Things have never been worse for the MLS. The “Major” label next to League Soccer just doesn’t do justice to the quality of the league. Last year in the CONCACAF Champions League the MLS fared misserably. The New England Revolution and Chivas USA both fell on the road to lesser teams (from an MLS perspective) from Trinidad and Panama. Both MLS teams were eventually put out of their missery and knocked out of the tournament.
Meanwhile, perhaps quietly within the MLS news world, both USL-1 teams in the same tournament, the Puerto Rico Islanders and the Montreal Impact, fared better and moved on to the next round. It didn’t go unoticed in some MLS circles though that the Islanders accomplished in their first try a feat no MLS side has in eight tries: get a result on Costa Rican soil and defeat a Costa Rican team to advance in a CONCACAF competition.
In the group stage, more of the same was the motive: USL Triumphs, MLS Fails. DC United got eliminated with only 1 (one) point in the standings in the group stage, and Houston Dynamo saved face, and became the only MLS team (out of 4) to survive the group stage. Of course, both USL-1 sides moved on to the quarterfinal phase.
But all that was last year, and perhaps MLS fans found out those news through other means other than the MLS itself, because of it’s “government controlled media” style.
Come in 2009, both the MLS and the USL are in preseason, and as a matter of fact both leagues are playing scrimmage games between them. Except that MLS fans would not really know what was really happening down there in Bradenton (Florida), again, at least from the MLS media perspective.
The Puerto Rico Islanders played three games last week against three MLS sides. The Chicago Fire, the MLS Sub-Champion New York Red Bulls and the MLS Champion Columbus Crew.
News about the Chicago 1-0 win over the Islanders were on the MLS site (BTW Chicago won on a penalty goal). But where did the news of how the Champs and Sub-Champs fared against the Islanders go?
The MLS controlled media (without freedom of press) withheld those results, like a dictator prevents his/her people to find out the truth about their government. Not only that, those games disappeared from the MLS schedules. On an MLS webpage it shows the preseason calendar of the week in progress, as well as the results for the MLS so far.
Whoever is looking at those MLS preseason results so far, would think that the MLS is almost undefeated in the preseason (except for the D.C. United 1 Vejle Boldklub 4 result). This table doesn’t show the MLS Sub-Champs Red Bulls failure to defeat the Islanders (0-0 draw), nor the humiliating 2-0 loss of the MLS Champs Columbus Crew in hands of the Islanders.
Now, do not think that the MLS just doesn’t publish their negative results against their rival USL-1 league. The table doesn’t show either the 1-0 loss of the Red Bulls to the Under-17 USA team in this year’s pre-season. Actually we don’t even know what other news is the MLS controlled media keeping from the MLS people.
The dictatorship in Russia fell, in Cuba is falling and in North Korea it will fall. So will the MLS fall one day.
The table does show that the MLS DC United will play a friendly with the Puerto Rico Islanders this weekend on the 21st. We will keep you apraised as to the result, as the MLS media might not.