Friday, November 30, 2007

Animo America?

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.


Anonymous said...

I think its a matter of new fans who embrae tradition and those who do not.
Most Chivas fans would rather a Sabado gigante marathon than see America win the Copa Sudamerica.

With regards to the MLS, anybody but Houston and LAG, would get my attention. I wouldn't be outloud about it either.

CACuzcatlan said...

Yes, its true! As a Galaxy fan, I would root for almost any MLS team. It would also depend on their opponent. I would root for any team against Chivas or any Brazilian team. But I would probably pull for Colo-Colo over Dallas or San Jose.

The same mentality translates to CONCACAF. I'm hoping America wins to bring more respect to our region. But if Chivas were playing, I would almost certainly want them to lose.

Mon-sewer Paul Regret said...

As a Chivas fan, there's no way I'd root for America. But the same goes for MLS ... I'm a Quakes fan, and I've just been through two years without a team in the damn league. That didn't stop me from rooting for anybody who was playing the Galaxy. In fact, that was pretty much the extent of my interest in MLS during the dark non-Quake years ... checking to see if L.A. had lost again.

Arelcao Akleos said...

Then Paul Regret, these last two years must have been very happy ones for you :)

The Soccer Source said...

it's not just U.S. fans who have this level of solidarity. In many European countries people will root for the club team that makes it to a final, no matter what. In Hamburg, Germany--normally a hotbed of hatred for everything Bavarian, especially football--everybody pulls for Bayern Munich in European competition.

There are obviously exceptions. I don't think a Barcelona fan would pull for Real under any circumstances. England is like that too. But the point is it's not just a question of the U.S. being a less mature soccer market, I don't think.

Mike Toole said...

I'm firmly in the "country over club" camp. The fact is, MLS is still not established enough for me to have the luxury of wanting rival teams to flame out in international competition. Every win in international competition brings more attention and prestige to the league-- and until invites to Copa Libertadores and big wins over the likes of Chivas, Saprissa, Boca Juniors, and Sao Paolo are a regular occurrence, I'll always want even my hated Galaxy and DC United to win over foreign clubs.

Anonymous said...

Rooting for a team that isn't yours, but from the same country and league has nationalistic pretenses...Even if your team is composed of mostly foreign players. lol

Are you rooting for America, LB?

Anonymous said...

I dont' know about you, but after the physical violence, assault and theft that involved bottles thrown at women and children this past season, I'm about ready to root for anybody that plays Chivas USA.

Maybe the team isn't responsible, but their fans have made it so that I'm counting the days until their lease at the HDC runs out and they have to rebrand or call it quits.

JT (Chicago) said...

As a Chivas fan for all these years, I would feel dirty if I cheered for america in this Final. It might be good for the profile of Mexican clubs but I can't do it. I'd probably support most other Mexican clubs (and have with Pachuca & Pumas in the past couple years).

As for MLS clubs, the list of who I will support in international competition is much shorter. Columbus, ChivasUSA, Houston, and maybe the new San Jose club. That's about it for this Fire fan.