Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Where's the love?

The CONCACAF Champions League picks up again today as Atlante host Houston for a spot in the semifinals.

I wrote this column for SI.com on Friday to sort of wrap up the week and look ahead to this week's games.

Now, in the column I partly wrote about what I've felt all along, that Mexican teams have long held an advantage and they'll take care of business at home. Until I see otherwise, I don't think teams can go into Mexico and expect a win.

Of course, some people took exception to my column, and they let me know about it:

* "You are an idiot. MLS is still in pre-season, as opposed to the Mexican leagues. But of course you won't admit that in your article because it would be factually accurate. The Mexican league, just like the national team, aren't that good."

* "That means what in terms of global futbol? Nothing. This is a terrible column that only serves to heighten Mexican nationalism. All you ever write is about Mexico, Mexico Mexico. They are a second rate team at best and the league is a third rate league. Please stop the madness!"

* "With all due respect (none), anything you write that has "class" and "Mexican soccer" in the same sentence is completely unbelievable. Those two phrases should never be together given the complete lack of sportsmanship displayed in recent USA/Mexico games as well as the earlier played group games in the CONCACAF Champ. Cup. Combine the spotty referreeing, altitude and vast differences in the team salary budgets between the two leagues and its very understandable how the Mexico played games are a bit skewed."


Okay, I'm an idiot. Yes, that's an original comment. But two things jump out at me and I can't figure out why people can't differentiate between them.

First, I get that a lot, the "you only write about Mexican soccer" line. Yeah, nimrod, because I am paid to write about Mexican soccer. Occasionally I write about MLS or something but my beat for SI.com is the Mexican soccer beat. That's like going to a butcher shop and complaining that all they sell is meat.

Secondly, I want to post this somewhere with lights glaring: LEAGUE AND NATIONAL TEAM ARE TWO DIFFERENT THINGS. Any arguments you use for or against the Mexican national team hold little or no relevance when it comes to league, and vice versa. So what if the Mexican national team is playing like shit? That doesn't mean the league's teams are. Mexico is struggling against regional competition, but the league's teams are not. It's still the best league in the region and its teams are still strong. I'm not saying that Mexico is La Liga or anything but it's still the... wait for it... ahem... cough... CLASS of the region. That much I stand by.

Now, I don't have a rooting interest in tonight's Atlante-Houston game, but I think that Houston will get their asses handed to them. It might not be a 4-0 blowout but I don't think Houston will get out of their with anything but a lopsided loss, even if it's not reflected by the score. And I also think Santos will turn around their own series and come away with a victory over Montreal on Thursday.

The cream will rise to the top, and until I'm proven otherwise that's what I feel. If that makes me an idiot, so be it.


Anonymous said...

LB = Kiss of Death

Houston will now win.

Anonymous said...

LOL, the first thing I thought when I read those comments was the league and the Nat. team are different beasts. I bet they never even seen a mexican league game, kinda like some mexican supporters who never seen a mls game. Anyway, I agree with you Luis, Santos will rebound and Atlante with win easily.

Anonymous said...


great work on the blog, and don't listen to the haters, but you're totally wrong about Houston -- Stuart Holden and Brian Ching are the best two players on the field and Houston will definitely get the result they need.

man-from-michigan said...

I think the Houston vs Atlante match is gonna be a snore fest. They will tie 0-0 or Atlante wins 1-0, but it won't befun to watch.

LMAO! Luis, that's not the first time you have been called an idiot, just don't start to believe it Bro. That was a good example about the Carniceria. LMAO.


just another one of you said...

yeah Luis, forget the haters.

here's a more relevant question- Going into this season do you rank Houston among the MLS title contenders?

I don't. They've got a pretty thin squad. ESPN must agree if they think Kei Kamara is thier breakout player to.

brucio said...

hey luis
i hope you dont let that stuff get to you
you know its not true
sadly it also helps debunk the myth that soccer fans in america are somehow a smarter breed of sports fan
adios a mi amigo

Anonymous said...

saludos luis,

one point to consider about tonight's game: atlante's having a grey, grey tourney in mexico right now... the team is also plagued by injuries, they had pereyra as DEFENSIVE midfielder in the game against cruz azul saturday because they were short of bodies... this could be a factor tonight.

a lot of these haters who write to insult you hate mexico and mexicans, period.... it's so evident in their comments, so i wouldn't worry about them...

i, for one, am really glad to read about the mexican game in english, and i know there are others like me out there -- bilingual latinos/mexicans who appreciate the coverage.

if it wasn't for your coverage, i wouldn't frequent the si page at all... i am glad si is smart enough to have you on board... now if they could only hire you full-time and get you covering the games from mexico... well, that would be the bomb.

saludos, d

Anonymous said...

Everybody, including Luis, should be able to share/express their opinions freely, without all the name-calling BS and personal attack replies.

Ok. Yes, overall the Mexican League is still better than MLS to date(salaries, longevity, talent, whatever). I follow both leagues. Atlante is weaker this year than they usually are, but are normally low to mid-table. Houston lost key players and must adjust to replacements. But guys like Holden are ready to fill in the gaps. And it is preseason. I get it.

Results are results, but what how about a senario pitting both clubs against each other, full-strength, no multi-tournaments like last year, no dodgey reffing, ideal conditions all around. Would it still be an ass-handing?

I think most MLS teams are narrowing the gap between the two leagues, especially the "elite" clubs. There is still a ways to go, but it is much more competitive and at times, even more exciting, than it ever has been. We're not talking La liga or the EPL, afterall either.

BTW, I'd love to see Waibel, Onstadt, or someone from Houston kick that chump Villar's ass too!

--Bofo's Sister

Anonymous said...

It's annoying how before, the main excuse for MLS was that the teams were in pre-season, which is still alive and well I see. But when MLS teams weren't in their pre-season and still losing, it was because this time they were too deep into the season or because they just didn't care.

Enough with the excuses! The MFL is better than MLS. Period. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. We hate it when the Mexican national team makes excuses for their poor performances against the US. So why are some MLS fans doing the exact same thing??

Anonymous said...


I bet the people making the argument that MLS is still only in preseason form are the same ones that were all giddy over the MLS teams victories over preseason form MFL teams in the Super Liga. They were crying sour grapes then but now avail themselves to the same excuse. Hypocrisy at its finest.

Pedro said...

Atlante is ripe for the taking: They have not won a league game in their last SIX games!!!

Jon E. said...

"Yeah, nimrod, because I am paid to write about Mexican soccer."


Though in fairness to Nimrod, he was a mighty hunter, rather than a whiny hunter-and-pecker.

Anonymous said...

This is why I don't miss AC. No offense, but when she gets dogged or called out, she.....well anyways. Don't believe the hate.

Luis, keep up the good work and write more about Chivas USA.


Anonymous said...

oh, yeah, ac... don't get me started on that one. i really do prefer this blog, one hundred percent, no offense intended.