Los Angeles forward Matt Fondy scored two goals in the first half, Dane Kelly scored his team-leading 9th goal of 2013 in the 80th minute, and the Blues held off a late Battery surge Thursday night to earn a 2-1 win at UC Irvine.
Other than that, there’s not much I can tell you right now, since I didn’t get to watch the match, thanks to some vague technical difficulties in Los Angeles. And it’s not that Andrew Bell isn’t the best play-by-play radio guy in the league. It’s that there’s simply nothing of value that I can write about a game based on listening to someone else describe it.
And I know that the wise thing to do at this point is just let this slide. But screw it. Though this is the worst of the livestream problems this season, it’s not like livestream problems aren’t a regular occurrence.
Apologies from all at the LA Blues for no feed this evening. Live audio is available http://t.co/tGPOm3FRkT …
— Los Angeles Blues (@LABLUESPRO) August 9, 2013
— USL PRO (@USLPRO) August 9, 2013
I know that feels bad. I’m sure several people really made an effort to fix the problem.
But I’ve done video and audio production for the web. There are always half a dozen things that can go wrong. At least. And when you know that, the way that you keep those things from blacking out your live stream is:
No. 1: You check and double-check your equipment and your connections before you go live; and
No. 2: You give a damn, from top to bottom. Which means you don’t except a half-assed shrug from the technician who let things go south. Or blamethrowing excuses from whatever executive decided to skimp on the necessary equipment, training and preparation.
I understand that there’s precious little money available for quality at the club level and the league level. I get it. This is tight-budget soccer, and people have to struggle to make ends meet.
But the Battery’s feed is consistent and good. Harrisburg has a solid feed. Orlando does it right. We got a workable live feed from Portland in the Open Cup just by fussing about it on Twitter. So don’t tell me it can’t be done.
I’m not buying it.
I’ve only got two other qualifications for this opinion, so take it for what it’s worth. First, I’m a season-ticket-holding fan. Not only do I want to see the Battery succeed — as a team and as a franchise — I want to see lower-tier soccer grow and improve in North America. I want to see it provide jobs and opportunities. I want to see it get treated as a legitimate enterprise. And second, I pay more attention to these things than most, because I’ve spent this season trying to improve the coverage the Battery receives. I’m convinced USL PRO soccer is more interesting and exciting than its mainstream media coverage. It’s full of more great stories than I can get around to writing. So don’t talk to me about “low budget.” I have no budget.
And yes, the best solution for that is money. Money makes everything easier. But unless someone’s got a bunch of free cash to toss at these issues, then the league has two immediate problem it needs to address:
No. 1: We need better, more consistent officiating.
No. 2: Forget about soccer-specific stadiums. If the league is going to award a franchise, it needs some kind of better assurance that the new club is going to do a credible job of managing its web media obligations. The LA Blues website has been broken since I wrote the preview for the July 27 match. It’s still just as broken, and completely unchanged. So why am I not surprised that this outfit can’t put out a functional livestream?
Look, if you can’t make your product visible on the web, you’re not going to be taken seriously. And all it takes is one franchise that doesn’t deliver once in a while, or that serves up utterly undecipherable low-res crap week after week, with indifferent, amateurish announcers, and every other team in the league suffers an image hit. This is your product. If you make it look like shit, it doesn’t matter what else you do.
Enough. Game wrap this weekend, after the Phoenix match.