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Raul To MLS?

Creative Commons License photo credit: Arturo J. Paniagua

The party’s over in Madrid…

Reports are surfacing that Real Madrid’s captain, Raul, will play for the New York Red Bulls in the MLS next season.  Now, I can understand players moving around from league-to-league, but how does the captain of one of the biggest sports clubs in the world come to America to play a team that sucked so bad last year I don’t think I ever wrote a word about them?

I know the reports say that he wants to play in America and there may be some really good reasons for that, but look at the odds here.  David Beckham came to L.A. and they lost the MLS Cup to RSL.  Now, if the reports are true and the Red Bulls are trying to build a roster of only superstars and I think they weren’t paying attention to the MLS Cup.  Landon Donovan and David Beckham–who I called the “Sensei of Soccer”–couldn’t defeat an expansion franchise from the middle of nowhere with ONE superstar on it.  How does New York plan to build a winner when upstarts clearly rule the day?

Plus, if Raul is leaving Madrid and he’s been there since he was 17, what does that say about the club?  Is there no honor in soccer, or is the club not as “shiny” as it used to be?  He’s their captain and he feels like he isn’t appreciated anymore.  Cristiano Ronaldo is the “star” and he can’t lead.  So, you take away the elected-leader and leave the club with a “faux-leader” and what have you got?  Disaster.

Perhaps this is part of what I was talking about when I said Real Madrid would crumble.  When your stalwarts won’t stick around you basically have no chance.  What Raul is saying is “I don’t respect this club anymore”.

Ouch.  That’ll leave a mark.