Merritt Paulson made an appearance on Steve Davis' Soccer Today podcast on ESPN Dallas this afternoon. Davis and Paulson talked for almost half an hour about a wide range of topics both Portland Timbers related and league wide.
You can find the podcast here.
Things started off with a discussion of the scheduling around MLS in upcoming years. Paulson confirmed that he had not heard about shortening the season as a possibility, although he did say that he had heard other things without getting into the specifics of what might occur. The possibility of the schedule being adjusted to deal with the World Cup next year was also raised, although it did not sound like anything definitive had been determined.
Perhaps the most interesting comments for Timbers fans may have been Paulson's musings on potential changes to Jeld-Wen Field. Paulson first addressed the potential to expand the seating in Jeld-Wen, specifically mentioning terraces in the North End as a possibility that was being explored and something that could increase the total seating in the stadium by several thousand.
The possibility of putting grass into Jeld-Wen was also raised, something that Paulson said he would like to see happen. The likelihood of grass being installed in Jeld-Wen was, however, only 50/50 at best, according to Paulson, who cited PSU football games being played in the fall as a major obstacle to the installation of a grass surface.
Paulson also spoke on the possibility of the league expansion, mentioning that there was a reason that MLS had moved slowly in expanding into the southeast; stadiums, saying there could be a "light at the end of the tunnel" for some franchises; Clint Dempsey; the dismissal of John Spencer; and plenty of other issues.
How did you feel about the segment? What caught your ear amongst all of the tidbits that Merritt shared?