Deep Cuts: Window or Aisle?

Thursday, September 24, 2009 | View Comments
Southwest Airline Passengers Exit Plane In Burbank

The cost-control restrictions that Major League Soccer places on its teams are sometimes viewed as unnecessary and capricious by many of the league's fans; this is especially true for fans of clubs who would willingly spend the extra cash to make their players more comfortable (and therefore hopefully allow them to perform better). Seattle is a perfect example, having chartered a plan and putting its players up in the Ritz Carlton before their US Open Cup final showdown with DC United.

And speaking of the Sounders, The Olympian gives us a peek at their typical travel issues, the same ones that the rest of the league deals with. There's the obligatory quote from the Designated Player (that would be Mr. Ljungberg) on how different MLS is in terms of travel, though I was interested to read that the players don't seem to have any complaints about the league-mandated hotels; it looks like things have improved since Beckham and Xavier had their fried chicken fit as related in the Grant Wahl book. If soccer players do become superstars in the US at some point in the future, and the league hasn't yet removed the travel restrictions by then, I picture roving bands of groupies, all attempting to get on an MLS team's commercial flight and angling for a seat near the star striker.

  • Last week in Deep Cuts, I passed along a link to an opinion piece on how one anti-immigration group's ideas for reform would seriously hurt the US National Team. Today comes another piece connecting immigration and the Nats, in which the author wonders why there aren't more immigrants in the side. There's a reasonable point there, though the author completely ignores the issue of development; if two equally gifted players are born in Brazil, and one moves to the US at age 8, the likelihood is that the player that remained in the soccer hotbed of South America will become the better player. That doesn't mean there isn't an issue capitalizing on the talent that is here, be it naturalized or native-born; the US program has clearly yet to full maximize the player pool as it exists in the United States.

  • American Airlines is launching an online game in an effort to woo soccer fans, and specifically Hispanis ones, to the airline's frequent flyer program. The game is available in both English and Spanish, and features Spanish-language sportscaster Fernando Fiore. I'm guessing we'll see more and more of these types of programs as the game's profile rises in the US, and not just aimed at Hispanic consumers (though they will certainly drive soccer-related marketing for the foreseeable future). Unfortunately, The Man has my computer here at work on lockdown, so I'm unable to check it out. If anyone wants to give a quick review of the campaign and the game, feel free to do so in the comments.

Alas, that's just about all I could find of any real interest today. I may be back to update this post if I come across something worth passing along.
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