KANSAS CITY, MO - JULY 25: A scoreboard displays the matchup prior to the game between Manchester United and the Kansas City Wizards at Arrowhead Stadium on July 25, 2010 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

In the immediate aftermath of the Wizards 2-1 victory over Manchester United yesterday came the inevitable superlatives and the equally expected backlash. For Wizards and some MLS fans, the win was a landmark by which the league and the team can be measured; the biggest win ever, the biggest goal of the weekend (Arnaud's or Kamara's, take your pick), etc., etc., HOLY CRAP THE WIZARDS BEAT MANCHESTER UNITED AND THIS PROVES SOMETHING UNPROVABLE.

To which the response was swift. It was just a friendly (it was), United's team was hardly even medium strength (mostly true), and pre-season friendlies are not usually hotly contested by the team in pre-season (yup). We could debate just how much the Wizards players cared versus how much those United scrubs did, but without the powers of time travel and telepathy it's impossible to know. Maybe United did mail it in while the Wizards played with every bit of themselves. It's certainly easy to assume, and for those looking to minimize the Wizards' win throw it out without proof.

That's all relevant. But the context gets lost in the one-side-crows-the-others-slaps-them-down dance, because the supporters of both arguments refuse to allow for subtleties. The exhortations of Wizards fans, a biased crowd blinded by their loyalties and naturally ecstatic with the result, shouldn't be assumed to the opinion of the masses. Nor should the wet blanket crowd, anxious to put everyone in their place, get a pass for being so derisively dismissive. There's a middle ground as to the weight of the Wizards win. Somewhere.

No one, at least no one sane, thinks that the Wizards are better than Manchester United. No one thinks MLS is approaching the Prem in quality. The Wizards aren't suddenly going to steal away "die hard" United fans from middle America. But because it was United, the most famous and valuable club in the world, it has real meaning. It was by no means "defining", and it might even stretch the definition of "historic"; but we can safely assume that millions of people who didn't know about or hadn't heard of the Wizards before yesterday know them now. There's a undefinable value in that, and it's unfair to criticize those tasked with selling MLS (TV commentators and the like) for breathlessly describing the win in over-the-top superlatives.

It was Manchester United. Excuse everyone for getting a little excited.

KANSAS CITY, MO - JULY 25: Davy Arnaud  22 of the Kansas City Wizards talks to the media after the game against Manchester United at Arrowhead Stadium on July 25, 2010 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Everyone needs to relax. It was what it was, but no need to rain on anyone's parade. A little enthusiasm never hurt anyone. Even less important is worrying that the excited claims of a few MLS fans is going to hurt the reputation of all American soccer fans, coloring us as uninformed or naive. Who cares.

United was recently crowned the world's most valuable sports property at $1.8 billion. For a bit of perspective, and using the MLS expansion fee as a an easy base value for the typical American franchise, United's worth is equivalent to 46 MLS teams.

If we compared salaries for those that appeared in the match yesterday, the difference would be mind-boggling. The Wizards are a K-Mart team, United the finest Tiffany has to offer.

The Wizards win is a big deal for one day for those reasons and more. 50,000+ showed up at Arrowhead to watch. Soccer's place in the Midwest can only be helped by the event and by the Wizards win, and superlatives should be forgiven in the immediate afterglow. All that being said, it's probably best to move on quickly.

The other talking point from this game involved the straight red to Jimmy Conrad for his tackle of Dmitar Berbatov in the penalty area. First, it was a clear red, and if this match wasn't a friendly there would be no discussion of Terry Vaughn's call. I suppose it's fair to talk about the spectacle and keeping the sides level despite the call being correct; I just don't particularly have a problem with the call, and in the end it actually benefited the Wizards. By holding on for the victory (hell, by retaking the lead) while a man down, a greater air of accomplishment is attached to it. Right call, maybe wrong time, adds a bit more weight to the victory. Not worth the energy needed to debate it.

Again, moving on to things that matter. IT'S ALL-STAR WEEK!
blog comments powered by Disqus
    KKTC Bahis Siteleri, Online Bahis



    Privacy Policy