Stevie G. versus Lamps didn’t materialize Sunday, but that didn’t end up mattering much to the profile of a big match in California.
The Los Angeles Galaxy was feeling pretty feisty on Sunday, welcoming New York City FC to their building with a rude 5-1 win behind reigning MLS MVP Robbie Keane and his downright devastating crew of talented teammates.
[ MATCH RECAP: L.A. 5-1 NYCFC ]
Keane had a goal and two assists, Dos Santos had a goal and an assist, and Gerrard added an assist. Keane and Gerrard should’ve had more but got a little too cheeky during a late chance to make it a five-goal final score.
And considering Andrea Pirlo and David Villa were on the other side of the field — and honestly, they looked pretty good — the tenor of the postgame conversation tended to tilt towards what the match means for the league.
Gerrard said the fact that quality players are not only joining the league but embracing it was big for MLS, saying that Sunday was a case of “world-class talents on show”, while Keane beamed about the future of Major League Soccer.
“It says that this league is serious,” said Keane, who spent most of his career in the English Premier League and had a short stint in Italy’s Serie A. “This league is the league that people want to be in — there’s no question about that. I get phone calls all the time from international players that want to come here and want to play, play in this league.
“Years ago, there were certain leagues where people wanted to go and play, and it was exciting for them. This is the league now.”
There’s no question that after 30 years of soccer being “the sport of the future” in the United States, we’re closer than ever to it being a pivotal part of the present. In terms of paying attention to the international game — both club and country — we’re there, and days like Sunday make us feel like we’re reaching a tipping point for domestic club soccer.