KANSAS CITY, KS - JUNE 25: Aurelien Collin #78 of Sporting Kansas City heads the ball over Eric Hassli #29 of Vancouver Whitecaps FC on June 25, 2011 at LiveStrong Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kansas. Sporting Kansas City won 2-1. (Photo by G. Newman Lowrance/Getty Images)
MLS likes to say the CONCACAF Champions League is important, then they play two matches on the night of the final.
For the last couple years, MLS has preached over and over how important international competition is to the league. For the teams and league to get respect, MLS teams need to succeed in international competition, the league likes to say. That means putting a big circle around the CONCACAF Champions League. Teams need to play well in the Champions League, eventually win the Champions League, and book a spot in the FIFA Club World Cup.
So if the CONCACAF Champions League is so important, why is MLS playing league matches on the same night as the Champions League final? On Wednesday night, the first leg of the Champions League final will kick off while one MLS match just finished up and another is getting underway. Is that what you do for a tournament that you supposedly say is vital to the league's future success?
This year's Champions League final does not feature a MLS team. It's an all-Mexican final, but still, if the league wants to tell us that the tournament is important then they need to treat it like it is important. That means that no matches are played the night of the Champions League final. None! Get it straight, MLS, or stop trying to tell people that it's a vital competition to the league.
Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. ET, MLS Live
United has quietly put together a decent start to the season. For a team that was dreadful last season, and wasn't supposed to be very good this season, they have done a pretty good job. Nobody thinks they're going to win a trophy, but at least they're not sending their supporters scurrying from RFK Stadium in shame. They'll leave that to the city of Washington, D.C.
Pick: D.C., 2-0.
Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Sporting Kansas City
Wednesday, 10:00 p.m. ET, MLS Live
The Whitecaps, who have given up just three goals this season, will present Sporting with the toughest defense they have faced yet. Yes, the same Whitecaps who are competing with Sporting in the "ALL OF THE STRIKERS" game.
Pick: Draw, 1-1.