Matt Luzunaris Signed; SuperLiga Tears; USOC NewsBy: Chris | March 30th, 2011
Forward Matt Luzunaris was signed to the Earthquakes on March 28th. Matt trained with the team during preseason and even traveled to England with everyone. While there he scored against the Colchester United F.C. Reserves and he scored again when the Quakes played the Cal Poly Mustangs in San Luis Obispo. Recently Luzunaris scored the game winner in the reserve game against Vancouver last week.
Matt is a forward who has spent most of his career in Austria. He has played with SK Rapid Wien and SC Magna Wiener Neustadt, both in Austria. He was loaned to Brazilian club Botafogo and he trained with the first team but was unable to play due to visa issues. He has also spent time training with Newcastle United in England.
Born: March 6, 1989 in Margate, Florida
Hometown: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
College: University of Central Florida
Last Club: SK Rapid Wien (Austria)
Matt is the fourth player that has been signed after playing with the team during the preseason. The other three were Ampai, McLoughlin and Dawkins.
I was looking forward to watching the Quakes participate in this tournament. It’s kind of like the Europa League for MLS and Mexico. SuperLiga has been played for 4 years, it started in 2007. For SuperLiga, the 4 second best teams in MLS and the Mexican First Division. MLS teams reached the final every year, with New England the only winning MLS team in 2008.
But SuperLiga is being retired. Commissioner Don Garber commented about the change during the press conference about the MLS All Stars taking on Manchester United at the All Star Game this summer. Garber stated:
“SuperLiga was a great tournament which served its purpose during its time. CONCACAF got more and more committed to a continental tournament with the Champions League, which we’re very supportive of. It has delivered the value we intended [in SuperLiga] to put our teams against the best competition in this region.”
So the reason to drop SuperLiga is because the CONCACAF Champions League has grown in prominence and MLS clubs are apparently more interested in the competition than they were before this year. (Los Angeles was really committed to the tournament when they were knocked out by the Puerto Rico Islanders, right?) I think MLS clubs should start taking the Champions League seriously because the winner gets to compete in the FIFA Club World Cup every December. This would help generate press for the league and clubs involved.
But if you’re going to suspend SuperLiga, at least have something in place like Europa League to take its place. Garber said that the World Football Challenge would be replacing SuperLiga. The WFC started in summer of 2009 and 4 clubs participated: Inter Milan, AC Milan, Chelsea, and Club America. So this summer we’ll have the WFC again but we’re adding MLS clubs. Okay that sounds fine, but are the 4 clubs who would have participated in SuperLiga going to participate? No. The MLS clubs participating are New England and Chicago. They will be playing against Manchester United and Barcelona.
The WFC is not a replacement for SuperLiga. It’s a glorified chance for the European clubs to get in some training before their seasons begin. I’m all for MLS clubs participating in friendlies against some of the best clubs in the world. It increases the visibility of the league and it gives the fans and players the chance to interact with these great clubs. But don’t take away a valid competition like SuperLiga and claim the WFC is a better replacement. The four teams play each other in a round robin format and no one sane will delude themselves into thinking Man U or Barca won’t be taking home the trophy, or whatever they have to commemorate their wins.
I am a fan of the league and enjoy watching all the teams in MLS play. But even if my beloved San Jose were playing in this competition I wouldn’t delude myself into thinking they had a chance at beating Man U or Barca, even if those teams were playing their second strings. Whereas with SuperLiga you’ve got pretty even competition and the realistic chance to bring home some silverware at the end of the tournament.
US Open Cup
San Jose will be playing against Portland in the Semifinals of USOC qualification. Portland defeated Chivas USA 2-0 for Portland’s first victory as an MLS team in all competitions. The date of the Portland – San Jose match has not yet been set but it will be played in San Jose, probably sometime in April. Last year the Quakes lost to RSL in penalties during qualification. If the Quakes manage to beat Portland, they will play either Colorado or Chicago. If the Quakes can get by that game as well, they will qualify for the tournament proper.
This article is a rundown of the Portland – Chivas USA game.