It’s an often-quoted opinion that MLS is a similar level to the English Championship, a notch below the Premier League.
But Colorado Rapids head coach Gary Smith has been taking in some games while back in his native England and he, for one, is not so sure the comparison is a valid one.
Last weekend, Smith went to Coventry in the English Midlands to watch the home team in a 1-0 winning effort against Middlesbrough, not because he was necessarily scouting for any talent to possibly play in Colorado next season, but rather to check the pulse of the English game.
“It’s always interesting to see these games,” Smith told MLSsoccer.com by phone. “I have to say, Coventry were absolutely dreadful. If they played like that in the MLS, they would be lambasted. It was route-one 1982 football.”
Smith said he was confident his Rapids team would beat Coventry “seven times out of 10.”
“It is a sad indictment of the Championship,” he said. “Coventry are a very big, physical side – and there are always issues with that – and played with confidence. [But] Middlesbrough played much better football.”
Coventry are currently fifth in the Championship table and pushing for promotion to the EPL, while Middlesbrough are at the bottom end of the table and fighting against relegation. 'Boro were a Premiership team as recently as last year.
Smith also said he is continuing to have “good discussions” with players and agents in England, and reiterated his and the club’s desire to keep hold of striker Omar Cummings.
“Omar’s an individual that nobody wants to lose,” he said. “The guy has to be rewarded. We want to have players that feel they are being rewarded and that are happy and comfortable. We will be doing absolutely everything possible to secure not only his immediate but also his long-term future.”