As Lynne noted a few days back, we share a love for soccer. In addition to Man City, she roots for her home team, the Chicago Fire. I have the honor of being a fan of my own home team, DC United.
As the MLS season starts this weekend, it is a natural time to look forward and look back. The best blog on American soccer for that kind of looking is Climbing the Ladder, which has recently concluded that MLS is finally growing up – or at least is reaching puberty. (It’s kind of complicated, involving reference to a Simpson’s episode and comparing David Beckham to Fluffy Bunny, but actually Climbing the Ladder makes sense of it all.)
One small sign of the progress has been the performance of the two MLS teams in the CONCACAF Champions’ Cup. DC and Houston both advanced to the second round in the tournament. DC was eliminated on Tuesday by Chivas; Houston takes a 2-0 aggregate lead into tonight’s game against Pachuca.
BTW, if you like a pretty soccer goal, you may enjoy watching Jaime Moreno backwards chip shot from the Tuesday night game.
It will be a few years yet before MLS teams will become comparable to some of the better teams in Europe, and perhaps a while longer before any can aspire to move among Europe’s elite squads, but the notion that one day an American soccer team will be good by European standards is not so laughable as it once was.