Champions cup (soccer) thoughts

Jeff Carlisle had an interesting thoughts on the advancement of D.C. United and Houston yesterday.

I am not entirely sure I agree that this advancement was a watershed moment, or that it earned them some respect. Frankly it was well overdue. MLS has soem good players and some good teams, and the fact that it took 11 years to win on foreign soil is kind of an embarassment to a pretty decent league. Don't get me wrong I am happy they seem to have gotten over that hump, but I think it's a roadblock that MLS teams should have cleared a while ago.

One argument he makes that I really don't agree that the victories came at too high a price. One thing MLS level-of-play critics often cite is the lack of success of MLS teams in international club competition. I think this is a very valid argument from their side. Having MLS clubs do everything they can to win and be successful in these types of competition is critical for the long term success of the league. The quicker we can get potential fans (and I am especially thinking of Latino fans who feel MLS can't hold a candle to the Mexican league) to dispell the notion that MLS is inferior, the quicker the MLS fan base will build. This is obviously better for each club as well (even dominant ones such as DC and Houston).

In saying that the REAL watershed moment will come if DC and Houston can BOTH know of their Mexican opponants (with one of them winning a road game wiould be even nicer) in this cup. With one fell swoop the USA can go from being a doormat to dominant in club international play, and coupled with the USA's recent dominance of Mexico and CONCACAF, it may be impossible for critics to say the US isn't reaching world class level.

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