On Sunday at 3:00pm (ESPN) the New England Revolution will be playing in the MLS Cup final for the fifth time since 2002. This despite having the worst owners in Major League Soccer.

I won’t pretend to know a ton about the Revs or how the Krafts have done as owners to the franchise, but that article still strikes me as a lets strike at the Krafts and indirectly make the “cheap” accusation type of move. It was a great way to get talked about on afternoon drive sports radio, as the topic was right in the wheelhouse of one of the two shows in town.

I don’t know if the Revs can get over the hump and get that first title, but I’ll be hoping they do.

Taylor Twellman on the call for MLS Cup – Chad Finn’s media column has it sounding like Twellman believes the Revs will have a tough task in front of them to earn their first title.

Finn also confirms that Alex Speier will be leaving WEEI.com and coming to the Globe.

The role seems a bit ambiguous. Finn says Speier will be mostly writing for the BostonGlobe.com website, with some articles also appearing in the paper. He will also not be writing strictly about baseball. While I have no doubts that Alex Speier can write about any sport, it seems a bit strange to me to take the guy who is, in my opinion, the best baseball writer in town, hands down, and use him differently.

In what would be a related move, Finn on the SoSH media forum speculates that John Tomase could be in line to replace Speier at WEEI.com. That would make sense given the history between Tomase and Rob Bradford.

  • The Patriots will be playing their last prime-time game of the regular season, on NBC’s Sunday Night Football against the San Diego Chargers.
  • Boston sports media personality Jennifer Royle, who has done shifts at WEEI, the Boston Herald, and other outlets in town, is contestant on this season of ABC’s The Taste.
  • J.J. Watt would be a better tight end than Rob Gronkowski? Thanks to Pro Football Focus for setting the advanced stats/analytics industry back 10 years. (Same article, Mike Vrabel playing TE was just a “look-how-clever-I-am gimmick by Bill Belichick.”)
  • If you’ve been an overnight listener of CBS Sports radio and used to listening to Damon Amendolara, that will change in January as his show will move to 6-10PM. Amy Lawrence will move into the slot previously occupied by Amendolara.
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36 thoughts on “Worst Owners In Major League Soccer Look For Title Win Sunday

  1. It’s not just the Globe. One of my friends is a big soccer fan (in fact, at the moment he’s on a plane to LA to see the game, he went to Brazil, etc.) and a big Pats fan — and he thinks the Krafts do a great job with the Pats and defends the Krafts who accuse them of being cheap with the Pats.

    However, he also thinks the Krafts are horrible, cheap owners of the Revs (and horrible in ways orthogonal to being cheap, too). So do many of fans of other MLS teams.

    So this isn’t just Globe anti-Kraftism. Far from it.

    1. His sentiment is common with fans. I have a similar friend who thinks the same. It’s to the point with him (and he said many) where they’d like the Krafts to just sell the team to an ownership who will focus exclusively on soccer,. similar to the Henry/Sox/Liverpool debate. With this Olympics garbage looming (my god MA residents.. stop this trainwreck), and a potential stadium in the works, I doubt he ever will. I don’t think they lose money, which many clubs do, but I can’t imagine they make a ton. If having a little-to-no profitability soccer club in your portfolio might yield a 500m soccer stadium, built largely via public funds, why not?

      Also, I do think the Krafts care it’s barely even a “5th sport” here, but not enough due to the Patriots being good. I’m interested to see if that changes once TB12/BB move on.

      I’d also posit an argument that CFB/International soccer are bigger than MLS is here, which again thwarts a hope or potential for it becoming bigger. MLS has nowhere to go but up, but it’s not one of those “buy an EPL” type levels that I think Henry loves Liverpool for. MLS has decades–if ever–to go before you could even say it’s an exportable brand outside of NA. That steers away anyone but “existing owners” (see NYCFC with the City ownership, etc.).

      Could debate all day but the whole symbiotic fanmediabrandloyaltyinterest cycle here is critical to not just the Revs but the MLS. Many cities like this one, for the foreseeable future, will not be “MLS Crazed”. Want to see where it works? look up Portland, KC and Seattle. LA is a similar situation but was able to help this via having Donovan and also Beckham. I wonder, similar to the Lakers, that once Donovan is done and their other stars move on, how much interest will be there.

  2. In determining the Kraft’s loyalty to the Revs, ask yourself if they would take a Pats won/Revs loss on Sunday, rather than the opposite. Home field in AFC title game nets them far more revenue than an MLS title. I love the Revs and would gladly sacrifice a Pats loss, but I won’t see a penny either way.

    1. You hit on something similar to what QuantumMechanic said below.

      I’d be willing to bet that the pure profit after taxes, amor, dep, etc on one Patriots home game exceeds the entire profit for every Revs home game in a season. I’m guessing but I think it’s a reasonable one.

      And, that’s the problem with many hardcores who are the community workers (unpaid) that build a fanbase. It’s a hobby, not a passion, to them. I don’t think the Krafts understand this. They’re not the absolute worst in MLS (see Chivas, etc.) but they treat the team like it’s their secondary 45ft yacht they leave parked in Boston, because the 250ft one is closer to their mansion in Hyannis.

  3. Is it safe to assume the DA show will not be heard locally? That we’ll have to continue listening Adam “the sky is falling” Jones?

    1. I’m up a lot morning’s by 4 am and I enjoy listening to DA he has a fun light hearted show with well thought out sports takes. I wish they put on his show again. In its old time slot. Santa is real right

    2. Yeah, I don’t know of a local “CBS Sports Radio” network station in the area. You’d have to stream it via their app or the Internet.

      I wondered if his #’s were good because when I had to be up during the 2-6 hours and had the radio on, I swore 75% of his callers were from the Boston area. If that meant the same with his listeners, I don’t know, but safe to assume there was some correlation?

  4. Random Thoughts:

    I would love someone to explain to me how Amy Lawrence is still employed in Sportstalk. She was so bad when she was in Providence on 790 the Score she made Andy Gresh sound like the well researched, intelligent and sane part of the team. She has done all sorts of fill in and over night work at ESPN and always sounded like the little sister who everyone ignores who tries to get herself included in all the big kid games. She is god awful.

    John Tomasse isn’t dead? I have done a good job of ignoring him since his hatchet job on the Patriots. The idea that he has been rehabilitated is a joke. He never thought he did anything wrong. If WEEI beings him into the fold and gives him an on air voice then I will have to seriously question their commitment to quality (of course they already empty both Mike Adams and Tim Benz so that might be my answer right there).

    I find the arguments that Kraft is a cheap/bad owner of the Revs as uninformed. I doubt most of the people who spout that garbage understand how the finances of MLS work or the amount of money he has spent trying to make a soccer only stadium a reality or the time he has spent trying to get TV to better cover MLS. I think it is easy to cast stones at the owner especially when you see the success he has at the Football team. But comparing the two is silly. I am a pretty big soccer fan (far more so than i am hockey or hoops). I have complaints about the Revs and some of the player acquisition and development decisions they have made…but who wouldn’t when their team has not won it all. But as far as the operation…I think they do extremely well considering the stadium situation and the random player assignment procedure in MLS.

    1. On Kraft/Revs: They’re not the worst and you can’t ignore what they did to help start the league. As far as TV exposure, do you mean the agreement they have where CSNNE/TSH has to ‘cover’ them in exchange for the stuff each does for the Patriots? Give him credit there but I think they could do much more. The problem, though, remains interest. I remember Felger mentioning that Revs games (this was prior to the JJ acquisition and the 12-1-1 record after him) average a 0.3 on Comcast. F&M does the same and that’s a 2-6 simulcast. So, if media outlets didn’t really want to spend much on rights, that’s not a bad business decision.

      As far as the stadium: a SSS definitely helps. There is no question there. However, my issue–as it is with all these–why can’t Kraft foot the bill, or most himself? Lets say the cost is $500m, which I saw floated for one of these plans that would be by South Station. If the city/state agreed to pay for maybe $50m of that, in exchange for the stadium to have some public access (youth leagues, JV/Var soccer, etc.), that’s not unreasonable. At the present time, it sounds like they’re trying to get a Jeffrey Loria type deal with all or 95% of it funded by public dollars. It’s not like the Krafts don’t have the money, could not raise it, or get a loan. To me, if they’re so hot for public funds, put it to a vote. I think many would respect that process. Go look at Minnesota/Vikings to see why they’d never let this happen. One would think after the “Big Dig” that voters would demand this but..

      1. So as I understand the SSS issue the what the Krafts want is a commitment to a plot of land in the city (read that as where ethnic minorities have better access because they are the bulk of the fans) which in turn means a commitment to infrastructure, because any land he would look at in the neighborhood he needs would not have T access, parking and maybe not even enough water and power. So could Kraft foot the bill himself maybe. The problem is unlike the NFL which is a license to print money the MLS is not. SO let’s say that a SSS stadium that holds 30K were built. If the cost is any more than $300 mill I doubt it ever pays off. The $500 mill number you are floating would not be a good deal. As such it is in Boston’s or Mass’ better interest to build the SSS stadium, as a redevelopment project in a less well off area and then get some colleges, high schools and leagues to use the space. A 30K person outdoor stadium in the round would also be a better concert venue than Fenway and it would be better for the occasional Winter Classic hockey game. Lastly, if they put a track in it then it could also be used for major track and field events.

        1. The problem is unlike the NFL which is a license to print money the MLS is not.

          My question is, with all of these, when are cities in the business of sports franchises? If it were a loan/bond, that’s another thing. Most can’t even handle repaving of a road w/o bungling it (delays, 10x overbudget, WFA, etc.)

          Question always is where does the $ come from if we do a large % via public funds. New tax, raise them.. something. I’ll reintroduce my point of: if the voters there want it, that should be their choice.

          If the cost is any more than $300 mill I doubt it ever pays off.

          Yeah, and I’d venture to guess its many times lower than this. See the research out there that destroys the “stadium brings in revenue” myth. The stuff with the Olympics is even worse. Atlanta, from the ’96 games, is a sh1thole now and everything is dilapidated.

          Last point you described is usually termed a “multi-purpose” stadium. Great idea, sure, but I doubt it’d fly with them. The Krafts want a SSS for the Revs, not a “stadium that can be used for soccer but happens to be used for a lot more”. The fact it could be? Great. But, they’d argue it looks “amateur”.

          So, his argument could be that w/o public funding, it’s not economically viable to build a stadium, even if, lets say he got $100m from the city/state for the land and he owned it like he does w/Gillette. Then, again, I ask why municipalities are in the business of sports? It makes me think of the Marlins disaster there.

          1. I think I have a slight different perspective than you. I think cities are in the redevelopment/quality of life business which is different than being in the sports stadium business. I think building a facility in a neglected part of town that will increase desirability, business and tourism to that part of town thereby expanding the tax base is a good thing. There are plenty of examples of municipality owned facilities that benefit the community…look at the Providence Civic/Convention Center or Hines Convention Center, the Meadowlands complex or the Oakland Colosseum. I think a SSS facility where the Rev’s are the main but not exclusive tenant, where Kraft does not control all of the luxury box or club seat revenue and where there are legitimate other uses so it is not a 40 night a year facility would be a good thing for South Boston, West Boston, Roxbury or maybe even at the old Horse Track now that the Casino is not going in there.

            I would fund it through Muni Bonds where the city (or state depending on how it is done) is first in line. It could get done…and I actually think it should get done.

          2. Wonder land dog track would be perfect. I might even see a game there. Plus mid level concerts would work too

          3. Tony…Wonderland is an even better site and it desperately needs redevelopment. Plenty of land and decent access.

          4. A soccer specific stadium where they could eventually also host NCAA events, MIAA tournament finals (like Gillette for football and the Garden/DCU Center for hockey and basketball), and perhaps bring in international friendlies would be a great boon for a neighborhood in need of revitalization and would get use from spring through late fall.

          5. The biggest complaint now–and, it’s legit–is that FT sucks for soccer. Go read the number of articles on Int’l clubs that come to Foxboro, only to sit their biggest guys out. The women, in their WC, are fighting for this now.

            FT is great for resisting 350lb guys moving a foot or two at the LOS. It’s not good for 180lb guys running around 3-6 miles during a match.

          6. Yeap, we do differ. I thought a happy compromise, if we expand it to the usual “sides”, is to allow a vote. I’d disagree but respect democracy there. I doubt it’d ever be done. I’m also not a resident, so my opinion should mean nothing.

            The most legit gripe on all of this is soccer is not designed to be played on FT. It’s the reason why many large int’l clubs sit their biggest guys or only allow them in for 10 minutes. FT is great for football, when you have 350lb dudes moving a foot or two every play; it’s not healthy for 180lb guys running 3-6 miles during a match.

    1. Wow. An interesting and insightful article on BB without talking to him. “That’s called reporting, Mike.”

        1. Kind of shoots a ginormous hole in the “BB doesn’t talk to the media and makes it too hard to do their job” narrative, doesn’t it?

    2. In BIll We Trust; Felger, Mazz, Adam Jones, the Curly Haired Boyfriend, Tim Benz, Mutton Lou (sic) and Borges can ALL go straight to hell.

    3. One quibble with the article: Spygate wasn’t Belichick “going overboard.” If the Pats had been the only team doing what they did, then I could see calling it going “overboard.” But everyone knows by now (or at least should know by now) that it was a common practice around the league, for years, prior to Commissioner Jackass’s memo being circulated. True, BB ignored the memo and probably deserved a slap on the wrist for that, but to receive what amounts to a 30-year prison sentence, not to mention a public execution of his reputation and legacy by the media for committing what amounted to the pigskin equivalent of jaywalking — a “crime” that just about EVERYONE was committing or had committed in the past — was a complete joke. It’s too bad the writer felt the need to bring it up again in an otherwise intriguing article.

  5. I was hoping jonathan went to the soccer game while Bob Kraft watched the Patriots destroy the Chargers with his girlfriend by his side.

  6. I think it’s hard to pick the worst owners in MLS. I think the actual number of people who could tell you about how the owners of every franchise run their team is so small. The MLS supporters who actually know, probably wouldn’t want to blast any of their own. The Krafts could be the worst. I don’t know of any MLS owners that are worse. I just don’t know of any that are better either.

  7. Troll so hard.

    @adamxii 2m2 minutes ago

    For the record, I picked the Pats to go 9-7 on the season, so I’m OK with how this is shaping up so far.

    1. What a cock. So this guy is one of those Red Sox fans who hates the Patriots continual success.

    2. One look at his Twitter timeline reveals that this toolbag is best buddies with Eric Wilbur. Is this shocking to anyone? Two peas in a pod.

      1. Maybe he’s jealous that when people think of “twelve” around here, Tom Brady comes first and will always be what the number #12 is symbolic of.

    1. It’s the best all-around team (OFF, DEF and ST) that we have seen since 2004, the phony contrarians be damned.

    2. Felger, Troy Brown and another of his echoes on the TV post-game show last night were already conjuring up doomsday scenarios for when the Pats have to face teams with “good defensive fronts” in the playoffs, because the O-line struggled a bit during this two-game road trip. True, the line did struggle somewhat last night and in Green Bay last week, but prior to that it had strung together 7 superb games in a row. And, quite frankly, the protection and run blocking seem to be better in Foxboro when the communication is easier due to the home crowd…..last night’s win hopefully went a long way towards assuring that the Pats won’t have to leave Foxboro in the post-season unless they’re hopping on a plane to Arizona for the Super Bowl. Then, and only then, will it be time to ask: “How can they possibly handle that Seattle defensive line if they can’t block mediocre fronts like Green Bay’s and San Diego’s!!!???!!!?”

  8. Sidebar vent/rant:

    Yesterday, I was at the gym before the Patriots game. To satisfy everyone, they have 20 TVs all tuned to different channels that never change. You have all the local networks, CBNC, ESPN, NESN, CSNNE and all three cable news channels. On each treadmill, you can hook up to a little keypad device for audio if you want it. You can move your head 180 degrees and see what most are on/talking about, and they turn on CC. Since it was around 7, all except NBC/FOX were some form of a nightly news broadcast, with most the local Boston one. Are all these networks–and this includes local Boston stations–seriously invested in “William and Kate” coming here? Do you think the people around here care this much? Are you f*cking kidding me? Your average person really cares about royalty in another country? Didn’t some boys, a long time ago, throw a bunch of tea in the harbor over this garbage?

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