Wednesday, June 20, 2007

America Is Good at Soccer?


I realize talking about soccer may be a mistake. The small number of people that read this blog may become even smaller. Someone has overvalued American soccer and I don't appreciate it. If you were asked which league is better, the English Premier League or Major League Soccer, what would you say? According to Alexi Lalas it's a tie, the MLS is just as good as the English Premier League. For folks that know who Lalas is it is only because he had long, flaming red hair when he played. I am not a soccer aficionado but I do know that if you are any good at soccer you do not play professionally in the U.S. With that, how could anyone say the MLS is equal to the Premier League? There is no reason to use the 'age of the leagues is so different' argument. That fact clearly had nothing to do with Lalas' assertion.

Again, I'm not a big soccer guy but it seems to me this would be the same thing as saying the Little League World Champions are equal to the MLB World Series Champions. It makes absolutely no sense. I recall catching a piece of a soccer game last year or so on TV with a European pro team involved. I'm pretty sure it was a Premier League team. Anyhow, the MLS all-stars played this team. What's more is that the Premier League team did not have its best players because this was their pre-season and they were doing more important things. If I recall correctly, the MLS team ended up winning but nothing would have suggested to the viewers that a team of MLS all-stars could compete in the Premier League, let alone a regular MLS club.

The Premier League seems to have some of the most rabid fans in all of sports. Stadiums are packed and cities live or die with where their teams are in the standings. On the other hand, an average sports fan in America has no chance of naming more than 3 MLS teams. There is absolutely no interest in the league as games are played in tiny stadiums with second-rate players. I define them as second-rate because they get paid next to nothing when compared with the big boys in Europe. It is essentially the same as the Arena Football League and the NFL. Until I see someone leave the NFL in his prime to play for Jon Bon Jovi I am not going to listen to Lalas. I leave Lalas with one question. If the two leagues are so similar why are Premier League teams being sold for hundreds of millions of dollars and MLS teams being sold in packages for a few million dollars?

(Photo of Cristiano Ronaldo from the Premier League website.)

1 comment:

Yogurtman said...

What the hell is soccer? Can't believe someone born in the USA, and lives in Duck country, would even consider mentioning anything about a sport that has an attendance, in the US, on par with WNBA. Next thing you know you will be critiquing the WNBA! Please stick to subject matter that real men would consider reading. I hope you wore your little pink dress when you wrote this blog.