With the MLS Regular Season Opener supposedly taking place this weekend, any excitement for the 2015 campaign has been indefinitely tempered as fans wait to see whether their beloved teams will actually take the pitch.
Obviously the nitty gritty of talks between players and owners is kept behind closed doors, but buzz around social media on Tuesday made it sound like they certainly aren't going well.
Says well-placed source: "It's shocking. Almost as if owners want a work stoppage. They see players as incidental to MLS' growth"— Steven Goff (@SoccerInsider) March 3, 2015
It's quite reminiscent of the early stages of the NHL lockout in 2004, in which patient fans waited each and every day for good news to unfold, only to watch their season slowly swirl down the drain. Yet when teams re-took the ice with the new and improved league, fans came back. Again, when players and owners butted heads in 2012-13, there were plenty of butts in seats when the season started, even if it was just half a season.
So, if this ugliness drags out and ruins the start of the Regular Season for the Whitecaps and MLS, will you be as quick to come back? MLS is a newer league, and the MLS incarnation of the Whitecaps is also fairly new; have they earned a foothold in your heart strong enough to last, even if we're still not playing soccer a few months from now?
If you're pissed off, I want to hear about it. If you've got other words to explain the emotions you've been going through during this process, I want to hear about that too.