Archive for May, 2007

That’ll Teach Ya

Thursday, May 31st, 2007

Mark Cuban: Out of His Frigging Mind

Wednesday, May 30th, 2007

Mark CubanDallas’ maverick owner asks, “Is it crazy to try to compete with the NFL?”

Why, yes, Mark. Yes, it is.

Interesting concept. Good luck with it.

You’ll never play a game.

Let’s look at what Cuban says about why the UFL is a good idea: (more…)

Question-able

Wednesday, May 30th, 2007

Soccer is a cruel game, and professional sport is a cruel business. Riding high in April, shot down in May and all that.

Such is the case for the Chicago Fire and head coach Dave Sarachan, whose club has gone winless in its last five matches. After the most recent one, a 0-0 draw with winless Real Salt Lake on Sunday, Sarachan faced the normally softball-pitching media contingent and was (shockingly, at least to some) asked “Do you feel pressure to resign?”

To which Sarachan replied:

“Why would I resign? I can’t go out and score goals. Look, they didn’t give me a raise when we had the best start in franchise history and it’s going to take small steps to get ourselves back on track. Nobody died here. We didn’t lose this game.”

The fact the question was even asked is apparently causing some consternation; my man Luis Arroyave reports in his blog that club president John Guppy was “upset” with the question.

Now, I’m not a big fan of changing coaches in mid-season (by my count, it’s happened 25 times in MLS’ short history, and only LA’s Sigi Schmid in 1999 and New England’s Steve Nicol in 2002 have turned things around and taken their teams to MLS Cup appearances), but that’s not what I want to talk about.

What I want to talk about is the notion that this wasn’t a fair question (and, in the spirit of accuracy, it wasn’t “Will you resign?” but “Do you feel pressure to resign?” which are two different things). Of course it’s a fair question.

(more…)

Elevation, Homes

Tuesday, May 29th, 2007

FIFA bans high-altitude international matches (ESPNsoccernet).

In case you’re wondering, Mexico City is 7,349 feet above sea level.

Missed it by that much.

Personal Responsibility Takes Strike Three, Looking

Friday, May 25th, 2007

You knew this was coming, right?

“As administrator of his son’s estate, Dean Hancock said he has an obligation to represent the family on all issues, ‘including any legal actions necessary against those who contributed to the untimely and unnecessary death.’”

One might think those who contributed to his untimely and unnecessary death would include Josh Hancock, himself. But that must just be the drink talking.

A Little Bit of Becks

Friday, May 25th, 2007

So, let’s see….when David Beckham signed with the LA Galaxy in January, the common wisdom went something like this:

  • He can’t play in Europe anymore;
  • He’ll never play for England again; and
  • His club team, Real Madrid, hadn’t won anything since he’d been there and wasn’t likely to.

Since then, Real has admitted they should have made an effort to keep him, the club is tied for first place in La Liga, and oh, look at this, there’s a chance he’ll be called to represent England once again.

Huh. That’s odd. You mean the pundits and Bigsoccer morons got something wrong? Color me surprised. Or color me whatever colors the Galaxy are going to be wearing once he gets here.

Jozy Altidore Just Called…

Friday, May 18th, 2007

He said he’s sick of seeing his adidas commercial.

Jozy Altidore adidas ad

I Like Our Chances

Thursday, May 17th, 2007

Danny Szetela of the US Under 20 National Team, courtesy rochestersports.comThis missive came today from US Soccer:

“The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team has been drawn into Group E with Belgium, Tunisia and Tajikistan for the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup in South Korea, which will take place from August 18-September 9.”

I think we’ll do quite well if we send our U-20s to the U-17 World Cup while other nations are sending their U-17s.

Take that, Tajikistan!

Reality Bites

Wednesday, May 16th, 2007

Danny Dichio bitesThanks to my man Luis Arroyave, we know that Danny Dichio does, in fact, bite.

The Fire really needs to spring for 10,000 sets of those plastic vampire teeth and hand them out July 7 when Toronto FC comes to Toyota Park.

Something tells me this red card (the suspension for which Dichio will serve tonight when TFC hosts Houston) won’t be Dichio’s only one of the season. Diego Gutierrez, meanwhile, will sit out the Fire’s game Thursday night at home against FC Dallas (7pm CT, ESPN2, but do yourself a favor and buy tickets and just go).

Jivin’ with Clive

Tuesday, May 15th, 2007

This came out a couple of weeks ago, and I missed it until now.

You know I’m an NASLophile, and though I’ve been told it’s a bit disappointing, I’m looking forward to reading Clive Toye’s book, A Kick in the Grass (the rat stole the title I was going to use for a book about the Tampa Bay Rowdies). The longtime league exec gave an interesting interview to ussoccerplayers.com in which he discusses the state of MLS and American soccer in general. (Toye was also prominent in last year’s excellent Once in a Lifetime.)

One quote that jumped out at me right away was this:

“USSoccerPlayers: Do you think that MLS had adequately acknowledged the contribution that the NASL made to the growth of American soccer?

Toye: MLS has signally and deliberately ignored the fact that the NASL ever existed. Without the NASL, soccer in the USA would have remained as we found it in 1967.”

Yep. Just because the NASL folded and you wanted to distance yourself from their mistakes at launch in 1996 didn’t mean you had to ignore their successes as well (and many of the “soccer people” who were still around and willing and able to help at the time). Now MLS probably feels like because they’ve been around a dozen years and are likely to be around much longer than the NASL’s 17 seasons, they don’t need to acknowledge those who came before in any sort of meaningful way.

(more…)