Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Another result

I didn't post much on Copa Sudamericana and DC United's participation in the tournament because I feel like every time I write something on the topic, I hear from people saying that I'm a pro-Mexico homer and that I need to give MLS more credit and all sorts of other colorful feedback.

Well, turns out, another MLS team crashed out against a Mexican side. DC United, pretty much the consensus top team of MLS at the moment, lost to Chivas de Guadalajara by 1-0 in Estadio Jalisco on Tuesday. Chivas moves on. DC is out.

It's funny how just a couple of months ago we all heard about how SuperLiga proved that MLS teams were on par with Mexican sides but now MLS' best team goes down against a team that fired their coach not even a week ago. I guess this shows the biggest flaw in SuperLiga, in that all games were played on American turf. Had this been a one-off series, DC would already have advanced to face Arsenal of Argentina and we'd hear about how coupled with SuperLiga MLS' results against Mexican teams showed the gap has been closed. Instead, DC had to go to Mexico and try to get a result there and wound up with nothing.

Honestly, that whole debate doesn't really concern me too much. The Mexican league has better clubs than MLS. That's just fact. But what's also true is that the two leagues play by different rules and have vastly different environments (acceptance among country's fans and media, financial backing, etc.). Of course, with more financial resources and relatively few roster limitations, you would expect the Mexican league to have stronger and deeper clubs.

Before anyone proclaims MLS' superiority over Mexico, I'd like to see an MLS club go down into Mexico and get a result. KC beat Santos back in like 2001 or something but otherwise it's been utter domination by Mexican teams. Yeah, MLS teams can play with Mexican teams and the scores aren't 6-0 like they have been in the past but the results are the same.

Anyway, forgive me if this result doesn't surprise me. I was on Around the League in 90 Minutes today, a show on Champions Soccer Radio, and I said on there that DC blew it by not having won by more than a goal at home and I brought up MLS' paltry record in Mexico and that MLS teams had been outscored something like 35-4 or something along those lines in the CONCACAF Champions Cup and I expected Chivas to pull it out.

So this result surprises me about as much as the sun does when it shines through my window every morning.


Joel Aceves said...

The same day that Santos had to play at KC the club had organized a farewell match, or something along the lines, and instead sent their second division side, lol.

Anyways, the Superliga will benefit MLS in the long run, as their teams will get used to playing against the Mexican Clubs.

Despite Chivas domination, United was only a goal away from winning the series. Big difference from the 5-0 ass rape they received from UNAM a few years back!

This is pretty much how the USMNT now has the Tricolor's number, with all those "friendlies" played in U.S soil.

Jess Aguinaga said...

Luis, you're pandering to a very small and very vocal minority. Anyone with any sense knows that the Mexican league is better and has better teams. I'm a big Galaxy/MLS fan and I am excited for our teams to be on par with MFL team, which is not too far off. 8 to 10 years if you ask me. Aside from that, I did sense a somewhat harsh tone to your post in regards to MLS' results and can see how some people can get their panties in a bunch over it. Some people just can't handle it and start saying dumb things like MLS being better than MLF. Keep up the good work.

JT (Chicago) said...

LB, I heard you cite the history of the encounters between MLS & Mexican clubs on ATLi90M and that's why I got really nervous about this match. Eventually, some MLS club will break through.

Given Chivas up and down season, given how often Chivas dominate a game and fail to win it, given how many times Chivas have fallen over the past 40+ years I've been a fan, well, I thought last night could be the night for DC.

Thankfully Ramoncito's left foot got us through to the next round but one day, a MLS side will go to Mexico and win. Then they'll win on a consistent basis. The gap is getting smaller.

Then again, who cares? Mexican clubs still play more attractive futbol and if the MLS clubs can offer better matches, well, that will only make Mexican teams stronger in the long run. It'll also make El Tri better in the long run.

So, let the MLS supporters rant all they want about their teams being so strong. In the end, the rivalry will benefit both countries.

East River said...

I for one had the common sense to know that it was highly unlikely DC United could get a result on Mexican soil. Even if they had won at RFK 3-1 Chivas would have likely done just enough to ensure the series on their home leg.

I'm proud of DC that they held there own down their and they finally learned how to win against a high quality international team at RFK. But I think with a increased roster and a higher salary cap DC, Houston, and others will be able to field a team that will finally be able to get results in Mexico and other countries.

The kicker is that this is the 2nd time the so called "best team in MLS" DCU failed to get past its opening round in Sudamericana. Would it have faired better if the return leg had been at RFK? If DC/MLS teams can't win a series in Sudamericana what do you think they can do in Libertaries(sp). Meaning that Chivas is not even one of the better teams in MLF right now and thats why its in South America's 2nd tier club tournanment. If an MLS club ever gets invited to the big South American dance we would really see where are league is at.

Kinney said...

Let me just start by saying I am huge DC United fan. That said, I think it is clear that Mexican clubs are better than MLS clubs.

The Mexican national team was, and probably still is, more talented than the U.S. national team. The fact that the US Nats can get results while the US clubs can't says something.

I think the biggest difference is the lack of depth on MLS teams due to the salary cap. They can compete with Mexican teams 9 to 11 players deep but not much more than that. In tournament play, in the middle of the season depth is going to be a big difference maker. This isn't an excuse as to why DC United didn't advance, a team has to be good top to bottom, I just think it is the largest gap between the teams.

Personally, I am just glad we are past the "moral victories" stage MLS teams were in just 2 or 3 years ago. The gap is getting smaller, but MLS teams clearly aren't there yet.

Anonymous said...

While you obviously are a homer... that's not my issue. This was a home and away series. So which was more impressive. D.C.'s 2-1 victory playing with 10 men on a questionable (at best) decision for the vast majority of the match... or Chivas' 1-0? Do you think Chivas would have lost 2-0 if they didn't get gifted in the first match? 3-0?

I hate to blame something on officiating. Chivas won... kudos to them and good luck. But to write such a clearly biased post without even mentioning the fact that it was 2-2 on aggregate while one team had to play it's how match down a man... well maybe that's why you get blamed for being not a reporter but a biased blogger.

In other words you is what you is.

The Manly Ferry said...

The Superliga should either mix up home and away (e.g. have a shared, and to the extent possible, equal number of games played in the States and Mexico) within each tournament or alternate hosting privileges annually. This is not only more sporting, but it will make MLS teams better...hopefully faster than the Mexican clubs figure them out. That should help with general interest and that should help with revenues, attendance, etc. - assuming that's a valid theory.

EdTheRed said...

manly ferry:
it's just too bad the SuperLiga is all about money...because as long as Mexican teams have to let fans in for free to draw a respectable crowd against MLS teams (Pachuca in the CCC, Chivas last night), you're not going to see the SuperLiga played in Mexico. Thousands of Mexicans and Mexican-Americans living in the U.S. are willing to shell out $20 to $75 on tickets to see their heroes play against MLS sides in the U.S., so that's where the games are going to be.

I hope this changes, but I'm not going to hold my breath.

Anonymous said...

I am a huge united fan and I am not making excuses for DC. But I think a part of the problem with MLS's international results has been their domestic schedule. Specifically for the CONCACAF champions cup. The Champions cup happens before the MLS season starts and the MFL is in mid season. Which team is more likely to be better? The reverse effect was seen with MFL teams when they were in preseason form for the Superliga. The MFL teams didn’t do as well. The MFLs best team won (against a crappy Galaxy team) and that is why you can say MLS teams are inferior but the gap is closing and to think other wise is naive.

Anonymous said...

MLS aint changing the schedule as long as they keep believing soccer is a warm weather sport. An why should Concacaf change its competition schedule because MLS is refuses to change theirs to an international schedule? Of course the lack of games weren't a problem or an excuse when both DC and Houston won their series before playing Pachuca and Chivas. So if you can a series before facing the Mexican teams during preseason the excuse just doesn't whole water. Now we are back to losing to Mexican teams on Mexican soil even in MLS last season. Maybe the problem is ROSTER, talent, and tactics. As a person who owns a DC United jersey and attends games, I face the fact that we are not over the hump of going into to Mexico and pulling out a result. Are we closer? yes but I'm not satisfied with that.

Anonymous said...

The problem here is that we shouldn't really be talking about whether the MLS is comparable to the MFL, there is no question that they are not.

It would be like comparing the NFL to the CFL.

MannyMayhem said...

anonymous 2:51 PM: what 'international schedule' would you be refering too? The one that Sweden & Norway follow? You are confusing the FIFA 'international dates' with common convention.

Also, tits to tails, the FMF is deeper. I suspect the 13th team on the table in FMF would be better than Toronto. But at the top of the table the talent gap is non-existent.
Pachuca LOST to LA who are horrible in Superliga and had to go to PK's in the final. You can argue that 'it was in the US!!!" all you want but every single one of those games had more Mexican club fans than MLS fans. So the homefield advantage is hardly as homefield as it should be.

Next, the score was 2-2 on agg. It's not like Chivas 'killed' DC and as someone pointed out the first match was DC down a man almost the whole match. Soehn employed horrible tactics last night playing for a 0-0 draw. That is the only reason Chivas won.

Everyone else has pointed out the CCC being in MLS preseason (earlier than the FMF is in pre-season for Superliga-FYI) and the MLS teams putting together some good results.

Anonymous said...


My point about MLS teams in CCC is that peopel use the excuse that we lose to Mexican teams in that competition b/c its MLS preseason. But yet those same MLS teams won series in earlier rounds CCC, so lack of sharpness only goes so.

As for the international calendar. I am talking about the one most countries leagues follow a fall to spring with a winter and summer break essentially split seasons. MLS has considered the move but they are scared as the conventional US sport fan and sponsor may not understand the whole concept.

Anonymous said...

Did I miss the game? When did Chivas beat DC 6-0 this week?

Never has a 1-0 win proved how dominant MFL is like it has to some of you.

DC and Chivas...I saw VERY little difference between the two clubs.

Anonymous said...

As much as it pains me to admit, Chivas is a middle of the pack team currently in the Mexican League, sitting 7th out of 18, couple that with the fact that they had fired their coach 4 days before this match, and were still considered favorites, and still won the match against the best team in the MLS, I think its pretty clear they were better, despite being far from being the best in Mexico.

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