Pledging Allegiance

Its time for me to chose sides: I need to pick an MLS team to root for. I've wasted enough time. This task has proven to be easier said than done though. There are only 13 teams, but each presents their own challenges. I'll walk you through my thinking.

First off, lets just dismiss the Eastern Division out of hand. I have no connection to any of these places and I would never see a match in person or on TV. Beyond that, seriously, The Columbus Crew? Toronto FC? I'll pass. New York's team is actually named after an energy drink. Talk about selling out. That leaves six teams, but two are in Texas and that presents the same issues the Eastern Division teams do, so put those in the no column as well.

We're down to four: Los Angeles Galaxy, Chivas USA, Real Salt Lake, and Colorado Rapids.

Los Angeles Galaxy - The Galaxy are the most obvious choice and they've always been in the back of my head as the team I would be for if I decided to go in whole hog, but there's a problem now: David Beckham and his ghastly plastic wife.

They are the home team & one of the founding members of MLS. They are two-time MLS champions & two-time US Open Cup champions. They probably have the coolest uniforms in MLS too, which as girly as that sounds is something one needs to consider. You don't want to root for a team if you'd be embarassed to wear their gear. How many fans did the Buccaneers lose when they had tangerine uniforms?

In spite of that, I would feel like a douchebag if I declared myself a Galaxy fan now. People would assume I'm doing it because of the overhyped, overpaid, and oversexed David Beckham. They would probably assume I was gay too.

All of that could be overcome though if not for his trendy prozac popping wife. Beckham is a good player and god bless him if he can help vault the MLS over crappy sports like senior women's lacrosse and the NHL. Unfortunately, David and Victoria come as a package. He is that friend of yours that drifted off into oblivion after marriage because he couldn't be peeled away from his shrill harpee of a wife and her enormous $700 sunglasses.

Chivas USA - The other LA team...the Clippers of MLS if you will. Chivas is actually better than the Galaxy this year, but they're the new kids on the block here in LA. Yes, we have two football teams, but no football team.

Chivas is an odd case. They were founded by the owner of the Mexican team Chivas that hails from Guadalajara and are designed to appeal to Los Angeles' large Latino population. The club's official language is Spanish and they have no English radio broadcast. In spite of this, they have a Jewish midfielder.

Aside from the fact that I do not want to root for the Clippers of any sport, I'm not Latin. Not even close. Nothing against Latinos, but if this team is going to be primarily covered in Spanish, I'll be lost. Also, their uniforms make me want to order a corn dog.

Real Salt Lake - I wouldn't have much connection to Real Salt Lake other than my inexplicable die hard devotion to the Utah Jazz, but its worth considering. I love Utah and likely would have moved there years ago had it not been a theocracy run by the Ayatollah Gordon B. Hinckley. Alas, it is, and I'm in California.

Real Salt Lake have the noteworthy status of being the worst team in MLS. Since I don't root for a perennial underdog, this would be a new twist on things for me. The name is supposed to invoke Real Madrid, an international powerhouse, and the locals in SLC didn't seem to get that. They were in an uproar over it. Real Salt Lake also laid claim to Freddy Adu, albeit briefly.

Colorado Rapids - First off, let me say these guys get points for actually having a dot-com and not a shootoff of the MLS page. While the Galaxy are my current home team, I would give the Rapids a 50/50 shot of being my future home team when I flee this place for good.

Like the Galaxy, the Rapids are one of the ten original MLS teams. They've had some success, making both an MLS and US Open final, losing each time. They're pretty much middle of the pack and nondescript at this point. I see these as strong points as they would solve the problem of any bandwagoning accusations I might encounter with the Galaxy.

So there are the choices. I have to say, Chivas and Real Salt Lake aren't really in the running here. Chivas just isn't a good fit and poor Real Salt Lake doesn't have enough going for them. That leaves a deathmatch between Colorado and the Galaxy. When I started writing this, I had almost resigned myself to an existence as a LA Galaxy fan, but the Rapids make a damn strong case.

I will see how things play out. Colorado and the Galaxy have a match on the 8th of September that would probably be a good one to go to. It would be a great way to see which one feels like my team.

Note: The Galaxy looked absolutely dreadful in last night's Super Clasico against Chivas USA. They lost 3-0 and all three goals were embarassing.

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