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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Alexi Lalas Calls the EPL an "Inferior Product"

In a surprising commentary, Los Angeles Galaxy General Manager, Alexi Lalas, made some interesting declarations about the English Premier League in an interview with The Guardian that were published today by Sky Sports.

A few weeks ago, Mr. Lalas said that the Galaxy would not release David Beckham for international duty. Then he changed his mind, and said the Galaxy "Would drive him to the airport."

Here were some of his comments from The Guardian interview:

"We know when we're being patronised and I get so irritated when I hear the experts in England talk about David Beckham as if he's going into semi-retirement by leaving Real Madrid for Los Angeles. That's ignorance of the first degree because almost every one of those critics has not even seen a single MLS game. It's insulting to us and to our sport to say Beckham is on his way to Hollywood when he's coming to play in one of the most competitive leagues in the world."

"You know, there's no accounting for bad taste," Lalas added. "The fact that a segment of the world worships an inferior product in the Premiership is their business."

"In England our league is considered second-class but I honestly believe if you took a helicopter and grabbed a bunch of MLS players and took them to the perceived best league in the world they wouldn't miss a beat and the fans wouldn't notice any drop in quality."

Mr. Lalas was the first North American to play in the Italian Serie A, and had 96 caps for the American National Team. He has been the General Manager of three Major League Soccer (MLS) organizations: San Jose (now based in Houston), New York, and the Los Angeles Galaxy. Last year, he was elected into the American Soccer Hall of Fame.

Whether he has any background in airport passenger transport or helicopter operations has not been verified. :-) For my interview with him last August, please click here.

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