January 15, 2007
The long rumored club competition pitting MLS clubs versus Mexican clubs was unveiled on Friday at the Home Depot Center in LA.
The SuperLiga will feature four clubs from MLS and four clubs from Mexico in the 2007 edition of the competition. Group A will feature Chivas de Guadalajara and CF Pachuca from Mexico and FC Dallas and LA Galaxy of MLS. Group B will feature Club America and Monarcas Morelia from Mexico and 2006 Supporter's Shield winners DC United and 2006 MLS Cup Champs Houston Dynamo from MLS.
Thankfully the rumors that Houston would not be a part of the inaugural edition of the SuperLiga turned out to be false and the reigning MLS Cup champs are in the competition.
This announcement coming on the heels of Beckham signing with LA shows just how far MLS has come in it's development as a league and tells me that the league is moving in the right direction.
Captain America is coming home
Michael Lewis is reporting that former US Men's National Team captain Claudio Reyna has agreed to a deal that will see him play for the New York Red Bulls in 2007. This long rumored move will see Reyna reunited with his University of Virginia and US Men's National Team head coach in Bruce Arena. The move will also allow the New Jersey native to move back home and continue his playing career.
Reyna had recently been playing for Machester City in the English Premier League. And although Reyna had denied recent rumors about a potential move to the Red Bulls, a recent falling out with Manchester City has made the move happen.
The key for the Red Bulls will be keeping Reyna healthy. Injuries have severely hampered Reyna's career over the last few years and had to be a factor in why Manchester City cut him loose.
Much like John O'Brien with Chivas USA, the Red Bulls will have a midfield player that can be a difference maker if he's on the field. The question will be how long can they keep him on the field.
Is Beckham coming to the US bigger than Pele coming to the States?
On Saturday's edition of Kick This!, The Dean of Soccer Alex Loj scoffed at the idea that David Beckham coming to MLS was bigger than Pele signing with the Cosmos of the NASL.
However, another former member of the Rochester soccer media disagrees. Michael Lewis thinks that Beckham coming to MLS is bigger than Pele to the NASL because it's not just the sporting media that is interested, but the mainstream media as well.
I have to agree with Michael on this one. First, there has been a media explosion since Pele came to the US. Cable and satellite TV and the internet have made celebrity athletes like David Beckham way bigger than athletes of the past because Beckham is only a Google or YouTube search away from being real to anyone in the US.
Add in the fact that the Beckham family could easily surpass Paris Hilton and Britney Spears on the celebrity watching meter and this appears to be something of which the US has never seen before in sports, let alone soccer.
I saw Fox News have an entire segment with an E! entertainment reporter talking not about Beckham the midfielder, but rather Beckham the celebrity. Sorry, but I doubt that anything like that happened with Pele.
And that's not even talking about Good Morning America breaking the story of the signing.
Nathan Sturgis and Quavas Kirk on being Beckham's teammates
You can hear for yourself what two of the younger member of the Galaxy think of the biggest star in the world coming to MLS and Quavas Kirk perhaps having to give up the #23 to David Beckham.
Freddy Adu had to buy a PS3 to get his #11 with Real Salt Lake, perhaps that will be the price that Becks will have to pay in LA.
Speaking of the #23
Clint Dempsey has been given the #23 shirt with Fulham FC and Yanks Abroad has them for order.
I know what's on my birthday wish list!
The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author, and not necessarily those of the Rochester Rhinos or SoccerSam.com. Feel free to send any comments or complaints to firstname.lastname@example.org. James promises to read (but not to respond) to all of them.