Wednesday, May 11, 2011

World Football Exploitation

This went completely under my radar: Major League Soccer has announced the dissolving of the Superliga tournament. Though a good idea at the time to cash in on the USA v. Mexico rivalry the tournament seemed to fizzle over the past few years in attendance, especially with the non-Hispanic fan in the USA. You can check my old blogs to see how I truly feel about the tournament.

However, MLS has decided to go a different way to make money off of the casual and hardcore soccer fan in America. They will revive the World Football Challenge. The first WFC took place in 2009 with Chelsea, AC Milan, Internazionale and Club America competing in a pre-season tournament. For one, I am completely against MLS teams playing mid-season friendlies; but it's another cancer of the game in the US when teams from abroad come to America to cash in on the American sports fan. Yes, it's great for the game in America. But as an American soccer fan it is also a slap in the face that people won't/don't come out to watch MLS matches when they have the opportunity at a fraction of the price.

In my opinion MLS is hurting itself by playing this types of mid-season friendlies. It basically tells the casual fan that our league is inferior so don't come out to a league game, but do come out and watch when we play a team from Europe. At the end of the day money talks, and despite what happens to the state of the league, MLS and it's "richest" clubs will continue to follow the practice of cashing in on the soccer fans of America.

Here is an updated version of this summer's friendlies:

May 2011
May 22: D.C. United v Ajax
May 25: Portland Timbers v Ajax

July 2011
July 13: New England Revolution v Manchester United

July 16: LA Galaxy v Real Madrid
July 18: Vancouver Whitecaps v Manchester City
July 20: Houston Dynamo v Bolton Wanderers
July 20: Philadelphia Union v Everton
July 20: Seattle Sounders v Man United
July 20: Sporting Kansas City v Newcastle United
July 23: D.C. United v Everton
July 23: Chicago Fire v Manchester United
July 26: Columbus Crew v Newcastle United
July 27: MLS All-Stars v Manchester United at Red Bull Arena NJ
July 30: Barcelona v Manchester United in Washington D.C.

August 2011
August 3: Barcelona v Chivas Guadalajara in Miami, FL

August 6: Barcelona v Club America in Dallas TX.

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