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Controversy?! Why it's good for MLS
Why it's good that there has been more controversies in MLS in 2021
One of the biggest problems over my years covering MLS is that there was a lack of “spice” as Jason Concepcion or others would call it. All you have to do is look at how much oxygen Zlatan sucked up during his two years or how much time we at MLSsoccer.com spent talking about Adrian Heath’s hatred for us (though it was all in good fun).
We were always searching for the quote or the incident that could spark conversation, and if we ever got it, we went all in. Luckily we may be seeing a revolution happening right under our feet.
First we got David Ochoa riling up the entire state of Minnesota by kicking the ball into the Wonderwall after a win. I can understand the viewpoint of some Minnesota fans that maybe this wasn’t the brightest idea, but I don’t think it rises to the level of putting him under the guillotine.
Heath came out and said Ochoa is not a good player. Think about that! How many times do coaches say something negative about an opposing player. This will heat up a rivalry between RSL-Minnesota quickly and clearly RSL know how to pounce an opportunity when it comes to them.
Next came a quick incident between Ryan Hollingshead and Gio Savarese. Hollingshead faking throwing a ball at Savarese’s head is one of the better laughs I have gotten watching a MLS match.
Quick, easy and fun. You know there will be interest in the next match between these teams when Hollingshead has to come to the sideline for a throw-in.
Finally we had last night’s kerfuffle between Nicest Guy In The World Jim Curtin and Gabriel Heinze. Heinze was apparently pissed that the Union did a top-class job CONCACAFing in Leg 1 when they beat Atlanta 3-0. Clearly the former Manchester United player needed an introduction to soccer’s top tournament.
Going into the presser, I think anyone would have bet on Curtin brushing the whole thing off and “no commenting.” So what does he do instead? He calls Heinze a “sore loser and an asshole”!
Think about what the buildup to the next Philly-Atlanta game will be like. My friends at MLSsoccer.com are going to spill ALL the ink going into it and hopefully draw some interest into the game.
These incidents create interest in the players and coaches involved. That brings fans into MLS and maybe gives them a tiny look at how much it’s improved and how fun it could be on a week-to-week basis. More of this please.