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MLS Decision To Force Fans To Choose Between Club And Country Is Self-Defeating

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Philadelphia Union fans were unhappy that they had to choose between watching their club team play against Sporting Kansas City and watching their country play against Panama.

They should be.

MLS scheduled only two games on Wednesday night, keeping fans of the Union, Kansas City, the Chicago Fire and Real Salt Lake from watching the United States Men's National Team (USMNT) play in the Gold Cup Semi-Finals.

Now the league has positioned itself to put the fans of eight teams in a choice between club or country during Saturday night's Final against Mexico. Fans of three teams that played Wednesday night, sans the Fire, along with FC Dallas, the Portland Timbers and Chivas USA.

A league source had the following to say to the Brotherly Game about MLS' decision to not pursue a time or date change for Saturday games:

"If we were a soccer nation, our league wouldn't force fans to choose between club and country on Saturday night."

The source also criticized the league for not thinking ahead when it made it's schedule despite knowing what dates the Gold Cup would be played on.

"SUM (Soccer United Marketing) controls both [schedules], MLS [schedule was] published a month before [the] Gold Cup, oversight on league's part to make fans choose."

No soccer fan should find him or herself forced to choose between watching club or country on any given night, especially when the USMNT is playing Mexico. The situation is made even worse when MLS had the ability months before hand to prevent the conflict from happening. Frustrating is an understatement.

Growing soccer in America means letting fans watch both club games and country matches. It shouldn't be one or the other.

After the jump, reactions to being forced to choose between club and country from Union fans...