Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Good Ole' Days of MLS

Many forget that the days before MLS' became solely dedicated to spreading parity across the league that DC United had emerged as a "super club." Not only did DC United reach the MLS Cup finals in each of the league's first four seasons, but they provided MLS some much needed credibility on the international stage. After surprisingly winning the CONCACAF Champions Cup DC United shocked the world with an aggregate 2-1 victory over legendary Brazilian club Vasco De Gama. After losing the home leg 1-0, DC United won the away leg 2-0 on goals by Tony Sanneh and Eddie Pope. Sanneh's performance was so impressive that Bundesliga Club Hertha Berlin signed him within weeks despite the fact that he was not even a regular for the US National Team. In addition, DC United got a full write up in World Soccer magazine, a first for an MLS club. The article dubbed United "Champions of the Americas." All of the international competition did put a clamp on DC's MLS Cup aspirations as they lost the cup final to Chicago in between the two legs of the Inter-American cup.


tyduffy said...

They should be wary of the parity. A wide-open league may make things more exciting, but also more confusing and less glamorous for the casual fan. Big clubs make the world go round. If MLS is to truly make a name for itself, it needs its own Barca and Real Madrid, or, more relevant for an American audience, its own Yankees and Red Sox.

Lowell said...

The MLS needs to go on the road in Europe and play big clubs... Perhaps a "Winter Tour" and show them how competitive they are.

I.E. Put up or shut up!

Play a middle of the table EPL team, perhaps someone in the Bundasliga, anyone willing to take them on.

Promote the hell out of it and play the game late so all of us Americans can watch it on TV without getting up early. Its called Eastern Standard Time! Even if the MLS team gets crushed, its proof that they arent shying away from competing.

The problem would be the European club not playing its top players for fear of injury and non-title play. Everywhere else in the world thats called being a "pussy." In Europe, thats called being polite to the "inferior" american squad. Its also an easy excuse when their club loses.