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Does Superliga Have a Future?

Let me get out of the way that I am thrilled by Houston’s slaying of the monster that is Pachuca, and look forward to almost a near certain all MLS tournament final. This is the first victory by an MLS team over a Mexican team in a knock stage of a competition since 1998. However, this year’s tournament and the bitterness felt by Mexican sides likely means the competition will have to be substantially revamped or abolished altogether.

Tonight, Pachuca it appeared scored first on a beautiful goal after playing a flawless match to that point tactically. Enrique Meza had his team absorb the pressure from high flying Houston in the first half. But the goal was disallowed. This is simply the most recent controversial call in this Superliga competition. Strangely every single disputable call has gone against an FMF side and favored an MLS side. For a Mexican press corp already dubious about this competition and looking for any opportunity to rip American Soccer, this is the reddest of meats. It’s actually like serving a live animal to a caged Tiger.

When you consider additionally the frustration CD Guadalajara has faced the past two years being eliminated due to head to head results rather than goal difference, it becomes plainly obvious that either the FMF will demand some changes to the event, or even more dramatic, you’ll see top Mexican sides begin to decline invitations to the event as Cruz Azul did last year.

Most Mexican coaches do not like Interliga, the SUM sponsored event held on American soil every year that awards a spot in the Copa Libertadoras. I believe these same coaches are beginning to detest Superliga as well. FMF sides believe they are vastly superior to MLS teams. I will not dispute that because the evidence is that they are on the whole vastly superior. But in the odd event that they lose like tonight, the event will always be viewed with a qualification or an asterisk in Mexico. Additionally it gives the impetus for the event to be killed.

In regards to the match, I believe the decision by Dominic Kinnear to insert Cory Ashe’s fresh legs and tireless runs down the wing in place of a tired Brad Davis whose sole late game function would have been to serve as a dead ball specialist won the match. Those are the types of tactical moves most American coaches do not make: the type of moves which make you wonder why Kinnear wasn’t given a long look to replace Bruce Arena. Perhaps it’s Bob Bradley’s familiarity with the US system as a coach, as opposed to Kinnear’s as a player that made Bradley the slam dunk choice when Jurgen Klinsmann said no. Perhaps it’s simply comfort with Bradley, or maybe Kinnear wasn’t yet established enough at that point. But when you have a coach whose dominating your domestic game and hands your league its most significant international victory of the past eight years while your national team is ranked twenty five spots below where it was twenty five months ago, isn’t considered it raises some serious questions.

This entry was posted in Leagues: Major League Soccer, Superliga. Bookmark the permalink.

About Kartik Krishnaiyer

A lifelong lover of soccer, the beautiful game, he served from January 2010 until May 2013 as the Director of Communications and Public Relations for the North American Soccer League (NASL). Raised on the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the old NASL, Krishnaiyer previously hosted the American Soccer Show on the Champions Soccer Radio Network, the Major League Soccer Talk podcast and the EPL Talk Podcast. His soccer writing has been featured by several media outlets including The Guardian and The Telegraph. He is the author of the book Blue With Envy about Manchester City FC.
View all posts by Kartik Krishnaiyer →

16 Responses to Does Superliga Have a Future?

  1. Liverpool John says:

    I like the event, and disagree because DC didn't get any breaks this year from the officials.

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  4. Liverpool John says:

    I like the event, and disagree because DC didn’t get any breaks this year from the officials.

  5. John Harris says:

    It was a bad call.

    But that is not really the point.

    This event especially with the CCL starting up this year is a sham and totally unnecessary. A cash grab by SUM is exactly what it, football detective is correct. No way this tournament continues unless it’s played partly in Mexico.

    Pachuca’s loss and Atlante’s impending loss will sour the Mexicans. The third time final between Houston and New England will sour MLS fans. We are beginning to feel like England with the same two or three clubs winning everything. So how is the salary cap keeping the league competitive? It is not. Two teams play the cap better than everyone else so they win everything.

  6. John Harris says:

    It was a bad call.

    But that is not really the point.

    This event especially with the CCL starting up this year is a sham and totally unnecessary. A cash grab by SUM is exactly what it, football detective is correct. No way this tournament continues unless it’s played partly in Mexico.

    Pachuca’s loss and Atlante’s impending loss will sour the Mexicans. The third time final between Houston and New England will sour MLS fans. We are beginning to feel like England with the same two or three clubs winning everything. So how is the salary cap keeping the league competitive? It is not. Two teams play the cap better than everyone else so they win everything.

  7. Elliott says:

    “This is simply the most recent controversial call in this Superliga competition. Strangely every single disputable call has gone against an FMF side and favored an MLS side.”

    Jay Heaps had a legitimate goal called back for offside in the opening moments of the group play match against Pachuca.

    It's easy for FMF clubs to remember the calls that went against them, but they too eagerly forget those that aided them.

  8. Elliott says:

    “This is simply the most recent controversial call in this Superliga competition. Strangely every single disputable call has gone against an FMF side and favored an MLS side.”

    Jay Heaps had a legitimate goal called back for offside in the opening moments of the group play match against Pachuca.

    It’s easy for FMF clubs to remember the calls that went against them, but they too eagerly forget those that aided them.

  9. Ron (Revolt) says:

    Personally, I've really enjoyed the SL. You can have both the CCL and SL. Has there ever been this much interest in July MLS matches before?

  10. Ron (Revolt) says:

    Personally, I’ve really enjoyed the SL. You can have both the CCL and SL. Has there ever been this much interest in July MLS matches before?

  11. Jim says:

    Hey, why is InterLiga held in the US? Because it makes more money there than it would in Mexico. Why is SuperLiga held entirely in the US? Because it wouldn't make enough pesos to buy you coffee in the DF if it was played in Mexico. If these teams are so against these tournaments why does their federation continue to agree to their formats? The ugly truth is the almighty dollar

  12. Jim says:

    Hey, why is InterLiga held in the US? Because it makes more money there than it would in Mexico. Why is SuperLiga held entirely in the US? Because it wouldn’t make enough pesos to buy you coffee in the DF if it was played in Mexico. If these teams are so against these tournaments why does their federation continue to agree to their formats? The ugly truth is the almighty dollar

  13. Sunny says:

    I used to respect Kartik's point of view but the above post illustrates what has become a problem with him. He's simply a windup. When MLS teams lose to Mexican teams if you read MLS Talk it is because of the “superiority” of Mexican Football. When MLS sides win it's because of the refs. When English sides beat MLS sides in friendlies it's because MLS has no quality and the game was an important symbol of MLS' ineptitude. When they win like this game, the game means nothing. Then he whines that MLS is getting enough respect in England and in Mexico when he's the one helping to trash the league here.

    How many Mexican sides left in Superliga, Kartik? None, yet your posts all blame the officials saying the calls have been one sided even though the refs assigned were scored the top ones by CONCACAF. So in other words you don't support MLS. You are just a windup. You like Mexican Football and English Football better than your own football. I don't care if you'd lose an organ for the national team because in this day and age the club game is what matters. Do you think anyone outside of soccer die hards actually cases about the Olympics or even the World Cup now? The club game and the Champions League is where it is at.
    You may protest otherwise but your posts demonstrate a lack of consideration for MLS when it comes down to it. Who cares if they aren't developing American national team players at the rate you'd like? Somehow nothing is ever the USSF's fault either with you. The USSF and US Soccer are perfect. Are you on their payroll?

  14. Sunny says:

    I used to respect Kartik’s point of view but the above post illustrates what has become a problem with him. He’s simply a windup. When MLS teams lose to Mexican teams if you read MLS Talk it is because of the “superiority” of Mexican Football. When MLS sides win it’s because of the refs. When English sides beat MLS sides in friendlies it’s because MLS has no quality and the game was an important symbol of MLS’ ineptitude. When they win like this game, the game means nothing. Then he whines that MLS is getting enough respect in England and in Mexico when he’s the one helping to trash the league here.

    How many Mexican sides left in Superliga, Kartik? None, yet your posts all blame the officials saying the calls have been one sided even though the refs assigned were scored the top ones by CONCACAF. So in other words you don’t support MLS. You are just a windup. You like Mexican Football and English Football better than your own football. I don’t care if you’d lose an organ for the national team because in this day and age the club game is what matters. Do you think anyone outside of soccer die hards actually cases about the Olympics or even the World Cup now? The club game and the Champions League is where it is at.
    You may protest otherwise but your posts demonstrate a lack of consideration for MLS when it comes down to it. Who cares if they aren’t developing American national team players at the rate you’d like? Somehow nothing is ever the USSF’s fault either with you. The USSF and US Soccer are perfect. Are you on their payroll?

  15. Max says:

    Sunny, obviously you didn't see the “SORE LOSERS” post.

  16. Max says:

    Sunny, obviously you didn’t see the “SORE LOSERS” post.

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