I've kept pretty quiet during RSL's CONCACAF Champion's League run. The Rapids have been keeping Uz, Jed, and myself all busy. But I just needed to tell you something that is far more important than the RSL/Rapids rivalry (which is immaterial when you look at the big picture)
Inspired by this article, and the attendant comments, I want to put forth the biggest idea ever expressed anywhere on this blog (though already expressed by our friends at Hot Time):
That hashtag says it all. All fans, regardless of club or league, need to get together now and support Monterrey in the world's most prestigious and important competition: the Club World Cup.
Follow me, dear reader...
If a CONCACAF team wins the Club World Cup, the effects will be felt immediately throughout the region. What If you can't see how good this would be for MLS, then I feel sorry for you both personally and somewhat professionally. Let me explain something to you called "trickle down soccernomics".
If one club becomes super successful, what inevitably happens (just like in real life) is that all the other clubs benefit as a result. Just like when your neighbor wins the lottery, and moves out of your neighborhood to Beverly Hills, a ferrari somehow appears in your driveway. You don't know how it happened. Neither do I. Isn't trickle down soccernomics great?
If a league, for example, were to change schedules around in order to make for a more favorable Champions' League for one team, imagine how that benefits the other teams.
Imagine how awesome it was for Colorado to have to turn around within 4 days after getting spanked by Dallas just so that RSL could have a nice long rest for their Champions' League matches. Then a last minute change for Philly so that RSL could have a really nice relaxation period before their CCL final. If you're shaking your heads at this saying "boy, that's sure unfair", you obviously don't understand how these schedule changes really help out Colorado and Philly in the end! Somehow, I don't know how it will happen, but three points will just somehow land in Colorado and Philly's laps.
Isn't that awesome?
Imagine what happens if we expand that to a REGION.
Monterrey wins the CCL by beating an MLS team, guys. An MLS team! If they go on to win the Club World Cup, that means that they are representing us all. They beat the best MLS had to offer, and that deserves our support.
Because, really, do we want some COMNEBOL or UEFA club winning it? Really? Where's your regional pride?
No, it's time for everyone to drop everything: all their personal feelings that are an integral part of the culture of soccer in the United States (club rivalries, national rivalries), so that we can all get behind Monterrey. Because really, don't you see how this is a huge benefit to MLS?
If a CONCACAF team wins the Club World Cup, it automatically (though I don't know by whose rules) brings MLS up to another level. Because as we all know, MLS is not hampered by its single-entity structure, salary caps, and lack of promotion/relegation. No. It is hampered entirely by the lack of Club World Cup trophies for the league or for the region.
MLS is not hampered by the fact that they ask all their fans, including those from rival clubs, to drop all sense of club history in order to root for the league's chosen club of the moment. No. Nor is it hampered by the perception that this is not a real league, but a fake league: with fake stars, fake history, and fake rivalries. No. That's not the debate we need to be having as fans.
What we need to focus on is the league's lack of silverware. That's how we start getting the big stars. Not by changing our league rules to ones that promote growth, or by cleaning up USSF so that they are truly a governing body and not a consortium of cronies with questionable-at-best ties to the MLS, but by proving that our stubborn adherence to a model that is built to produce mediocrity somehow can produce World Class clubs.
I'm sorry guys, I'm getting sidetracked. But you have to see how ultimately, Monterrey's run to the Club World Cup is really about all of us. Not only do they represent the Mexican league right now, but CONCACAF soccer in general. Don't we want to show the world that we can put aside our differences and support this club, just once? Think of how good that would look!
I know it hurts right now. Especially to the RSL fans. But we need to put aside all that hurt. We need to think about the bigger picture here: CONCACAF needs to stand together and support Monterrey.
Because, really, you guys can't see how this will be good for MLS?