Jul 31, 2012, 11:23 AM EDT
Just in case everyone isn’t clear, CONCACAF Champions League is important to Major League Soccer. About as important as properly inflated balls or sufficient supplies of beer in the stadium concession areas from the sound of it.
What MLS commissioner Don Garber told Sporting News in a recent interview: “We’ve got to try to win that tournament. We’ve got to try to get to the world club championship. That’s got to be a priority.”
And what Real Salt Lake coach Jason Kreis said last Friday, immediately after a Western Conference-shaping win over Vancouver: “I’m ready. I’m ready right now to go home and scout Herediano and do everything we can so that we are very properly prepared. This is a big, big deal to our club, a big, big deal to our fans, and a huge deal to everybody in the locker room.”
So there. That’s one side. Me?
Success in any competition will help at a micro level. That is, it stirs up buzz and adds momentum for individual clubs.
But I must admit that I’m always a little skeptical about how much success in CONCACAF Champions League can assist over larger sweeps, how it would boost MLS in the league’s most pressing areas for growth.
Would an MLS club finally getting to the FIFA Club World Cup help boost league pride and prestige? Sure. Would a few more players from lands beyond put MLS on their personal “consider” list. Yeah, a few.
But would it significantly enhance TV ratings (and, subsequently, revenue during the next round of network talks)? Nah.
Would it help D.C. United get a stadium? Highly unlikely. Would it encourage New England ownership to expedite its stadium initiative, or further encourage Chivas USA to develop a brand identity that works? I think we know better.
Would it boost attendance in markets that continue to tread water, like Chivas USA, Columbus, Dallas, Colorado and New England? Only if one of them won it.
Would it help MLS gin up awareness in the dozens of U.S. mid-sized markets where so precious little exists? (Go ask people in Austin or Albuquerque or Atlanta about MLS.)
Would it assist in efforts to improve the refereeing standard here and in Canada, which would boost the overall quality (and appeal) of matches? Nope.
Would it further improve the youth development mechanisms or add money required to further enhance the reserve team elements? Doubtful.
But that’s just me. Plenty of people feel differently. Obviously.
May 25, 2013, 12:20 PM EDT
Looking at the weekend MLS schedule and wondering if we’ll see one of these two on the field?
May 25, 2013, 11:40 AM EDT
Something to like from the Galaxy side – but one big concern, too:
May 25, 2013, 10:45 AM EDT
Despite the Chicago Fire’s awful record through 12 MLS rounds, there’s still enough to like about Frank Klopas’ club.
May 25, 2013, 12:32 AM EDT
Santos confirmed that they have accepted two offers for Brazilian sensation Neymar.
May 24, 2013, 9:29 PM EDT
In a mind-blowing move, USA Today have reported the LA Galaxy have sent a player to the Chicago Fire in exchange for the rights to Robbie Rogers.
May 24, 2013, 7:00 PM EDT
With a victory in the Champions League final to complete Bayern Munich’s domination domestically and abroad plus their offseason acquisitions, would they be a force for years to come?
May 24, 2013, 4:25 PM EDT
Internazionale officially announced they have sacked Andrea Stramaccioni and hired the former Napoli boss.
May 24, 2013, 4:05 PM EDT
No question that two of the league’s most interesting teams will be at Stade Saputo on Saturday:
May 24, 2013, 3:37 PM EDT
Tony Fernandes has finally taken some blame for the relegation of QPR instead of shedding it left and right.
May 24, 2013, 3:15 PM EDT
Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has confirmed Chelsea interm manager Rafa Benitez is set to move to Serie A on a 2-year deal with Napoli.
May 24, 2013, 3:00 PM EDT
Boyd left Dortmund last season, so is a USMNT player destined to never play in a Champions League final?
May 24, 2013, 2:50 PM EDT
Who knew that Jimmy Nielsen’s burst of white hair wasn’t the craziest thing about Sporting Kansas City’s talented goalkeeper?
May 24, 2013, 2:45 PM EDT
A blog post in the New Yorker looks at another side to this week’s huge expansion news:
May 24, 2013, 2:31 PM EDT
Does Hughes deserve another shot at managing an EPL club after past failures?
May 24, 2013, 2:25 PM EDT
Both teams are on streaks of success – even if “success” look so radically different in the two camps:
May 24, 2013, 1:56 PM EDT
See the sights around London, as Wembley Stadium welcomes German fans in abundance.
May 24, 2013, 1:30 PM EDT
When Bayern Munich face Borussia Dortmund tomorrow at 2:45 ET at Wembley, they won’t be playing for the right to be recognized as permanent contenders. They’ve already done that.
May 24, 2013, 1:13 PM EDT
Monaco’s Russian oligarch owner is splashing the cash to bring Champions League success, can they do it?
May 24, 2013, 1:00 PM EDT
We have five suggestions as MLS pivots its enhancement efforts away from expansion:
- Mike Magee’s arrival can only help in Chicago 0
- Champions League final preview: A bitter rivalry with much higher stakes 0
- With MLS expansion done for now, where the league priorities should land 10
- Which US cities are next for MLS expansion? 25
- Champions League Final infographic: Borussia Dortmund vs. Bayern Munich 0
- It’s official: Manchester City and the Yankees will own and operate Major League Soccer’s newest expansion team. (35)
- Which US cities are next for MLS expansion? (25)
- Why MLS was so focused on New York as the 20th market (18)
- Notes from today’s big announcement on MLS, NYCFC the Yankees and the rest (14)
- With MLS expansion done for now, where the league priorities should land (11)
- Pacers even series with Heat
- Penguins bounce Senators | Highlights
- MST: Rosberg wins pole in Monaco | Highlights
- Tennis.com: Can anyone stop Serena at French?
- Tennis.com: Is French still Nadal's to lose?
- Tigers' Sanchez loses no-hitter in 9th vs. Twins
- PST: Report: Openly gay Rogers to play for Galaxy