Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Why Melbourne Victory?

As promised, an update to my list of teams that I follow. I've done previous posts about the Colorado Rapids, Queen of the South, Blackburn Rovers, and CD Tenerife. As well as the now defunct Kildare County and my brief following of My FC team Ebbsfleet United. This time we're heading to the land Down Under for the Melbourne Victory of the Australian A-League.

I had a passing interest in the Australian league for its first 3 seasons, mainly due to its similarities with MLS. Its a new league in a country that's been dominated by sports other than soccer. Its fighting a number of the same issues MLS did early in its life, like small crowds in large stadiums, possible over expansion, and trying to get respect on the sporting landscape. Since Rupert Murdoch seems to own all the TV rights to the league we get a game or so a week on Fox Soccer Channel here in the States so it made it easy to peek in on the league and see what was happening.

It wasn't until right before the 2008 MLS season that I really picked a team to follow. One of my other hobbies is strategic board gaming. If anyone has played Settlers of Catan you'll know what kind of games I'm talking about, along with what people think of when they think of wargames. The largest community for that hobby on-line is at BoardGameGeek. As with any large community discussion tends to spread beyond the original reason for the gathering and a forum for soccer fans was created. At one point the moderator of that forum, an Aussie, asked for suggestions of which MLS team he should follow. I suggested the Rapids of course, and my arguments were apparently convincing as he has taken up the burgundy & blue! I would assume he's the lone member of the Australian Rapids Supporters Group. ;)

After he decided to follow the Rapids I decided to follow his A-League team, the Melbourne Victory. They tend to show up on FSC every couple of months (more often than Blackburn lately) so I've gotten to see a handful of games the last couple of seasons. Their level of play is about equal to MLS, though I think the best MLS teams could handle the top of the A-League (which would include the Victory). Over the short 4 year history of the A-League the Victory have won the title twice, and won their version of the Supporter's Shield those same two years. Currently Melbourne are in 2nd place, 3 points behind hated rivals Sydney FC with a game in hand. There are 7 games left for the Victory before the playoffs and it looks like Melbourne will have a shot at being the first repeat champions.


Rob said...

nothing better than a live midnight soccer game on saturday nights. i think i will be a terrible fan and support the north queensland fury because of their amazing kits

happy holidays.

Jason Maxwell said...

Well the Fury signed Terry Cooke a couple of months ago, so I'm keeping my eye on them too.