Wednesday Kicks: The “biggest game in the history of American club soccer” through a Galaxy lens

57373-ccllogo.jpgThat’s what some soccer fans are calling the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League final tonight between Mexico’s Monterrey and Salt Lake City (7 o’clock Fox Soccer Channel).

To me, that’s a little over the top. And anyway, it’s all relative.

In Utah, they’re still trying to convince the casual sports fan of the import of RSL, let alone a competition with a tongue-twisting name.

And frankly, even most soccer fans would much rather pay attention to the UEFA Champions League, which for a second year running will be shown on a Saturday on a major network (Fox) rather than tucked away midweek on a niche channel not many Americans can even get.

What are the odds SportsCenter even mentions the game?

Considering the inauspicious record of MLS clubs in Mexico (an MLS team has never won a game in the country), perhaps we should wait to see if RSL still has a chance at home in the decisive second leg next week before we all hyperventilate.

But, of course, Galaxy fans will appreciate what RSL is trying to do because the team has been there, done that.

You remember that night, Galaxy fans right? There were all of 8,147 in attendance at the massive Coliseum.

And doesn’t that remain the biggest game in U.S. club soccer history? After all, the Galaxy won and as a RSL official pointed out before today’s game “we haven’t done anything yet.”

Still, a decade later at least there are more MLS fans period and that says something about the growth of the league.

Take four minutes and get acquainted with the two teams playing tonight:

Finally, a former Galaxy player who was a part of that victory in 2001 has seen his life take some serious twists and turns in the last few weeks.

Will you be watching tonight?

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About Nick Green

South Bay-based Los Angeles News Group soccer columnist and blogger Nick Green writes at the 100 Percent Soccer blog at and craft beer at the Beer Goggles blog at Cheers!
  • Studs Up

    Hats off to Jason and company. Pulling off a result like that was H U G E. I thought he would blow it by bringing in a very slow Williams for Grabavoy but he made up for that mistake by bringing in the speedy Beltran to cover for him.

    Best sub plot of the game: the gamesmanship by the ball boys behind RSL goal who kept throwing a ball in to Rimando before the active ball had clear the field of play. An old ploy to un-nerve the visiting goalkeeper which was not addressed by the ref. Nick kept his cool to his credit.