Thursday, July 31, 2008

All MLS Superliga 2008 Final as New England Wins

New England's 1-0 win over Atlante creates an all-MLS Final in Superliga, with teh final to take place next week.

Shalrie Joseph, whose name you don't see very often on the score line, provided the lone goal of the match.

So an all MLS final is good for the MLS as it proves that the league can win international competitions. The problem, as Kartik Krishnaiyer pointed out, is that this year, almost every controversial call went against the Mexican sides. That is a problem and Kartik wonders if that means trouble for the competition in the future.

I agree that it is a problem, but it is not a problem that is going to be solved by the FMF (the Mexican federation) whining about it. It is no secret that American officiating at the professional level is not on par with the level of play. However, the only way American officials are going to get better is to officiate these higher level tournaments. Advancing the game is not only about the players, it is about the coaching, and it is about the officiating. Pachcua is complaining that their goal got called back, but they lost 2-0, a 2-1 loss is still a loss.

I do think that the FMF will ask for some changes to the event, perhaps by having some of the matches in Mexico (which I think would be great) and perhaps by having international officiating crews (which I think if you mix in some American officials and Mexican officials this can be a good move as well). But I think the level of competition in this year's tournament justifies keeping the competition alive.

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