It seems like it's an annual thing now, which I guess it is. What's the saying about twice being a coincidence and three times a pattern or something?
Anyway, for the third year running a Mexican team has reached the final of the Copa Sudamericana. Pumas lost to Boca Juniors on '05 and Pachuca beat Colo Colo in '06. Now, it's America's turn to go against a South American giant... um, well, okay, a South American lightweight. I'm guessing a few people think America is playing an English club.
America will play Arsenal de Sarandi tonight in the first leg of the Copa Sudamericana final. Tonight's game is in Azteca and Wednesday's return leg is in Argentina.
When this has come up before, I wonder what other fans do. For instance, when Cruz Azul reached the 2001 Copa Libertadores final, it seemed like there were suddenly a lot of Cruz Azul supporters. I think that Cruz Azul gained a lot of attention and a lot of support from non-Cruz Azul fans because they were a Mexican club and were competing against a South American team in an historic event.
Now, that novelty has worn off. But the fact that a Mexican club will meet a South American team in the tourney final has not changed. So is there a feeling of support among non-America fans simply because they are from Mexico?
I would guess not. Any Chivas fan worth his/her salt is not going to support America under any circumstances, and if they do then you've got to question their mental sanity. Pumas fans, well, Tenoch and Julio summed it up best with their "Puto el que le vaya al America" mandate. I think Cruz Azul fans too would not necessarily pull for America.
But those teams have bitter rivalries with America. What about fans of Morelia or Tigres, who don't necessarily have America on their hate lists? What about Atlante fans, Tecos fans (El Guero and the five other UAG supporters) or Santos fans?
Honestly, I think that there is still an element of Mexican fans who would put country before club and support America. There are others who would not be upset if a Mexican club won Sudamericana (especially at the expense of an Argentine team) and there are others who will root hard against America. I wonder, though, which of those categories has more fans.
WARNING *** thin-skinned MLS fans might want to stop reading here ***
I guess this is one area where MLS and Mexico differ. I'm guessing if it was an MLS team, be it Houston, New England, New York or L.A., most MLS fans would get behind that club, whether they pull for that team during the season or not.
If you ask me where I stand on the topic, I think America fans should root for America and non-America fans should not. How would an America win benefit Monterrey? How did Pachuca's win last year benefit the rest of the 17 teams? I'd say the same thing if DC would have made it this far.
What's good for the goose isn't necessarily good for the gander.