MLS 101: How to follow the league
Last week, there was the exciting news that fans can follow Whitecaps FC's every move on Team 1410. This includes pre-game and post-game coverage, as well as a Monday to Friday Whitecaps FC show.
As a result, Team 1410's coverage will immediately become the most dedicated in Major League Soccer, and is a great start for the soccer fans of Vancouver to follow the team's every move.
This feels like a good opportunity to look at other outlets that can be used to follow our Whitecaps FC and MLS as a whole, so all of us can be the most educated fans in North America.
MLS does a fantastic job of keeping their official website - MLSsoccer.com - current. It has an editorial staff that writes very insightful stories, as well as post videos regarding the latest news in the league. There are injury reports, a disciplinary summary, Goal of the Week, and Save of the Week features. You can also see match highlights, stats on teams and players, and the latest standings. There is also a very good podcast called ExtraTime Radio that comes out every Monday and Thursday. With MLS also on Facebook and Twitter, and the MLS Insider Blog providing further insight, this is a great place to start.
If you want to follow the game on television (Whitecaps FC stations will be released soon), CBC, Rogers Sportsnet, and GOL TV Canada showed Toronto FC matches in 2010. In the United States, ESPN and ESPN2 show most of the MLS teams in action, while Galavision provides Spanish language coverage of the league.
Further coverage of MLS can also be found of TV shows like Rogers Sportsnet's Soccercentral, Fox Soccer Report on Fox Sports World Canada, Setanta Connected on Setanta Sports Canada, GOL TV news on GOL TV Canada, and The Footy Show on The Score Television Network.
If you want to follow the print media at home, we have TheProvince.com/Whitecaps and VancouverSun.com/sports/soccer. There are also many interesting websites that report consistently on Canadian soccer and MLS that are in my favorites on my Internet browser. SoccerReportExtra.com, CanadianSoccerNews.com, SoccerByIves.com, cbcsports.ca/sports/soccer, and BCSoccerWeb.com are but a few that will keep you well informed.
Our own Whitecaps FC have introduced a weekly podcast, with club correspondent Simon Fudge and yours truly giving you inside info into the goings on with our beloved Blue and White. We are looking to invite some interesting guests for their insight into our first MLS season.
There are also a number of blogs worth checking out: All Caps, Away from the Numbers, Back of the Net, Eighty Six Forever, Free Kick, Full-Time, Offside, Vancouver Insider, Whitecaps Blog, Whitecaps Fan Blog, and Whitecaps Watch... did I missing any?
Every Sunday, TEAM 1040 airs Full-Time: Vancouver's The Soccer Show from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. PT. Host Tyler Green and Mike Martignago provide great coverage of the 'Caps and soccer in Canada.
From The Score, The Footy Blog offers a fun and thoughtful blog and podcast on the game, which highlights soccer in North America. Prost Amerika has the Radio Sounders Show, which is hosted by Steve Clare. This show does a good job of profiling our Cascadia rivals in Sounders FC and Portland Timbers, as well as ourselves.
In Toronto, The Fan 590 has The Soccer Show, which is hosted by Nigel Reed and former NASL star and Canadian international Bob Iarusci. It airs every Thursday at 6 p.m. PT, with a TV rebroadcast on Setanta Sports Canada. They should have some very interesting views now that Whitecaps FC are in MLS alongside their hometown club Toronto FC.
The Whitecaps FC team on the field and in the office are working hard to make us one of the best clubs in Major League Soccer. I hope the above gives you some direction into becoming the best and most educated fans in MLS.