- Jason Davis

Jared and I reconvened yesterday to survey the American soccer landscape. What we saw both frightened and enthralled us. We therefore decided to record ourselves talking about it for just under an hour, with bits on everything from the Timbers home debut to Henry's defiant celebration interspersed with snazzy music. Lucky you.

It starts with Thursday night's late, but amazing, Timbers home debut. The atmosphere was electric, living up to the hype that has been building for the better part of two years. "Jeld-Wen Field" might be hard to say, but Portland's stadium is going to be on the tip of everyone's tongue for the remainder of the season. Jared and I spend the whole first segment on the Timbers big night. Bob Ryan and his odd reaction to the crowd-sung anthem is debated, and I can't help but go off on a tangent about how wonderful a stadium like that would be for DC United and their fans. Not that it would be better than what we saw on Thursday necessarily, just that it would be equally brilliant in a different way.

A break happens, then Jared and I get into Real Salt Lake's big week. In Monterrey for the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League Final, the Royals have a daunting task ahead of them. They don't have to be the first MLS team to win in Mexico to take home the trophy, but it would be great to see. With the league moving a match to accommodate RSL's shot at glory, questions come up about the precedent set and whether it's fair to the Union that their date with RSL was moved. One has to wonder how much pressure was placed on Philly to acquiesce to the request.

Thierry Henry finally scored, so we naturally have to talk about that. The Frenchman was visibly frustrated before his breakthrough, throwing his hands up and just generally appearing to question the universe as to why he must suffer so. The goal wasn't important to the result (New York was going to win anyway), but if TH14 plays like he did on Saturday and has the confidence to score goals, New York is finally the team everyone thought they could be. Luke Rodgers had a cracker too, and it wasn't just about the two goals he scored. If he works well with Henry—and he certainly seemed to on Saturday—we have to wonder if there's any time to be had for young Juan Agudelo. The fact that Agudelo is so young complicated the issue for USMNT fans; on one hand, it should be okay for the striker to wait his turn behind an all-time great and a seasoned pro. On the other, Bob Bradley would definitely prefer the kid be playing as the US gears up to go after the Gold Cup this summer.

The Galaxy won yesterday without Beckham or Donovan (something we didn't know at the time of recording because it hadn't happened yet), and it's the status of the latter that might be somewhat concerning for USMNT supporters. Donovan reportedly has a knee injury picked up in a match earlier this season; is there any reason to be concerned that what is keeping him out is something more dire. Jared and I debate. Donovan's schedule suddenly changed (we thought for the better) in 2011, so there's always a chance his non-stop routine in previous years is catching up to him.

At this point in the show, we insert a quick note on the reported expansion fee for Major League Soccer's 20th team: $100 million. The news comes out of a New York Times story on the Cosmos, so Jared and I consider that perhaps the number is a premium for Kemsley and co. to have the right to New York 2. If it's not, however, it seems a rather insane jump from the $50 million or so that Montreal Impact will pay to join MLS next season.

On to emails. The first is on-board with Jared's "support Mexico" sentiment from last week, and the second is about the current status of the USMNT talent pool. If you've got something to share—be it a theory, stratagem, anecdote or general rambling on why American soccer is great/sucks—send it to show@americansoccershow.com post-haste.

After the interlude, we close the show with a few more thoughts on Henry. Thierry went a little aggro with his goal celebration, appearing to disrespect the fans at Red Bull Arena. Of course, they had booed their star striker every time he'd missed a reasonable chance, so the reaction is somewhat understandable. It seems like Henry has taken the generally recognized regional disposition to heart. The conclusion is that the fans won't care how many times Henry curses at them as long as he scoring goals.

Thanks for listening. Make sure you like and comment at the Facebook page and hit us up on Twitter.

Please to be sharing this with everyone you know who likes soccer, even just a little bit. Tweet the link, share it on Facebook, blast it in your car with the windows down, etc., etc. We will be eternally grateful.


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