It’s not exactly come as a surprise, as we’ve all known it was going to happen for a while now, but today saw the official announcement that Canada’s shame, aka Montreal Impact, will be joining Major League Soccer as the 19th team come 2012.
So, should we care? Should we happy for them? Is it good for Canadian football? You know, all the usual stuff.
Now before I go any further, let me say for some cretins in the east that can’t seem to read the disclaimer to the right, the views expressed in this blog are those of the individual blogger. That’s me. It’s not the view of ALL Southsiders. It’s not the official viewpoint of the group as a whole. I don’t see that as such a hard concept to grab.
So, back to Montreal…
Let me start by saying I hate the fuckers. That way you’ll save time knowing where this is going to end up if you want to. I would have gladly seen them never enter the MLS and be stuck in the lower leagues of North American football until their poutine riddled bodies gave up the ghost and they went bust.
That’s not going to happen. I accept that. They’re in. A bit behind the times and they could have been in a year before of course if they hadn’t pissed about, but they finally made it.
I do find that football fans in this country (and the US) are way too nice at times. I don’t go for all this “we’re a minority, we need to stick together” crap. We need hatred for the game to truly flourish here as far as I’m concerned. As I’ve said before hate is good for football as long as it doesn’t spill over into stupid violence.
Why should we be pleased Montreal get in? Say a European Super League was set up. Do you honestly think Man U fans would want Man City to get into it? They’d love them to be frozen out. Same with Celtic and Rangers fans, Spurs/Arsenal, the list could go on and on. It’s great to see your “local” rivals miss out.
It’s going to be a long wait for the Montreal fans. I know it’s seemed like an absolute age for us, so it’s going to be worse for them, not helped by the glamourous trips they’ll face to Baltimore and Minnesota whilst they’re waiting.
Now the talk on the Southside Forum is whether we should be pleased that they’re now in the MLS and whether their addition benefits Vancouver and Canadian football.
I do accept that their addition the MLS will raise more awareness about the game in Canada and that can only be a good thing, but I see very little benefit to the Whitecaps with their addition.
They will obviously be the natural rivals for Toronto now and that should be a great one to watch playing out over the years. I feel more affinity and more excitement though about the west coast American teams like Seattle and Portland. Hell, even San Jose, LA and Chivas games are better for us as we can actually go there a lot easier than flying hours across country and timezones. Part of the reason that the Toronto and Montreal rivalry will be excellent is that the fans of both teams can travel in numbers to the away games.
The addition of Montreal also further dilutes an already small pool of quality Canadian players. They’re not in abundance at the moment and unless the MLS starts to drastically open up their rules around residency and devloping home grown players, the game in Canada will not flourish.
In addition, generally there’s a severe lack of actual top quality players in MLS squads as it is without adding more teams.
Whilst we’re talking about dilution, let’s also look at national television coverage. More Canadian teams, less national television coverage of Whitecaps games and let’s be honest here, the east coast media don’t give a toss about west coast teams. They’re not going to be falling over themselves to show Caps games.
This also brings up the horrible possibility of pressure on the Caps to have crappy early kick offs for double header TV purposes. I would hope the Caps would not bow to this, but we all know that money talks. I’m kind of biased as I prefer nighttime games, but the atmosphere at early kick off the last few seasons have been dire.
You just have to look at how the Canucks are forced to play their games against the Leafs at 4pm to suit TV purposes.
If we add into the mix that we always seem to play shite against Montreal, then I really find it hard to generate much excitement about their entry into the MLS. I’d rather more concentrate on our own.