Los Angeles Galaxy vs. New York Red Bulls: The Biggest Match This Season in MLS?

Andrew Jordan@@Andrew_JordanSenior Writer ISeptember 24, 2010

HARRISON, NJ - AUGUST 14:  Rafael Marquez #4 of the New York Red Bulls plays the ball against Chris Birchall #11 of the Los Angeles Galaxy on August 14, 2010 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.  Galaxy defeat the Red Bulls 1-0.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images for New York Red Bulls)
Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Long considered a year that would forever change America's soccer landscape, 2010 has lived up to its billing of being a huge year.

From seeing the United States national team finally having a defining moment with Landon Donovan's stoppage time goal against Algeria in the World Cup to seeing Thierry Henry and Rafa Marquez move from Barcelona to the New York Red Bulls, American soccer has really moved forward this year.

But tonight, we may see the biggest match in the 14 year history of Major League Soccer as those New York Red Bulls travel to the Home Depot Center in Carson, California to take on the Los Angeles Galaxy.

This match will contain the likes of Edson Buddle (the league's leading scorer), Juan Pablo Angel (New York's top goalscorer), David Beckham (the biggest foreign star in MLS), Rafa Marquez (Mexico's captain) and Landon Donovan (the most famous American footballer of all-time), marking the biggest show of talent to ever be assembled on a prime-time stage in MLS history.

Despite the absence of Frenchman Thierry Henry due to injury for the Red Bulls, this is arguably the most important match in their franchise's history.

This match could be even bigger than the MLS Cup final that they played at the Home Depot Center two years ago, a match they lost to the Columbus Crew by a 3-1 scoreline.

Meanwhile for the Galaxy, they are the first club in MLS to clinch a spot in the playoffs this season, and are widely considered to be the best squad in MLS.

So what exactly makes this matchup the biggest match in MLS this season?

For starters, this is Los Angeles vs New York. The two biggest cities in the United States and both have always had major rivalries with each other in other sports (Yankees vs Dodgers in baseball, Lakers vs Knicks in basketball etc).

Now, we can see a new sports rivalry develop as we have the two biggest MLS sides now battling it out in what can become the best rivalry in the league's young history.

These two sides had one fantastic match on August 18, 2007 in which 66,237 went to Giants Stadium in New Jersey.

On that night, the Red Bulls won by a 5-4 score as future American international Jozy Altidore scored a late winner for the Red Bulls.

Tonight, we can possibly see a continuation of this potentially great rivalry as we can see a match that will showcase the greatest talent to ever play on the football pitch.

At least three players from the World Cup will be playing here, and there could be four should Henry somehow play.

And that is excluding the most famous foreign player in MLS's history in David Beckham.

This match could also be viewed as a way to get more Mexican fans involved with MLS, as Mexican captain Rafa Marquez will be facing Landon Donovan and Edson Buddle

With the most famous designated players in the league playing in this match, one must really wonder if this is the biggest match in the history of Major League Soccer.

So far this year, TV ratings have been flat as they have hovered around 0.2 view per game (or about 250,000 viewers per match).

The most watched match this season in MLS is a match from the fourth of July between the Galaxy and the Seattle Sounders that had 391,000 views and was a sellout at the Home Depot Center.

That match also was Donovan and Buddle's first match since the World Cup.

At the end of the day, this will be the biggest match in MLS this season as it can really help open some doors in making the sport of soccer more popular.

But who knows? Maybe these two sides could meet in an even bigger match on November 21 in Toronto in the MLS Cup final.

Both these sides are talented enough, and can really help MLS get bigger overall by playing in another prime-time window with a championship on the line.


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