The Sounders and Galaxy didn’t just mess up a chance to move on into the semi-finals of the CONCACAF Champions League, they missed an opportunity to play each other and gain more national traction out of their rivalry.
It was a big disappointment for their fans and for MLS.
All of the MLS’ chances for Champions Cup history now rest with Toronto. But Toronto is not the team to galvanize sports fans and bring more media attention to pro soccer in the U.S.
The chance for glory at the end of the year in FIFA’s Club World Cup will have to wait for next year.
Surely, the Sounders and Galaxy gave their best efforts, but it’s too bad because bigger things are expected from these franchises.
Toronto fans would disagree. They are excited to have their team play its first leg against Santos Laguna next week, with the second leg-the week after.
It would be easier to root for the MLS Toronto squad if they had a nickname. It’s all foreign to U.S. sports fans. For them, it’s just a team from another country, Canada, without a nickname.
U.S. sports fans will not follow with much interest the rest of this CONCACAF Champion’s League. It could have been substantially different for sports fans had the results in the quarter-finals been the Sounders and Galaxy winning.
Maybe next year will bring the two “America’s teams” to the Champions League final. This would be the only way to make-up for what happened last week.
Howard Alperin is Managing Editor of AmericanizeSoccer.com