I’m not sure if it was a need for a change of scenery or if I just felt the neighborhood was better for my family, better schools or what, but my blog has now moved. Either way, I just got tired of Blogger. So, new name, new location...however, you’ll be happy (I hope) to know it’s still the rantings of the same degenerate soccer junkie.
Coming of age
It's Midnight, my team is losing and not looking like they'll do anything except give up a couple more goals in the second half so rather than be a zombie the next day at work, I decide to go to bed. I guess I missed a good second half. Or at least a valiant effort. My Twitter on the right gives a taste of my thought process at the time.
What did we do before YouTube? Heck, a co-worker of mine came to my office to tell me he'd seen the highlights this morning on ESPN. It's sure not 1996 any more.
So, LA lost. I'll be willing to bet there weren't many who gave them much chance of winning any silverware. But, the team came back and played well from what I read. It's not the opponent was an average team...this was a Mexican team which has been winning every piece of silverware in site. The best team in CONCACAF.
But the thing which hit me the most was the fact that LA fans, the ones who have been with the team long before Beckham thought about heading to the New World, are heart broken yet proud of their boys at this loss. It's taken twelve years but that's the type of passion the league has been needing and it's coming around.
So, the season is virtually over for LA. The best bet now is to focus on next season. Rest Beckham for as long as he need to be fully fit. If McClaren wants him, so be it. But give him plenty of rest so he'll be 100% next season. Look at some of the youngsters and, heck, see if Cobi is willing to make one more tour. I know he has it in his legs if he really wants it.
Personally, I don't blame Lalas or Yallop for the failure of the team this season. Lalas is simply a puppet and Yallop an employee who hasn't had all the tools all the time to get the job done correctly. The blame rests with the money whores who own the team. Everything about this season was done to maximize the return on their investment in Beckham. Ok, they should at least break even, but it seems to me at this point they are getting that and more...much more. Of course, because of the salary cap we won't be seeing any of that applied to the talent on the pitch...so, why ruin the team buy continuing this tactic? call Vancouver and Minnesota and reschedule their friendlies for next spring. Give injured players (in addition to Beckham) time off to heal. Let the youngsters gain some experience.
Of course, AEG still calls the shots and, well, I'm not too confident about things at this point.
So, let's see if LA can build on this performance and get a good result in the Wooden Spoon Derby this weekend.
Four Norwich City players were among 30 people taken ill following a barbecue at the club’s training ground, it emerged today. Delia Smith, the celebrity chef, is a director of the club but sources said outside contractors were employed to lay on the food to allow staff at Delia’s Catering Company to enjoy the event.
A statement from the club read: “City today confirmed a number of its staff, including four senior professional players, have been taken ill following a social event on Sunday.
“Players, staff and their families attended an annual informal summer event at the club’s Colney training centre, following which approximately 30 people who were at the event have suffered symptoms including sickness and diarrhoea.”
...and still my wife wonders why I won't allow her cookbooks in our house.
The only downside is if the refs become too dependent on the replays. Say a player dives and the ref is pretty sure it was a dive needing a yellow. Is it possible he doesn't give the card then and prefer to be 100% certain after watching the tape before booking the player.
Only time will tell. Hopefully this does work and players think twice about cheating to gain an advantage.
Sorry, but the guy with the sign is an idiot It's a sporting event. Players get injured. Just cuz you bought a ticket, doesn't mean that player won't get injured. Don't you think Yallop would have preferred to have Beckham's experience and poise on the pitch last night? They sure could have used it.
Of course, I've been saying for years that the league should be promoting teams rather than players. If you're a regular reader of my blog, I'm sure you've heard it before. But the bottom line is, players come and go...but the team (unless they are in Florida or No Cal) are there forever. We as fans cheer for the team colors (whatever they are this month) and not the players.
Think of it this way. If Dallas hadn't made such a big deal about this match being Beckham's one 'appearance' in Dallas this year, they wouldn't have had to make the special offer to appease unhappy fans.
Remember, pimp the player match ups seems to be the credo of MLS marketing. Anyone remember how silly that was during the WC last summer?
But what do I know? I'm just a fan who wants to see things run right. After all, it's not my money on the line...just my entertainment...for which I do spend my hard earned money on.
Oh, and speaking of idiots, it seem the Brit media doesn't know the difference between LA and Dallas fans. If the guy is wearing a Dallas jersey, why would the print that he's an LA fan? Jeez, when I lived in England, the education system was pretty good. Guess things have gone downhill the last 20 years.
Defence was more a theory than a practice
What the heck was that? Think about it, you score 4 goals in the first 20 minutes of a game on the road and still struggle to win? C'mon now, that was just crazy. Sure, it was entertaining but it was poorly played at the back for both teams.
In the half-a-day or so since the match ended, I've read everything from, "it was the greatest MLS match ever," even though it wasn't an MLS match to," it was a sloppy mess and proof MLS is crap." Now, I'm not going to take either of those extremes...hey, I'm a moderate politically so why can't I be one here as well? But the match certainly touched on both ends on the spectrum.
I'm sure those Dallas fans who showed up at PHP for the first time expecting to see that English guy were disappointed at first but had to have enjoyed the wild ride...and, hopefully, will be even more determined to use that discount they were offered for when the Becks Circus really does come to town.
Now, I've used the baseball no-hitter analogy on numerous occations when confronted with the low-scoring argument from those who don't care for the sport. I guess you can use the other extreme after last night. Those high-scoring slug fests (with or without Bonds juice) are usually brought about by poor pitching. If baseball fans enjoy it, cool. Personlly, I've a hunch it's usually one pitch who's having an off night and one teams builds a huge lead and everyone (well, they do in LA) heads for the exits. Last night, both backlines just fell asleep. I remember the last time LA lit up the scoreboard in Dallas. Harut Karapetyan (had to look the spelling of his name up cuz it's been a while...I got it right first time) put three past Dallas in 5 minutes in 1998 on the way to an 8-1 for the good guys. It could have been worse as the game was stopped early cuz a storm was on the way or the ref decided the mercy rule was needed or something. My point is, that afternoon, LA did all the scoring and Dallas....well, they didn't.
Anyway, now LA have another match to add to their already busy schedule. Looks like it'll be at the HDC as well. Will the new pitch have taken hold by then or will it tear apart and injure Becks again? Of course, if LA are playing Morelia, they may just play the match at the Q. Why not? Another town for the Beckham Circus to hit.
One other point. Landon's goal celebration was silly and probably unnecessary, but he is an emotional player and I wouldn't wanna stifle that. Bottom line, it could have been worse.
Ok, enough of that. The match was an anomaly and LA were fortunate to get through it.
So, now LA return home for a couple days before heading to the Great White North for the first time. No one knows If Becks will be involved. Personally, if he does play on their plastic turf, it'll be as a sub late in the match...where have we seen that before? Well, the same TV network will be in attandance.
Now, the fans up there have already had fun with a recent big name import.
We'll see if they can come up with something different if Becks gets to take a corner.
Beckham, Baseball, All-Stars and.....yawn....
I've been defending MLS and US soccer for....well, a heck of a long time. I've defended it against Euros who still seem to think we'll make the goals bigger, play four quarters and so on. I've defended the sport against Americans who insist soccer is slow and boring--while watching a baseball game. However, the insanity of MLS/AEG reached new levels as I watch the Spiced Savior tell Rob Stone he'll probably not be playing against Chelsea while reading the scroll at the bottom of the screen claim an "insider" saying he would.
Ok, here's the deal. Saturday's match is a meaningless friendly. If you put Becks on the pitch (even more the final 10 minutes of garbage time) you stand the chance of him injuring himself worse and perhaps not have him available when the season continues (or starts considering the number of games LA has played thus far this summer)
While I'm on the subject...MLS can't take a break for the World Cup, Gold Cup, Copa America but they can have a couple of teams basically take a month off to play a bunch of friendlies. Heck LA have played a lot fewer matches than the rest of the league yet MLS was able to create a schedule which will allow them to catch up in three months.
Please guys. Give me the sport without all the optional extras. For the $400k of cap space being used to bring Beckham to LA, you could get 2 or 3 quality players...at least better than the supporting cast of rookies Beckham currently has.
If you want sports fans on both sides of the Atlantic to take MLS seriously, perhaps the league itself should do so first.
Nope, I think I'll just become a fan in hiding. I'll watch games in my new Beckham jersey from the safety of my reclier and no longer will I explain the Cobi Jones bobblehead doll I have on my desk to my co-workers. Heck, it's now in my desk drawer. No wonder even the few Metro...errr RBNY fans there were are disappearing.
...And I didn't even mention the red-headed GM/President.