KANSAS CITY, Mo. – One of the most memorable aspects of Real Salt Lake’s CONCACAF Champions League run has been the support the club has received from players, clubs and fans around Major League Soccer, including LA Galaxy midfielder Landon Donovan and New York Red Bulls star Thierry Henry.
But don’t count Omar Bravo in that group. The Sporting Kansas City Designated Player told FutbolMLS.com that his allegiances go in the opposite direction when it comes to the CCL.
“Both teams command respect,” he said, "but purely based on feelings, because I’m Mexican, I would like for Monterrey to win."
The former CD Guadalajara legend is in his first season in MLS and is currently recovering from hernia surgery he underwent two weeks ago. He indicated that his return to the field for Sporting would come in approximately four weeks.
The time off has allowed him to follow the action from the CONCACAF Champions League final series. And he credits RSL for their performance on the road in the first leg at the Estadio Tecnológico.
“Scoring two goals in Monterrey is tough,” Bravo said.
Bravo’s support of Monterrey will probably only last through Wednesday night. That’s because los Rayados will face Chivas on Saturday in a match they have to win to advance to the Mexican league playoffs.
The World Cup veteran’s support of the Mexican club is not the first time that an MLS player has opted to side with a team from his native country in international competition. Red Bulls left back Roy Miller declared his backing for Costa Rican club Deportivo Saprissa in the semifinal stage of the current edition of the CONCACAF Champions League when they faced Real Salt Lake.
Lilia García Jiménez is a contributor for FutbolMLS.com and a reporter with Dos Mundos, the highest Spanish-language circulation newspaper in Kansas City.