Thursday, November 29, 2007

Pan-Pacific Championship

Yes, it's in Hawaii. What a perfect excuse to go, no? Unfortunately, it's probably a no-go. Anyway, here are more deets.
Major League Soccer (USA), the J.League (Japan) and the Hyundai A-League (Australia) today announced an unprecedented and innovative partnership in the creation of a new international soccer tournament to be hosted in Honolulu, Hawaii: the Pan-Pacific Championship (PPC), which will crown the top club from the Asian and North American soccer confederations.
The four teams to participate in the 2008 tournament are: reigning MLS Cup champion Houston Dynamo and Haleiwa, Hawaii native Brian Ching; the Yamazaki Nabisco Cup Champion Gamba Osaka, with 19-year-old Japanese sensation Michihiro Yasuda and J.League star Yasuhito Endo; the 2007 SuperLiga finalists Los Angeles Galaxy, whose international roster includes English superstar David Beckham and perennial MLS all-star Landon Donovan; and a club to qualify from the Hyundai A-League Final Series, which concludes in February 2008 ahead of the Pan-Pacific Championship.


Jay said...

It's too bad they didn't get Urawa Reds from the J.League. They won the championship last year, are likely to clinch another championship this weekend, and recently won the Asian Champions League. They're also the best-supported team in Asia, with an average attendance of over 45,000. Gamba is a good side but Urawa would have been a better choice.

jason said...

Earlier, one of the two authors described the Galaxy as resembling the Harlem Globetrotters in that they have more life outside their league than within it.

Given the strain of these extra games, could the Galaxy be allowed to hire exhibition-only players, whose salaries are unaffected by caps?

A.C. said...

Yeah, right. People complain enough about percieved extra allowances for the Galaxy as it is.

Anonymous said...

It would be better if the Superliga champion went. Hopefully next time.

Anonymous said...

"which will crown the top club from the Asian and North American soccer confederations."

hm...should someone inform the rest of the world that Mexico is no longer in North America?

And it'll be cool to see if a team that can't even make the MLS playoffs can call themselves the "top club".

Seriously, MLS has to stop with these tournaments.

diane said...

The difference between the Harlem Globetrotters and the Galaxy is that the Harlem Globetrotters exhibited breathtaking skills.

Granted this tournament would not be happening at this time without the Galaxy drawing card, but Galaxy need to do something about their team before sending them off to look terrible (and/or do bodily harm to opposing players!!!).

The exhibition-only squad should be an MLS all-star team if individual players are required to get the gig. It would give players from around the league a chance to be involved, it would NOT reward a team that sucked, and it wouldn't be an insult to a tournament that's inviting the "best" from each region. (It might also dull the tinge of raw greed).

just another one of you said...

I think the complaints regarding the Galacticos inclusion in this tournament are valid, but, more importantly, are very short sighted. Their popularity could be crucial to the establishment of this tournament. MLS clubs need all the international competiton they can get so the positives here vastly outweigh the negative aspect of LA getting a free pass.

If MLS begins making teams earn their way in then I am all for it. A Mexican team should be included by next year but for the time being the presence of the Galaxy will give this infant tournament the added press it needs.

L.B. said...

These are just glorified friendlies and another chance to market Beckham to more markets (Japan, Australia).

This is the World Series of Football with leis.

Keith said...

As a Hawaii resident, I've always hoped that MLS and the J-League would hold some sort of competition here. In the future, they should consider the Korean league and Mexican league teams as well. While Beckham may be the big draw, many locals will look forward to seeing local product Brian Ching play his first game in Hawaii since he was a teenager in 1995.

Of course the big question will be how many Japanese tourists this will attract, since that's the biggest market for this kind of event.