Thursday, October 26, 2006


Early on, during my initial exposure to soccer, I was often perplexed by the use of the term 'unlucky'. It took a while for me not to cringe every time the word was uttered, and I'm still not a fan. You never hear a baseball player say, "Oh that's unlucky," when a teammate swings at a fastball and misses. If he did, the batter would likely chop him down at the knees on the way back to the dugout. But 'unlucky' isn't going away anytime soon in soccer football, so I'll just have to deal with it.

Which brings me to the topic of this post: the number 13. Considered unlucky, 13 is now the current number of teams in USL-1 (Toronto out, California and Carolina in). Having an odd number of teams is nothing new in professional sports, but something just doesn't seem right about 13 teams in the single-table format of USL-1. From a scheduling standpoint, it adds more parity and balance, which is a good thing (sorry Timber fans, no more feasting on Minnesota four times a year). It also means less than half the teams (seven versus six) would qualify for the playoffs, adding more legitimacy to the postseason.

But what if it turns out to be a bad omen? What if one of the 13 sides pulls an Edmonton midseason and bails? What if USL-1 really is unlucky, and not in the patronizing soccer sense? We'll just have to wait and see how it all pans out.

No comments: