So there's an article on BigSoccer.com here. Go ahead, read it, I can wait...
Great now that we're done with that I have been trying to write a similar thing for a while but couldn't get that proper jumping off point that this gives me.
What I mean follows the jump.
This article pretty much summed up the basic parts of what I wanted to say, I just wanted to add a few points to it and how the MLS truly becomes bigger regionally. Now please preface this with I KNOW this is huge for RSL, there is no doubt in my mind that this is a great reward for their hard work, team oriented approach, and consistent production.
Personally I question what benefit other fans truly get out of this tournament run for RSL. It's going to take several teams doing this year after year in order for the MLS to truly be seen as a threat. RSL is putting forth the first step sure, and that's useful for the league, but I still can't see this as the biggest game ever for the league. It's a launch pad for the future, but the biggest games ever for the league need to be the regular season ones, the Supporter's Shield deciding games, and of course the MLS Cup championship.
Come this fall do you think any of the Mexican teams are going to see LA, Colorado, Dallas, or Seattle as a threat just because RSL came through last year? Probably not, but they can be an even bigger success for the league by taking the tournament seriously and continuing to year in and out. The entire league has to get involved. Four teams participate each year from the US and Canada (Western and Eastern champions, Support Shield winner, Open Cup winner). Those four teams must all treat it the same as European clubs do the UEFA championship. The day that the CONCACAF final is MLS vs MLS then the entire region really will stand up and pay attention.
RSL won't be there to pick up where they left off this fall as they did not meet any of the entry requirements, so will another team step up and take over?