“It stands to reason that a 24-year-old from Baltimore that has played his entire professional career in the United States would share the viewpoint of most of the people that watch him.”
No, no, no. It’s because MLS’ rules pretty much rig the Champions League against its own clubs. It’s not that they don’t want to compete against CONCACAF’s best, it’s that they can’t, not with the roster/salary rules as they currently stand. Thus, why is it somehow “isolationist” to prioritize those competitions where DC United can compete on an even plane compared to its opposition?
Nope, it’s just more idiotic bloviating from our soccer neighbors to the North, who are increasingly becoming the second-most annoying constituency in North America soccer fan’dom right behind the US Soccer truthers, “she has an expensive bag, HANG HER!”
I really like Canada and Canadians, I really do. My father and his entire family are from Saskatchewan. I bear no beef whatsover with the country. I watch and actively enjoy Don Cherry (at least when he’s not ranting about Ovechkin having the audacity to enjoy playing hockey) on Hockey Night in Canada. I speak passable French. I appreciate that there is this great soccer community both in Toronto, and across the country and that for various cultural reasons, they’re extremely likely to view England, the “old world,” and its soccer traditions with a more favorable view than we do. I get that. It’s okay.
But enough already – enough of the constant drumbeat of criticism of this and that through the prism of “BUT, THIS ISN’T HOW IT’S DONE IN EUROPE!” This isn’t like hockey where Americans are in the minority in many ways compared to Canadians. MLS is a league made up primarily of American players watched primarily by American fans and funded primarily by American dollars. Toronto only has an MLS team because Americans supported this league for a decade and continue to do so.
I hate the be the one who tells Toronto fans to “know your place and shut up,” but I guess I am about to. For all of the Toronto fanbase’s energy and so on, the team has never made the MLS playoffs and for all the fan interest, not one Canadian company* has signed on as a league partner. So for all of the energy around TFC, the fact is they are just another MLS club that has to deal with the same baggage like the others.
If TFC wants a more European-style league to fit it and its fans’ ambitions, there is a very simple solution. Lead the effort for a fully-professional Canadian national soccer league. That won’t happen, of course, because there isn’t enough fan interest across the country as a whole, and it definitely doesn’t look like there would be corporate support for it as evidenced by Canadian multinationals’ disinterest in investing in MLS.
But as long as that happens, it’s time for Toronto and too many of its supporters to stop acting like they’re going to take their ball and stomp off from MLS. That isn’t going happen. Instead of screaming and yelling about what’s wrong with MLS and American soccer, how about you pay attention to your own team which is teetering in its playoff position despite playing in a division that features the entirely hopeless Red Bulls, injury-doomed Revolution and increasingly hopeless DC United.
Anyway, moan completed.
* And before you ask why a Canadian company would support a mostly-American league, many of these Canadian Forbes 2000 companies have large business interests in the US. Some of these companies include TD Bank, RBC Bank, RIM (Blackberry founders), Nortel, and Bombardier all of which sell plenty of products to Americans.