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: http://www.mlssoccer.com/news/articl...k-forward-2011