Five rivalries to look forward to in 2011 - Xtratime Community
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old January 1st, 2011, 21:32 Thread Starter
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Five rivalries to look forward to in 2011

NEW YORK — One of the principles of sports has always been that meaning is conferred, not created. By point of example: It is the mutual loathing, or dislike, or even polite dismissal of various fan groups that tend to create the best sports rivalries.

Narrow it down from “sports” to “soccer,” and the direct-line correlation becomes even clearer. Just Google “soccer tribalism” and you’ll get nearly 300,000 hits, the first of which is a piece from CNN pondering whether “a Cosmos comeback” could spark soccer tribalism here in North America.

The author had obviously never been to The Home Depot Center on the day of the LA Superclasico. Or to the Pacific Northwest during a Cascadia Cup match. If he had, he would’ve known that soccer tribalism is here already. And it’s here to stay.

Over the course of the past decade, various rivalries, some expected, some not, have pushed MLS slowly away from the “Big 4” professional sports model, where the regular season is, frankly, watered down, and toward the NCAA football model, where it’s an annual ritual to circle rivalry games on the calendar months ahead of time.

With that in mind, here are five feuds I’m greatly looking forward to come March:

Last edited by EPJr; January 1st, 2011 at 22:41.
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old January 3rd, 2011, 02:33 Thread Starter
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History Makes Cascadia Cup Unique in American Soccer

I've been holding off writing about the upcoming reuniting of the Cascadia clubs in MLS in part because I keep getting this feeling that I am letting history have too much say in my view of it. When I think of Seattle Sounders v. Portland Timbers v. Vancouver Whitecaps I can't help but frame the derbies this way: Vancouver will be Seattle's toughest opponent on the pitch and Portland will be the biggest rival in the stands.

This thinking is really a blend of the old and the new, of North American Soccer League (NASL) results and United Soccer Leagues (USL) road trips. The toughest team for the Sounders to beat in the 1970's, outside of the New York Cosmos, were usually the Vancouver Whitecaps. The most contentious back and forth between supporters groups in the most-recent decade has been between Emerald City Supporters and the Timbers Army. Will it be any different in Major League Soccer in 2011?
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