Las Ropas Nuevas del Emperador

Man, these Sideline Views writers! They always quote people who piss me off!

Every once in a while, I'll just totally go off on someone on a blog or message board. Just call him or her every brutal name in the book. At the time, I usually feel pretty justified. Then, occasionally, I'll think twice. "Maybe they're not pure evil," I'll think. "Maybe I went overboard. Maybe I should give the guy the benefit of the doubt."

And then said person will immediately turn around and justify every single vicious thing I said about him, and then some.

For example - Claudio Suarez.

When Suarez first arrived in MLS, I thought he was one of the classier members of the 90's Mexico team. I stand humbly corrected. Familiarity does indeed breed contempt.

Undoubtedly, Jesus Padilla is good enough to play for Chivas USA, should he choose to take the pay cut. Equally undoubtedly, someone like Jonathan Bornstein is good enough to play for Guadalajara. But not if Claudio Suarez has anything to do with it. No se puede, I guess.

It's one thing for a club to decide they only want to play citizens of their own country. That's not racism, and I'm not calling Guadalajara racist for that policy. Athletic Bilbao doesn't bug me either, even though they're technically shunning "Spanish" citizens, because there's a number of different issues there. Glasgow Rangers was a different case, because they were prejudiced in favor of an empowered majority - and I think most Rangers fans these days realize they're better off with Catholic players anyway.

Maybe Guadalajara fans have grown up a little, especially given the political and demographic realities of the past couple of decades. That's Chivas' problem, thank God, and not mine.

But the whole point of Chivas USA was to bring Mexican-American fans into the league, and here's this Guadalajara icon yapping about who is 100% Mexican and who isn't. After all, if Padilla and Mascareño aren't sufficiently pure, then it follows neither is the vast majority of the potential Chivas USA audience. This is so blindingly obvious that we have to - once again - ask what Chivas USA is bringing to the table at all by now.

And yet we'll read all about how local fans are lucky that Suarez has decided to grace us with his presence for one more year. Well, it's true - he's the perfect player for the perfect team. I take comfort in the fact that actual soccer fans in Los Angeles have already overwhelmingly rejected him and what he stands for. Now all that remains is for Carlos Ruiz to cheap-shot him all year.