MLS Fails to Play-Dead in Semifinals; Mex teams Respond with Punches

31 07 2008

After the New England Revolution (MLS) beat Atlante (FMF) last night in a SuperLiga semifinal, Atlante behaved even worse and picked an even bigger fight than Pachuca did when they lost to the Houston Dynamo in the other semifinal, Tuesday night. It’s inexcusable that a Mexican (or any) side would do this after one of the semifinal matches, but that it happened after both is ridiculous! Soccer broadcaster and blogger, Kartik Krishnaiyer, has an interesting (albeit somewhat objectionable) analysis of why it happened.

SORE LOSERS: “What we see is a pattern in Mexican Football: a pattern based on the sense of entitlement instilled by the Mexican media and commentators on Spanish language television here in the United States. The sense of entitlement states that FMF sides must always beat MLS sides and that every US victory over Mexico at the international level is somehow illegitimate and unworthy.The behavior of the Atlante players at the end of Wednesday night’s game is clear example of the bitterness and anger Mexican players feel when shown up by American counterparts. ” (Kartik Krishnaiyer via Major League Soccer Talk.)

I find it dangerous to extrapolate and generalize behaviors of small, difined groups of people (e.g., the players from Atlante and Pachuca) to much larger groups (e.g., all Mexican soccer players). And I think (or at least I hope) that isn’t what Krishnaiyer is trying to do. However, I think his observation about FMF players’ behavior after the game and it being rooted in a sense of entitlement seems right on the mark. There were some questionable calls from the refs, yes. But even if Tuesday’s Pachuca goal had been allowed, the Dynamo still would have won (2-1) and I think Pachuca would still have felt as cheated…because surely a top-rated FMF team couldn’t lose to an MLS team…a position that’s offensive. And even more than just being offensive, it’s not even factually accurate…not anymore.

Mexican footballers may feel like they’ve historically been the standard-bearer for the hight of play of The Beautiful Game in North America; and that may well have been true at times. But, fact the is that the way the FMF teams played (and moreover, behaved) was anything but beautiful. And Americans can proudly boast that this year’s SuperLiga (where only the top US and Mexican clubs qualified, no special/celeb invites this time) will culminate in an all-MLS final!!

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4 responses

31 07 2008
chump

Your an Idiot…How can you predict the outcome of a game (Dynamo/Tuzos) when a goal was disallowed? You don’t know for a fact that it would have ended 2-1…could have went all the way to penalties… (Last year for example)
chump

1 08 2008
soccershel

It might not have ended 2-1 if the goal had been allowed; it could have ended 3-1. =) Seriously though, it is hard to say if not allowing the goal threw off Pachuca’s momentum, or if they would have had more momentum if the goal was allowed. Regardless, there was still a lot of game after the goal fiasco where they could have come back. Getting past bad calls and maintaining emotional balance is what professionals, in any arena, have to do, and there wasn’t a lot of that happening. Does that speak for all Mexican club teams? I don’t think so. Maybe playing against (and losing to) an MLS team does up the emotion.

6 08 2008
Miguel

I know this is pretty late but I was insulted by the statement, “Wednesday night’s game is clear example of the bitterness and anger Mexican players feel when shown up by American counterparts.” The player who cause the most violence was Federico Vilar who happens to be from Argentina, and the other two were also not Mexican. The majority of the Mexican players were trying to stop their teammate Vilar from continuing the violence. And wouldn’t you expect them to be upset after that terrible referring? However you seem to try to make them appear as salvages who only think about football and nothing else. I wonder how much that ref was offered, speaking in
financial terms?

6 08 2008
JeffSoccer

I’d like to point out the comment you’re taking offense to wasn’t made by me; I was clearly quoting someone else AND I SAID I DON’T LIKE PAINTING WITH AS BROAD A STROKES AS HE DID. However, you’re painting with equally broad and less insightful strokes than Krishnaiyer did. I have three responses:
First of all, as a side note, to assume that every FMF player is of Mexican heritage would be erroneous, for sure; likewise, I’m sure you’re not making the erroneous assumption that every MLS player is of US birth either.
Second, I think your point is equally dangerous. What exactly are you trying to say? That the Mexican players were trying to hold back the Argentinian savage (or salvage, as you wrote)???
Third, this wasn’t the behavior of just ONE player or even after just ONE game. It happened after BOTH semi-final games.
Fourth, farbeit from me to call anyone a savage. That certainly was not my point. There are, however, two points we can surely all agree on: A) it doesn’t matter how bad the ref’s calls are, violence is NOT acceptable behavior; B) after the Dynamo-Revolution final there was no violence. And this was no surprise; in fact, it’s exactly what MLS fans expect and demand of their players…in a word: professionalism. We hope to see the same from the FMF players (of all nationalities) in future interleague play.

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