Tuesday, August 28, 2007

SuperLiga conclusions

More musings about SuperLiga in my weekly PE column.

I hope people don't misread but they probably will. I think I summed it up as best as I could in that the tournament did have a strong foundation for future tournaments but part of what I was trying to get across was that this cannot show one league's superiority over the next simply because of how the leagues are set up. Mexican clubs have more money to throw at players and don't have restrictions on their rosters.


Anonymous said...

I think this year was the start of a great tournament down the road. Lots of good games and seem to be good fan support. It would be nice next year if FSC or another English language broadcaster picked up the tournament.

This will add some flair to the tournament in coming years:

MLS will now get two berths into the 2nd most prestigious South American club football competition, the Nissan Copa Sudamericana. The spots will be awarded to the two MLS sides which finish with the best record in the newly created SuperLiga. DC United is representing MLS this year due to their record in last years CONCACAF Champion's Cup

Anonymous said...

From your preface ("people will probably misread") it sounds like you know you were a little biased. The headline for the entire tournament has been how well MLS teams have stacked up against their Mexican counterparts (3/4 semifinalists and we were 1 Ngwenya/Ching botched PK from an all-MLS final), but your story gives no indication of this. Rather, you take the Mexican clubs' superiority for granted while offering excuses for their mediocre play. But MLS home field advantage doesn't mean much in LA, Texas, or even my hometown DC. The next tournament should be played in both Mexico and the US, and not during either side's pre-season, yes. But that doesn't negate what happened in this tournament. The fact that even lowly Beckhamless LA beat up on top-flight FMF sides is a testament to the parity in the leagues and makes your arguments about depth and money all the more absurd. You can compare MLS and Mexican teams in spite of these disparities, that's what they do out there for 90 minutes, and overall the MLS showed it can compete with and even beat the best FMF has to offer. Object to the terms of the tournament if you must, but at least acknowledge that MLS has done well in what I hope will be an enduring tournament.

Anonymous said...

What he said above ^^^^^

Anonymous said...

"Mexican clubs have more money to throw at players and don't have restrictions on their rosters."

LB. This is a generalization or do you really believe this. Which league has more restrictions?

The Galaxy traded away over 1/2 of their squad during the season and picked up 2 international players, again passed the halfway mark for good fun. MLS allows player movement like rotisserie baseball.

L.B. said...

I prefaced this post the way I did because you can't take a pro-Mexican league stance without catching some flak from readers.

Honestly, this tournament hasn't shown us anything we didn't already know. MLS teams have held their own against Mexican teams for a while on America soil during the Concacaf Champions Cup, and they did as well during this tournament. But really how well did they do? Who knocked Morelia out? America. Who knocked Chivas out? Pachuca. Yeah, three of the four semifinalists were MLS clubs but that's because the Mexican teams knocked each other out.

I want to see MLS teams go down into Mexico and win some game that matter before anyone can say that MLS is as good as the Mexican league because right now it's not. Does that mean MLS is crap? Of course not. The Mexican league is not as good as Serie A but I'd much rather watch Morelia-Pumas than Parma-Udinese.

The Mexican league is a good league. MLS is a good league. But if you're making me say which is the better league, I'm saying the Mexican league is the better league, which honestly isn't something we didn't already know.

dc guy said...

The anon guy from D.C. really believes that MLS teams are better than Mexican teams! Wow...

If, as he stated, there is no home field advantage for MLS teams then I don't think he'd object to games being played in Mexico for this tournament. I'm sick of Mexican bashers and their petty excuses.

BTW, I am also from D.C. and did attend the Superliga games against Morelia and America and there was clearly a home field advantage for D.C. Were you there???

Anonymous said...

You're right Luis on all counts. It's just ridiculous how much MLS fans want to prove that it's better than the Mexican league over this tournament. But when a USL team beats an MLS team in the Open Cup, you hear no one claim the USL is superior or on par with the MLS.

Anonymous said...

You hit it on the head Luis, Mexico and the US are different and so are their soccer leagues. Excellente

Anonymous said...


Sorry for the long post.

Not sure of your true intent of the article, but it did come across as a little biased towards MFL.

There is no doubt that the Mexican league is more passionate than MLS, but better as a whole? Not so sure (just my opinion). Would definitely agree there top teams are really good.

The real discussion on Superliga is that from an MLS fans perspective it was very entertaining. Yes One Mexican knocked out another, but it was an MLS team that put them in that situation to begin with.

Due to the differences of league schedule, one team may always have an advantage over another due to travel, fitness, etc.

The key for this inagural series was for MLS teams to do well and for it's fans to buy into the tournament.

Even if it were home and home and if MFL teams beat MLS teams, it would have only reaffirmed the belief of fans in Mexico that their league is superior. IF MLS beat MFL fans would have ignored it, like many of them did anyway.

The best outcome (in my opinion) would be for LA to beat Pachuca. Will MFL fans really care? Who knows, but I bet that if next years tournament is a home and home (and I hope it is) more MFL fans will pay attention since their teams did not perform so well this year.

It would add MFL fans interest to MLS fans and possibly create a great tournament.

I for one, enjoyed this tournament. As far as conclusions, mine is that MLS teams are improving in quality and the outcome of interleague games make soon flip just like those of the National teams.

Anonymous said...

DC Guy (Dan Joyce, sorry for the anonymity) again - I understand you don't think MLS is rubbish, you clearly follow it closely and care about the league. I just think it's odd to take a "pro-Mexican stance" in this context. I haven't heard (or done) much Mexico-bashing coming out of the SuperLiga, the relatively strong (though not dominant) showing from MLS has been treated purely as a positive for the league. It's not a zero-sum game, why tarnish what MLS has done? This tournament isn't the final word on FMF vs. MLS (there never will be a final word for a lot of reasons), but it does tell (and hopefully will continue to tell) us that there is parity between the leagues and that past results were not a fluke. Like I said, I want MLS to go down to Mexico and win there, too. I also wanted the '06 World Cup to be played in the US, but that doesn't mean Italy didn't win. There are probably a lot of reasons that you'd rather watch FMF than MLS, but that seems irrelevant to the quality of the league. No one is asking you to say which is the better league, the fact that you feel the need to prop up the Mexican league out of the blue is what struck me as a little defensive and biased, but I should probably just take it as a reflection of the increasing quality of the MLS.

PS - For the record, I don't think MLS teams are better than FMF teams necessarily, or vice versa, but the SuperLiga results are either ambiguous or shade in MLS's favor (ditto the argument about MLS teams putting Mexican teams in the position to be eliminated). I was at RFK for the America game, and I was shocked by the number of Corona and Bimbo patches (rivaled only by the Beckham shirts a couple weeks later). And I didn't say there is no home field advantage, travel is a drag, etc, but I think fan turnout is pretty much a wash (and certainly not strong enough to influence the tournament) in the US, whereas it might be a different story in Guadalajara.