Galaxy-Tijuana Xolos: Let's settle this on the field

March 07, 2013|By Kevin Baxter
  • The Galaxy has done a great job attracting fans.
The Galaxy has done a great job attracting fans.

Galaxy President Chris Klein and Jorgealberto Hank, president of the Tijuana Xolos, consider this your warning: You're both on the clock.

It's time for you guys to get together and work out a date to play a real game against one another. It's time for you to begin building a respectful, long-lasting cross-border rivalry, one that has the potential to sell soccer to Southern California's legions of Mexican League fans and to northern Mexican sports fans who remain on the fence separating soccer from baseball.

The Xolos are the reigning champions of the Mexican league. The Galaxy has won the last two Major League Soccer titles. If the two played one another this summer, it would provide a much better measuring stick of the two leagues' strengths than a CONCACAF Champions League game.

But the clock is ticking. Both teams are at the top of their game right now, so let's not wait. The Xolos scored an impressive 1-0 win over recent Club World Cup victor Corinthians in the Copa Libertadores on Wednesday and appears likely to continue to the round of 16 in that tournament. The Galaxy is favored to continue its run to the CONCACAF Champions League semifinals when it plays Herediano of Costa Rica in a two-leg series beginning Thursday night.

So now it's time for the two to play one another.

Their home stadiums are just 130 miles apart, so a rivalry is natural. Give it a cliche name such as "The Border War," sell T-shirts, donate the proceeds to charities working in Southern California and Baja California. Whatever. Just make it happen.

Yes both teams play impossibly demanding schedules, just ask Landon Donovan (well, wait until he comes back first). But making room for this one seems like a no-brainer.

Both have done great jobs selling their product to local fans, with as many as a third of the fans attending Xolo home games crossing the border from San Diego to do so, while the Galaxy regularly plays to sellouts at the 27,000-seat Home Depot Center.

Xolos sent a reserve squad to Carson last month and got walloped, 6-2. So the front offices and coaching staffs of both teams are already talking. Why not now arrange a friendly between the two first-choice team?

Chris Klein and Jorgealberto Hank, the next move is up to you.


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