Wednesday, May 7, 2008

They came for Ugarte and then she walks in: Kpene/Ngwenya and Caig/Soutar

There's a line there at the beginning, "They grab Ugarte and then she walks in. Well, that's the way it goes, one in and one out." (The balloon version I included above because it just cracked me up. Nothing like a little absurdism when your team is winless six weeks into the season, I always say.)

Well, Dynaverse is being roiled by a few stories this week while I've been away focusing on other matters. First, there was this story in the Chronicle about the team "pursuing" a return engagement of Coastal Carolina's finest alum, Joseph Ngwenya.

Reading the story, it looks to be another example of Bernardo Fallas expanding on a storyline that has no there there. How many times have we seen that now? From having no Latino players to the idea of putting Corey Ashe up top, Fallas, who really is quite a decent soccer writer, don't get me wrong, has shown he doesn't always want to find actual news and report on that, but frequently will just make some storyline or other up and see what the team has to say about that. The Ngwenya "story" (Luck even said there's been almost no contact, just some e-mail traffic.) seems to be in this mode.

My take on it is that seeing as how Ngwenya is riding the pine for a team that is getting relegated out of the Austrian Bundesliga, how on Earth does it make sense for him to stay over there? He's getting no exposure, no playing time and no wins. It's the triple threat. I'm sure the money is better and all and lordy me, euros go further than dollar these days, but in the face of all that, what is he making anyway to have this make sense, Beckham green? He should be back here playing for us. Then at least Dynamo can go from getting no calls to all to getting 4-5 offsides every game.

But one thing that Fallas does have right is the actual news of Dynamo signing DCU-ex Guy Roland Kpene to a developmental contract. Hmmm, let's see, nice forward, great guy, pocketful of pace, so-so finishing touch. Sound like anybody (or any team) you already know so well? On the plus side, there's the highlight below of his through ball to Emilio that turned into a goal against the Revs. But as far as I can tell, that was THE highlight for Guy in 2007. Now I know that Kinnear and Spencer's ability to spin gold out of straw was evident with Ngwenya last year. I mean, what did Joe ever do for Columbus or the Gals before leading the MLS champs in goals in 2007? But for once, I'd kinda like a signing not to rely so much on the Dynamic Duo to turn a player into a world beater. Still, if it works, you won't hear me whining.

Over on MLS Rumors yesterday and today, there are more Dynamo stories than you can shake DDR's nose-breaking boot at. The most recent was the news (the Aberdeen Press & Journal piece is here) that Aberdeen keeper Derek Soutar is going from red to orange and will be on trial in Houston when the SPL season concludes next week. Poor guy's probably going to be near death when he gets here. The sun is finally out in Scotland after about 40 days and 40 nights of cold rain were followed by another 40 days and 40 nights of cold rain and meanwhile here in the Bayou City, sweat capital of the universe, it's projected to be 91 degrees (yes, you read that right) this Saturday with our customary 4,000 percent humidity. That nearly passed out, heaving body you'll see over on the sidelines at the Carl Lewis track at the University of Houston in training will be hurling curses as only a true Don can.

One can only assume that Soutar will be here to replace Gretna-ex Tony Caig, who's game experience with Dynamo this year brings up a few special curse words all of its own. Interesting that America is getting known far and wide for the depth and quality of its goalkeeping prowess, and at the same time Kinnear and Spencer, who have been lauded for having so many American players on the roster both at San Jose and here, can't find a good American to replace Zach Wells. Not only that, there's not even an American keeper on the roster right now, is there? Ah well, as Bogie says up there, one in and one out.

MLS Rumors is also replete with stories, also reported by Fallas on his blog, about what was apparently a near riot between las chivitas supporters and El Batallon after the game last weekend. I pray to Heaven above that this was just an isolated incident, but if it happens again, then I can think of a whole host of options to try to fix the problem. But my chief concern is making sure this doesn't become a problem until AFTER the stadium deal is done, if it's done.

But one thing you could do is find out whomever's causing the problem and then make them take their punishment from this guy:


Anonymous said...

I think MLS Rumors kind of blew those stories out of proportion here. I hope it wasn't nearly as bad as they made it out to be but I honestly think they made it sound much worse than it actually was. Plus anyone who reads that site knows they will make shit up if they have to just to get readers to their site. They care more about site hits than actual accuracy of the writing they do.

As for the keeper possibly coming in, shouldn't we focus on getting some scoring first? That just seems logical to me.

Martek said...

Yeah, I have to agree about that. MLS Rumors is hardly authoritative and the "first person testimony" they have of the guy getting beaten on the hood of another guy's car looks awfully fishy to me. I'm sure there was a fight, but there are fights and there are "riots." And I sincerely doubt the latter took place.

As for the Scottish keeper, I guess you get what you get. I think Caig is not quite what we hoped so that would mean getting a replacement keeper, especially if he's as good as I think Souter is (the Dons beat Celtic Scottish Cup action) would be necessary. Of course, so is scoring, so your point is well-taken.