Is it Real-ly necessary?
I'm not really that big a fan of all these friendly's against big Euro teams in the middle of the season. But I will admit to enjoying the games last money even if they were a temporary distraction from the league. Perhaps it would have been better those matches were schedule in place of the All-Star game and the league just took a break during the tours. But it's over, the visits were brief and the All-Star game...well, it seems to have been a total waste of time.
However, I'm bothered about this match against Real Madrid tomorrow. Some of the leagues top players are currently in Madrid getting ready to face the Spanish giants tomorrow. Silly me allowed myself to get distracted...though probably not as much as Don Garber. Thankfully, Ives Galarcep got me back on track
Never mind that six of the league's 12 teams are set to compete in the U.S. Open Cup, the oldest competition in American team sports. Never mind that MLS is heading into the heart of its schedule and players such as Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey are already worn down from double duty with MLS and the U.S. national team. The main reason this game is a bad idea is because the league's decision to play it, and to force its teams to provide players, basically sends the message that an international friendly against a high-profile opponent is more important than the U.S. Open Cup or MLS Cup.
I wonder how much Real Madrid are paying MLS for this match? It's got to be more than the USSF is able to come up with in prize money. It bothers me that the Open Cup is still not given much credit by the league. Only the hardcore fans really seem to be giving the competition the respect it deserves. With luck, Minnesota and Rochester will move to the Semis and maybe wake someone up.
Here's an idea, why don't we focus on making the domestic league as good as possible...then maybe work on an MLS team actually knocking a Mexican club out of the Champions Cup...then maybe we can worry about how we stack up against top Euro teams.