Yesterday on Fox Soccer Daily, Cobi Jones and Brian McBride discussed which is the more important franchise between the LA Galaxy and Seattle Sounders who meet at the StubHub Center tonight. Important is a relative term, and as you expect Cobi Jones defended the Galaxy.
"LA is the most important," said Jones. "On the road, with all the fans and championships, you can see how important they have been from the beginning to now and in the future. (David) Beckham came to the Galaxy because of what was already in place."
Jones isn't always the clearest of speakers. For example here in this quote, why he began with the clause on the road is unclear in context with the rest of the statement. If, perhaps, he said that the LA Galaxy have had the best road attendance in MLS since David Beckham came over; that would make sense. To say Beckham came over because the Galaxy had two championships and not because he thought he could raise the profile of the entire league is also problematic.
However, there's truth behind what he's saying. It was evident when Landon Donovan spoke about his decision to remain with the club long term. There's a front office behind the club that believes in what the team is doing, and there's an organization in place which wants to see a successful Los Angeles soccer club.
Brian McBride had a different point of view. Now McBride was with the Columbus Crew when they built Crew Stadium. He knows the importance that those early soccer specific stadiums, management willing to commit to building soccer in America. He even concedes that LA are the bigger brand.
"Globally LA is it," said McBride. "It's a brand." Then he continued, "But if I'm an owner, interested in buying a franchise, it's Seattle. They've done everything right in terms of marketing, behind the scenes and on the field."
Of course, the crux of this is simply talking head show contrived banter. McBride says Seattle have done everything right in terms of marketing, behind the scenes, and on the field. However since he began by saying globally LA are a brand, he's already conceded that LA are also doing everything right in marketing and on the field. He's disagreed with Jones without actually disagreeing with Jones.
So the real answer to this fairly inane question is that the Sounders and Galaxy are both important to MLS. Which is something anyone with a pulse already knew about MLS. Thank goodness for talking head shows.
NBC Sports Network will be on the scene for the tilt between the Galaxy and the Sounders tonight, after broadcasting the Portland Timbers 1 - 0 victory over the Colorado Rapids last night. This jumped the Timbers ahead of the Galaxy by two points, while the Rapids are one point ahead of LA. Three points tonight would put the Galaxy back into third place, only two points behind the Supporters' Shield leaders.
Essentially, this is the match which determines if the Sounders start to pull away or if LA can keep the Western Conference/Supporters' Shield race tight. Kyle Martino puts it fairly succinctly:
"Red hot Seattle has perfect test against reigning champions LA. Time to see if Seattle can become Super Sounders."
Love the little nod to Seattle's sporting past. It's a huge match tonight at the StubHub Center.