Ok back after a bit of a break from blogging all things soccer, and I've got kind of an obsure thing to talk about today. While watching Real Salt Lake christen their new gorgeous staduim Rio Tinto (a very sincere congrats to all our soccer loving brethren out west, you guys and gals deserve it! enjoy) with a 1-1 draw agaisnt RBNY I kind of openly stated something I've felt for a long time. New stadiums mean new nets!!! Now some of you may be asking what the hell is he talking about? Well maybe you havent noticed, but a number of MLS teams still play in football arenas, and while that leads to all the annoying problems we all complain about (unsightly lines, half empty seats, turf, bad tv angles) it also means that they have to play on those moveable semi permanent nets that have to be weighed down by bags of sand and just seem to scream out THIS SOCCER SETUP IS ONLY FOR TONIGHT!!! BACK TO FOOTBALL TOMORROW!!! Now some might say that it doesnt matter, and in terms of pickup games i agree because i play shooting between two barrells, or gymbags half the time. But for a professional soccer team, in a leauge trying to gain a footing, I think things should be top notch and the best they can be. The permanent nets are safer because they dont roll off the line and possibly injure players, they also are better for the game because they cant be jarred loose slowing up play. But more than anything, they just look cooler!! When a world class player takes a world class free kick and buries it into the net, there is a certain visceral quality to watching the net snap back and wave from the force of the shot. Or to put it as simply as Tommy Smyth usually does, its nice to see a striker "bulge the auld onion bag". With those high school style nets that Kansas City, Houston, San Jose, and New England my home club, still use the effect just isnt as cool( feel free to include any teams still using them that ive missed, but i think i got them all). So maybe the WOW factor im preaching about is only for me, but I also think that in general quality equipment like the type ive mentioned means something something to the fans. Its nice to pay your ticket price, sit down in a good stadium that you feel welcome in, and watch your team compete with top of the line stuff, that makes you feel like your sport isnt second rate or second class. Perhaps thats why we all crave SSS's, because they make us feel like fans and not guests. And thats what i mean with the nets, its always seemed like a symbol to me of a more permanent team, and a permanent league, like our teams wont get rolled away in the middle of the night when we turn off the TV.
Also i realize that during the summer football free months RBNY play in real nets, i just didnt add it in the heart of my post. But come on red bull fans, dont bring that up, you know your stadium is horrible. But fear not red bull arena, or park, or whatever its called is close at hand. Hopefully Juan Pablo Angles knees dont buckle on that turf before then!!