Mario Balotelli's attempt at a audacious back-heel represents what's wrong with these friendlies.
In The World Football Challenge match of Manchester City vs. LA Galaxy, misunderstood Italian International Mario Balotelli attempts a circus-like kick, in which he fails miserably, ending in him being subbed and scolded for his actions. Akin to the reaction's of his team mates I am astounded at his decision making??? Ever since he has emerged as an Internationally known player, Balotelli has evoked many emotions among fans, players and managers, most of all shock. Their is NO denying, he has incredible natural talent especially for his age, but the same couldn't be said about his behavior. No one seems to understand him. Is it a troubled life, I couldn't say? But what he has exposed today is that these friendlies aren't helping anyone.
European teams flock to the US summer training, the pay-out and for global brand expansion. For the MLS: teams get to lock horns with the best in the world, hopefully gaining invaluable experience, not to mention selling large amounts of tickets in the process. Good deal? in theory...but what Balotelli has exposed, in combination with Man United's 7 goals against the Sounders, serves the question: Are these friendlies helping or hindering the game in this this country.
Attracting these world powerhouses puts American butts in seats, but when fans see their team get annihilated 7-0, what is that doing to progress the game. Results like this makes me wonder (if I was a new fan), why should I waste my time watching a mediocre league, supporting a mediocre team, in that mediocre league, when the talent elsewhere operates on a totally different level. The talent gap is made apparent, and today it turned disrespectful with Balotelli besmirching the competition, then shrugging his shoulders. Do the math.