Sunday, July 8, 2012

Is Vince McMahon running MLS?

Have you noticed that Major League Soccer (MLS) games are taking on the look and feel of a World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) match and that Vince McMahon has taken over for Don Garber as commissioner? Somewhere between the fights, suspensions, and random moments of glory, the soccer pitches across the league are looking more like the ring that wrestling has called home for decades. Who's up for Beckham versus DeRo in a TLC match (tables, ladders, and chairs for the uneducated)?

The latest suspension this season was handed down to David Beckham following the LA Galaxy v San Jose Earthquake match at Stanford Stadium last weekend in front of a sell out crowd of 50,000 people. While there was no giant video board entrances or pyro, the real fireworks came off of Becks foot in more ways than one. Beckham scored an incredible free kick goal just outside the 18 yard box near the end of the first half, but he used his cleat to drop another amazing shot when SJ was stalling as the match was ending. If you haven't seen the highlight, check it out below.

The Beckham incident was just the latest in a long series of issues that have plagued the league this season. Some would say it is a lack of focus by the players, but what if it was a brilliant master plan by Vince McMahon's soccer alter-ego (a la Don Garber) for keeping MLS at the top of SportsCenter highlights? 

Brek Shea earned a three match ban earlier in the season after he kicked a ball at a referee during a match for FC Dallas. Beckham's teammate Mike Magee was suspended a single game after he threw a ball at a referee. Then there is Toronto FC who can't seem to get out of the starting blocks, except when it comes to fighting. While in Houston for a match, three of their players were arrested for getting in a bar fight two nights before the game.

Sometimes the field looks more like the Royal Rumble when both teams get involved in a full out brawl as was the case late last season when LA and NY went at it at the end of the match when Marquez threw a ball at Donovan's head.

MLS doesn't want to see their star players suspended because they are still what draw the gate receipts for most teams. However, hearing that Beckham, Shea, or Marquez are suspended for any reason on the various sports shows does give some attention to the league that is still fighting for headlines against baseball and the Olympics this summer. Sadly, I don't think we will be seeing John Cena replace his wrestling boots for a pair of cleats anytime soon.


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