Dallas Soccer: Don Garber
FC Dallas players, staff and fans will join together to pay tribute to Bobby Rhine at Saturday’s match versus Red Bull New York with black arm bands and a moment of silence, as well as a video tribute to the beloved player and broadcaster at halftime.
Rhine’s initials will be painted on the field and a special banner will hang from his regular broadcast booth during the match. Defender Zach Loyd, who has worn Rhine’s No. 19 for the past two seasons, will change to No. 12 for the remainder of the season.
Brek Shea will join MLS Commissioner Don Garber, FC Dallas President and CEO Doug Quinn and members of the Rhine Family in leading the pre-game March to the Match, which will leave from The Londoner Frisco at 7 p.m. Fans can collect their own black wristbands in Rhine’s honor at the gates in exchange for a donation (amount of the fan’s choice) in Rhine’s honor to the FC Dallas Foundation. Collected funds will be put in a trust for Rhine’s two children.
The game, presented by Subaru with associate sponsors Cash America and Gruma, is also a celebration of Hispanic Heritage Night with Latin music in the Budweiser Beer Garden and regular Beer Garden specials of $2 beer and $4 wine and Hornitos margaritas.
I bring it up cause there is an excellent interview with MLS Commissioner Don Garber over at FanHouse in which Garber specifially mentions the FD name change.
The clubs are recognizing that they need to be locally connected, relevant sports teams playing the world's game. Part of that is how they brand and position themselves. The move to international branding is not something that I think diminishes their value as American sports teams. I'm totally okay with that. In fact, I'd rather have names like FC Dallas than the "Burn". I'm not sure what a "Dallas Burn" is. When we think of brands, does it resonate as a soccer brand? If it could be the name of a lacrosse team or a college sports team and it doesn't really resonate? Than I struggle as to how effective that brand can be.
So perhaps it's worth a moment of thought, do you like the FC Dallas moniker or does the name still give pause?
In the hour leading up to the contest MLS Commish Don Garber held a press conference where he announced that the league was going to start "investigating" the idea of following the FIFA Calendar. Garber claims that for FIFA's Sepp Blatter, this is priority number one for MLS to become a legit league. Garber pointed out that if MLS were following the FIFA calendar, Sunday night's match would be a regular season outing and potentially a good indictor if the idea of playing soccer in mid November, December or any other famously chilly winter night was going to fly with MLS fans.
If Toronto can't fill up it's quaint 21,700 seater for MLS Cup, even if TFC isn't playing, well then the idea of a Revs-Quake match in early December on a cold New England evening, or a Philly-Houston tie in February, is all just silly talk, isn't it?
That makes playing the Championship match in bitterly cold, windy conditions - on purpose - a flat out a bad idea. Its not charming in that "Green Bay Packers" kind of way. It is poor decision making.
There was a noticeable number of seats vacant in the leading moments of the match. By halftime they had grown to large empty patches, not unlike the brown areas in my front yard, so that by the the time the second half started you knew Garber, MLS, and its decision makers were embarrassed.
There was talk that TFC fans did this on purpose. Because the club and league had "forced" them to purchase MLS Cup tickets with their 2011 season ticket packages, and because TFC has been a four year failure on the pitch, fans had organized a boycott with the purpose of humiliating the club and league. If true, this was a selfish and shameful decision that merely harmed the league and likely did nothing to help their cause for a better product on the pitch.
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