For what will be the third year running MLS has decided to move New England's away date at New York to a weeknight game (Now June 10th a Friday night instead of June 11th a Saturday). They will tell us that is is because it is what their broadcast partners want, and they have no control over it. Whose league is it? It's not the Fox Soccer Channel League, it's not the ESPN2 We'll-Get-Right-To-The-MLS-Match-Of-The-Week-Right-After-This-College-Volleyball-Game-Ends Soccer League, It's Major League Soccer. MLS has final say on the schedule and when games will be played. I could care less about pissing off the networks, but the league should care about pissing off it's fans.
MLS has made quite a bit of noise about wanting to support and nurture rivalries, talking about how they are good for the league yet they continue to stifle ours. The NYRB away match is one that many Revs fans look forward to seeing when the MLS schedule comes out, this year we were excited, it was finally back on a weekend after being on weeknights for the past 2 years. Plans were already being made, supporters already talking about getting buses together and/or making plans to stay in NYC for the weekend. The Revolution were set to have a great turnout of away support. For many Revolution fans NYRB away is their first away trip, it was mine and it was what motivated me to want to go to as many away games as I can. It is an easy away trip against one of our biggest rivals, even if it is purely based on the Boston/New York thing. Attempting to get to New York for a Friday night game means, taking day off from work or at least a half day and trying to get down there early to avoid New York rush hour which on a early summer Friday in June starts around 2pm. Most Revs fans do not have the luxury of being able to do this.
It is unfair that we have to sacrifice one of the most looked forward to events every year to a TV contract. We sacrifice enough here in New England, many of us want a chance to go and see Red Bull Arena in person, this game should be a no-brainer let Revs fans travel to New York for a Saturday game and let NYRB fans Travel to Foxboro for a Saturday game. Rivalries aren't just in the Pacific Northwest, they were in the Northeast long before Seattle fans invented them. MLS do the right thing and honor the original date for not just this rivalry game but any other teams rivalry games. These are the games that are most important to the fans, let the fans have them.
Please go out and voice your opinion on this matter to the league, let put the pressure on them and get them to honor the original date:
MLS - @MLS
Don Garber - MLS Commissioner - @thesoccerdon
Dan Courtemanche - MLS Director of Communications - @courtemancheMLS
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