At least, that should be the prevailing sentiment, shouldn’t it?
Every time a USL team somewhere upends an MLS team, as Puerto Rico did to Toronto FC in the CONCACAF Champions League first round, we hear about how the USL is awesome and MLS is a fledgling Sunday kegger league that’s on par with the Midland Football Alliance.
And yes, Toronto’s failure was bad. They not only were eliminated, but they lost their home leg, 1-0, then were held to a 0-0 draw at Puerto Rico.
New York were the latest to fall to Trinidad opposition, bowing out last night to something known as W Connection, 4-3 on aggregate, after a 2-1 HOME loss. New York had actually gotten a respectable 2-2 result away, and with the away goals you’d figure even their sorry team couldn’t screw it up.
They did. In typical Red Bull fashion no less, giving up two goals just before the half to gag on a 1-0 lead before acquaintances and immediate family at Giants Stadium. Clearly, this must have been because the Tirinidad league, which has only been professional since 1999. Remember, Joe Public demolished the New England Revolution in this round last year, 6-1 on aggregate.
Without doubt, their league, their brand of football, and their way of life must be better than ours.
Or … the Red Bulls are what we thought they were, and W Connection didn’t let them off the hook. While it is officially true that W Connection knocked a member club of Major League Soccer out of the Champions League, what we’ve known for a long time now is that the Red Bulls are nothing that resembles an MLS team. They decided to put their whole worthless season on these two matches against W Connection, and they couldn’t even get that right.
The league as a whole is fine. So what if Seattle got blown out by Barcelona. The latter is a pretty good team, they’re going to do that to clubs, even the mighty, mighty Sounders. The Toronto loss is a little more puzzling, but Puerto Rico had a nice run last year so perhaps the experience helped them along. And Toronto has dropped points in six of its 11 league home matches this season.
If W Connection had beaten Chicago, or Columbus, or Seattle, perhaps I’d feel a bit differently. But the truth is, they beat an MLS team in name only. It’s no time to panic.