Thursday, October 22, 2009

Crew Win Supporters Shield!

By El Luchador
You wouldn’t know it from listening to ESPN commentary, and it almost surely will not be covered in tomorrow’s Columbus Dispatch, but on this the 22nd Day of October 2009, the Columbus Crew became only the 2nd team in MLS history to win the Supporters Shield two seasons in a row.

In any other civilized footballing nation this would be front page news. After all, the Supporters Shield is awarded to the MLS team with the best season record. This is called the league title and is considered the highest honour in England, Italy, Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, Scotland, and almost every country on the planet.

Columbus won the title tonight not through any victory of their own but by virtue of the fact that the only other contender, Chivas USA, lost 1-0 at Chicago.

It came on a rain-soaked night at Toyota park on an own goal by Eduardo Lillingston on a corner by the Fire’s Cuauhtemoc Blanco in the 70th minute. It was a dramatic moment. At the conclusion of the match, one might have expected at least a passing comment from Alexi Lalas and the other dilettantes at ESPN that the result secured the league title for the Columbus Crew. El Luchador watched attentively, and it was clear that they didn’t even know this was the case. Douche bags.

Until the International House of Soccer (AKA MLS) and the U.S. Industrial Media Complex begin to show a modicum of respect for the game, by honoring and promoting the Supporters Shield at least as much as they do the MLS Cup, the American game will never be taken seriously. If the MLS wanted the Shield to get coverage, they could. But they've obviously decided that drawing attention to the Shield will take away from the Cup and only confuse the average sports fan. As we've said before, who cares what Joe and Jane Budlight think? The MLS is not going to increase their marketshare by trying to convert douche bags like Ray Stein. Cater to your base, O ye fools at the International House of Soccer. Cater to your base.

This will not happen until we have relegation and promotion . And this will not happen until thoughtful U.S. soccer fans demand a higher level of commentary on the game from the media and from the IHS (International House of Soccer). It would help if either the suits upstairs or the US media had at least a modicum of knowledge of how football is played and covered and understood everywhere else on God's green Earth.

Until then, the Masked One raises a glass to honour the accomplishment of the Black and Gold in winning back-to-back Supporters' Shields. If we go on to win the MLS Cup, the Crew will become the only team in MLS history to win the Supporters Shield and the Cup two years in a row. Do it.

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