A Non-Rambling Ramble on Exhibition Matches

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Over the past 48 hours there have been a slew of announcements and unconfirmed reports about stateside exhibition matches featuring MLS & foreign clubs. And on the heels of this news there have been 101 threads, comments, articles and overly-long blog posts hating on them.

Now I won't regale you with an overly-long post countering the sentiment that these games somehow detract from MLS league play and fan cultivation because then I would be a hypocrite. Also, somewhere deep down in my smutty little web-enabled soul, I am too dignified to argue on the internet; there's no way to do that and not look like a self-important prick who just wants everyone to see that he or she is right.

So I'll just say this: would you rather clubs book more concerts that destroy the field and justify the existence/potential future existence of more of those permanent stages that we all loathe or would rather teams help keep the lights on by booking more soccer matches? Seems like a no-brainer to me but I seem to be in the minority. Plus, it gives us an excuse to see Hans Backe, Roberto Mancini and 'Arry Redknapp testify in the same video.


Anonymous said...

is mancini reading a script?

Anonymous said...

The only truthful thing you say here is that your rant won't be overly-long. Indeed, it's short. But that doesn't make it any less ignorant. Nor does it make you any less hypocritical. And you claim to be "too dignified to argue on the internet"? Did you write that with a straight face?

If this is an attempt to make fun of yourself for being the self-important prick you pretend to criticize, then bravo. Well done. However I fear it is entirely sincere. Which makes you look like, well, a self-important prick. And a dishonest one to boot.

Matthew N said...

I dig what you're sayin, TOR. I hate arguing on the Internet too. I also love the fact that foreign clubs are visiting and putting money in the coffers of our domestic league. It is a win win for everyone (except for the ultra paranoid MLS fan who hates everything foreign)

cesttoutvrai said...

"Which makes you look like, well, a self-important prick."

Says Anonymous.

What's your objection to the meat of SF's post?

SF said...

"You claim to be "too dignified to argue on the internet"? Did you write that with a straight face? "

Actually no. You forget the cardinal rule of TOR: it's not the news, it's not important, it's not serious (except when it is).

As for me being ignorant, it's true there are a lot of things I am ignorant of. If you would like to specify please use the email addy in the right sidebar.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:26 = humorless internet arguer.

Teddie Boy Eddie said...

... and a dick.

Shane said...

So seeing more soccer games, and having a chance to see more teams is a bad thing to some people? They must be morons

Anonymous said...

You can count me in that minority too. It seems a couple of teams are even doing a mini-tournament (i.e.: Fire's Sister City and Red Bulls' Invitational). I normally prefer a foreign club to play a MLS club, but a Rangers/Celtic match in Boston seems very intriguing.

jamesey said...

Those who forget their history are doomed to repeat it.

No one is saying DC United vs AC Milan or NY/RB vs Juventus is a bad idea.

The argument against such matches is that both foreign squads are here for a May money grab. They'll be lacking all of their star players, which are the very things that make these teams significant.

Remember when NY played Bayern Munich 3 days after Munich won the Champions League in 2001? Not one member of the starters made it to the match. The same thing happened when the Galaxy played Rangers in a May match a couple years ago. In both cases the fans were treated to appalling matches that cost more than a typical MLS game.

Titan said...

"No one is saying DC United vs AC Milan or NY/RB vs Juventus is a bad idea."

Oh but they are.

Stan said...

For me, the argument against the ChampionsWorld-type tours (where a non-MLS, non-USSF entity was promoting Euro clubs by itself) was that they were carpetbaggers. Big money paid out in stadium rent, big money appearance fees to the name clubs, and if any money was left over after that, it went to the promoters, and none of it went to building the game. The promoters were here-and-gone, leaving no real legacy behind them.

And the way the early matches between two Euro clubs were played, pretty much ignoring the domestic soccer scene, they weren't going to make people more likely to watch US soccer product, be that MLS or the National Team. Quite the contrary, it made those products all the easier to ignore.

But at some point, MLS and USSF figured 'hey, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em,' hence we got last summer's "Summer of Soccer." SUM was involved in some of those games. Others were part of the World Football Challenge, which was a non-SUM product, but MLS still managed to be front and center enough to get some publicity out of it. When Chelsea played Milan, SUM was not involved, but when they played Seattle, obviously SUM was involved, and Don Garber was able to talk it all up as if it were all connected, knowing the general public didn't make a distinction there.

Also, at least a few of the Euro clubs (Chelsea) actually are investing into the local soccer infrastructure (about half of the localities Chelsea [including LA and Baltimore] played in, they have a partnership with a youth club where cash from the friendly went towards the club).

So the way I've looked at these friendlies has changed, as the type of friendly itself as changed, and as the promoters have.

Yeah, in theory, people shouldn't be ignoring MLS, and then flocking to spend twice as much money to see AC Milan's second string play against DC United. But as long as MLS is getting the money from it, and as long as they can turn around and hail it as part of the development of the domestic game, then anyone Eurosnobby enough to fit in that category is getting his own just dessert.

Alan said...

Stan ranted best. :)