The Pan-Pacific Championship panned
So what to make of this tournament? There was no feeling of pressure to win like in SuperLiga matches, so it looked and felt like the pre-season it is. Perhaps the biggest thing to come out of it was the realization by many in the US that the J-League in general and Gamba specifically is a quality outfit, but I doubt that is the direction MLS's marketing arm SUM wanted the attention to flow.
But all is not lost. Perhaps the PPC could live on just not in Hawaii. A rotational system between nations involved would probably increase attendance and make it easier to find a quality stadium.
Or maybe it should shift into a MLS vs. J-League competition. This would make sense to me as both are in pre-season and both have a league winner (Supporters' Shield/J-League Champs) and Cup Winner (MLS/Emperor's Cup) so it would be easy to select four sides?
A final idea would be to move it to the middle of the season like SuperLiga, although I don't know if the J-League schedule would easily allow for such a thing.
In the end, I enjoyed watching the games because they let me see what LA & Houston are experimenting with ahead of the season and they gave me a chance to see two foreign teams in action that I normally only read about. However, as much as I enjoyed it, if MLS really wants this to be taken seriously, major changes need to happen.
One last thing, I wonder if this lack of an audience for a Beckham event is the sign of a struggle ahead or just a momentary glitch?