Archive for May, 2013

For those that have been buried under a rock and have not heard yesterday’s news, Manchester City F.C. and the New York Yankees have purchased a Major League Soccer expansion franchise to be named New York City FC and start play in 2015 for a record $100 million dollar fee.  The team will likely play their first two or three seasons and Yankee Stadium before moving into a permanent facility in the city proper.  Creating a rivalry with the nearby New York Red Bulls of New York’s New Jersey suburbs (Harrison to be precise), the team’s admission to the league creates the league’s second local derby, the other being between the Los Angeles Galaxy and Chivas USA, who share Carson, California’s Home Depot Center.

New York City FC would play in the Eastern Conference presumably, meaning that the Houston Dynamo are likely to be moved back.  The league’s next step should be to target Miami, Orlando, Atlanta, and Minnesota for expansion before the end of the decade.  Bringing the league to twenty-four teams, it would be hard not to realign into three conferences or into two conferences with two divisions each.  A scenario for each could look like this:

Eastern Conference: Atlanta, D.C. United, Montreal, New England, New York City FC, New York Red Bulls, Philadelphia, Toronto

Central Conference: Chicago, Columbus, FC Dallas, Houston, Miami, Minnesota, Orlando, Sporting Kansas City

Western Conference: Chivas USA, Colorado, Los Angeles, Portland, Real Salt Lake, San Jose, Seattle, Vancouver

An alternative could be to swap Atlanta with Columbus, which puts the entire southeast set of teams together, but also takes away a natural geographic rival from Chicago and puts four expansion teams into one conference.  Miami and Tampa Bay previously had teams that folded after the 2001 season, the only two MLS clubs ever to do so.

In the two sets of two format, it could look like this:

Eastern Conference Northeast: Montreal, New England, New York, New York, Philadelphia, Toronto

Eastern Conference Southeast: Atlanta, D.C. United, FC Dallas, Houston, Miami, Orlando

Western Conference Northwest: Chicago, Columbus, Minnesota, Portland, Seattle, Vancouver

Western Conference Southwest: Chivas USA, Colorado, Los Angeles, Real Salt Lake, San Jose, Sporting Kansas City

This format would not seem to work well, as travel would be enormous for some teams currently in the Eastern Conference that would be forced into the West.  If the MLS targets the southeast, could the league return to the three conference system?  How would the playoff format work then?  Lots of questions that will only be answered by time.

The Downers Grove North Trojan Varsity Baseball Team hosted and defeated the Hinsdale South Hornets on Senior Night at Legion Field in Downers Grove.  It would be the visitors that would score first, but the Trojans would put together five runs in the second inning and would not relinquish the lead throughout the rest of the game.

Dowers Grove North came into the game in second place in the West Suburban Conference’s Silver Division, two games behind Oak Park-River Forest, with an official conference record of 12-6, contests in which the team outscored opponents by a combined score of 142-62.  Hinsdale South led the Gold Division by a game and a half over the Trojans’ greatest rival in the Downers Grove South Mustangs.  While the Trojans led the conference in runs scored, Hinsdale South’s conference-low five runs allowed seemed likely to be enough to keep the 13-0 in the game and allow them a chance to win.

Instead, the game went in the complete opposite way, as the home side won by a final score of 10-2, as the visitors put up single runs in both the first and fifth innings, while the Trojans were able to avoid the big inning.  The Trojans had an opportunity for more, but third baseman Joey Provenzano was called out at third after hitting a two-run double.  When questioned about the closeness of the play, the home plate umpire replied that Provenzano was only half-way to third when the ball got there and that it was “not close at all”, though it appeared that the base-runner may have been able to touch third base before the tag itself was applied.

On defense, shortstop Connor Kopach backed up the strong pitching performance from Matthew Bohanon with caught line drive and a throw to first that North first baseman Troy Southard was able to pick out of the dirt, a task he would be successful at consistently throughout the game.  Right fielder David Henson flashed the leather with two outs in the seventh inning, leaving his feet to make a diving catch to end the game and complete the eight run victory.  Other noteworthy offensive performances came from designated hitter Jack Goergen and center fielder James Sheldon.

Steve Smith got a hit.

The Trojans close out their regular season with a game at Glenbard North and a home finale at Legion Field against Naperville Central of Monday, May 20, during the last week of classes for the team’s Senior class of 2013.