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Everton Performance Against Chicago Disappoints Diehard EPL Fan


The following article is written by EPLNFL, a longtime reader of EPL Talk and a resident of Chicago.

Every year now about the end of June many EPL fans in the US and Canada get the news they long to hear, the teams that they often get up before sunrise for on a frigid December morning will be coming to your town to play on a sunny day with topical conditions prevailing.

What a thrill it is to think that the legends of the English game will soon be walking the turf of your local stadium where only the NFL has tread before. You’ll pay almost anything for it, to have the opportunity to say I saw Alex Ferguson in person, I actually got within 20 feet of Roy Keane, or I saw Phil Neville go to the turf in Toyota Park.

Once you appear at the game nothing quite meets your expectation. David Moyes looks older in person then on TV. Sir Alex doesn’t look like a knight, and a nil nil pre-season draw is not worth the price of parking let alone admission. $15.00 for parking at Toyota Park for those who care about that stuff.

The great and well deserved popularity of the EPL worldwide has required English teams to show up at far distant corners of the Earth each summer to show the product in person and make a few extra bucks, yen, you name the currency, on top of the experience of visiting a far off land.

What does the local fan get besides a inflated ticket price and a feeling that the game must be some kind of rip off designed by former big oil executives? In the end, the very thing the EPL does not want to do is accomplished — turning fans off. At least David Moyes and his Everton team had the good manners of letting hardcore Fire fans walk away with a good feeling. The local Chicago soccer blog had more than one person saying if Everton is 5th in the Prem then the Fire must be Champions League material after a 2-0 victory where the Fire controlled the game without the great Mexican star C. Blanco and the former Fulham star Brian McBride.

Yes, I know about the players that Everton did not play, that they have been traveling across America, and are trying to get into shape for the season ahead, but the fact is Everton did not look good while the Fire using anyone who showed up at Toyota Park in a red jersey looked, just okay.

This is not to blame Everton or West Ham or other EPL teams that visit the US (except maybe Man. U. during their last trip to the US) for a lack of effort or concern about the American fan. It’s just that pre-season soccer is an exhibition game and the management and players rightfully treat it as such. When it’s a semi-tropical night in Chicago in July and your season will still be in full swing come next Easter you’re not going to be at full speed. So, the EPL team is bound to disappoint the American fan who just paid big bucks to see a drab and dull exhibition.

So whats the solution to all of this for the American fan? When you total my entire cost for two seats, parking and food, my total was about $150 for the night.

This was not my idea, but the only conclusion is to give us Yanks the real deal. Give us the 39th game here in the US or give us nothing at all, except if we can get it on HD TV, which is better then seeing it in person.

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  1. Kartik Krishnaiyer

    August 2, 2008 at 7:11 am

    Agreed Iced T. Any EPL club that is dumb enough to buy Michael Bradley deserves the sure ineptitude and recklessness coming their way. He’s awful as an international, and right now has no confidence.

  2. Iced T

    August 1, 2008 at 10:59 pm

    MLS has put lots of players who aren’t Americans not only into the EPL but several other top leagues in Europe.

    The point above about none of the home nations making the Euros was outstanding. But the point I really liked was about Latvia and Slovenia! That’s like Bahrain or Qatar qualifying out of the AFC, something which NEVER happens. When the World Cup is held in Asia or the Americas we see how poor the European countries fare when out of their element.

    I also would submit comparing leagues is just plain dumb. England doesn’t have the altitude, heat or the great distances that need to be traveled like the US. America doesn’t have the rain, the real grass pitches and the self important fans of England. Comparing Tigers to Bears my friends. I find this debate everytime it comes up to be juvenile.

  3. eplnfl

    August 1, 2008 at 11:45 am


    Just to let you know i been in england twice now and have been to Chelsea. Nice tube stop there btw.

    If, the MLS is as bad as you think how come we keep having players, especially Yanks being signed from the MLS to play in the EPL. Last year, a keeper that couldn’t play in the MLS, no knock on him btw, did a very good job in the EPL and last I heard Brian McBride was wanted back by Fulham.

  4. Kartik Krishnaiyer

    August 1, 2008 at 10:52 am

    Argentina would not qualify for the World Cup from UEFA, United for Life? Most of the players I speak of are actually from COMNEBOL. I’m not a fool, I would not rate any non Honduran or Mexican CONCACAF player with a few exceptions.

    I can rattle off a long long long list of English or UK players who have FLOPPED in MLS. Know your football before responding in such a typically ignorant and Brit fashion.

    The fact that none of the home nations could even qualify for the Euros speaks loudly about the lack of quality in the English lower leagues. You know I recall a time when Eric Cantona and David Ginola could not even get called up to the French National Team yet they dominated the Premier League.

    Has Wales EVER qualified for a major tournament? Naming Wales would be like me saying “we have internationals from Guatemala so we must have a great league.” Considering Latvia made the Euros in 2004 and Slovenia made the WC in 2002 out of UEFA qualifying don’t pretend like it is impossible to qualify.

    You know nothing of MLS or football on this side of the globe. Do not pretend as if you somehow are knowledgeable about it.

  5. United4life

    August 1, 2008 at 10:28 am

    Hey Kartik, MLS players mostly are from N. & S. America correct? Those players play for their National teams who do compete in the World Cup. They also are playing in the MLS because they simply are not good enough for the big European Leagues or are to old to play in those Leagues. The Coca Cola Leagues also have National team players who play for countries like Wales, N. Ireland, Ireland, Scotland, Iceland, and various smaller countries that usually do not qualify for the World Cup because qualifing from Europe is hell of a lot harder that qualifing out of CONCACAF. So know your Football before you call me out again.

  6. Kartik is a Wanker

    August 1, 2008 at 8:48 am

    Well for once Kartik, you make sense.

    Someone like United Fan should broaden his horizons and watch MLS before believing the UK media’s ignorant commentary about the league.

    Honestly, do you think Claudio Lopez or Marcello Gallardo both of whom England fans should know and remember would play in League One? How about Pepe Rojas? Blanco? Ruiz? Toja? Martinez? Angel? Gomez?

    Give it up already. Your media is so bit by the McLaren era that they feel in order to be jingoistic they must trash everything outside of Europe.

  7. Kartik

    August 1, 2008 at 8:02 am

    Hey United 4 Life,

    How many players who have played recent World Cups are in League one or League Two?

    I am not as high on MLS as most Americans. Personally I think it is a decent league but run by dishonest people. Mexican Football I prefer to MLS and would put almost any Mexican team in the PL and take my chances with them to finish anywhere from 5th to 15th.

    Back to my point. If MLS is like League Two, why are so many players who have participated in recent World Cups and Copa Americas in the league? Does League Two boast lots of World cup and Euro veterans? (The Euros and Copa are interchangeable here since we are talking about leagues in different parts of the world)

    I’d like an answer before you shoot off your mouth like this again.

  8. Kartik

    August 1, 2008 at 7:58 am

    Well it is truly appalling that Chicago did not play Blanco either. Considering Everton was in pre-season if your the Fire and you’ve charged an arm and a leg for tickets the least you could do it play your best and more recognizable player even for just 15 minutes.

  9. United4life

    August 1, 2008 at 7:18 am

    Stop bitching and fly to England to watch a real EPL game then. I want to see Chicago or any other crap MLS team travel to England during their preseason and play English teams and get thumped by League 1 & 2 teams. Because thats all the MLS teams are compared to.

  10. eplnfl

    August 1, 2008 at 6:21 am

    Mike: Thanks for the nice comment. Do not give up on Toyota Park or the Fire. I’ll be back out there on Aug 16, when the Fire take on DC United for what maybe the first appearance of Brian McBride in a Chicago uniform. The Fire league games are fun and really worth the money. I’ve had great times at the park. You may want to see the US Men in a WC qualifier come this September at Toyota Park for something that is really big.

  11. Mike

    August 1, 2008 at 1:25 am

    Great analysis. This was my first game at Toyota Park and I have to admit that at some moments I’d rather have been at home watching it. The majority of the fans around me had no idea what they were talking about and were constantly talking about the Cubs, basketball, business, etc.

    Some of them had no concept of basic strategy. When the ball went backwards at all or to the keeper I heard questions of “Why’d he do that, that was pointless, this game’s terrible” and when shots weren’t taken fans started boo-ing immediately. I wanted to turn around and try to explain to them why possession, passing, and other parts are so important, even though it may not be all out attack, but I didn’t think I’d get through to them.

    I think more than a few first timers to soccer went home with a terrible view of the game because of; 1. the defensive mindset, 2. the disinterest of some of the players, and 3. the fact that Everton played like it was preseason. Some fans have a view now that top teams in the EPL like Everton are bad enough that the Fire could compete in the Premiership.

    I wouldn’t go as far as to say “only do the 39th game or dont come at all” but I would make sure that the teams coming over the pond play like they mean it and play attacking soccer so as not to disappoint the fans and at least make the game competetive.

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