Notwithstanding (perhaps) the No. 23 shirt worn by David Beckham of the L.A. Galaxy, Mexican-American soccer fans across the country are far more likely to pick up a Club America or Chivas de Guadalajara jersey from their local sporting goods store than say, a Houston Dynamo jersey. Indeed, most Latino soccer fans are as loyal to their favorite club teams as they are to the national team of their heritage.
This, says Andrea Canales of ESPN Soccernet, is exactly why the SuperLiga tournament has been such a success. And it will likely continue, because MLS teams are holding their own in the first annual tournament; Club America, in fact, is the only team that has been officially knocked out after two of three games played in both groups.
Many of the Mexican teams' fans are watching the SuperLiga, too -- some are being exposed to MLS for the first time -- and you can bet that even more will watch next year if an MLS team wins. Or even if an MLS team doesn't win, because the games, as one Mexican league fan (who admits to not normally watching MLS games) characterizes it, "have been good," he says. "The teams have shown a lot of desire and it's clear to see the U.S. league has improved a lot." Clearly, continental bragging rights (while not officially belonging to this tournament) are important to these teams. Not only have the first eight games had their fair share of tussles and ejections, they've also seen world-class goals and an astonishing number of near misses.