Let’s be clear about two things when it comes to Cascadia Cup and trash talk:
First, we don’t really need additional conflict on what is already the league’s top rivalry. It’s already pretty awesome.
Second, never mind that, because it is even more awesome with trash talk.
Portland center back Pa Modou Kah was something less than impressed with Seattle Sounders man of the moment Clint Dempsey, who made his CenturyLink Field debut with his new club Sunday.
The Sounders finished on top in this version of Major League Soccer’s top rivalry (a 1-0 victory), one that goes back to the 1970s during both clubs’ North American Soccer League days. But that didn’t stop Kah from tossing a bit of accelerant on the rivalry. On Dempsey he said:
He’s the best player in MLS? If he’s the best…I’ve seen much, much better in Europe. … If he was so good, he would still be at Tottenham.”
A couple of points:
Dempsey’s signing is important for a lot of reasons, but many of them symbolic. It’s about an important player in Europe, at the top of his game, making the choice to come back into MLS. It’s about an American being the league’s highest paid man.
But that doesn’t make Dempsey the “best player in MLS.” I’m not sure anyone ever said so … not people who really understand what’s going on, at least. He’s an impact player, and surely one of the best. But let’s not spill over the top with hyperbole here.
Further, Kah was lucky to see out the 90 minutes Sunday. He should have been cautioned (and ejected, as it would have been his second booking) for kneeing Eddie Johnson in the back of the head.
Given his fortune, maybe it would have been better for Kah not to call any more attention to himself than was absolutely necessary.