The Twitterverse, or at least the portion that is used by Revs fans, was consumed yesterday by outrage that Steve Ralston was going to be ineligible to play in New England’s SuperLiga tilt against Atlético Morelia. This was touted as Ralston’s final game.
Who’s at fault for this? Well, seeing as I live a couple of thousand miles from the people making these decisions, I can’t say definitively. But given comments that I’ve read by Steve Nicol, and comments from players and team officials that have gotten back to fans, this seems a screw-up by the league.
It’s a damn shame, really. Ralston was not a star that the league pushed on fans (think Alexi Lalas, David Beckham, Carlos Hermosillo, the list goes on). Instead, he was someone who developed his skills in the league, and made both of the teams he played with better squads for it. He became a fan favorite not because he was glamorous, but because he was a great player. Here was a guy who not only honed his skills as an MLS player and stuck around, but who in a small way improved the quality of the league. You’d think they’d be better at recognizing that.
The fans, both in and out of the Fort, gave Ralston the tribute he deserved. You gotta wonder why the experts in suits couldn’t see what they saw.