Monday, May 23, 2011

DC United v. Ajax

I have been a proponent of the Cups Not Friendlies movement over the past year or two. Perhaps before the name was given to it. Yesterday, DC United proved once again why it is ridiculous for MLS teams to host midseason friendlies. No offence to Ajax, but in this day and age they are middle level club and their drawing power is not very high. I can understand MLS teams playing the likes of United, Chelsea, Real Madrid, Barcelona and now possibly Manchester City as the league continues to look for exposure and clubs look to cash in. Only 10,728 fans came out yesterday to see DC lose 2-1. Many teams say it's a gift to the fans to hold such prestigious friendlies, but in truth like always it is a money grab. DC would have benefited more from some time off from matches in preparation for a play-off run come later this season rather than putting out a squad for a meaningless friendly. MLS will already be losing many players this summer for the Gold Cup and a few less could possibly be lost to the Copa America. Why pile on the fixtures. I'm sure many of the 10,000 plus in attendance will look back and think fondly of yesterday. But in the end what will matter in October? A late-May friendly against Ajax or making the play-offs after being one of the worst teams in MLS over the past two seasons. I know which I'd prefer. DC will play another friendly against Everton in July to conclude their frienly schedule.

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