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My Letter to the Guardian

I am a big fan of the football section of your newspaper and find the online section indispensable during the EPL campaign. Both your newspaper and podcast represent the best coverage of English Football available on the Internet. However, I must take your paper to task for your recent statements about Major League Soccer here in the United States. While MLS is nowhere near the standard of the Premiership it isn’t nearly as poor in quality as many of your writers and commentators claim. I notice that it has become fashionable in the British press to attack the standard of play in MLS based on watching quite possibly the league’s worst squad, Los Angeles Galaxy. Your paper and your colleagues at the other papers have engaged in a vicious slash and burn campaign towards the league without ever truly watching the quality possessed by the top teams in the league. Would it be fair if the American press judged the Premiership by the play of Wigan (whose JJB Stadium is half empty) or my beloved Manchester City who scored only ten goals at Eastlands this past season?

The opinion piece penned by former Arsenal man and current FC Dallas coach Steve Morrow in your paper the other day said it best. Morrow argued that MLS is not at the standard of the EPL by any measure, but that he has had to reject several big name players from abroad because the league is far more demanding than what is represented in your paper and the rest of the British press. If you want to see the real MLS, not just the rag tag poxy bunch in L.A., I suggest your writers check out Morrow’s side or perhaps Steve Nicol’s, (of Liverpool fame) New England Revolution, DC United or the Houston Dynamo. Only then can you judge the MLS.

Kartik Krishnaiyer
Coral Springs, Florida USA

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  1. JR

    July 22, 2007 at 6:20 pm

    Each of those guys played in a World Cup. Perhaps you only follow England’s National Team, and their epic road to elimination in every event they play

  2. Anonymous

    July 22, 2007 at 4:17 pm

    I’ve never heard of any of those guys, JR. Dr who?

  3. JR

    July 22, 2007 at 2:58 pm

    Stern John, Doctor Khumalo, Ben Iroha and Shaun Bartlett. All developed in MLS and outstanding in Europe.

  4. USA2010

    July 22, 2007 at 2:50 pm

    I don’t think anyone is saying that MLS is on the same level as the EPL in overall quality. The fact is the EPL has some of the world’s best players.

    That doesn’t mean MLS sucks or has nothing to offer for fans of the game (particularly USA national team fans).

    Where MLS teams would place in the EPL table is a stupid, unprovable argument. But to say top MLS teams couldn’t compete with Championship and relegation target teams is just ignorant.

  5. Anonymous

    July 22, 2007 at 2:40 pm

    Brian McBride
    Ryan Nelsen
    Marcus Hahneman

  6. MJ

    July 22, 2007 at 2:37 pm

    Houston and DC United would be nowhere near mid-table in the EPL!! You honestly think they’re better than teams like Blackburn, Middlesbrough, Portsmouth, Aston Villa, and etc?? Please. What soccer are you watching? Get your head out of the cloud of American vanity and open your mind up to the fact that the MLS is nowhere near the EPL.

  7. football detective

    July 22, 2007 at 2:36 pm


  8. Eplnfl

    July 21, 2007 at 7:01 pm

    Keepers do count.

    Brian McBride is a good example of a player who has made it. If you ask me Jon Spector, Jay Demerit, and Carlos Bocanegra have made it.

    The English press need to see Beckham and MLS fail. The result of a success would be a set back for the English game. What if some of the TV money going to English football goes to MLS. Think what that will do.

    I am a EPL fan. I want to see the English game flourish. I want to see the American game flourish. I believe that English football would be wiser to embrace the American game. I have no doubt they have not thought of that.

  9. USA Fan

    July 21, 2007 at 4:16 pm

    Goalkeepers don’t count?

  10. Anonymous

    July 21, 2007 at 2:08 pm

    Name 3 former MLS players who have “made it” (ie. excelled) in the EPL and 3 former EPLers that have “flopped” in MLS. I thought so, you can’t name one in either category. AND YOU CANNOT NAME AMERICAN GOALKEEPERS.

  11. Josiah of Footy Fame

    July 21, 2007 at 12:17 pm

    Are you kidding? No MLS team would be competitive in the EPL. That is utter bull shit propaganda coming from the well paid, EPL spin machine. I’m not Lalas’ biggest fan but he has a point on the spin coming from the EPL.

    eplnfl is dead on. Houston would be a mid table team in the EPL as would DC United, who actually not long ago won a match at White Hart Lane versus Spurs in the middle of the EPL season!

    To say no MLS players have made an impact in the EPL is a joke. Moreover I can name a number of guys who came from England who flopped in MLS, thanks to the heat and constant pace of the game. No the first touches and quality passing isn’t there in MLS, but it is physically demanding, in some ways as demanding as your beloved EPL.

  12. MJ

    July 21, 2007 at 10:40 am

    eplnfl, i agree, you really must be joking here.

    No MLS team would be competitive in the EPL, I’m sorry. You mentioned Wigan, Fulham, and Bolton. Do you realize Bolton finished 6th in the EPL last season and that they will play in the UEFA Cup this year? Wigan and Fulham would win the MLS Cup without much difficulty. Houston, while far and away the best team in MLS (in my opinion) would, at best, be in a relegation battle. You said Houston would be playing for a UEFA Cup spot?? Are you insane?!?

    The English press doesn’t write about their women’s national team, but let’s be honest: does our press write about them either?

  13. Eplnfl

    July 21, 2007 at 7:00 am

    I joke. Kartik smokes. So lets set the matter right on that.
    The EPL has the best media and public relations staff in the world. Thats why were EPL fans to begin with as well as the fact that I do prefer player interviews in English.

    Even the hardcore EPL fans here admit one or two other leagues maybe equal or not better than the EPL. I do not like saying it myself but it maybe true. When does the Spanish League season start by the way?

    In my opinion the bottom half of the table in the EPL has not improved the quality of football in England and those teams are not what they should be. On the other hand the top teams in the MLS, even with the better American players playing in England and other European teams has gone up.

    Are they ready to face ManU, Chelsea, Liverpool on a weekly basis. No. Wigan or Bolton, or Fulham. Yes.

    Also National programs in the US have a big upside. Mens and Women. What can England say about the future of their national sides. After seeing the young US talent on the field this summer, I can’t wait for 2010 to see the USA. Nor can I wait for the start of the EPL.

  14. Anonymous

    July 21, 2007 at 1:31 am

    K, you are joking. MLS is about the equivelent of Conference in England. Eplnfl, are you smoking some good stuff. Houston wouldn’t even be able to play in League 2 let alone the UEFA Cup. Nsme one player on Houston of Premiership caliber. I do not think a single player in that league besides Angel and Beckham could play in the EPL.

  15. Eplnfl

    July 20, 2007 at 7:31 pm

    Well done. Thanks for standing up for soccer here in the US.

    Not only are the best teams in the MLS of such quality that they would stay up in the EPL,the way Houston looks right now they would be looking at a UEFA Cup spot.

    Also, where is the English press on the failure of their national youth teams and womens teams,and how does the train wreck known as the England team compare with the USMNT. How come the English press doesn’t mention those items.

    Keep up the good work.

    Proud to be an American and a EPL fan.

  16. Hernandez

    July 20, 2007 at 12:55 pm

    Good one! The arrogant european and brit press is not giving mls or mexican league any credit.

  17. Sams Army

    July 20, 2007 at 10:27 am

    That’s it K, that the way to stick it to the arrogant Brits!

  18. Lowell

    July 20, 2007 at 8:13 am

    Nice one K-man… The British press does need to be knocked down from their pedestal. Just because their opinions have a British accent to them, doesnt mean they know what they are talking about.

    Now I know last night’s game was a preseason match for Celtic, but they looked like crap minus the play of Boruc. Granted the MLS players were in peak form, but they had also never played with one another. It was a mish mash of talent.

    I’s like to say that both teams coming in had their pros and cons to substantiate their play, but simply put Celtic was embarrassed.

    It easily could have been 4-0. Although a great result at 2-0 for the MLS, I argue that they didnt even get to play a quality side.

    P.S. Hey Becks if your pussy foot hurts, then dont go walking around the entire frickin stadium just to tell us that Americans are patriotic and you are here for the kids. The kids dont give a shit about you unless their parents know who you are. If Justin Timberlake played soccer, the MLS wouldnt even need Beckham.

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