T-shirts and tickets crank up the acrimony between Real Salt Lake and Sporting Kansas City fans

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As a neutral observer, and someone who will spend the next 10 days writing about MLS Cup, a couple of developments lately are simply divine. The matchup already looks great for MLS Cup 2013. Now we are going to throw in some proper fan acrimony.

Awe. Some.

First, there was a very naughty t-shirt designed by some of the clevers among Real Salt Lake’s supporters. Of course, one man’s “clever” is another man’s “tacky” or “crass” or worse. And I’m sure the Sporting Kansas City set have others words for threads in question.

Since there really isn’t a way to describe the shirt in, as we might say, polite company, you can have a look at it here.

Presumably, this one was not approved by the MLS merchandise police.

And then there is a big ol’ ticket brouhaha. Ticket allocation was bound to be an issue when Major League Soccer shifted away from the neutral-site format. Demand will almost always be high for home team supporters, and visiting supporters will probably feel like they aren’t getting a big enough slice of the pie.

But what happened this time wasn’t so much about allocation. Rather, it was about a sale for Sporting Kansas City fans that was “compromised” – making this the first MLS Cup in history to employ some of the same words that national security elements might put into daily use.

Major League Soccer issued a statement, reminding everyone that RSL has already received its allotment of 1,000 tickets, which will be distributed this week. And then came the bad news  for the RSL fans who had gotten in on a sale for Sporting KC fans, some of whom then taking to social media to brag of their ill-gotten goods. Tsk-tsk!

From the league statement:

Earlier this week, a limited number of RSL fans gained access to a secure link that had been established solely for Sporting Kansas City season ticket members to purchase MLS Cup tickets. Because RSL fans were not authorized to use this link, the purchase orders were not fulfilled.