Sign in / Join

Brutually exposed

MLS advertised its inferiority yesterday by playing a talent-laden but lackadaisical Real Madrid. The all-star-type "MLS Select" squad was hardly a team in the true sense. But more importantly, the gulf in pure skill was brutally obvious on the pitch. Despite decent spells of MLS possession - largely because Real had little to fear and couldn't be bothered to chase the game - Landon Donovan and crew created precious few chances, while giving up five unanswered goals.

If American viewers have been fooled by the MLS product, this game may help puncture that bubble. Success in the competition for soccer viewers in the age of international, satellite TV is, and will be largely determined by relative levels of skill.

The US won't see world class soccer played by its own teams on its own shores until we put more skill on the pitch. That requires either a change in MLS' penny-pinching ways, or its replacement by a more adventurous and enterprising league.