Portland Timbers

Confusing the headline with the article itself… (editorial)

On the MLS website the Headline to get folks to read about Toronto FC reads “Chronicling Toronto FC’s rapid rise to the MLS Elite”…

Not so interesting anymore (perhaps?) is when you actually click on that article it actually has nothing to do with proving anything about Toronto being an “elite team” in MLS it’s all about “Rebuilding Toronto FC: ¬†MLS Insider chronicles events from Ryan Nelsen’s hiring to Michael Bradley’s signing”.

I’m not sure about your thoughts on this but this article is a great example of how MLS abuses the good nature of soccer supporters to entice them to read something that really has nothing to do with the headline.

So let’s take a moment to consider the real headline for a minute… …rapid rise to the MLS Elite…

Perhaps that word elite is more about the ‘elite class’ that spends tons of money to buy players in hopes of making the playoffs and winning the championship? Hmmm… I think Toronto has done that for years so is a ‘rapid rise’ the right phrase? Not likely – perhaps ‘snails pace’ rise is appropriate?

So let’s consider actual on-field performance – granted it’s early days yet but as noted Toronto have started with 6 points in two games to start the season – there were some notable teams last year who also started well (FC Dallas and Chivas USA to name two) who weren’t offered up as making a ‘rapid rise’ to the MLS Elite even with their great start.

So what about team tactics – Toronto have started the season by playing negative football (as some might call it) – working towards yielding possession in order to take advantage of opponent mistakes in transition. A great strategy/tactic but not one likely to surprise anyone anymore…

The real ‘rapid rise’ for Toronto will come in the next 10-15 games where their initial tactics are a known-known – (thanks for this Donald Rumsfeld) but their future tactics are unknown-knowns or known-unknowns as opposed to unknown-unknowns…

So to be fair to the public I would suggest MLS writers/editors take off their own ‘rose tinted glasses’ and offer up articles that “match” the headline (or vice versa) and don’t give readers the misrepresentation on what the contents of their articles will be.

While not an editor in journalism myself I would have thought a more appropriate Headline would be “Tracking Toronto as they try to go from tepid to top of the table”…

In closing…

The article itself is a great piece tracking the history on how Toronto has repackaged and taken steps to improve their side for this year – but it certainly has nothing to do with proving anything about Toronto FC being an Elite team in MLS… disappointing….

Others may disagree of course… but I think the marketing approach on ‘selling the MLS product’ is first and foremost in the minds of editors – shameful!

Best, Chris

Chris Gluck

Chris Gluck

I have been covering the Portland Timbers and Major League Soccer, as a community blogger/analyst for the Columbian Newspaper, since June, 2012. Since then my involvement in soccer analysis has expanded to include participating in the Regional Emmy Award Winning Soccer City PDX TV Show (Comcast Sports Northwest). My unique analytical approach has been published in Europe and presented at the World Conference on Science and Soccer 2014. I also appear regularly as a co-host on Rose City Soccer Show and the Yellowcarded Podcast. You can find my work on PossessionwithPurpose.com, PTFC Collective and Prost Amerika.