SBD/9/Leagues Governing Bodies


     MLS held its inaugural game Saturday in San Jose before
over 31,000 fans.  MLS Chair Alan Rothenberg: "This was a dream
day with a storybook finish.  If I had had the audacity to write
a script like that, I would have been scoffed at" (Frank
Dell'Apa, BOSTON GLOBE, 4/8).
     REVIEWS:  Most media reports noted the festive nature, with
vocal crowd support.  Reviews of the action on the field were
mixed, with most noting the near embarrassment of a possible 0-0
final score.  MLS Commissioner Doug Logan admitted play was "a
bit ragged in the early stages."  That was echoed by many in the
media.  In San Francisco, Dan Giesin notes the game may have been
a box office success, but "on a purely aesthetic level, it was
something of a stinker" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 4/8).  In DC,  Steven
Goff notes "despite the atmosphere, the play bore little
resemblance" to the World Cup (WASHINGTON POST, 4/8).  USA
TODAY's Jerry Langdon gives the game a "C" grade, adding, "The
play will get better as the season progresses" (USA TODAY, 4/8).
But in Boston, Frank Dell'Apa notes MLS "has a enthusiastic and
knowledgeable group of fans and a mix of players that could
produce an interesting style of play.  If this game was a test,
MLS passed" (BOSTON GLOBE, 4/8).  In San Jose, Raoul Mowatt calls
it an "odd mixture of marketing mania and soccer passion" (SAN
     LOOKING AHEAD:  MLS will hold a doubleheader around its All-
Star Game at Giants Stadium on July 14.  The game will be played
in conjunction with the FIFA World All-Star Game, featuring
Brazil against a team representing the rest of the world (Grahame
Jones, L.A. TIMES, 4/8).  MLS Exec VP Randy Bernstein appeared as
a guest on CNBC's "Sports View" on Friday.  Bernstein:  "We feel
we have a very strong soccer audience:  the soccer aficionado,
the soccer-playing family, as well as multi-cultural audiences
throughout the United States.  Sure, we would like to get into
the general sports fan and that will come a few years down the
road" (CNBC, 4/5).  CNN's Sean Callebs called the league's
investor-based ownership structure "a bold experiment to change
the way American sports leagues are run" ("Moneyline," CNN, 4/5).
The N.Y. TIMES' George Vecsey notes MLS hopes Gen X ("the "soccer
generation") can carry the league (N.Y. TIMES, 4/8).   SOME LIKE
IT HOT:  The Dallas Burn have an official jalapeno, courtesy as
Ingro, a CA-based supplier of Mexican foods (Richard Alm, DALLAS
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