Like wildfire across my screen the news spread; Major League Soccer arrived on Draftkings. It’s hoof stamped the ground as thunder washed across my daily fantasy heart and my bankroll bulged. It was a dream come true.
Every league type was there: guaranteed cash games, 50/50s, Head-to-Heads. I was in heaven and completely naked with no strategy. I knew the names. I understood the matchups but I was lost for anticipated scoring. And I didn’t care. I was happy to throw my money down in proud support of Major League Soccer finally coming to my favorite daily fantasy site.
So, as you can guess, I lost my shirt last night in every league I entered and I don’t care. I’m happy to accept the challenge and complexity of MLS daily fantasy on Draftkings. If it were easy everybody would doing it.
For too long I’ve watched, analyzed, and projected English Premier a League and UEFA Champions League matches. I’ve even been able to catch some lighting in a bottle for application to the matches played overseas. But now, I get to try my skills toward my first soccer love.
It was the 1994 World Cup. Alexi Lallas with his mass of curly red tangles along with Coby Jones and his dread-locked braids fought against International Giants on American soil. I gleefully watched every match I could. All on broadcast television, mind you. It was a magical time for my teenage mind. I never played a match of soccer, but the magic of the sport took root. I couldn’t get enough of it after the U.S. men’s team took on slumping powerhouse Columbia. That game lives on in my dreams and highlight reels.
Suddenly the magic of that summer ended. The U.S. Team gracefully bowed out early in the tournament. This was long before #IBelieveWeWillWin ever took root. It was a time when there was no Twitter. And the hashtag was still know as a pound sign. But the magic of the summer left me empty. And I longed for the next four years to rush by for the next chance to see the magic of soccer.
But I didn’t have to wait four years. Out of the ashes of the 1994 World Cup rose Major League Soccer. I was instantly hooked. Although I lived far from them, I gravitated toward D.C. United. They won’t the first cup in 1996 a second in 1997 and two more in 1999 and 2004. The Screaming Eagles were my soccer team even though I rarely caught a televised match. These young days were in the infancy of major television contracts and there remained much doubt that soccer would or even could take root in the American television market. I kept the faith. For over 20 years, I watched televised matches and followed as Major League Soccer grew.
When I lived in Dallas, I followed the Dallas Burn. Yes, they were called the Burn before rebranding themselves as FC Dallas. Their mascot a fiery horse. I lost that jersey but I remember my first live MLS match. The Burn played the Columbus Crew and lost but it was a great day to enjoy the humble beginnings of the sport on American soil.
I never forgot my Screaming Eagles. I remember when they drafted young phenom Fredie Adu. I had a dog tag commemorating the event. I actually wore it when I caught a couple of televised games.
So after twenty plus years of loving this sport from afar you can only imagine my delight when the league went live on Draftkings. It was the marriage of two of my favorite worlds: daily fantasy and soccer. I play the EPL and UEFA leagues religiously on Draftkings. And now, I have my MLS to support.
Thank you Daily Fantasy Gods. I salute you.
The first night was not to disappoint. I watched the box scores and highlights on my FotMob phone app as I switched back and forth from the Draftkings mobile site. I didn’t mind losing my leagues, mainly because it was a small penance to pay for the opportunity to support my beloved Major League Soccer.
There was no shortage of excitement in the action. My D.C. United faced the Houston Dynamo in a test of defensive prowess that did not disappoint. After a delay due to lighting, Dallas FC and FC Toronto put up a goal scoring buffet. Not to mention the west coast action with the LA Galaxy and Sporting Kansas City game burning up the scoreboard and numbing my leg with vibrating notifications. Loved. Every. Minute. Of. It.
There will be games virtually every week this summer. Join me in the glory of American soccer.
Till next time, #IBelieveWeWillWin and follow me @Deepdfspicks.