Before last Saturday, the majority of soccer fans would have considered NY vs. LA the most intense rivalry in the MLS. This being the case, I wasn't surprised to read pregame headlines such as "The Rivalry Renewal" or "Big Dawg Rivalry."
Although I did agree that these two teams were heftier than the rest, labeling them as "dawgs" or even this game as an epic rivalry seemed a little bit more of a marketing strategy than an accurate description. Sure these "dawgs" might have had the nicest collars in the litter, but when it came to Saturday night, I can't say I was expecting anything more than Poodles on the field. Maybe Border Collies.
Well someone better call animal control because the dogs are off the leash.
Even an average fan of the game could have noticed the trash talking and high tensions on Saturday night between the two sides. If I can retrace the steps correctly, I believe it was fellow Frenchman Thierry Henry's cheap tackling that stirred Landon Donovan's soup the wrong way and provoked the battle.
Later on, Donovan clearly shared a few words with New York's DP in his post-goal celebration right before halftime. A few fierce tackles followed the initial action and at the end of 90 minutes, I was generally pleased with the competitive nature of the two squads.
So obviously checking my Twitter on Monday morning to see a post-game battle between these "rivals" was like finding the Golden Ticket in my chocolate treat. In case you missed it, I will summarize the war I watched with my Monday morning coffee.
12:19 PM- Rodgers on Donovan, "I just think he's a bleeping prick."
My Thoughts: Short and Simple
12:22 PM- Ream on Donovan after the game, he said, "nothing."
My Thoughts: Ouch
1:24 PM- Rodgers on Donovan, "The kid is a ****head."
My Thoughts: Okay, can we get a rebuttal, Landon?
2:04 PM- Donovan on Rodgers, "I'm confused, who is Luke Rogers?"
My Thoughts: THERE WE GO!
You don't have to be a brain surgeon to know that the gasoline is in the fireplace my friends. This is exactly what Red Bull and Galaxy fans want to see and what the MLS needs as a growing league. Every other professional sports league in America has that rivalry that is just to juicy to pass up and with Landon not likely to invite any Red Bulls to his next birthday party, I think we have a keeper.
The rivalry will not only help develop interest in LA and NY, but will also draw viewers from all over the U.S. population. Knowing the increased awareness of the USMNT after the Algeria thriller, I am a believer that one game or rivalry is capable of making a big impact.
And so we wait for August 28th. The next true revival of the rivalry that could possibly change the MLS. The dogs are off the leash folks, now enjoy their battle for Best In Show.