Major League Soccer and United States International Soccer: Culturally Inept

Patrick Johnston@PJSoccerJunkieCorrespondent IMarch 25, 2011

WASHINGTON - AUGUST 3:  Commissoner Don Garber (left) and  Dr. Robert Contiguglia (right) pose for a photo before the MLS All Star match against the US National Team on August 3, 2002 at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C.  The MLS All Stars defeated the US National Team 3-2.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Self-inflicted is a term that usually indicates something gone wrong. That is certainly the case for Major League Soccer this weekend. 

Why would they schedule a full slew of games while the national team has two games on home soil? The lack of attention to these fixtures is even more disgraceful as there will be two, count them two, MLS kickoffs that will take place while the U.S. is actually playing Argentina on Saturday night.

Would it not make sense to use the spectacle of a U.S. vs. Argentina clash to focus the soccer population in their markets? Or has business gone so well that now the MLS can push forward with their fixtures regardless of what else is going on out there?

This is just a quintessential example of why the American soccer culture is still lagging. Last time I checked, every top flight league in Europe takes a break when internationals take place.

There is a respect for the national team and what it represents; a showcase event to pit each nation’s best in an event meant to instill pride in one’s country and their system of soccer. Or at the very least, a chance to slay a giant and celebrate the glory of a conquest every now and then.

I guess what I am trying to say is that MLS has really blundered and will continue to be frowned upon as long as they make idiotic decisions. One has to wonder how the concurrent scheduling of league and national team matches is perceived abroad. Is there one positive that can even be introduced?

The answer is a resounding no! This just illustrates the lack of sophistication in the suits that make the decisions to run the game. Where does U.S. Soccer weigh in on this? 

As long as we have decision makers that have no knowledge, or perhaps regard, for the nuances of a soccer culture, the US will continue to be looked down upon, and rightly so, by the true soccer cultures of this world.

I wonder if I am a voice in the wilderness on this subject, but doesn’t this just scream out “wrong” to anyone? Is there a positive?

The U.S. has made great strides in my lifetime, and it is inevitable that they will continue to rise in stature and capability on the world’s stage, but every now and then something comes along that just really makes me wonder.

Self-inflicted is more than something gone wrong is this case, it is sheer ignorance.