he should be worth this high of a pick.

Pick #25 Pittsburg Steelers – B

They needed a strong DB after being burned by players like AJ Green consistently. They got a solid one in Artie Burns from Miami. At 6′ he has the length to compete with the big recievers in the NFL.

Pick #26 Denver Broncos – A

Elway drafted Osweiler 2.0 when he moved up five spots and selected Paxton Lynch from Memphis. He has similar size but is considered to be a better athlete than Osweiler is. Lynch will be able to develop behind Mark Sanchez and when he is put in he wont have to shoulder the load thanks to the strong defense already in place.

Pick #27 Green Bay Packers – A

The team spent their first pick on Defensive lineman Kenny Clark from UCLA. The Packers are hoping that he can fill the void that was left when BJ Raji retired after the season. He should be able to accomplish that.

Pick #28 49ers – A

After trading back into the first round the 49ers may have found their replacement for newly departed Alex Boone. The team drafted Stanford offensive guard Joshua Garnett. He should be able to help not only in the running game, but also to protect whichever QB coach Kelly decides to run with this season.

Pick #29 Arizona Cardinals – B

In Robert Nkemdiche, defensive lineman from Mississippi, the Cardinals have an extreme talent. However there are just as many character questions when it comes to Nkemdiche who was arrested in December for a substance violation and also had an assault charge dropped against him. If the Cardinals can keep him on the field then he could prove to be the steal of the first round.

Pick #30 Carolina Panthers – C

The Panthers chose DT Vernon Butler from Louisiana Tech. This may not have been the best use of this pick with there still being a need at wide receiver on the team. The defensive line is one of the deepest positions on the team so it will be difficult to see Butler get playing time in the near future.

Pick #31 Seattle Seahawks – A

The line from their Super Bowl winning team is completely gone so by picking offensive lineman Germain Ifedi from Texas A&M the team makes the first real steps at fixing the issue. It may take a couple of years to completely fix but Ifedi has the tools and the coaching staff to become the cornerstone of the line.

On The Brink

As the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs starts to reach a boiling point. There is strong possibility that there will be a Western Conference Champion not hailing from Chicago or Los Angeles for the first time since 2011. This is one of the many surprises that has emerged out of the playoffs so far.

The Blackhawks and the Kings both face the second hardest tasks possible to advance. They must come back from 3-1 deficits in order to keep their hopes alive. While there are other teams that are down 3-1, the Flyers and the Red Wings, these two teams are a big surprise as many people had them progressing far in the playoffs. Tonight is going to be interesting because there is the possibility that the defending champion Blackhawks could be eliminated.

The other two huge games tonight are the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Detroit Red Wings game as well Pittsburg Penguins and the New York Rangers game. The Lightning could eliminate the Red Wings tonight and with a win the Penguins could have a strangle hold 3-1 lead on the Rangers in their series.

In the final game today the Nashville Predators have a chance to take a 3-1 lead over the Anaheim Ducks. This could be interesting especially if the Ducks cant find a way to stop Predators star Flip Forsberg from scoring.

 

Greatest of a Generation?

kobe farewell

As the NBA regular season ended last night so did the career of possibly the greatest player of the last generation of players. Kobe Bryant announced before the season that this would be his last in the league. The season had a shaky start leaving many, including myself, wondering if he should have retired last year. In the end, April 13, 2016 is a day many basketball fans will remember for a while. Not only did the Golden State Warriors break the record of the 95-96 Chicago Bulls for most wins in a season, the league recognized the culmination of one of its greatest global ambassadors. Kobe Bryant’s popularity was not just in the United States, it was worldwide. He is known to be a friend with many of the players on one of European soccer’s best teams, FC Barcelona, as well as running camps and exibitions in places in Asia including basketball crazed China.  While it would have been great to see Kobe in the playoffs one last time, the ending was certainly done the only way the Black Mamba knows how.

The Lakers finished out their regular season at home against the Utah Jazz. Watching the pregame activities on ESPN had me wondering just how emotional Bryant would be during the game. From Magic Johnson calling him the greatest Laker to ever live, to the video put together from players, both past and present, and the lineup announcer saying many of his great accolades when announcing the lineups it was enough to leave me wondering just how well Bryant would be able to play with all of those emotions. He certainly did not disappoint. For twenty seasons he was most know for one thing on the court, his shooting. Last night, Bryant shot 22-50 for a grand total of 60 points! Even more shocking is that his final recorded stat in the NBA did not come from his own shot, but rather Kobe Bryant actually passed the ball and recorded an assist to close out his career.

Kobe Bryant had a career that was decorated with greatness. His career was actually bookended by two incredible seasons played by another team. His draft year was the year the Chicago Bulls won 72 games and set the record for most wins in the regular season. Now in his final season, the Golden State Warriors finished their season by breaking many records including that record of most wins in a season.

Stanley Cup Playoffs Preview

stanleycup

Wednesday April 13, 2016 is considered to be one of the most exciting days in the year. This is because the most exciting playoffs in the world start today. Every year at about this time sixteen teams enter the race for Lord Stanley’s Cup. By the time June rolls around the competition will be over. A team of heavily bearded individuals will be skating around a rink in the United States with the object of their childhood dreams held proudly over their heads. Today begins the nearly two month journey, that comes after the 82 game regular season, that makes all of the physical pain worth it.

Eastern Conference

Florida Panthers v. NY Islanders:

This matchup contains two teams that look to be contenders for years to come. Both of these teams have a talented young core of players that should help propel the team for years to come. In the end I think the veteran leadership of Jaromir Jagr coupled with the talented youth of the Panthers will help them advance to the next round of the playoffs.

Panthers in 6

Tampa Bay Lightning v. Detroit Red Wings

This is a matchup of teams that did not look quite like playoff teams at the end of the year. The Lightning limped their way into the playoffs having lost their best defender, Anton Stralman, as well as captain and best player Steven Stamkos. The Red Wings 25th straight was very much in doubt for the last few weeks of the season. The Red Wings were one of the two benefactors of a late season Boston Bruins collapse and their season will end in the first round of the playoffs.

Lightning in 7

Washington Capitals v. Philadelphia Flyers

The last few days has been difficult for the Flyers. Owner and founder Ed Snider passed away yesterday. Knowing Snider was in poor health the Flyers put together a fantastic run of games at the end of the year and somehow made the playoffs. The Capitals come in to the playoffs after cruising to the Presidents Trophy. While I believe in the curse of the trophy, I think that this Capitals is the better rested of the two teams because they have not really played a meaningful game in over a month. In the end I think already having played over a month of playoff games will take its toll on the Flyers and they will inevitably fall to the more talented Capitals team.

Capitals in 6

Pittsburg Penguins v. NY Rangers

Both teams pieced together good seasons and are full of seasoned veterans with plenty of playoff experience from the last decade of playing. The Rangers have the advantage because they have the better overall team. The Penguins have two of the most dynamic players in the league on their side and Sidney Crosby has been on an absolute tear since the start of 2016 scoring at an incredible rate. While I believe that the Rangers have the better team and they should win the series, I feel Sidney Crosby is playing too well to stop and despite the recent playoff struggles of the team, the Penguins will advance to the second round.

Penguins in 5

Western Conference

Anaheim Ducks v. Nashville Predators

The Ducks are a team that changed its identity part of the way through the season after the team looked awful trying to play as an extremely offensive team. Since switching to a more defensive style the team has improved and came into the playoffs looking strong. The Predators look like one of the top teams in the league and their playoff hopes have been bolstered by the play of goalie Pekka Rinne. The team looks solid on the offensive side of the puck led by young Filp Forsberg, as well as on the defensive side of the puck led by Shea Weber. In the end I think the Predators will prevail in a long and exciting series.

Predators in 7

LA Kings v. San Jose Sharks

This series features one of the best playoff goalie that is around at the moment, Johnny Quick, going against his understudy from last year, Martin Jones. The Sharks are trying to get past the early playoff dropout that has plagued them recently. The Kings are full of holes, however Coach Sutter has done fantastic things to keep the Kings in playoffs past and I think believe that he will be able to engineer a first round series victory over the in state rival Sharks.

Kings in 4

Dallas Stars v. Minnesota Wild

One of the most shocking things of the season was the play of the Dallas Stars. If you look at the roster it should not be very surprising, however because Dallas is not a big hockey town the team is overlooked more times than not. The Wild have been playing well coming into the playoffs but they do not have quite the talent that the Stars have. That being said the Wild have more players with playoff experience and that could be crucial if the series runs long. In the end I think the Stars will prevail over the Wild in a long, hard fought series.

Stars in 7

St. Louis Blues v. Chicago Blackhawks

A very defensively strong Blues team comes into the playoffs and face the team that has caused them trouble in the past few years. The Blues may struggle to win games in the playoffs due to their lack of high scoring offense. The Blackhawks are a team of seasoned veterans looking to defend their Stanley Cup title. Duncan Keith will return and he will be better rested than the rest of the team and he will be the most important part of this team as they look like they are gearing up for another long run in the playoffs. The Blackhawks will win this series as quickly as possible.

Blackhawks in 4

Those are my first round predictions for the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

After the first round I have the Bolts over the Panthers, and Washington over the Penguins with the Lightning winning the Eastern Conference.

In the West I have the Blackhawks over Dallas and the Kings over the Ducks with the Blackhawks winning the Western Conference.

In the finals I have a rematch of last year with the opposite result. The Lightning, with the addition of Stamkos who claims he would be back for the finals, will end up winning the second Stanley Cup in franchise history and first since the 2004 lockout.

The excitement begins tonight as 16 teams and their players fight to make their childhood dreams of being Stanley Cup Champions come true.

Bring out the Green Jacket

Sunday April 10, 2016 is a day that Danny Willett will never forget and not for the reason that he would have thought a few months ago. The due date for his first child was today, however an early birth led Willett to be able to attend the 80th playing of The Masters. Willett came into the day three shots off leader Jordan Speith and after Speith had played nine holes it looked like nobody had a chance. Willett pieced together a fantastic back nine and finished the day -5.

While Willett was undergoing a great back nine, Jordan Speith was falling apart. He had a bogey 10 and 11 but the damage was done on hole 12 where Speith shot a quadruple bogey. In three holes Speith dropped from -7 to -1 and into a tie for 4th place. He finished the day at a -2 in a tie for sending one place.

This day is reminiscent of the 2014 Masters where Speith blew a big lead on the back nine on Sunday. Both occasions Speith finished second at the end. Maybe next year he will respond to the 2nd place finish like he did last year when he won the Masters.

One special note from today’s round is the play of three individuals on the par 3 16th. Louis Oosthuizen, Davis Love 3, and Shane Lowry all aced the hole today. Oosthuizen’s axe was even more impressive because his ball actually hit another ball before it went into the hole.

The weather played a huge role all week but on Sunday it did not seem to be a huge issue. By the time the last few pairings were on the course the sun had come out and the wind had died down quite a bit. In the end it was a beautiful day of golf.

Welcome to the Weekend at the Masters

Saturday at the Masters, better known as moving day. However other than the weather front that moved through during the early afternoon there was not a whole lot of moving going on. The majority of the movement on the course was from players that shot over par.

One such player was Rory Mcilroy. He started the day alone in second and he was in the final pairing with leader Jordan Speith. However after struggling through his round today and shooting +5, Mcilroy is no longer in the final pairing.

However, Jordan Speith still is the leader at the end of the the third round despite shooting a +1 today. He is still three shots under par and only one shot above his partner for tomorrow’s round Smylie Kaufman.

Smylie Kaufman produced one of the five rounds under par today. He shot the low round of the day at -3. For Kaufman the round was nearly perfect other than a bogey at 11. He even had birdies at the difficult 13, 14 and 16th holes. If he is to get his hands on his first green jacket the he will have to play just as well tomorrow as he did today.

Whomever is to take home the green jacket at the end of the day will have to master the British Open type weather at this year’s Masters Tournament.

Masters Day 2

A breezy day two in Augusta, Georgia wrecked havoc on all players no matter the skill level.

Leader Jordan Speith shoot a two over par today to leave him at -4 for the tournament. He maintaned a one shot lead over Rory Mcilroy. This left the cut line at +6 with the score keeping many good golfers left watching the final two rounds from the comfort of their own homes.

Mcilroy is alone in second after shooting one of only four rounds that were under par. Not only that but he is one of only seven players that remains under par through two days.

One player that many were betting on to win get a green jacket at the end of Sunday was Phil Mickelson. Sadly he shot a +7 today after shooting even par on day one. After a birdie on 17, Mickelson gave himself the opportunity to play this weekend, however a par on 18 left him one stroke from safety.

Another big surprise is that Bubba Watson made the cut at the last minute. It is an even year so many more people predicted that he would prevail with his third green jacket. That being said, it is going to take a monumental collapse from the majority of the field as well as a near flawless weekend at one of the most difficult courses in the world.

Ian Poulter was heard saying that the wind at any moment could send a shot either over the green or short of the green.  He said this while undertaking the most difficult part of the course known as Amen Corner.

Amen Corner is a three hole section of the course that looks extremely serene. The three holes are 11, 12, and 13. They are intersected by a strip of water known as Rae’s Creek. This makes the shots extremely tricky and causes many golfers to struggle on this part of the course.

 

Welcome to the Masters

The honorary trio was only the honorary duo this morning as Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus teed off while Masters Legend Arnold Palmer watched as he is no longer able to swing a golf club. This came a day after 80 year old Gary Player hit a hole in one during the Par 3 tournament.

During the day Jordan Speith raced his was to a -6 and the lead through day one. He played a near flawless round without shooting even a single bogey. This was nearly a miracle due to the fact that the winds were swirling throughout the round.

World number 1 Jason Day looked strong, shooting a -4, until the par 3 16th hole. Day shot a triple bogey and finished the round at even par.

High flying Ricky Fowler is not in good shape to make the cut after tomorrow’s round after he shot a +8 after struggling all day. It will take a horrific round from all of the leaders and for Fowler to play the round of his life in order for him to play during the weekend.

The first round will be best known for one particular player’s first hole and a record that will be considered by many as one that you do not want to have. Ernie Els, +8 for the day, started his first round with a 9 on the par 4 first hole. He set the record for highest scored at the first hole in the eighty year history of the Masters.

USWNT Trounces Columbia 4/6/16

USWNT crest

The scene is a brisk spring evening in East Hartford, Connecticut’s Whitney Stadium. Temperature at game time was 41 degrees and the stadium crew had to spend the majority of Tuesday clearing the field of the snow that is covering the North East. Coming into the game Columbia has not played since the summer. The Americans had one player making her debut, Allie Long.

The first half starts out with some shaky play by the Americans but as the game continued they grew into the game. The exception to the shaky play was Tobin Heath who in the 4th minute showed her excellent skill on the ball to get to the end line and send a pass to Crystal Dunn inside the 6 yard box. Dunn sent her shot right into a Columbian defender and the ball was cleared. By the 12th minute the offense was on the same page and Allie Long got a fantastic long shot that rang off the cross bar. It took until the 27th minute before Carli Lloyd assisted Dunn’s twisting goal, her eighth goal on the calendar year. Columbia got a good opportunity in the 28th minute when Ospina took a long shot that was saved easily by Hope Solo. A minute later the US has a chance of their own saved by Columbian goalie Perez. In the 32 minute off a free kick Lloyd found Heath, who in turn found Lindsey Horan on the left wing and delivered a cross to the incoming Allie Long who scored a wonderful header on her debut. A minute later on a great offensive play Lloyd delivered a pass to 17 year old Mallory Pugh and she made no mistake in placing the ball over the goalies leg and into the goal. In minute 39 Pugh returned the favor by delivering an assist to Lloyd for a tap in goal.

Overall in the first half the team showed confidence on the attack and also in the defensive side of the field. The forwards showed great movement off the ball and good finishing. In particular Mal Pugh was great on the ball always having her head up and able to get around defenders when needed. Allie Long played very well in possession but also in defense in her deeper midfield role.

To start the second half Jill Ellis made two of her six changes bringing in Samantha Mewis and Christen Press for Mallory Pugh and Lindsey Horan

In the 53 minute Dunn fired wide after Allie Long sent her a wonderful pass into the box. A few minutes later a defensive mistake saw a Columbian forward in alone on Solo who makes a good save. In the 59th minute Allie Long got another great shot from outside the box. Columbia has another chance thwarted by Solo in the 61 minute. On the other end of the pitch a minute later Heath receives a great cross from Press and she volleyed it home for a 5-0. Goal six comes off a good corner that is not cleared by Columbia and Julie Johnston heads the ball across goal to Allie Long with her second goal of the game.

The 66th minute sees Johnston and Becky Sauerbrunn come off for Emily Sonnett and Whitney Engen.

The 69th minute sees Kelly O’Hara come off for Heather O’Reilly. Megan Kingenberg’s day also ends with Ali Krieger coming on.

They are the final subs of the game for manager Jill Ellis.

The 71 minute Heath showed her dazzling skills yet again going around two defenders and passing to Long. She tried to back heel back to Heath but she did not continue her run and the ball is turned over. In the 74th minute off a good restart Crystal Dunn finds Press and she bends the ball around Perez to make it a 7-0 game.

That 7-0 score was how the game ended after the Columbian team made a bunch of subs that helped solidify the team some. With these subs the team was able to withstand wave after wave of attacks from the American women.

Player of the game in my opinion would be Tobin Heath. She was great in possession and going forward she made the right cuts. Heath made many fantastic passes and got a great goal in the 61st minute. She also showed her leadership and inspired players like Allie Long to play with confidence.

Another player with a fantastic game was Allie Long who had two goals and quite a few chances to score a few more. She played well in a deep midfield role in the first half and she played just as good in a more attacking role in the midfield for the second half of the game. She did all of this in her debut in hopes of forcing her way into the team for the Olympics.

In this game both Carli Lloyd and Crystal Dunn joined Alex Morgan, who did not play, in the team lead for goals with 8 each.

Sunday is a rematch between these two teams in Chester, Pennsylvania.

 

 

MLS 20th Anniversary

mls

April 6, 1996. This is a day few remember and many are thankful for. This is the day that the MLS kicked off its inaugural season with its first game. I consider myself a fairly big soccer fan but I do not have the ability to remember this game because as the MLS was beginning I still had a shade over two months before I was even born.

This first matchup contained two teams that had never played together before with players that had come from all over the world and from many different levels of leagues. The game featured the San Jose Clash, who are no longer a club in the MLS, and the famous DC United. The game took place at Spartan Stadium which belongs to San Jose State University. The game was closely contested and it was not until a late goal by Eric Wynalda that the deadlock was broken. Wynalda’s winner for the San Jose Clash went on to win the goal of the year for the MLS in its first season.

The MLS was not the first attempt to have a true professional to play in the United States but it has been the most successful. The MLS is the product of FIFA mandating the US have a league of their own after being awarded the 1994 World Cup. Despite the World Cup being a huge success, it took two years before the MLS played its first game. The next few years the league just held on and hoped that the next year would being some more supporters. Finally the past decade the league has been getting a foot hold in US sports media and in the past few seasons there have been games every week that are aired on ESPN2 and Fox Sports 1. At this point there is n worries about the survival of the league, but rather how big the league can expand to before it reaches capacity.