New England, Philadelphia, It's MLS Rivalry Week...Obviously

Chris Gardner

The Revolution are taking on the Union on Saturday for their part in MLS Rivalry Week. Just one problem - since when are the Revs and the Union major rivals?

Rivalries are built through years of hatred, furthered by on field performances that one never forgets, and etched forever into our memories by heart breaking moments that jade entire fan bases. This is why it makes complete sense for the New England Revolution and Philadelphia Union to meet on MLS's inaugural Rivalry Week.

Think of all the history between these two clubs. Who could ever forget about all those meetings in various championship games? Who can wipe clear the memories of losing MLS Cup Championships to the Philadelphia Union? Sure, we beat them in SuperLiga, but losing MLS Cup twice - in a row - is just horrific. It is almost as if MLS is mocking us by making the Revs play the Unio...huh? Oh, that wasn't them.

Doesn't matter. That is not our only history with those clowns! Remember when Philadelphia striker Carlos Ruiz broke our hearts? He, at the death, took the 2002 MLS Cup from us? It was the moment I truly began to hate El Pescadito! Stealing the game just before PKs. The stench of Philadelphia robbing us that day in, perhaps my earliest MLS memory, still haunts me to this...oh, hmmm. Not them either.

Um...okay, I got one! No self-proclaimed Revolution Supporter, Rebellion, Rider, nor Army, could ever forget about those epic playoff battles. It seemed like every year we met Philadelphia in the playoffs. We were fighting for our lives, while they fought for their own. Year after year, our rivalry with Philadelphia grew! It was the stuff of legends. It grew in the playoffs and was nurtured in the regular season. Amazing goals by Jeff Larentowicz. Heartbreaking plays from Blanco. It seemed like either they or we would be in MLS Cup every year. They were battles for the ages! Wars that tested the strength of our fortitude! Encounter between the mighty Revolution and the loathed Union that our children will tell their childr...what's that now? Not them either. Seriously!?!?!

So, I'm supposed to feel a rivalry over a few stupid Jack McInerney, Sebastien Le Toux, and Danny Mwanga goals? About dropping two points, at home, when up by three goals? About a blown penalty call and a phantom one called on their behalf? In the regular season? When neither team was anywhere close to the playoffs? Are you kidding me?!?!?

Apparently, DC, New York, LA, and Houston are all busy and we just played Chicago. So we're stuck with the Union. The Union? THE UNION!

I hate this. You are stupid, MLS. You are stupid, Philadelphia! How dare you prevent us from playing a real rival! Perhaps, this rivalry-block from MLS - assisted no doubt by the abhorrent, despicable, detested, reviled Philadelphia Union (at least in my own mind) - will be the stuff that rivalries are made from!

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