In my opinion Major League Soccer takes quite a lot of unfair stick in the British press. It often faces critisism on grounds of being “too American”, “overcommercialised” and “supporting the awful franchise system.”
On the first count, of being too American, it’s going to be difficult to avoid. It is of course, overcommericalised, but so is pretty much every top league in the entire world. And the Franchise system is something that is deeply ingrained into the American sporting psyche. I just don’t think they could cope with a large league ladder such as in England or Italy.
I’ve been taking quite an interest in Major League Soccer, not because of the obvious pull of Mr Beckham but because of ex-Wolves, Norwich City (and most important to me) Wales midfielder Carl Robinson.
Robinson plays in the MLS East for Toronto FC, one of the newest teams in Major League Soccer. The manager there is ex-Scotland striker Mo Johnstone and there are familiar faces throughout the team. Danny Dichio (more about him later), Jim Brennan, Colin Samuel, Ronnie O’Brien and Andy Welsh have played in British football leagues.
Toronto FC’s took five matches to score their first goal in MLS. It came in the 24th minute, scored by Danny Dichio (unfortunately for Dichio he was sent off later in the same match!). Now, every match that they play the Toronto fans sing the quite marvellous Danny Dichio song when the scoreboard hits 24 minutes:
All of the videos I have seen regarding Toronto’s participation in the MLS seem to suggest that their fans are passionate, loud and very interested in soccer. The idea of singing a song on the 24th minute of every game that is played is a lovely one, I’d like to think it will continue for years to come – even if Dichio leaves the club.
Forget about Becks, let’s hear it for MLS and Danny Dichio!
Danny Dichio, Danny Dichio, Danny Dichioooooooooooooooooooooooooo!