I wonder often about how the MLS will weather the economic crisis. What is the political euphemism- recession or downturn?
Martek tells me sports do not suffer during difficult times, in fact, they do better. The belief is that in seeking relief from hard realities, people turn to escapism by drinking more and following their favorite sports teams.
While that may be so, this does not mean fans are spending money. The auto industry and big alcohol are vastly reducing their marketing ventures in cost trimming efforts. Typically, auto advertising comprises the lion’s share of all TV commercials. With Detroit automakers fighting to keep their corporations alive, these numbers have dropped significantly and expected to be even bleaker in 2009.
Micheal Brush gives similar news about the porn and alcohol industries:
“Market lore says people keep spending on sex, booze, butts and slots in hard times, no matter what. Sin is supposedly recession-proof.
But the widespread weakness among so-called sin stocks suggests the downturn has converted a lot of sinners into saints. “
What this means in relation to MLS Team sponsorships and advertising remains to be seen.
Can you imagine what would happen to the EPL if Sky’s advertisers were to recede, leaving enormous holes in its advertising lineup?
While not trying to be a doomsayer, I suggest teams and the MLS should batten down for a potential storm.
What do you think? I am interested in hearing from much more informed sources (mine are speculative). Read more!
Friday, January 30, 2009
Despite adamant speculation that yesterday’s press conference was too much buzz merely for the signing of a raw PDL phenom; the Dynamo announced the signing of Felix Garcia as a Generation Adidas Player from the Laredo Heat.
I was hoping for a bit more since this seems to be Mr3d's psychic contribution to the squad. (See previous threads as I and Martek take full pompous credit for recent signings- meglomania has its advantages when things appear to be going well).
Garcia, a US U20 MNT member, is well known to the Dynamo- having attended the Dynamo South Texas Academy. Though from South Texas, Laredo is still a 5-6 hour drive from Houston. I wonder if player residing 5-6 hours from NY or LA would be considered “local”.
Most frequently described as “raw” talent, this Orange newbie is said to have blazing speed and no fear. The major knock is little polish and lack of meat on a skinny frame.
In March, 2008, Justin Rodriguez, a journalist covering the USL for ESPN Soccernet, wrote the following regarding Garcia’s rising star.
“They told the kid to hold onto the ball and distribute it quickly. Don't try to beat anyone. Don't dare. These players, older, bigger and stronger, would simply take him out. At least, that's what they thought.
However, Felix Garcia never listened to the PDL (Premier Development League) Survival 101 pep talk he received from Laredo Heat management last season. So what if he was supposedly overmatched on the pitch Felix Garcia doesn't back down from anyone.
His fearless game, lightning fast, full of energy, has brought him here: In three months, Garcia has gone from a relative unknown to a member of the U.S. men's under-20 national team.”
Despite Garcia’s potential, many believed the Dynamo would announce an even bigger signing during yesterday’s Press Conference as Houston has been looking at several South American based forwards.
What do you think happened? Was this scheduled to herald a bigger coup which did not pan out or was delayed? Or did the Front Office set this up merely for Garcia and to show the Press Corps and Dynamo fan base they are working to bring in new talent?
As far as Felix, I am mystified by many fans xenophobic anger that Garcia is not English-proficient.
So what? It hasn’t impeded his play for the U20 Nats.
One post on Big Soccer suggested a return to Boarding Schools akin to what we did to Native Americans to insure non-English speaking citizens learn the language.
I am disgusted by this- and I believed Americano footy fans to be the intellgensia, the literati...
Perhaps we’ll again hear the ignorant chant of ethnic pandering though given Garcia’s US citizenship, this may not surface. Such nonsense is hypocritical-the MLS practiced pandering to white suburbia for many years without any sort of racial allegations- remember the shootout and time clock travesties?
Let’s hope these types of drivel stay buried-
Thinking of Garcia- to continue Martek’s bad rock-n-roll quotes:
“We just heard of a brand new wave
and we hope it’s here to stay
We’ll have to wait and see
if it’s half of what they say”
And a bit later in the song- the Geek chorus:
“The Kid is hot tonight
whoa so hot tonight
but where will he be tomorrow?”
My take: Good signing for a team needing youth in front. The trade of De Ro for Julius James, the signings of Tally Hall and Garcia, and the trade of Ianni to the Sounders signify an attempt at rebuilding while maintaining the Dynamo status as title contenders. Though I would be much happier to know the exact dynamics of the De Ro trade (I believe the Dynamo were short changed and should have held out for a #1 pick- to either use or trade for future considerations), hats off to the Front Office for looking to the future.
Still, I wonder, what's next? Read more!
Monday, January 26, 2009
With the news today of Bobby Boswell's resigning with Dynamo, I feel I have fulfilled Playtherapy's injunction to get the defender after Dynamo signed Tally Hall (I can never get enough of that guy's name) following Playtherapy's earlier post complaining about the O-range's inactivity.
Now Mister3d, the striker is up to you. Though if we get Ngwenya back, I will consider that a job well done by you.
As for Ianni leaving, with a back line that features Mulrooney, Waibel, Bozzie, Eddie Robinson, Julius James, Captain Wademerica and Chewbacca Chabala, exactly where was the overpriced project supposed to fit in? Good move for him to go somewhere he hopefully will get some minutes. Another typical move from the talent firm of Luck, Canetti and Kinnear, meaning one that benefits all parties, especially Dynamo.
And here's a nice trip down memory lane that has BB victimizing his old club and the pathetically lame keeping of the guy we gave up for .com. (Also, the clip brings up some interesting issues in the Holden v. De Rosario's ghost midfield thingy about to come up. Stewie does not have De Ro's physical virtuosity, but he does have that ability to fire laser beams from the end of that boot. See the vid.)
Friday, January 23, 2009
New Dynamo keeper Tally Hall (I LOVE that name) penned a farewell letter to the fans of Esbjerg FB, which is pretty astounding seeing as how the guy never played for the first team in two years there. (As my friend V would say, Mad Rizzzpekt to Mister3d for finding this letter.)
Reading it over, I'm struck by the way the letter just drips character. This is a guy who is just waiting for exactly the right opportunity. Having never seen him play, but knowing that any Herrmann Award semifinalist must possess SOME skills, this is looking more and more like a typical signing from the proven talent firm of Luck, Canetti and Kinnear, that is rat own!
As for his reference about songs, El Batallon, Pulse and Texian Army, I think the boy needs a proper welcome next month. What do you think?
As for Playtherapy's gauntlet throw down in the previous post, it's Game On. Mister3d is handling the Ngwenya angle, leaving me the center back signing.
But who will get to take credit for the Dynamo Park deal going through? As I seem to have the floor here, HEY!, that stadium deal is all but done!
(Do I still have to get the CB?)
Here's the letter:
Looking BackRead more!
Af: Tally Hall
Tally Hall letter her sit hjerte, inden han i næste uge forlader EfB.
As I take a look back at my two years in Esbjerg, I must admit I have mixed emotions. I came to the club with grand goals and expectation of success. I quickly realized that I needed to adapt and improve more than I first thought.
The first six months were very difficult for this reason. It was hard to find the rhythm of speed and position. Because football was not as easy as I wanted it to be, I kept thinking of all the things that were better in the USA. A lot of my sentences started with, "In the US..."
After six months I realized I needed to focus on where I was, instead of looking for all the things that were better at home. I began to think of the things that were different and interesting and therefore I started to appreciate and enjoy them.
My play on the field started improving after the first year and I felt confident that I could step on the field and succeed in the SAS Liga. I believe that this is about the time that Lars Winde started playing his best football as well. From the little I understand reading the sports section I started realizing how much pressure Lars was under from the fans. I should be the person who sees the most faults in his game and the fact is, there are not that many. He is extremely agile and everyday I watch him make saves I think are untouchable. His decision making for distribution, especially with his throw, is better than average and sometimes absolutely fantastic. With crosses, every time he catches it, punches it, or just barely touches the ball with his finger tips, he prevents a good scoring opportunity.
And I would like to bring up something, Peter Schmeichel's first goal against him with Manchester United. A completely mistimed cross. Even the best keeper in the world makes mistakes. Is Lars the perfect goalkeeper? No, but my professional opinion is he is a damn good goalkeeper and Esbjerg is lucky to have him.
My goals were pretty big but I thought they were doable when I came here. I wanted to play well enough for EfB to be on USA's Olympic team, I wanted to be EfB's starter before my 23rd birthday and I wanted to be looked upon as a motivational and inspirational leader on the field and locker room. Of course I had smaller goals that could be improved during practice, but until I am perfect (which is impossible), those wont be accomplished. So, it would be very easy for me to look back on my time in Esbjerg and say that it was a complete failure. I still have not played in a SAS Liga game, or any other game that mattered for the first team, I was cut from my Olympic team and I cant really lead on the field when I am not there. But I refuse to look at my Esbjerg experience as a failure.
The office, coaching staff, fans and my teammates have made this experience an overall success in my life. My teammates have become my extended family here in Denmark and will always hold a special place in my heart. They have made it easy for me as an outsider to feel like I belong. On the field the mentality is always intense but reasonable. Mistakes may be made but solutions are discussed and worked upon in a professional manner. This helps more than you can imagine.
The coolest thing I was able to experience were the fans. American fans do not have the tradition of singing team songs or individual songs. So I thought it was really cool when the fans started singing songs during the game and you can imagine my surprise during warm up when fans started singing my name. I am pretty sure I told everyone I know back home that the fans had sung my name.
The fans and people of Esbjerg have always taken extra steps to make my wife and I feel appreciated and welcome. My wife and I have come to call Esbjerg home and we are sad to leave what we now love. We have found lifelong friends and we have learned things about the world we would never have known. We hope the people we met enjoyed the experience as much as we have. This city has been fantastic to us. Thank you so much.
Though my mates may tease me about my megalomania, I take full credit for yesterday’s signing of Tally Hall. Surely it was my surly post spurring the Front Office into action! Now that I have provided the appetizer, it’s time for Martek and Mr3d to bring the main course, preferably a studly center back or an accomplished striker with speedy wheels and deft touches.
Damn it all. Wrong Tally Hall- we did not sign no “Banana Man.”
Here's our new bhoy:
Here’s what Wikipedia says about Hall:
Talmon Henry Hall (better known as Tally Hall) born on May 12, 1985 in SeaTac, Washington) is an American soccer goalkeeper who was drafted by the Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer in the 2007 MLS SuperDraft. However, Hall opted to sign with Danish club Esbjerg fB.
Formerly of Gig Harbor, Washington and Gig Harbor High School, Tally was a star for the San Diego State University (SDSU) Aztecs and a two (2) time NSCAA and College Soccer News All-American, a semi-finalist for the M.A.C. Hermann Trophy, and a first-team all-Pacific Ten Conference honoree for two (2) straight years.
Tally was recently named to the United States U-23 men's national soccer team.
And this is US Soccer’s bio blurb:
Born: May 5, 1985 in SeaTac, Washington
Club: Esbjerg FB (Danish Superligaen)
A two-time NSCAA All-American at San Diego State University (2003-2006), he became the first Aztec All-American since Marcelo Balboa (1989). Drafted in the fourth round of the 2007 MLS SuperDraft by the Los Angeles Galaxy, he chose to ply his trade overseas by signing with Esjberg FB of the Danish Superligaen. Listen to Tally Hall talk about why he chose to play in Denmark.
My take? Hall is a young professionally inexperienced goalkeeper. While he is a good pickup and understudy for Pat Onstad, I wish he had more pro experience. This would have been a much better signing the previous season when Pat was a year younger.That being said, kudos to the Front Office for signing a player who will hopefully contribute to a bright future for the O-Range. Read more!
Thursday, January 22, 2009
A few days after the big inauguration, Dewayne De Rosario will finally be officially introduced as a Toronto FC player.
Hats off to De Ro.
Saying this, I must also mention my disappointment with the Dynamo Front Office.
Shortly after the De Ro trade, I emailed my Nutmegged counterparts in excitement. Expect a big move soon, I typed. This creates cap room to resign Boswell AND bring in a quality player.
Would Ngwenya return?, mused Mr3d, in his ad naseum attempts to make his self-started rumor reality. Martek posted on this, soon followed by a Glenn Davis piece, which in turn led to a spot on MLS rumors.
Perhaps a DP is on the horizon- a formal offer to Forward Luis Angel Landin of Morelia to follow , wrote Bernado Fallas of the Houston Chronicle on December 22nd. By December 29th, this was nixed as Moerlia loaned Landin to Cruz Azul. This has been followed by another month of absolutely nothing.
This reminds me of this tired joke:
Two hunters, dressed in camouflage, cautiously sneaking through the dense forest.
Buford: Hear that sound?
Bubba: Whut sound?
Buford: That’s what I mean- It’s too QUIET!
Yep, it’s so damn quiet, something- anything has to be in the works.
And absolutely nothing ensues. I’m sure the Front office is diligently scouting possibilities. All the same, I had feverently hoped there would be some justification more than Julian James for the De Ro trade. It obviously wasn’t for the allocation money.
Apparently, less is considered more. Is this rebuilding?
This has all the markings of Dom being THE players coach- you want out, I’ll get you to where you want to go- even if it hurts more than helps. I’m guessing Ryan Cochrane’s departure was in a similar vein.
Damn all. Little left but the Papa Bear Quote: “Give us this nada our daily nada and nada us our nada as we nada our nadas and nada us not into nada but deliver us from nada”
Please Dom, I beg of you, do not force me to quote Ernesto again. Read more!
Monday, January 12, 2009
We are of course well into the January transfer window weirdness now. The always-excellent Dan Loney has a nice beginning to a discussion on this madness over at his site here.
I find the whole thing about the institution of the transfer window more than a trifle weird, to tell the truth. It's easy (given our history with labor issues and sports in these United States) to look at these things in terms of who benefits in a players vs. owners sort of didactic. However, the transfer window takes a multifaceted prism up to that simple us v. them and turns it into a multiple merde-storm. Who does it favor? Why the rich of course in the same way that a Bush Administration regulatory body favors those who break into hives at the thought of regulations. Only in this case, the rich includes big clubs, big (in both a figurative and literal sense I suppose) players and their agents. All of them are on the same side. As a labor union breaker, the transfer window model does a fine job, but it also splits the clubs apart.
Putting everyone on the same financial playing field in the United States can be accomplished by the simple remedy of taking all media revenue -- local, national, traditional and Internet -- and creating a giant trough of money, sport-specific, from which all clubs draw equally. Require the teams to spend X-percentage of revenue on player salaries (instead of owners' yachts), then let the competition begin. It is media revenue that separates the big and small teams in the States, not attendance, which really only pays the local bills, nor sponsorships, though that latter does help.
Of course, as we are all well aware, American sports teams (MLB, NFL, NBA. Don't know much about NHL, so I do not include them in this analysis.) have it relatively easy, having to focus solely on a domestic market in their sport with virtually no competitors. In world football, obviously the problems are far, far deeper, balancing competing economies, both national and of scale, as well as cultures and leagues. For example, while you could argue that it is good for "the sport" to have the Kansas City Royals, Houston Astros and New York Yankees all competing on a level financial pitch. How on Earth do you design a similarly level pitch among teams as disparate as Santos, Santos Laguna, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Manyoo, Houston Dynamo, Gamba Osaka, Boca Juniors, Arsenal di Sarandi, Palermo and on and on and on.
Simple answer, you don't. (Wait, wait. FIFA is the single governing body right? Put them in charge of a global pool of revenues and have them dole it out in something approaching a relativistic equivalent format! HAHAHAHAHAHA (Insert insane, choking laugh track here))
So that leaves us with the same problem of something approaching something that we can all agree is a level pitch so that have-nots can build clubs without undue handicap. Hmmm, what do mean by "level pitch?" "Have-not"? "Have"? "Undue handicap"? "Club"? "Build"? Depending on your country, you of course find a different definition of all of those terms. And even more, throughout what passes for the world football multiverse.
I think I speak for all of us here when I say our ultimate dream is for MLS to compete on the same level as the Barclay's Premier League. Though I would not like the Premiership's internal de facto structure, in which maybe 6 teams (I'm being generous here) get to compete at a high level, while all the rest become farm teams in some way for the top clubs. In all reality, if you're a kickass player for, say, Tottenham Hotspur, you'll wind up at Old Trafford before too long. Let's just call this the Dimitar Berbatov Rule. In the States, you can solve this problem by sharing media revenue. In the Premiership, not so easy, as that league has competitors in Spain, Germany and Italy. The possibility of player movement abroad, as well the that of the big clubs suffering in revenue, produce a conservative mindset. No one wants to change because, while this may suck, hanging might suck more. So whatever you do, don't change. Maybes, what ifs. Whew. We're sticking with what we've got here. See, that mindset is insidious.
So where does this leave po' ol' MLS? Well, absent massive investment of capital, which in this economy would only be accomplished by fiat from our Benevolent Alien Overlords (2009 kits available on WorldSoccerShop.com soon. Pre-order now!), MLS is not going to get an invite to that level. It ain't happening today, tomorrow or anytime soon. MLS becomes just as much a farm system for world football as Tottenham Hotspur, filled with our U23 Berbatovs that will not be gracing MLS pitches in their mid-20s, but might be back after they turn 30 or so. It would be nice to take a look at an example of a club that has broken out of this mold (Perhaps 08-09 Aston Villa? They'll have to be up for 3-4 years and have growing revenues to prove they've broken that mold, however. And a title or two wouldn't hurt either.), just to show that it could be done. The problem with analogous situations, though, as I alluded to above, is that the allusions only go so far. Eventually, you get the apples and mangoes problem of comparing leagues, countries, cultures, economies, etc. etc.
So we are now where we are, and it looks like that's where we're going to be. If there's a transfer window, the big clubs win. If there's not a transfer window, the big clubs win. So transfer window or no transfer window? With no hope of a regulated international player transfer market that protects something like mutually-agreed-upon interests of players and clubs, large and small, have the window or don't. There are no elegant solutions and institutional changes to help here, just the hope that money flows where we all would like it to flow. And, to be fair, who could argue that MLS is not better off on that front than they were a decade ago? MLS of 1999 is a world away from MLS of 2009, no matter what the IFHHS study says about the league. (Story here. Report here.) Again, it's an issue of scale, reputation and, in the final count, money.
And dat's the twuth. TTHHHHHHHPPPPPPPTTTTTTTTTTTT. Read more!
As many of you know by now, Rickey Henderson and Jim Rice were elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame today.
Now, about Jim Rice, much has been written about his qualifications, but that's not why I'm penning this little piece on a soccer site.
Quite simply, Rickey Henderson dominated a sport in a way that just doesn;t come along very often. The guy had an ego a mile and half wide. And as a matter of fact, Rickey, being Rickey, would probably maintain to the last that his ego was and is bigger than any other Hall of Famer. And I would have to agree.
With Rickey's speed and conditioning, not to mention his sheer mental stamina and strength, can you imagine what kind of soccer player he would have been? I see him as a central attacking midfielder, a bit on the short side, but making up for that with a will like no other.
So a tip of the hat to you Rickey, easily one of the best single-namers in American sports history. I only hope American soccer can eventually produce an athlete of your caliber. Read more!
Sunday, January 11, 2009
So now that the holiday madness is well and truly passed, 2009 has started and as of this writing we are a mere 45 days away from the Dynamo/Atlante game Feb. 24. That game will begin the soccer seasons for me and I can scarcely contain my anticipation.
The last time Dynamo played Atlante, in Superliga last summer, I was beginning to have some affection for the squad (Atlante, I mean). Initially, I felt what's not to like? Out of nowhere squad moves to Cancun, takes the FMF by storm, upsets the arrogant traditional powers and bursts onto the scene. And I was even more enthused by the fact that my Dynamen were blowing those guys right out of the water at Robertson Stadium in front o my own personal eyeballs.
Then came a couple of disturbing incidents that should have raised red flags for me, the most notable being the series of incidents that led to Dwayne De Rosario's ejection early in the second half. But flush with the exultation of victory that night, I let it all go. In truth, I was hoping that I would form an affection for Atlante similar to the one I've developed for Pachuca. I've rarely respected an opponent more than Pachuca and I absolutely look forward to playing los Tuzos now whenever the opportunity arises. They are great foes who I root for when they're not playing us for reasons I have posted on before.
But my distaste for Atlante came in their game against New England in the Superliga semis. I watched it rooting for those guys, as it would mean a home game for the finals. But those hack-whackers just couldn't keep from intentionally trying to injure the Revs' guys. So much so that my enlightened self-interest took a back seat to wanting the Revs to wipe Atlante off the face of the Earth. Even though it meant a Superliga final in the wide open spaces (and that's just the empty stands) of Gilette, I didn't care.
So, long story short, come Feb. 24, I'm hoping for another butt-kicking.
And if you're wondering about the title of this post, today marks one year exactly of the first post on Nutmegged. Hopefully, there'll be many more to come from Mister3d, Playtherapy and me.
But speaking solely for myself, here's what got me involved in all things Orange while on my very first soccer outing with my compatriots. Ching Kong, I can't thank you enough.
After one of the wildest blunders you'll ever see from the Holy Goalie Artur Boruc (or any keeper for that matter), Celtic righted the ship in a tremendous way Saturday in Scottish Cup action at Paradise.
Oh, and did I mention that the weather conditions for this game were something like 100 below? This once again shows that professional footballers are tougher than I ever have been or ever will be (And I'm man enough to admit that as long a I don't have to get out in those frigid conditions to do so!)
Just amazing, amazing stuff. Read more!
Friday, January 9, 2009
Turkish side Antalyaspor got smoked 2-0 by Bundesliga's Nurnberg FC today, and yes, right there in that picture (taken from the Antalyaspor Web site) shows that one Mr. Bobby Boswell did indeed play in the international friendly, as did Joseph Ngwenya!
The game story is at that link, though unfortunately it's in Turkish. Anyone know of a translation program that will translate this stuff? Here it is:
Antalya CUP’ta Alman 2. Lig takımlarından Nürnberg’le Mardan Stadyumu’nda karşılaşan Antalyasporumuz 2-0 mağlup oldu. Fortis Türkiye Kupası kapsamında yarın oynayacağı Gaziantep Büyükşehir Belediyespor maçı nedeniyle yedek ağırlıklı olarak sahaya çıkan kırmızı-beyazlı ekibimiz, ilk yarısını 0-0 bitirdiği maçtan maalesef mağlup ayrıldı.
Ekibimiz karşılaşmaya Polat, Burak, Gökhan, Boswell, Mehmet Ali, Diop, Abdullah, Çağlayan, Timur, Ngwenya ve Gökhan ilk 11’iyle başladı. Karşılaşmaya iki ekip de hızlı başladı. Oyunun ilk dakikalarında rakip takımın ataklarını kırmızı-beyazlı ekibimiz kesmesini bildi. Nürnberg’de oyunun 4. dakikasında Mintal’ın ara pasında ceza alanında topla buluşan Charisteas’ın şutu dışarı çıktı. 14 dakikada Klugen’nin köşe vuruşunda topla buluşan Charisteas, topu kafayla kalemize göndermek istedi. Kalecimiz Polat topa sahip olmasını bildi. Antalyasporumuzun atakları ilk yarının son dakikalarında arttı. 36. Gökhan’ın sol kanattan yaptığı ortayla ceza sahasında topa vuran Timur’un şutunu kaleci Stephan iki hamlede yakaladı. Başka pozisyon olmayınca ilk yarı golsüz sona erdi.
İkinci yarının hemen başında Antalyasporumuz önemli bir pozisyonu kullanamadı. 49. dakikada kaleciyle karşı karşıya kalan Antalyasporlu Ngwenya’nın vurduğu şut, kaleci Stephan’da kaldı. Oyuncumuz, dönen topla tekrar Nürnberg kalesini yoklarken, sert şutu bu kez kaleci Stephan kornere çeldi. 53. dakikada sağ kanattan yapılan ortayla topla buluşan Pagenburg’un sert şutunda top maalesef ağlarımızla buluştu. Golün 10 dakika sonrasında orta alandan atılan pasla kalecimizle karşı karşıya kalan Gygax, Nürnberg’in ikinci golünü kaydetti. Bu dakikalarda kalemize gelen tehlikeyi Polat ustalıkla önledi. Karşılaşmaya 3 dakika eklenirken kalan dakikalarda gol olmayınca karşılaşma 2-0 Nürnberg üstünlüğüyle sona erdi. Ekibimiz bu sonuçla Trabzonspor ve Hollanda 1. lig takımlarından Heereveen ile yapılacak olan karşılaşmada mağlup olan takımla 12 Ocak’ta 3.'lük maçı oynayacak. Read more!
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Kartik Krishnaiyer from Major League Soccer Talk sat down and talked with GolTV's Phil Schoen (pronounced "SHANE"), easily one of the best sports announcers for my money working in TV today and posted the interview on his site. Schoen is to me the Al Michaels of soccer.
During the World Series, Joe Buck said of Phillies announcer Harry Kalas that "If I had his voice, I think I would just hang out in the living room all day listening to myself talk."
That is almost how I feel about Phil Schoen.
Krishnaiyer has a great site in Major League Soccer Talk. And these interviews are just the tip of the iceberg here. Just because I like you guys, I also put at the bottom an interview he had with Schoen's broadcast partner, the inimitable and emotional Ray Hudson. If you don't have GolTV, get GolTV. Here are two guys who clearly deserve an incredibly large audience.
Here's the synopsis from the site:
Krishnaiyer recently had a chance to sit down with Schoen to ask his opinion on several topics, including:
what does MLS need to do to address the fact that many younger players are paid more in the USL than MLS,
is it a better model for MLS to sign players from the CONCACAF region than European players such as Ljungberg and Beckham,
what does Barcelona and Brightstar need to do differently for soccer to succeed in South Florida, and
what are the advantages for Miami Barca playing at Florida International University, and his thoughts on the field turf there.
Here are the four parts of the Phil Schoen interview, followed by the Ray Hudson interview:
And here's Ray Hudson:
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Last year at this time I was hoping for these things:
A forward to take the heat off an aging Brian Ching
A back up keeper to fill in for the departed Zach Wells
Movement on a Dynamo Park deal.
This year, my list looks like this:
Another forward to complement the attack of an aging Brian Ching and young Kei Kamara
A back up keeper to fill in (and do much better than) the departed Tony Caig
The final movement on a Dynamo Park deal
Man, the worm doesn't turn much, does it?
Except it does of course, as with the departure of the bearded one for his home wilds of Canuckistan, Dynamo goes into the first two points on the list flush with more cash than at this time a year ago. And after starting the Joseph Ngwenya rumor almost singlehanded on this very site (actually, credit goes to Mister3d after the Firpo game the night before Thanksgiving, as documented here), I'm feeling my oats here. So, here's what I think will happen for no other reason that the thought of these things happening make me happy, a laudable national goal if there ever was one:
With the DDR trade cash, Dynamo re-sign Bobby Boswell and Joseph Ngwenya. I think, though have no accounting numbers to back this up, that that will still leave some cash in the tranche to throw at Troy Perkins and/or Matt Pickens to step in as Pat Onstad's heir apparent, or at least fill-in that brings us back up from the (not-unmitigated but that's the best I can say for him) disaster that was Tony Caig.
As for Dynamo Park, I know we're all closer to this than we ever have been. I know. I know. I know. $10 million from the county. The finances seem together. The attached strings minor. It all looks good, just like that gleaming orange bicycle in the store window that I didn't get last year, but may just possibly, almost get this year.
Please. Read more!
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Bob Bradley is trying to become either my worst enemy or my best friend. Let's not forget that Mr. Bradley's final MLS act was to oversee a fight on the Robertson Stadium turf that erupted at the end of Chivas USA's thoroughly deserving expulsion from the 2006 MLS playoffs two games before Dynamo lifted their first Alan Rothenberg Trophy.
(Question, since the MLS Cup trophy has now been redesigned and renamed, are Dynamo the reigning holders of the Rothenberg Trophy in perpetuity? Seems fair to me.)
So, does Mr. Robert have a grudge against Dynamo or an abiding love, and how can we tell the difference? On one hand, the call-ups of Rico Clark and Brain Ching are totally understandable given past history. And Stewie Holden? Despite his brain fart foul that cost us the Netherlands game in the Olympics in August, he has been studly in his U-23 national team role and fully deserving of a call-up. But Geoff Cameron?
Let me explain, I love the US National Team with a Cuba Cinco-like passion and have written on this extensively over the course of the last year. However, the club/country thing rages on in my psyche. So, I am truly and legitimately pleased for Mr. Third-round-pick-in-the-2008-MLS-SuperDraft. (Was Sean Franklin even the best rookie employed by Anschutz Entertainment? I think not.) I hope he kicks Swedish butt Jan. 24 and gets serious time for the US against Mexico in February. However, are we here in Dyna-land to expect a future that has all four of these guys called up during World Cup qualifying? The needle on my club-country gauge tilts toward club here, and I am NOT looking forward to this problem again, especially with the reduced rosters.
So Bob Bradley, I would really appreciate it if you would just let me know where you stand right now, as this is beginning to piss me off. Read more!