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I've always said Alexi Lalas was an idiot, now I have proof.

(from sportsnet website)

LONDON (AP) -- Alexi Lalas... Los Angeles Galaxy president..., told British newspapers that Major League Soccer is on a par with the Premier League.

So which 3 MLS teams are good enough to qualify for the Champions League Semi-finals?

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He's defending his team and his league, and so he should. MLS is a very respectable league that just doesn't get the respect. It's not world class, but it is certainly on par with a lot of the lower level premiership clubs, namely Fulham, Man City, and others at the bottom of the table. It's got a long way to go as a league, but it is certainly good quality.

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Guest Jeffery S.

If you read the whole interview, he is basically trying to respond to the disdain coming from Britain. It is more a reaction, and though he goes overboard at least he has the guts to defend his own, maybe that is part of becoming something big.

His claim that MLS players could handle EPL is way off, of course. I doubt there is a single player in MLS who could score more than 8 in a season in EPL, but hell, McBride did okay at least one year at Fulham, so maybe there are a few.

His view that EPL quality players would have problems with MLS. Well, perhaps that is true, since you put Henry or Kaka in a third division team and they would likely excel, but maybe not that much, considering the style of play, the defending, the tactics.

The claims in any case were to bring down the British arrogance, a reason for example he said that La Liga was better (precisely in the one season in recent times it has clearly not been better).

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quote:Originally posted by RJB

He's defending his team and his league, and so he should. MLS is a very respectable league that just doesn't get the respect. It's not world class, but it is certainly on par with a lot of the lower level premiership clubs, namely Fulham, Man City, and others at the bottom of the table. It's got a long way to go as a league, but it is certainly good quality.

No there not. Not a one. Not Red Bull on their best day, Angel and all.

Lala's is an idiot. If he thinks defending MLS to condescending Brits can be achieved by announcing MLS is on par with the EPL he's off his nut. He's just making them laugh more and at least this time they have every right to a good jolly roar.

O-kay, buddie. If you say so. Now back to California with you, son.

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quote:Originally posted by Cheeta

No there not. Not a one. Not Red Bull on their best day, Angel and all.

At best, MLS is the second best league in the North, Central America and Caribbean region and maybe 4th-5th best league in the Americas.

Lala's is an idiot. If he thinks defending MLS to condescending Brits can be achieved by announcing MLS is on par with the EPL he's off his nut. He's just making them laugh more and at least this time they have every right to a good jolly roar.

O-kay, buddie. If you say so. Now back to California with you, son.

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Guest speedmonk42

No press is bad press.

This is pure PR, and as Jeffrey says he is also standing up for the league.

There is little possibility, if ever, to even test the assertion so why not plug the league and take a shot at them at the same time.

This is clearly more of a media 'opportunist' moment than him being a pure idiot.

Maybe we actually need a few more shameless 'idiots' as what percentage of the planet actually has the knowledge or inclination to dispute it.

You won't change any of our minds, but lets face it we are total f'n soccer nerds.

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http://www.globesports.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20070619.wspt-tor-fc-19/GSStory/GlobeSportsSoccer/home

Johnston empathizes with Lalas's defence of MLS

LARRY MILLSON

From Wednesday's Globe and Mail

TORONTO ?Toronto FC head coach Mo Johnston said Wednesday that he understood where Los Angeles Galaxy president Alexi Lalas was coming from when he told The Guardian in an interview that the English Premier League is overrated.

Lalas was responding to suggestions in England that David Beckham will be going into semi-retirement when he joins Major League Soccer's Galaxy in the summer.

"The fact that a segment of the world worships an inferior product in the Premiership is their business," Lalas told The Guardian, among other things, in an interview published Tuesday.

Johnston said he considers Lalas a friend and they have worked together. "He's doing the best for his club," Johnston said. "He's a bright man, he's played in Italy, he was the GM in San Jose, GM in New York, now he's in L.A."

Lalas scored a goal when the United States defeated England 2-0 in a 1993 exhibition game.

Johnston said Lalas is "sticking up for his players and his league and so he should."

Johnston said there are players in the MLS who could play in the English Premier League.

"Guys from over there have come over here and failed, big-name players," he said. "I understand what Alexi's saying. These guys are being quoted as saying [MLS] is an inferior league and they've not taken the time out to see this league.

"There are a lot of people who are going to make certain comments on this league. Until you try something, don't talk about it. ?

"People are ignorant. People don't understand what this league is all about. Is the Premier League one of the best leagues in the world? Of course it is. I love watching it. It has wonderful players."

But, he said, coaches and managers with teams in Europe don't know all the MLS teams or the players.

"I guarantee you that they don't," Johnston said. "Because they work within their own system in the Premier League, within Italy, within Germany, and it seems for me that some of the quotes that come out of them are ridiculous. We're a strong league, we're growing, we're young, we all need to work together."

Johnston has played on both sides of the Atlantic, competed in the World Cup for Scotland and came to the MLS late in his playing career.

"I love it here," he said. "Don't get me wrong. I loved playing overseas as well. I'm never going to say the Scottish Premier League or the English Premier League is a bad league, because they're not. But this is a good league as well."

Meanwhile, he has problems to deal with as Toronto FC prepares for Saturday's game against the New England Revolution in Foxboro. Forward Danny Dichio's status is uncertain because of a sprained left ankle, and Johnston continues to negotiate with Dundee United forward Collin Samuel, who again worked out Tuesday at BMO Field.

Johnston said a possible signing is "very close."

"He has five or six offers, we have the first discovery on him within the league," Johnston said. "He showed up very well again today. The offer is on the table. We were talking ongoing [Monday] night. We've been talking to the league, talking to Samuel this morning, talking to his agents, I'm hopeful we can put pen to paper. It's been a long, drawn-out affair. If he doesn't, we're back to square one. We move on."

Dichio was optimistic when asked Tuesday about his chances of playing on Saturday. "I think they're good," he said. "I'm a good healer ?I'm hoping to make it for Saturday."

He said he would probably test the ankle Thursday to see whether playing is feasible.

Dichio has four goals in seven games. He injured the ankle when he landed after going up for a ball in the 33rd minute ?eight minutes after he had scored ?of Sunday's 4-0 victory over FC Dallas at BMO Field. He finished the first half after taking treatment, and Andrea Lombardo took his spot in the second half. Johnston is talking to Canada's under-20 team to see whether Lombardo will be available to play for Toronto on Saturday.

X-rays of Dichio's foot on Monday showed no fracture. "It's not as bad as we thought," he said.

Dichio was in uniform, but watched Tuesday's practice with the ankle wrapped.

"Knowing Danny, he'll probably play." Johnston said.

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Heh, regarding the EPL boosters, I can remember when we Canadians used to have the same presumption about the National Hockey League versus the inferior leagues in the rest of the world. It was justified, mostly, but a certain blind approach to up-and-comers did catch-up with us, eventually.

The MLS will have to earn respect the old fashioned way, not through defensive PR delusions.

In the meantime, to attract and to retain big name players is not the only test of an ambitious league. A more substantive test is to attract and DEVELOP young players who have not yet been 'discovered' by the bigshot leagues. The MLS is a sort of off-season competition, rather short too, and yet it has already grown some fairly deep roots in localized markets.

A TFC phenonmenon, with characters like Danny Dichio embraced and celebrated, is unique until it is repeated elsewhere, right? I think a player like Lombardo will look very attractive to scouts from the EPL and the Bundaslega -- but not Serie A nor the Spanish Liga. The Danish and Dutch leagues would also consider that sort of player, with experience with a club like TFC, a great find.

On the other hand, the league has to produce great teams, not just individuals. Same as anywhere else. And rivalaries play no small part in that building process. From what we've seen this year, already, the TFC is showing that a strong homebase can ignite the league and make playing in the MLS a genuinely rich experience for the players. I don't care what level league you play in, as a pro you gotta love the TFC supporters.

This brings back something that Radzinksi said when asked if he'd play in the MLS someday. To paraphrase, he said he was having just too much fun playing in front of tens of thousands of spectators every week. Pros will tell you that one of the hardest things about giving up playing is leaving the fans.

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