I'm not sure this is as much a blog as a complaint area. Like many other Americans, I have gone out of my way to support and defend the MLS these past two years. MLS team performances in the super-duper Mexican and American Futbol Cup seemed to confirm what I had been saying for some time: MLS teams are improving and are on par with the best that Mexico can offer. I put on my "I told you so" face and blasted my soccer buddies across the globe who had routinely spanked the MLS verbally for being a league for retiring old players, second rate hacks, and Americans who couldn't cut it anywhere in Europe. While there are some aged players in the MLS (no one however as old as say Teddy Sherigham), and while there are both second rate players (mostly defenders) and yes, Americans who could never make it in any of the A class leagues in Europe, there is also a good amount of real talent as well. Call Blanco and Beckham old, but they still can deliver the goods. There have been other players who are still obviously delivering the goods despite being in the later years of their careers.
But then, out of the blue, the worst happened this week: Chivas and New England both got flattened by very poor clubs from countries with very little to brag about in the futbol world. Joe Public didn't just beat the Revolution 2-1 in Trinidad, their offensive play and potency was clearly focused and more effective than the Revs . In short, I have to say I was in pain watching this small island club outplay and have more heart than their American counterparts. And it was clear: the Americans didn't come to play. They thought they had it in the bank just by showing up.
Then the embarrasment continued when Chivas USA who have been slumping bad at the end of the MLS season got thumped by an opportunistic Tauro FC from Panama. That's right, Panama. Not Costa Rica or Mexico, but Panama--a country that barely plays futbol. The Chicas USA defense put on a dreadful performance, failing to communicate or play standard rotation defense and allowed on Panamanian player dribble the ball 40 yards untouched and to point blank range for the second goal. If you were ever an MLS defender, this one hurt bad.
Frankly, I'm embarrased. These results are akin to a small Swiss club defeating Manchester Utd. That's how far the talent and ability distance was suppose to be. But is it really? Or are the MLS teams just not that good? Are they really THAT bad?
I can only hope both teams redeem themselves at home next week so I can raise my head from the shameful spot I have it now.