The Pan-Pacific Championship came and went and while the crowds left plenty to be desired the games themselves left me with one impression: Gamba Osaka is a tough club.
Gamba Osaka could have scored several goals on the Galaxy but as it stands walked away with a 1-0 win in a match the Japanese club was clearly the superior one. Against the defending MLS champs, Gamba Osaka dominated as Houston did not belong on the same field as their Japanese brethren.
I've got to admit, I don't watch much of the J League. I watch the Gambare show every now and then on FSC but other than that I don't keep up with that particular league.
But these results left me thinking about the strength of both leagues. Yes, I understand that it would take more than two games to determine the strength of leagues but some MLS fans are quick to say MLS is on par with the Mexican league after a couple of MLS-favorable results.
No, I'm not going to say that based on two games the J League is the dominant league in the Pan Pacific. However, if I had to pick a league, I couldn't say for certain that MLS is the better league. These games actually have me thinking the other way, though again I can't say for sure.
Gamba Osaka demolished one of the teams I have the most respect for in MLS on Saturday. Had they won 2-1 or 3-2 or whatever, then maybe I'd be doing something else right now. But a 6-1 thrashing of Houston is eye-opening.
Yes, I realize it's the preseason and Houston and the Galaxy and neither team is close to the start of the season. But Houston needed these games to prepare for their upcoming CONCACAF Champions Cup matches, and if that's any sort of indiciation of how far they are along in their preseason, they've got a long way to go in a short amount of time.
Though Gamba Osaka looked convincing, I'm not going to say one league is better than the other. But what are your thoughts on the matter? How good is J League compared to MLS, or vice versa?