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Sore losers Atlante in Superliga action

Nobody that I speak with will claim that Superliga has in anyway proven that MLS is somehow on par with the FMF. The gap that exists between the two leagues is still obvious though it appears the gap may be closing quite rapidly. But what this year’s Superliga has demonstrated is the sense of entitlement Mexican clubs, players and commentators have towards dominating their American counterparts.

This Superliga has been an unfortunate event that most of the controversial calls have gone against FMF sides. But I would argue in the last two CONCACAF Champions Cups the matches between FMF and MLS sides have been highlighted by officials calls that have gone against the MLS sides. The controversy that sunk Pachuca Tuesday night was a case of turnabout being fair play after what happened last year at Estadio Hidalgo in the Champions Cup.

In that match the Houston players after their defeat did not try and start numerous fights after the match or to injure opposing players at the end of the match. What we see is a pattern in Mexican Football: a pattern based on the sense of entitlement instilled by the Mexican media and commentators on Spanish language television here in the United States. The sense of entitlement states that FMF sides must always beat MLS sides and that every US victory over Mexico at the international level is somehow illegitimate and unworthy.

The behavior of the Atlante players at the end of Wednesday night’s game is clear example of the bitterness and anger Mexican players feel when shown up by American counterparts. The continued attempts to injure Shalrie Joseph, one of the best players perhaps ever produced by the US college system and our domestic league were pathetic but reminiscent of the attempt by Osvaldo Sanchez to injure Eddie Johnson late in the 2-0 US win over Mexico in Phoenix. They were also reminiscent of the classlessness shown by the Mexican National Team players towards the end of the 2002 World Cup 2nd round match where Cobi Jones and Eddie Lewis were both consistently abused by rough, unsporting play after the second US goal. When the tables turn on Mexican footballers and their faults are shown, they react like little spoiled children whose egos have been bruised and whose self concept has been so damaged almost out of fear of what the delusional media back home will say about them. In a word it is pathetic.


Pre-season friendlies don’t mean a whole lot but nonetheless this is a nice scoreline for MLS. Chris Rolfe and Tomasz Frankowski scored goals for Chicago as Everton played many of its first team players for most of the match.

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  1. Henry5

    August 7, 2008 at 1:40 pm

    Kartik – I whole heartedly agree with your comments about the actions of Atlante… I was at the game and it was obvious to anyone who was starting what. There was no racism involved or any kind of discrimination…only the disgust in the deplorable actions of the Atlante players and staff.

    In defense of Vilar, he is the team captain and is therefore entitled to talk to the referee, as he did on his first trip up the field when the Revs confronted Arreola for playing on when a man was down (a bad move by the Revs…play the whistle boys!). However it was clear that he was interested in anything but talking to the ref at the end of the match.

    I listened to your show recorded the day after the game, and I agree that the whole tournament should be scrapped, but not for reasons of poor sportsmanship. The money issues with the players not receiving the same bonus as the Mexican players, and the fall out from the Revs and Dynamo boycotting the final award ceremony, as well as all the fixture congestion with US Open Cup and CONCACAF Champions league, all contribute to the mess that SuperLiga has become. I would rather see MLS and SUM promote US Open Cup and Champions League play then perpetuate the farce that is SuperLiga.

    Remember, I am a Revs fan here, and we won this event, shutting out three Mexican teams to do so. I still think it should be discontinued. The whole tournament is discriminatory in nature. Why is it only US vs Mexico? Why aren’t the games played in Mexico as well as the US? Why do the FMF players receive more money than the MLS players?

    It was a great experiment, but honestly was more trouble than it was worth. If the tournament can provide an unbiased venue and fair compensation for all teams involved, then it might be worth continuing. However the potential return from other tournaments is far greater than the return from SuperLiga.

  2. Armand

    August 4, 2008 at 5:06 pm

    Kartik is right on here.

    OUTSTANDING piece.

  3. bandeeto

    August 3, 2008 at 1:16 am

    …acusations OF racism…

  4. bandeeto

    August 3, 2008 at 1:15 am

    JR and KZ,
    I am a Mexican. Atlante vs. NE is not USA vs. Mexico. Atlantes’ classless and crude behavior does not condemn or reflect on ALL Mexican players, or the entire league. YOUR absolutely idiotic defence of Atlantes’ actions, and absolutely baseless acusation of racism towards Kartik, reflect poorly on your own character!
    As one Mexican to (I assume by the tone in your posts) another, please shut up about this post before you make us look even more stupid… other than to appologize to Kartik for your your acusations or racism. And grow up. There is no defense for what Atlante did, reguardless of how many Mexican babies you think the US has eaten in the past. The actions of different teams, in different competitions, which took place years ago did not cause or influence the events between Atlante and NE.
    You are entitled to your opinion, but wrongly accusing Kartik of racism is highly offensive.

  5. Larry

    August 1, 2008 at 7:04 pm

    Actually I enjoyed this post a great deal. Between PB’s comments on the 2Gs, and this post, CSRN is the American network standing up for American players!

    Good work!

  6. KZ

    August 1, 2008 at 11:44 am

    This post is nothing but blatant sensationalism and pure racism. Seriously this post is dripping with anti Mexican racial code words and ought to be removed.

  7. eplnfl

    August 1, 2008 at 7:33 am

    As many know I took in the Everton v. Fire game in person. What really stuck me from a tactical level was the different style of play. The attacking style shown by most MLS teams of bringing the ball up the middle vs. the EPL work the ball up the field along the edges and back rotate the ball a lot, the MLS style was clearly superior.

    Everton had to adjust to the more wide open style in the 2nd half of the game. Does the English weather dictate a slow down game? If, so give me the MLS. I’ll be seeing the Fire v. DC United on Aug. 16, which could be the first time that Brian McBride is in a Chicago uniform!

  8. Chop

    July 31, 2008 at 9:14 pm


    Ok. We have Landon Donovan relieving himself on a bush on the field. Sure, it’s cheesy and disrespectful but it’s not like he went to the center circle and said “Hey Mexico, this is what I think of you”. He had to go, it happens.

    Let’s take a look at the Mexican side of things now.

    As Kartik stated already, there is the debacle at the 02′ World Cup and of course their ensuing poutfest and leaving the field without shaking hands.

    Secondly, how bout the Gold Cup a few years back when Ramon Ramirez punched Alexi Lalas in the jewels? Classy.

    Let’s move on now to the “friendly” in Phoenix where Oswaldo Sanchez tried to cheap shot Eddie Johnson who alertly jumped out of the way of danger. Did Johnson angrily react? No, he went over to his teamate to celebrate yet another 2-0 victory over Mexico. Oh, and of course the Mexicans left the field again without shaking hands.

    And of course their was last nights display and Pachuca’s efforts the night before.

    I see a theme developing.

    Please JR, come back and try to defend what was a pathetic display of sportsmanship.

  9. Brian

    July 31, 2008 at 8:18 pm

    I went ahead and posted a blog regarding SuperLiga 2008 and that there should be a SuperLiga 2009:

  10. John. Harris

    July 31, 2008 at 5:52 pm

    Hey K, do you think Mexico will get payback by beating us in the Olympics.

    Oh, yeah never mind!

    By the way Shalrie Joseph is such a class act. He took the thuggish behavior from the Mexicans well. As always Joseph is a credit to the game and to our league and to St John’s University!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Phillip

    July 31, 2008 at 4:51 pm

    Vilar is an idiot.

    He ran the length of the field twice on dead balls to try to start fights.

  12. TapocoL

    July 31, 2008 at 12:28 pm

    With the CL on the horizon and these events happening, I think the Superliga is done for after this year. It is just sad that both semifinals turned into ugly matches in the final 10 minutes. Now, we will see a rematch of the last two MLS Cups in the Superliga.

  13. JR

    July 31, 2008 at 11:25 am

    Telefutura’s commentators are not biased but they know the audience they speak to.

    Kartik, the Ruiz incidents in that game were galling but do you not recall the classlessness with which Landon Donovan behaved at Jalisco in 2004 for the CONCACAF Qualifiers? Would any Mexican player ever do such a thing, as urinate on the oppositions field?

    Your defense of your post is as disappointing as the initial post as are all the com mentors on here who show a lack of cultural sensitivity bordering on racism. Vilar’s comments at the end of the match even though he is an Argentine reflect the racism many of them feel in American stadiums.

  14. kartik

    July 31, 2008 at 11:02 am


    Do you remember the 2002 World Cup match?

    The last five minutes was filled with one attempt after another to injure American players. Cobi Jones was the main target as someone who had been a notable Mexican killer for years.

    Some Mexican players like Jared Borgetti are classy and respect the US setup. Others like Rafa Marquez and former player Luis Hernandez are jerks who are overhyped by their own media and fans and who believe on field behavior doesn’t matter.

    Do you remember Osvaldo Sanchez trying to DELIBERATELY INJURE Eddie Johnson last year? I am still outraged Sanchez did not get a lengthy ban for it.

    You cannot tell me that the Atlante players were not trying to hurt S. Joseph last night. Then the end of the match was unbelievable. Technically Atlante had five players sent off in stoppage time. Do you really believe any MLS and US National Team side would behave like that?

    I also want to point out that the Mexican players do it to other CONCACAF rivals when they lose. Last year I saw a match versus Guatemala where Carlos Ruiz was tackled from behind THREE TIMES in two stoppage time minutes after Guatemala had sealed the game. Ruiz as all us MLS fans know is a hot head so instead of walking away he pushed back and a big fight ensued. I’m normally not big on Ruiz, but in this case not only was the play rough but I feel the Mexicans were trying to injure him out of bitterness as he had scored I believe twice in the match including the game winner.

    In the Mexican football psyche they are pre-ordained to dominate CONCACAF. It’s no coincidence that when we play them you see Central Americans show up to the matches with American flags. All of CONCACAF cannot stand Mexico’s behavior.

    Yes, I do pride myself on being fair to Mexico. I’ll admit, I watch probably more FMF than almost all English language commentators. I actually enjoy the league. I believe it is the best outside of Europe. I also rate the Mexican national side very highly. The problem is that they do nothing but trash the US and other CONCACAF nations, and it’s tough to be totally fair after something like last night when they are never fair.

    Ryan, New England would do the best in Mexico because their style of play is so different than what Latin clubs are used to seeing. Houston may do okay, but honestly I think the Revs are the only MLS team that could make the playoffs down there for sure. RSL also may be competitive because they are very deep although they obviously lack the star quality of the Dynamo and Revs, but they have some very good technical players in Morales, Beckerman and A. Williams who can clog up the midfield in Kreis’ diamond system. All other MLS clubs lack the depth to be competitive weekend in and out in Mexico.

  15. Berlin

    July 31, 2008 at 10:57 am

    The ending of that match was one of the poorest displays of sportsmanship I have ever seen. The Atlante keeper charged down the field looking for a fight and found one. The Atlante STAFF was throwing punches! The FMF should be embarrassed that this is how one of their teams represents them on International television.

  16. Phillip

    July 31, 2008 at 10:44 am

    If you honestly believe that an MLS team would start fight after fight and constantly try to injure a player one of the Mexican teams, then you are delusional.

    This crap only comes from one side.

  17. Brian

    July 31, 2008 at 10:26 am


    You’re correct. It is one sided. But maybe that is because only one side acts like sore whiny bitches when things don’t go their way. Just a thought.

  18. Devil in Disguise

    July 31, 2008 at 10:18 am

    AWESOME post. One of the best ever on this site!

  19. JR

    July 31, 2008 at 9:47 am

    Honestly, we’d behave the same way if we lost to Mexico at home. Landon would push and shove someone and it would become a major fight.

    This is a one sided biased article and Kartik, given your track record of being fairer to Mexico than most American commentators it is a shock to wake up on read this. Please take it down.

  20. Phillip

    July 31, 2008 at 9:10 am

    Here’s a quote from Matt Reis from Goff’s Blog

    “I’m sure if you went back and looked at the tape of every game when one of the teams from Mexico has lost, they’re all screaming and yelling at the referee,” goalkeeper Matt Reis told the Boston Globe. “They’re sitting there and have people from their staff coming out taking shots at people, the referee doesn’t call the game, and we’re doing all this for 15 percent of the prize. In the end, we’re not happy. We’re not happy with the way things went down, but we played a good game, and all they wanted to come here and do is fight us.”

  21. Ryan

    July 31, 2008 at 8:20 am

    Potential fisticuffs aside, what MLS teams to you think could play a full competitive season in the Mexican league?

  22. ddtigers

    July 31, 2008 at 5:55 am

    Great point KK, I do wonder if this kill the SL, if does that is too bad. I feel a certain segment of MLS fans feeel that it is a waste as well. Hopefully the money issue will get solved because the MLS squads need multi-cup competitions.

  23. Berlin

    July 31, 2008 at 1:34 am

    I want to be fair to the FMF teams but they make it very hard. Gracious in victory, but terrible in defeat. This result may very well end the Superliga, but I don’t mind seeing the FMF humbled by whatever means necessary. Rivalry ON!

  24. Phillip

    July 31, 2008 at 1:12 am

    Here’s a scary thought, Kartik.

    If New England wins their play-in game for the Champions League… guess who’s group they’re in.

    That’s right! Atlante….

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