Welcome to Partially Obstructed View. We are each restrained by the limits of our own perspective, but when we meet to share information a clearer picture of the truth can be revealed. Comments & criticisms are welcome.

Friday 9 August 2013

First Person View – Midseason Friendlies should be Celebratory -- Part Two - What Should Be Done

    With the midweek match against AS Roma in the rearview and Kevin Payne’s comments still simmering, it is a good to time get to the root of this problem.

    Part One addressed why these matches have become a point of friction.

    All things equal, these little jaunts should be simple celebrations of the sport, but instead, without fail, they become the focus of outrage from the disenfranchised who feel their club is not taking the situation seriously.

    To their credit, the fans have a point.

    After all, what does it say about a front office that is willing to risk their league campaign for the hope of some glory-by-association?

    The simple solution, one often overlooked, is for MLSE to be more proactive in the booking of these friendlies, rather than latching on to another team’s plans.

    Los Angeles, who took part in the inaugural Guiness International Champions Cup, were sure to have their weekend clear, thus limiting its impact on their league campaign.

    Dallas, who played Stoke City recently, scheduled the match for a Saturday night, one that the club just happened to have off in its MLS schedule – would any here have grumbled so vocally if Roma had come to town on a bye weekend with a whole week left to prepare for the next league match?

    When Portland hosted Morelia on July 3rd, they did so midweek after an off weekend, ensuring that travelling at least was not a major hurdle and the match was more leisurely than the Roma affair appeared to be from the outside.

    The problem appears to be that TFC is not actively pursuing these friendlies prior to the league schedule being defined, but rather trying to fit them in after the fact, dependant on the schedules of the visiting team.

    This is not acceptable.

    Given their failure in the Voyageurs Cup and non-participation in this year’s Champions League, it was the perfect season to have such a summer showcase, but rather than craft their own experience they relied on the league to hand them an opponent – with Roma already in North America for the MLS All-Star game.

    If the club has its heart set on these friendlies, they should at least have the good grace to ensure that the league campaign is impacted as minimally as possible.

Part Three will be up shortly.

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