Ramblings of a Soccer Junky
Is it cold enough?
In know the Snow Games are in Italy right now, but yesterday Guatemala sent their Diving Team to Texas to face the US even though China is still 2 years off. It really was bad. You could tell the Guatemalans would have preferred to be elsewhere…anywhere else but on that pitch in the cold. It seemed like by the second goal they just wanted to get the 90 minutes over with, go in, and get some Hot Chocolate.
Anyway, here are some thoughts I had while watching the match:
- Is it just me or does the new home (blue) jersey look like a re-release of a jersey from 10 years ago?
- Olson’s goal….WOW!!
- Three “LA Old Boys” playing for Guatemala.
- Every 5 minutes or so you see Sweden 2-1 USA (Olympic Hockey) scroll across the screen. Why do I find this amusing? For starters, how many practices did the US team have before their first match? Something tells me they aren’t taking this competition seriously and the results show it. I wonder if the Baseball World Series…errr Classic, will produce similar results for the US…if players ever decide what team they want to be on.
- Nice to see Brad Guzan get a cap. How ‘bout going from bench warmer on a team he wasn’t wanted on to getting your first cap in 12 months. Even though I’m supposed to hate his club team, I like the guy, the way he’s played this year and his attitude doing things. He won’t get another cap for a while, but yesterday was a good reward for a good season.
- Then again, there’s Pando who couldn’t get a starting gig in LA but is a regular starter for Guatemala. This may just show how far MLS has come.
- Eddie Johnson is heading to KC. Well, the Wiz just got better.
- Brian Ching, what a well-taken goal! The guy worked hard yesterday but just didn’t make much of an impression.
- Is Dave O’Brian related to John? Yet another American commentator who needs to learn to shut up occasionally.
- Ok, so this has been bothering me during all the recent friendlies. That new Nike ball…or at least the colors on it seem to make the ball look lopsided as it spins. Is it just my poor vision? It really does get distracting.
- 14k plus at PHP yesterday and it seemed like most were there to support the US. That has to be a first against a neighbor to the south in a border state.
- Only on the pitch a minute and we see the old Eddie Johnson. He must prefer blue to the red and white hoops at PHP. Good to see him back on form.
Ok, so it wasn’t a great test. The Guatemalan backline was a shambles and the midfield…was there one? All their strikers seemed to do was stand in an offside position all afternoon. Eddie Pope had no problem sorting them out.
Is Arena going to use an all Europe based squad for the next couple of matches? We’ll see.
I'm not sure what to make of this one
according to the NY area media
Todd Dunivant could be heading East to the Metros in exchange for Eddie Gaven. But the media in LA haven't picked up on this rumor yet
...which isn't really a surprise.
Anyway, as a Galaxy fan in exile, I'm not sure what to think of this Todd did a great job last season. He performed much better than I expected. He's the first true left-back the team has seen in years. But I also like Gaven. The kid has a ton of promise and will be a solid player for years. I just don't see were he would fit into the LA line-up.
We'll see if this rumor pans out.
What's in a name?
In the beginning, they were the Clash, then the Earthquakes (or Quakes….I just called them the Smurfs). Currently they are 1836…but it seems that’s about to change as well. What a PR mess! Let’s hope they get it right this time. I wonder if they had jersey’s made. They might be a collectors item…anyone know where I can get one?
Ya think someone is listening to me?
I don’t understand many things about MLS. Silly rules that often don’t seem right. I’ve always wondered why home teams always have a bench full of players and the visitors only get a couple. I’m sure travel costs had something to do with it, but why penalize the visiting team? Until the 80’s (or was it the late 70’s?) teams only got one substitute. Having multiple replacements is still relatively new. It always seemed to me that if the need to keep down travel costs meant traveling teams had only a few subs, why not limit the home team as well? I guess it was an added home field advantage.
Whatever the reason, this oddity no longer exists
. Starting this season, both teams will be able to name 7 subs (of course, they can still only use 3)
And just to really throw me for a loop, the same article announces some other changes that actually make since…
- No more silly points after each yellow card. You get 5 yellows and you miss a match.
- The MLS Cup winner and the Supporters Shield winner go to the Champions Cup. No more waiting until after everything is decided.
Wow, I’ve been saying that’s the way things should be for years (especially on who goes to the Champs Cup). I wonder if my opinion had anything to do with the changes. Or was it that they just made since. Either way, more steps in the right direction for the league.
Only 6 weeks until opening day. Five days until LA play in the Champs Cup. My Tivo is already set for this match…well, the match does kick off kinda late for those of us in the Eastern Time Zone.
This sure has been a busy winter. Remember back in 96-97? I do. MLS seemed to just shut down. Back then my only source of information was the LA Times and Soccer America. Boy have things changed! I’m not sure if it’s the league maturing or the internet and satellite TV, but the coverage and the news of all the action off the field hasn’t slowed down since LA completed the double. I’m not complaining. Too bad I spent most of my time since November moving away from the mountains (a month in a hotel with my wife and baby, and another month or so remodeling our new house). But now I’m set and back online…fairly regularly. So I’m back rambling again.
So, where do I start with all the changes? Here are some comments about things that have happened while I’ve been away. I’m sure I’ll be back for more later:
- San Jose moving to Houston was bad…but giving the team a name which would alienate a large portion of their potential fans was even worse. If/When AEG ever does sell the team, expect a new name.
- Anti Razov moving back to LA…this time with Chivas. Do any other LA fans remember why he was hated so much a few years ago (here’s a hint, Open Cup game in Fullerton)
- The National Team seems to be taking shape…well MLS players have been fighting for spots. I’m still disappointed they took their foot off the gas against Japan on Friday. It could have been a great result rather than just a nice win. Are Adu’s hopes of spending the summer in Germany now dashed?
- Speaking of Freddy, I have to laugh at the way all the hype is going around about a move to England (Chelsea this time). He’ll end up there eventually, but for now, he’s still better off (in my opinion) staying in DC a little longer and playing regularly. Besides, if he’s worth 9 million now, just think what he’ll be worth in a couple years with a good bidding war. I’m sure it’ll be enough to keep the league afloat for a few more years.
- The MLS SuperDraft is nice and all, but I’m glad there was only an hour of coverage. I really could have wasted a lot more time watching it if more were aired. Seriously, how many of those first round players will see regular first-team action in the next 3 years? Discovery Players like Herculez Gomez will probably be more productive over the long haul.
- Does anyone else find it amusing that Gol TV’s “American Soccer” show spend so much time covering Miami FC? Yeah, the team seem to be setting things up the right way, but how much more airtime can the show fill just talking about one local, minor league team?
- After all the posturing last season, Fish and Guevara will be back next year. There was a lot of talk about how unhappy they were in MLS last season…but I guess money talks louder.
- So, things serous footie starts for MLS teams next week when LA and NE start in the Champions Cup. Anyone know if FSC will be showing the games again this year?
- On the other side of the Atlantic, Chelsea are making things boring again, but the race for 2nd is interesting. Ipswich seem to have hit their stride (enjoyed watching them stuff Naaarich last week) but it’s all probably too little too late.
Ok, more thoughts, opinions and general rambling later. I’ve got snow to shovel. Damn I miss LA.