Friday, August 18, 2006
Not as bad as 2002 but still ...
Most people who read these things remember the 2002 photo spread of the men's national team in the New York Times that was so awful for its implied homosexuality. Not that I care if you the soccer player are gay or not (or anyone for that matter), but, c'mon US Soccer, we needed your help there and you didn't give it to us.

That said, I'm not linking to them. If you want to find them you can do it on your own.

The point of this post?

Reggie Bush in a photoshoot for GQ doesn't look like our soccer boys at alllllll. No, not at allllll.
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Sure there important things afoot, but this is too funny ...
There are not many things that I've yet to accomplish since moving to New York. One of them, however, was having a legitimate conversation with a crazy person. And not only was she crazy, she was uppity as well.

Therefore, she is named CrazyUppity.

Last night, I convinced some friends to go watch the D.C. United - Red Bulls game at a bar around the corner from hockey practice. The bar was nothing special (I don't even remember the name) and, though it had been confirmed they'd show the game, had only Wheel of Fortune on their one television when we walked in. There were two people at the other end of the bar and CrazyUppity hanging out on the end near us. We took our seats.

Next to us sat a blond woman of obvious New York ancestry, probably in the 50 - 55 age range and not sharing her burger and beer with anyone. She looked like many of my relatives and certainly sounded as if she had just come in from the Island with an accent thick enough off which to bounce a ball.

After politely asking the bartender to change the channel to the Red Bulls, CrazyUppity asks us what that is. I respond, nicely, that it's a soccer game.

"Fuck that," was her reply. She instructed the bartender to put the Yankees or Mets game or some other real sport and that soccer was awful. Not asked, mind you, but instructed.

CU: Soccer's awful. Put on a real sport.

Me: What's wrong with soccer?

CU: It's a boring ass sport that only pansies play.

My friend quickly commented that the Yankees game wasn't on (even though I think it was) and she eventually relented.

But she wasn't done. CrazyUppity continued railing against soccer and all the variations thereof. According to her, she hates the American team but is happy that Italy one because she's an "American-born of Italian descent." It kills me that at this point I completely forgot to ask her why she hated America.

Me: Are you a communist?

CU: No, I'm a pure-blooded American.

Me: Then why didn't you root for America?

CU: Cause I hate them. I'm glad everyone beat their asses. Especially Italy, which is my team. (ed note: We tied Italy 1-1 in the only good game we played) I'm American-born of Italian descent.

Me: You should like the American team if you're a real American (ed note: If you have Hulk Hogan's entrance theme in your head now, my apologies)

CU: I'm glad when Brazil beat their asses.

Me: We actually beat Brazil last time we played them in Copa America.

CU: Whatever, I hate the American team.

I did ask her if she's a communist, though. She said she wasn't. She also thought her idiot friends are insane because they were all rooting for Brazil for some reason.

Wait. It gets better.

After some brief quiet time, she tells me I must not be from around here. Did I move to the South? I thought those of us below the Mason-Dixon had dibs on the phrase.

Anyway, a heated argument ensues.

CU: You weren't born here, though.

Me: I have a long lineage from this city.

CU: But you're not from here.

CU: Where are you from?

Me: North Carolina.

CU: Winston-Salem or Greensboro? Those are both awful towns.

Me: Greensboro. And I don't appreciate that.

CU: Then what are you doing here? You don't live here.

Me: Actually, I do live here.

CU: Makes sense. This is where it's at. There's nothing down in North Carolina but rednecks. It's so slow. This is the center of civilization. It's bad enough you're from Greensboro unlike those idiots in Winston-Salem. (ed note: That's the first time anyone outside of my high school has ever insulted Winston-Salem specifically.)

Most of the time was spent with my friends pleading with me to stop jousting with her. True, it's something I wouldn't have done five years ago but, hey, this is the new me, capable of verbal reparté with crazy people.

We played four country songs on the jukebox when we left and, frankly, I totally want to go back and go at it with her again. I still don't believe I didn't ask her why she hated America.
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
Interesting tidbit ...
Saw this in Jack Bell's article in the New York Times today.
D.C. United is expected to announce the signing of Matías Donnet, a 26-year-old Argentine midfielder. M.L.S. has received a $2 million offer for Kansas City striker Eddie Johnson from West Bromwich Albion of England.

To that I say this: Take it, Garberinho, as fast as you can.
Saturday, August 12, 2006
What a Week ...
The news that Real Salt Lake has broken ground on its Sandy stadium today caps an amazing week for MLS. Five sold out international exhibitions including two of MLS teams versus the world's best, two new stadium groundbreakings set and an All-Star team win over Chelsea is something that even last year didn't seem very likely.

But it's the stadium thing that's got me thinking. Even though it's not "official", apparently, the RSL stadium seems to be all set to be up and running for the summer of '08.

And that means that nine teams could have their own SSS (or be in total control of scheduling of their stadium) by July 4, 2008: New York, RSL, Colorado, L.A., Chivas, Chicago, Columbus, Toronto and Dallas. I can't remember if the Nationals are out of RFK by 2008 or 2009.

Which gets me thinking ... this could be the July 4, 2008, slate of games:

  • D.C. at New York - Red Bull Park

  • Chivas at RSL - Sandy Stadium

  • New England at Chicago - Toyota Park

  • TBD Expansion Team at Colorado - Commerce City Stadium

  • Houston at L.A. - HDC

  • K.C. at Dallas - Pizza Hut Park

  • Toronto at Columbus - Columbus Crew Stadium

Combined with fireworks shows ... could that be the first date in Major League Soccer history where a day's games, involving all of the league's teams, are completely sold out and all in soccer specific stadiums?

Tantalizing.
Friday, August 11, 2006
More good stadium news ...
According to It's a Simple Game, there's hope yet for David Beckham to stick the first shovel in the ground.

"If Salt Lake City mayor Rocky Anderson is to be believed, there will be a groundbreaking for the stadium tomorrow. At least that is what he said on the Doug Wright show on local radio station KSL."

That's a lot of stadium news in one day. Could you imagine a day in 2008 when all games being held in a day are in a SSS? Wow.
Some Good Stadium News
In the good stadium news department, it looks like K.C. is barreling towards a deal to keep them in K.C. (hat tip: DuNord). Mr. Checketts, if you're listening, please copy and paste that formula for acquiring a stadium into your own.

In other news, although I don't have my own Bob the Janitor, I have heard that the official announcement of the Red Bull Park groundbreaking (with new renderings that look very sweet) could be coming as early as today. (EDIT: Looks like it's official.)

Finally, some good stadium news.
MLS in the real world ...
It's easy, being as immersed as we all are, to forget that there's a whole big world out there that doesn't care about (or even know) MLS.

So while this article is full of minute errors and assumptions, it's a good snapshot of what people think of MLS right now.
Thursday, August 10, 2006
So much to say ...
Well, aside from showing me to be a Dave Matthews fan, that accurately represents what's happening with our favorite little league this side of the Atlantic Ocean.

All-Stars over Chelsea. D.C. tying Real Madrid (and selling out in less than three weeks). New TV deal (biggest thing to happen to the league. Ever.). Youth systems. Red Bull Park groundbreaking on September 19.

That all goes to show the slow but steady progress soccer is having in this country. What's that they say about a rising tide lifting all boats?

In the coming years, soccer will start to make inroads as an accepted sport in the U.S. And it won't always be MLS. It's going to be frustrating for those of us who think of D.C. first when someone mentions United or Houston when someone says Dynamo ... but we're just going to have to be patient.

Last year at this time, you wouldn't see this on CNNSI.com's homepage and there's no way you would have seen this on ESPN.com. There would have been on ESPN.com sponsored Premier League fantasy game last year and there was no way the premier ESPN columnist would have been devoting an entire column to his new love for the beautiful game.

Some people ask why it's hard for us to enjoy this and why all we see is disrespect when the Sports Guy isn't picking Chivas USA (not saying D is whining or anything, it's just the best post I remember about the situation). "They're not paying attention to our baby!" we reply, hoping that somewhere someone will just shine a light on something that we love.

Well, someone did. John Skipper did (and if you don't know his name you betta' find out who he is and then send flowers his way). Jose Mournihno did. Adidas did.

Now it's time for us to force the spotlight on ourselves. Take someone to see their first game and be hero.

Without spending $150 million in the process.
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Dempsey going overseas?
On their site today, Eurosport's rumors section reported if their pursuit of Tranquillo Barnetta falls through, West Ham is looking at Clint Dempsey as a second choice.

I don't know if he passes the Work permit issue, but if there's not a more perfect team for Deuce to end up on, I don't know what is.