MLS Arrives

A few years back my son's youth team went to England to play in some phony "cup" competition ginned up to make money off of gullible foreigners.

First game off the plane one of Blackburns' youth sides beat them 10-0 and it was all downhill from there, more or less proving what I had been making lots of enemies telling other parents, ie. that it was a ludicrous waste of time and money.

Nonetheless, they had a great time and among other things they got a tour of Old Trafford complete with a generously provided opportunity to spend money in the Red Devil shop.

Those Brits. What wonderful hosts. Beat you like a rented mule AND take your money too.

Anyway, as it happened I had just gotten some shirts from an eBay vendor in Singapore who was selling famous club jerseys for, like 20 bucks.

Now it was obvious that the guy was selling fakes - if you were trying to convince someone otherwise, you would have jacked up the price a lot more - but at the time the kid was wearing soccer jerseys all the time and it seemed like a better alternative than paying $80 for something he was going to trash in a week anyway.

So anyway, he took a couple with him that he hadn't even worn yet, including a ManU shirt that was a copy of their first Nike kit, so naturally when they were headed to Old Trafford he pulled it on.

And he proceeded to get mobbed in the Red Devil shop because, it being July, they hadn't been released yet and nobody had ever seen one. Store staff, club staff, people coming from all over the building to see it.

And the amazing thing to me: not one person called it for what it was, a cheap East Asian counterfeit. The thing was so well made, every last detail authentic, that people who sell that stuff for a living were totally fooled. Someone offered to buy it.

I remember searching this guy's website in vain for MLS shirts - he had something like 80 or 90 different teams - and thinking that someday, when someone started faking MLS shirts, we'd know for sure the league had arrived.

Welcome to arrival.

Thanks to a link provided by BigSoccer's own GOALSEATTLE, we now have eBay evidence that WE'VE HIT THE BIG TIME.

The problem seems to be that they're really bad copies, but like everything else with MLS, it's a process.

Really high quality fakes, like sold out stadiums, are just a matter of time. Here's hoping the knockoff makers recognize that it's time to take off the training wheels.