In case you didn't know, the New York Red Bulls take on the Los Angeles Galaxy tonight in a game that the MLS is over hyping. I understand that LA has Landon Donovan and David Beckham while New York Red Bulls have Thierry Henry, Rafael Marquez and Juan Pablo Angel. It is cool to have so many designated players in one game. It was cool when the first 5 DP game took place at Toyota Park on August 8, 2010. I have nothing against the league hyping stars, in fact it is a very smart marketing strategy. What I do have a problem with is after the jump. If you don't want to follow me, I won't leave you in suspense or uninformed, you can catch the New York vs. LA game tonight at 10:00 PM CST on ESPN 2. Yeah, I'll probably watch but...
the tone of this article really makes me angry. Let's just focus on the lines that boil my blood.
"In what is perhaps the biggest regular-season game in years"
Incorrect! Neither of these teams are at risk to miss the playoffs. Many other games 'in years' have had serious playoff implications on the line. Last year you had 6 teams finish within 3 points of each other in the final standings. Four of those teams went home, two made it into the MLS Cup Playoff. One of those teams to make it was now defending MLS Cup Champion Real Salt Lake. Real Salt Lake played Colorado Rapids on the very last day of the regular season needing a win to have a shot at advancing. They won their game beating Colorado 3-0. Next they needed FC Dallas, Toronto FC, and D.C United all to not win.
Remarkably and regrettably for the Fire, that's exactly what happened. Minor games though, who cares what happened in MLS history and the stunning odds it took for RSL to get a seat at the playoff table? Let's care more about a regular season game involving some big-name players who have staked out their careers in other leagues. I will give them the fact that this game could determine the outcome of the MLS Supporters' Shield. LA has 50 points, NY has 41 and a NY victory would make it LA 50 points, NY 44 with four games left for both teams. Unlikely for New York but certainly they could mention that bit of drama, right?
"lofty MLS Cup aspirations"
"there's a very real chance that Galaxy-Red Bulls III would fill BMO Field in Toronto at the MLS Cup final in late November."
MLS, why do you hate what you are? The Supporters' Shield needs more love. It is more impressive for a team to rack up the most points over the course of a 30+ game season than it is for a team to put together what is essentially a 4 game hot streak. It is more impressive for a team to rack up the most points over a 15 game spread, they should think about giving a trophy for that too. They should even think about giving a trophy to the team that has the best second half of a season combined with the next season's first half. Hey, maybe the Red Bulls would finally win something (The 2010 Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic doesn't count). This brings me to my next point.
"Two of the team's flagship franchises go at it again..."
First, I'll give them the benefit of the doubt that they meant to type "Two of the league's flagship franchises go at it again...". I know all MLS teams are technically owned by the same company but to call the MLS one team is a typo right? Just like calling New York Red Bulls a flagship franchise has to be a typo too. Flagship franchises are proud organizations that bring honor to a league. The New York soccer team has been named after a media company, then a soft drink, has never won a MLS Cup, the US Open Cup, or a Supporters' Shield. When they buy Cracker Jack they don't even get the toy and when they dine out on Mott Street, they don't even get a fortune inside their cookies. A flagship? More like the Titanic.
Last but not least:
Stat that makes you go “Hmm…”
Over their last 10 games, the two teams have nearly identical records: New York are 4-3-3 with 14 goals scored, 10 goals allowed, while the Galaxy are 4-4-2 with 13 goals scored and 14 goals allowed.
Hmm... indeed MLS. Hmm... indeed.