July 14, 2009

The Great Debate: Episode 1

Michael Buffer: It's time for the Great Debate, soccer edition. First up, which cup means more this summer? Gold Cup or Open Cup?

LET'S GET READY TO... never mind, these guys are paying me enough for the gimmick...

The Gold Cup
The winner gets a big shiny trophy, but what else. Some playing time for their B-team? A trip around the stadiums of the USA?

It's time for this tournament to shift to a 4-year cycle to maximize its importance. CONCACAF thankfully realized a few years back that they didn't need to invite guest teams, now it's time to make this the most important event in North America every four years.

The Open Cup
This is the oldest trophy played for in the US, one of the oldest cup competitions in the world. It's a chance for small teams to make a name for themselves against MLS. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean as much when the Revolution or Crew are playing their bench and hosting the game at a high school instead of their stadium. MLS teams not taking this seriously really tarnishes the prestige of the tournament.

What can raise that prestige? The winner qualifying for the CONCACAF Champions League is a good move. More prize money could help. A national TV contract might be the best thing. Would MLS teams risk national embarrassment by losing to the Michigan Bucks or Dallas Roma if it was on TV for all to see? Maybe not...

For this week's expert opinion, let's hear from Max Bretos...

Michael Buffer: Okay then, the winner of this debate is the US Open Cup. It has meaning this year, unlike the Gold Cup.

Send in your debates for next week's episode.

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