Major League Soccer needs to embrace and promote rivalries for the future of the league.
By Michael King
During the past two weekends of MLS action, we’ve seen the best of what the league offers in terms of rivalries. A match between Chivas USA and the Los Angles Galaxy on Saturday, as well as the Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders last weekend, demonstrated the sport’s potential for creating consistently exciting matches between the same two teams.
These games featured an intensity and competitive flair that is not often felt in a typical regular season game. It’s not difficult to reason why ESPN chose these matches to feature in its ‘Game of the Week’ coverage. Clearly these matches were special for both the fans and players.
As Major League Soccer continues to expand and establish itself as a popular sports league, the development of such rivalries is critical to its growth.
The other major American sports thrive on their long-established rivalries through the associated increased media coverage and fan interest. It’s evident that interest peaks in baseball when the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees compete, especially in the playoffs.