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  • All for One for MLS?



    For those not familiar with the workings of Twitter, what’s above is a hashtag. A hashtag is something that users put in their Tweets so that others with a similar interest can find their 140 characters of goodness. So, when I write about Toronto FC on Twitter I will more often than not use the #TFC hashtag (and it’s why a lot or Realtors end up following #MLS writers).

    The hashtag above was created for Real Salt Lake as it takes on Monterrey in the CONCACAF Champions League final. In case you’re not great with the language of the Internet (get off my lawn you damn kids) the tag is to be read “MLS for RSL.” The league – or at least those in it responsible for Social Media policy – are calling on MLS fans of every team to cheer Salt Lake on to victory.


    It seems innocent enough. Here in Canada there isn’t much to get upset about when it comes to RSL. Hell, they even have Will Johnson. However, the folks in Colorado are less enthused. You can’t really blame them. Could you imagine the reaction in Toronto if the hashtag were #MLS4Crew. That just wouldn’t fly.

    It begs the question: should MLS fans feel compelled to cheer for RSL? For some the answer will be an emotional one. They will feel connected to Salt Lake because they share a league and a culture with them. Therefore they will cheer for the club because they want to.

    However, if you have a natural rilvary with them, or you are indifferent you must ask a second question: Does RSL winning the Champions League mean a damn thing to MLS as a whole?

    That’s not clear. Yes, it would be a chance to play in the Club World Cup, but as much as some like the idea of that competition it’s a long way from really mattering. Besides, it would only expose their terrible name to more people.

    For now, however, the CWC is really just a nice bonus for winning. The real value comes from whether it increases the league’s reputation within CONCACAF. If more Latin American players aspire to play in MLS the league will be better. And, if MLS is to really take a step forward and start to challenge Europe and South America for talent – prime talent – it first needs to become the clear best in its own region. We are a ways off that now.

    We are a ways off all of this really, but there is an argument to be made that a RSL win will help the league as a whole. So, if you are the logical type, maybe you should think about supporting the #MLS4RSL initiative.

    No one is going to blame you if you don’t though.

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