Thursday, August 6, 2009

Future Shockers: Silverland exodus; Thierry Henry to Houston?; Weekend

So branching out from the usual look at just this weekend's festivities, let's move into some present weirdnesses and see what the crystal bowl is showing us now about events around the bend (or off the deep end, as the case may be).

1. The indefinite delay of the Argentine Primera Division's 2009 Clausura season (read that story here), which is absolutely shocking to me. Does this mean that there will suddenly be an outflow of Argentine players to leagues around the world? Will the January transfer window be Argentina Month? I just am having a hard time wrapping my head around this one. Here's what The Offside-Argentina has to say about it:

Julio Grondona has put his considerably heavy foot down and delayed the start of the season until clubs pay all the money that they owe to their players. In the Primera seven clubs owe around $30 million to various players. Those clubs - Independiente, Racing, River, Newells, San Lorenzo, Central and Huracan. Another $10 million is owed by 15-ish clubs in the B.

The total amount owed could be higher, because only the amounts reported to organization responsible for protecting the players rights is being counted. Most of the clubs mentioned are springing into action (and by that I mean hocking their grandmothers) to erase the debt and maintain the current start of the season.

So my prediction: A few teams in the bottom of the table go bankrupt and a coalition of Boca, River Plate, Estudiantes and one or two others combine to solve the problem. That or the whole league goes under and there will never be another club match in Argentina. (But I'd got with "A".)

2. Barca's tour through the US and Henry coming to Houston. I have said for a long time that if I can start a rumor that Thierry Henry is coming to Dynamo, I will have accomplished my goal as a blogger. There are plenty of reasons why he should: A top quality organization, easily the class of MLS. A multicultural city with a sizable French population. Close proximity to his good friend Tony Parker. He was already wearing orange last night in Seattle (Though a shade you can see from the Space Station. Wow.)

So help me out here and spread the word: Thierry Henry is coming to Houston. Thierry Henry is coming to Houston. Thierry Henry to Houston.

3. You know, for a team that has never won a CONCACAF Champions League game, and just had the dubious honor of advancing in CCL without winning, this site here is pretty hubristic, which just makes me all aglow over having watched Dynamo punk them last week. So the question is: Will an MLS team other than Dynamo win a CCL game this time around? My guess is yes, but it'll be Columbus vs. PR Islanders. The schedule, etc. can be found here.

4. The madness continues. Last week was proof positive that if you use my predictions of the future as the basis of any actual cash wager, then there is little hope for you. Not only did I miss Frisco's 6-0 beheading of Curt Onalfo, but neither did I predict that the EQuakes would put a four spot on Kasey Keller. Now to be fair to myself, neither did anyone else make those prediction (or at least not that I saw), but I still have plenty of work to make up after two consecutive losing weeks. So, without further ado:

Last week: 2-4
Overall: 61-74 (.452 or 16 games over blind chance)

DYNAMO at FC FRISCO 6-0 Orange I don't actually believe that scoreline, but the point is that if you had to pick any team that could follow a 6-0 pasting with an 0-6 loss, both at home, the candystripers would have to be one of the teams you'd pick, right? To be certain, FC Frisco is not NYRB here, not by a longshot. However, they are not worldbeaters by any stretch. And Dynamo, with the recovered Kei Kamara available off the bench and perhaps Dom Oduro (who I have pilloried on occasion) motivated to bust up his former team, are clearly the superior side. It's hard to beat a team three times in one year (after all, these guys are professionals), but look to see it happen at Robertson North tonight.

GALAXY at REVOLUTION. 2-1 NE You know, I can see the exact opposite scoreline taking place as well. But I'm going with my feeling here. LA played well against Barca, no doubt about it, and New England is on a great run of form, easily their best of the season. New England is at home, and I think that will carry the day, even without the suspended Steve Nicol. (But perhaps even more fun than the game is reading about what a piker David Beckham is because LA lost the game.)

WIZARDS at DC UNITED. 2-0 DCU And BAM, Peter Vermes is fired before the plane touches down back in Missouri. Not really, but I find it hard to believe that DC, as tired as they might be, can't handle this squad, playing with Claudio Lopez.

SOUNDERS at REAL SALT LAKE. 1-1 Draw Seattle is clearly not as bad as they showed against San Jose last week. The only thing is, with RSL you never know what you're going to get. The suspended Jason Kreis will not be there, and who knows what effect that will have? The main factors of Seattle trying to come back from a bad result and RSL at home just points to a draw.

las chivitas
at RAPIDS. 2-1 Colorado
And down goes Bizarro Chivas, who haven't played since getting blown out 2-0 at New England July 19. Dynamo ruined Chivas when Stuie's goal beat those guys here at Robertson Stadium June 10, and the goatlings have gone only 0-7-1 since. Rest or no, they're toast. As for Colorado, they're not that good, but at home at altitude they're more than enough for Chivas.

CREW at EARTHQUAKES 2-1 Columbus This game at Candlestick Park (That place is still there?) is going to be a comedown of sorts for San Jose. After a comeback draw against DCU and a blowout win over Seattle, San Jose is riding high, and they should be deservedly confident. However, Columbus isn't backing down from anyone these days in any circumstances, and it's going to take a top-quality team to beat them. That does not describe San Jose.

RED BULLS at TORONTO FC. 1-1 Draw Toronto got schooled by Puerto Rico Islanders over the week, while RBNY was excruciatingly teased and then dispatched by W Connection in CONCACAF Champions League play this past week. I know those aren't MLS games, but they're indicative of two sides that just are not that good. Toronto is definitely above average and I hope they make the playoffs and get their revenge on Columbus in the first round, though at this point I would be surprised if they did. Still, RBNY, as completely woeful as they are, can not lose every game (can they?). So while 99 percent of people will probably pick the Reds to win, I think it'll be tight, tight enough to end in a drraw.

FIRE at DYNAMO. 2-1 Orange This will easily be the best game of the weekend. The Fire will be coming in tough and rested and eager for revenge after Dynamo stole that win in Toyota Park. But with a larger than usual crowd in Robertson, and Stewie bobbleheads all around, Dynamo will edge out with the win.