24 August 2005

The Day Aftermath

Tonight is the US Open Cup, live from Germantown, Maryland. But first, a few notes on the MLS-Real game from yesterday. I was pretty upfront on not caring about this game in the first place. Moreno's potential injury from this exhibition does not strengthen those feelings. Nor do I take any solace in their validation through either the scoreline or the injury toll.

MLS, as a whole, doesn't need to measure itself against European clubs any more. 10 years ago, you went to an MLS game and realized that much of the play was a clumsy calamady. Now, the game, no matter where it is played, is entertaining and play is sharp. No, the level of play is not EPL or Serie A levels, but so what? It's the best soccer you'll see in the USA, and it's pretty damn good sports and entertainment in and of itself. Individual MLS sides may want to try themselves out against Europe, or against South America, but MLS as a whole doesn't need to.

MLS's (read: Don Garber's) job is to put a decent product out there. After 10 seasons, games are much more likely to be decent well-played soccer by entire teams (as opposed to a few indivudals) than not, last Saturday's Crew-FCD tilt aside. Which is what made the Real game so, well, pointless. MLS went into this game with pretty much every factor aligned to hinder a great MLS performance. And they got whooped, giving every person who wants to say "Well, I would watch MLS, but Serie A spoiled me, so I only watch that now" all the ammunition they need. Without realizing that there are games in MLS every week that rival the typical EPL mid table, Serie A, Bundesliga games anyday. In the respect, MLS is a success. A success that you wouldn't know of because of this match.

Now it is time for Jamie to get better. And tonight... the US Open Cup Quarters.