A sight that makes me want to drive to Toronto and buy everyone a beer:
What better symbol of what's wrong with MLS' expansion policy than sprinklers running, for the first time ever, in BMO?
Every sweep of those lovely arcs of water makes a mockery of MLS' illusions.
The equation smacks you right in the face:
1) Toronto has to put down grass for Real Madrid because top quality teams won't allow top quality players to play on Fieldturf.
2) Several MLS teams play on Fieldturf.
3) MLS is full of shit.
OK, so I cut some corners there. Sue me.
It's a good thing that MLS has absolutely no shame at all or this sort of thing would be really embarrassing. Barca demands that Qwest put down grass. Real Madrid demands that BMO put down real grass.
But there's nothing wrong with artificial grass.
I am occasionally - well OK, frequently - harsh on Andrea Canales, but as is my wont I'm delighted to agree with her when she's right and she HITS AN ABSOLUTE ROCKET TODAY when she calls the whole thing a "sham".
You go, girl.
She also brings up the problem of what MLS intends to do about the Anschutz Cup being contested on plastic this coming November.
No - as in NOT ONE, EVER - major professional championship has ever been played on Fieldturf in the history of the world. Yet that, apparently, is precisely what MLS intends to do in 2009. Of course we can argue about how "major" MLS truly is, but that begs the question: does MLS have aspirations of being taken seriously or doesn't it?
Time was, MLS pretended to care about the quality of play and how it stacked up against professional leagues elsewhere. But when every other expansion team (Toronto, Seattle, Vancouver) is playing on glorified Astroturf, it's clear that the priorities lie elsewhere.
"MLS: Major League When it's Convenient"
We simply cannot pretend that we are serious about soccer in the way that other countries are serious about soccer when we continue to play the game on what amounts to indoor fields without dasher boards.
It's not the same game, and Don Garber knows it. The fact that he pretends not to is, frankly, just embarrassing.