Thursday, December 15, 2005
It's not about the fans but all about the fans ...
Joe over at WCIS had a pretty good appeal to the fans of the Boys in Blue to get out and support their hometown team in hopes of encouraging the local authorities to have reason to build a stadium.

That stands in contrast to why San Jose is moving. With the news coming out that San Jose is all but gone and most likely headed to Houston, many Earthquakes fans are angry that they're the team being moved. Those fans feel that because San Jose had a better fan base than K.C., the Wizzle should be the ones on the chopping block.

To that I say: You, sir or madame, have missed the point.

San Jose isn't moving because of a lack of fans or interest from the local population. The franchise is moving because its owner, for the time being at least, couldn't or wouldn't afford to pay for the team to play in the deal they had. AEG refused to pay for the team to play in the deal that Spartan Stadium had offered them and wasn't able to get either a new stadium or a temporary home.

No one can force AEG to own a team and fans need to understand that. AEG felt that it was important to have the team in the league but to have them in San Jose wasn't something they were willing to do. To have them in Houston, though, they were willing to foot the bill because they got a better deal. No one knows right now how much better Robertson Stadium will be than Spartan Stadium but AEG didn't get to be a multi-billion dollar company by making stupid moves. I think we'll hear news about a new Houston stadium soon and I hope MLS will be back in the Bay Area before too long.

But it's not AEG's fault. So, San Jose fans, stop blaming them and help find someone with deep enough pockets to take over the team and get you guys a stadium built.
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
In which I play the role of United analyst ...
In today's article, Steven Goff of The Washington Post discusses United contracts, who's coming and who might not be back for 2006.

Now, I'm not the DCenters and I certainly don't purport to be a United expert (also, check out his interview with United's Hispanic Marketing Manager -- it's good stuff).

However, if D.C. gets rid of the biggest goon in MLS (Dema), it provides United with some interesting options. Nowak has, for as long as I've been paying attention, used a 3-5-2 with United. The question that begs is was he using this formation because it best fit his squad or because he really prefers that formation. IF Nowak isn't married to the 3-5-2, this could be a great chance to get Freddy a starting role. With Moreno and Walker up top, Quaranta on the right, Gomez and Freddy in the middle and Gros on the left of a 4-4-2 ... well, that'd be a pretty formidable lineup.

I'm just sayin' is all. It also gets Boswell and Erpen on the field at the same time.

In more unfortunate news for United fans, los capitalinos resigned Nick Rimando's contract. I really do enjoy watching other teams take crosses against United. High comedy.
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Well, that sucks ....
I've been trying to write something for the last few days about the soap opera going on in San Jose. But with the news last night coming out of the Bay Area, it looks like the fate of the Earthquakes is sealed.

For a long time I've felt like both parties were merely trying to save face on this arrangement. Although small, the Quakes supporters are loud and the Mercury News was covering the situation pretty closely. The Mayor couldn't just let the team walk and AEG wanted to look as though they were making the best effort to sell the team.

But no one wants a team in Spartan Stadium. Spartan Shops, or SJSU, or whomever, wasn't interested in working with the Quakes to get them a deal that would allow them to survive.

I personally believe the deal to move them team to Houston was hammered out long ago and the parties involved in San Jose (AEG, SVSE, San José and MLS) have been trying to make it appear as though they were doing everything possible to put this together. Who knows, maybe there were even honest negotiations going on.

But as we've seen in every other MLS city, stadiums don't happen in two weeks. Ask D.C. Ask MetroStars. Ask Chicago. Hell, even ask Salt Lake. It takes long-term negotiations from a committed owner, not a group of people trying to offload a franchise at the earliest possible convenience.

I don't blame AEG. They did what they could ... as The Don said, "this isn't a charity." AEG didn't want to own a team and there should be no reason we make them. At least there will still be 12 teams, with Kansas City staying at least one more year, and hopefully soccer will be back in northern California sooner rather than later.
Friday, December 09, 2005
World Cup World Cup World Cup
Ok, so we're not in the group of death (that'd be group C: Argentina, Ivory Coast, Serbia and Monetengro and Netherlands) but our group isn't any easier. We open up against the Czech Republic (hello Nedved) and then face Italy in the second game. We'll finish up with Ghana. Let's just hope Freddy doesn't decide to up and play for the land of his birth because of the matchup.

If we win our group, we face the second team from Group F (Brazil, Croatia, Australia and Japan) and we finish second, we'll face the winner of F (most likely Brazil).

It's not an easy group. But I think we can do it.