Guess what? Club Tijuana have some "gringo" fans, and the LA Galaxy have some Latino fans.
This isn't an article about race and sports, however. I'm just pointing out the strange subtext in an MLS Insider video, "The Battle for Southern Calfornia," that was produced in anticipation of tonight's second leg CONCACAF Champions League match between the Xolos and the Galaxy.
MLS has been pushing this angle the past couple of days, especially today, and on one level, I get it. The rivalry between these clubs doesn't exist, but it seems like it should, especially when these teams, both recent winners of their respective leagues, are facing off in meaningful regional competitions.
But I'm sure you know where I'm going with this: the whole angle is missing one MLS team also in Southern California, Chivas USA.
Hyping a game as a "Battle for X region" and leaving out one existing team is frankly kind of insulting. It's like calling the rivalry between the Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps "The Battle for Cascadia" and not mentioning the Seattle Sounders at all (though it can be argued it's in fact the Whitecaps who often get short shrift in that three-team rivalry). Or saying that the New York Red Bulls and D.C. United are engaged in "The Battle for Pennsylvania" and neglecting to mention the Philadelphia Union.
Of course, the counterargument to this complaint that Chivas USA are not even an afterthought regarding this supposed "Battle for Southern California" is that Chivas aren't any good, have no fans, etc. Look, if this club hadn't been mismanaged for years on and off the field, then the "SuperClasico" would be the hyped rivalry discussed in regards to Southern California, and who knows, Chivas USA may have been seen as the natural regional rival to Club Tijuana.
It didn't happen that way, though. I can't begrudge a budding rivalry between Tijuana and the Galaxy. There can be room for that and Chivas USA in the region.
But come on now. MLS, you own Chivas USA now. If you ignore the Goats when talking about Southern California, who do you expect to include them in the regional discussion?
What do you think? Leave a comment below!