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OP: Don Garber’s MLS is not good for the sport of soccer

jimmy lentz

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I don’t believe or trust that Don Garber’s MLS is good for the sport of soccer.

Common sense analysis reveals Don Garber’s MLS to be—recently, at the very least—defined by deceit by way of a long-running, hidden agenda aimed at decimating a dedicated and critical soccer community in the United States: Columbus.

Add an unyielding preference to certain markets and certain big-name players, and a fluid definition of who an MLS owner really is due to a certain lawsuit and you’ve got an overly political youth league with strings pulled for some and not for others.

Speaking of snakes, will Crew owner Anthony Precourt take ownership for MAPFRE’s recent and subpar performance during a health inspection?

No, Anthony Precourt won’t take ownership of anything in Columbus. Neither will MLS.

We could really use Lamar Hunt right about now.

MLS writes a script they deem as most personally beneficial and they hope (from a narrative perspective) these pre-approved talking points blast off into spectacular fireworks.

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MLS doesn’t really care about soccer or community for all teams.

It’s a fake smile.

They use soccer as a vehicle for their own agenda and profit instead of marketing and supporting the awesomeness of the sport and success at the club level that creates lifelong memories for fans, players, and coaches in local communities.

Take out soccer and what remains in Columbus is a not entirely different version of the original ‘Major League’ film featuring a scheming owner of a beloved professional sports team in Ohio who faces pushback by a passionately relentless fan base.

A dialogue we know all too well.

Imagine if there was another petition like the 2019 #SaveTheCrew pledge for new MLS leadership?

What if this hypothetical new leadership would list its top priority as recognizing, supporting, and promoting the soccer’s amazing, ever-evolving story at the professional and youth level?

What if they were confident the profits, talent development, and spoils would subsequently follow?

I’d sign that pledge along with dedicated soccer fans across the league in numbers I don’t think Don Garber would be comforted to discover.

#SaveTheCrew

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Sports

Columbus’s John Tortorella Coach of the Year finalist

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Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella / photo by Lori Schmidt

The NHL has announced that Columbus Blue Jackets head man John Tortorella is a finalist for the Jack Adams Coach of the Year Award. If he beats out Bruce Cassidy of the Boston Bruins and Alain Vigneault of the Philadelphia Flyers, it will be the third time Tortorella has taken home the honor. 

He’s been a finalist for the award four times.

Not many seasons have been like this one, though. 

Before COVID-19 interrupted the Blue Jackets season, Columbus went 33-22-15 despite losing 419 man games to injury. 

Among those missing significant time for the Blue Jackets: last year’s leading goal scorer (Cam Atkinson), the team’s All-Star defenseman (Seth Jones), and All-Star goaltender (Joonas Korpisalo). 

Even as players fell to injury, the team rose to ninth place in the Eastern Conference, which qualified them for the modified postseason, which is scheduled for next month.

Columbus will face Toronto in Toronto for a best-of-five Stanley Cup Playoff qualifying round, the dates for the first games of which are set.

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Prior to that, Columbus will face Boston July 30 at 7 p.m. in an exhibition game. 

It won’t be long after that, Tortorella will learn if he is the NHL’s coach of the year. The winners of this year’s NHL honors will be revealed during the Conference Finals.

Hear captain Nick Foligno's thoughts on the Stanley Cup Playoffs below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6OyEsL0h68
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Sports

Ohio high school fall sports are on…for now

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Interim Executive Director of the Ohio High School Athletic Association Bob Goldring today announced that, as of now, fall sports are going ahead as scheduled. The decision as to whether to cancel play over COVID-19 concerns will be left up to individual schools. 

Goldring added that this could easily change. He talked about the fact that the governor might make a ruling that affects the ability of athletes, particularly those in contact sports, to play. 

There has been some discussion of pushing back the start date of sports in which the most contact occurs, particularly after This Week Sports reported an unknown number of local high school football coaches had suggested moving football to the spring, while having baseball staged in the fall.

Goldring did admit they have been looking at options and said they would be naive not to do so, especially because 80 percent of their revenue comes from ticket sales. Without games being played, tough decisions will certainly have to be made. 

 “The fiscal part of things is very much on my radar,” Goldring said. 

As to whether fans would actually be able to buy tickets and attend games if they do go ahead? Goldring said that, too, is ultimately a local matter. 

OHSAA may cut the minimum number of games a football team is required to play to qualify for the playoffs to account for the possibility of only some games being canceled. 

The board of directors is also still pondering the question of whether athletes can take the field if they are relying on virtual learning and aren’t allowed into the classroom. 

Right now, though, they are proceeding as if the fall season will kick off Aug. 1.

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Buckeyes back to work

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Ohio State athletics is permitting athletes from seven different sports to resume voluntary workouts after a pause due to an outbreak of COVID-19. 

Ohio State defensive back Shaun Wade heads into a workout

The university said that all athletes were tested Monday before determining that the resumption was safe. 

“These young people come from across the nation and the world to be part of our Ohio State family, and we do everything we can to create a safe, healthy environment so that they have a chance to study and compete,” said Athletics Director Gene Smith. “Our medical team will continue to evaluate, and we will share decisions as we move forward.”

The Buckeyes have refused to say how many athletes have tested positive, but longtime beat reporter Tim May had said it was fewer than ten. 

OSU teams with athletes currently working out on campus are football, men’s and women’s basketball, field hockey, men’s and women’s soccer, and women’s volleyball.

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