Archive for August, 2009

Twice In A Lifetime?

Monday, August 31st, 2009

It can’t possibly be true, can it? Peppe Pinton finally found a buyer for the Cosmos’ name…but it’s not someone who wants to put a new MLS or USL team in New York?

Not that you can always believe The Daily Mail (“It is believed they will be built up as an all-star touring team before attempting to gain an MSL franchise“, it says), so take that arsenic with a grain of salt, New Yorkers.

Thanks to my man Dave Wasser for the tip.

Do Not Bet David Beckham That He Can’t Kick A Soccer Ball Exactly Where He Wants To

Monday, August 31st, 2009

You have been warned.



Table Scraps

Monday, August 31st, 2009

For those of you who think soccer is a dish best served on a single table, here’s what MLS’ standings would look like if the teams weren’t split into Eastern and Western Conferences:

Rk Club GP W L T Pts GF GA GD
1 Houston Dynamo 25 11 7 7 40 31 22 9
2 Columbus Crew 23 10 4 9 39 34 25 9
3 Chicago Fire 24 10 6 8 38 33 28 5
4 Los Angeles Galaxy 24 9 4 11 38 28 23 5
5 Seattle Sounders FC 24 8 6 10 34 29 23 6
6 Colorado Rapids 22 9 7 6 33 35 27 8
7 Real Salt Lake 24 9 9 6 33 35 27 8
8 New England Revolution 21 9 6 6 33 26 26 0
9 Chivas USA 22 10 9 3 33 23 24 -1
10 DC United 23 7 5 11 32 35 34 1
11 Toronto FC 23 8 8 7 31 30 33 -3
12 FC Dallas 22 6 11 5 23 31 35 -4
13 Kansas City Wizards 21 5 10 6 21 20 29 -9
14 San Jose Earthquakes 22 5 12 5 20 27 40 -13
15 New York Red Bulls 24 4 16 4 16 20 41 -21


Notes:

  • As Columbus has two games in hand on Houston, the Crew actually has the highest points-per game average (1.696) in the league.
  • With a game in hand on the league leaders, Chicago is just two points away from having the most points in the league.
  • Oh, did I mention that many Fire fans still want their coach fired? Even though they’re two points from leading the league?
  • Two teams (Columbus and New England) can conceivably (though not realistically) finish with 60 points, something that hasn’t been done since San Jose fattened up on two expansion teams in 2005. Actually, they can’t BOTH do it, because they play each other twice in October. Chances are neither will do it, but it’s out there.
  • After their second straight win under interim coach Richie Williams, the Red Bulls are on a roll and could still finish with 34 points, which MIGHT still get them a top-eight finish. Okay, even I laughed at that one.
  • The highest-scoring team in the league? Colorado. Really? 1.591 goals per game, better than Columbus’ 1.478.
  • In a strictly Europosing scenario, that logjam at 33 points would be broken by goal differential, which puts Colorado and Real Salt Lake ahead of New England and Chivas USA at the moment, ignoring the disparity in games played.
  • Playoff matchups in this Bizarro World scenario (if it was 1-8, 2-7, etc.) would be Houston-New England, Columbus-Real Salt Lake, Chicago-Colorado and Los Angeles-Seattle. In the current system (top two in each conference + next four best records, 1-4, 2-3 within conferences), the matchups would be CLB-RSL (with Salt Lake moving to the East as the #4 seed there, as New York moved to the West last year), CHI-NE (again), HOU-COL and LA-SEA. So two of the four matchups would be the same.
  • Next year, MLS will have 16 clubs and its first-ever chance to have a perfectly balanced and equitable schedule if 30 games remains the length of the season. Don’t look for them to go single-table, though, even for a year. They’d just go back or go to three six-team conferences or something in 2011 and beyond, when they’ll have 18 (and then possibly 20 or 22) teams.

She Rocks AND Rolls

Friday, August 28th, 2009

I dig a 53-year-old librarian who’s also a roller derby queen. Right on.



Can Somebody Tell Me What Kind Of A World We Live In Where You Can’t Fly Your Kid To School In A Helicopter?

Friday, August 28th, 2009

I mean, really, people.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, Sutherin told officials that he wanted to “make a positive impression on the other students” on his son’s first day of ninth grade.

Yeah, you made an impression all right. The impression you’ve made is that you’re a jackass and your son, by extension, is a jackass as well.

I’m sure his freshman year will be just a load of laughs now.

I Don’t Care What They’re Called, They’re Funny

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

Badgers? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Badgers!

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

Thanks to Brian Mason at the University of Wisconsin for asking me to answer a few questions about the upcoming men’s soccer season in the Big Ten Conference.

My man Richard Broad and I are scheduled to work five or six games together for the Big Ten Network, including a game in Madison in mid-October.

Oh, I Will Go See This Film, Absolutely

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009



Jersey Girls

Monday, August 24th, 2009

Postcard to the LA Sol: The weather is beautiful. Wish you were here.

Sky Blue FC completed its Manifest Destiny-like run through the Women’s Professional Soccer playoffs on Saturday afternoon, beating Los Angeles 1-0 (after wins in Washington and St. Louis earlier in the week) to become the first WPS champions.

The scrappy girls from New Jersey, on their third game in eight days and third coach of the season, shut down the high-scoring Sol team that featured the world’s best player (Brazilian Marta, who was held without a goal for the third straight Really Big Game – 2008 Olympic Final, 2007 Women’s World Cup final). There can be no question they earned the title the hardest way possible.

Was LA rusty after not having played a competitive match in two weeks? Or does destiny really wear a ponytail? Regardless, it was a storybook ending for a league desperate to consider itself a page-turner.

Now what? Everyone’s saying the right things about the future, but this was going to be an uphill battle in the best of economies. The league lost millions (though fewer millions than its predecessor, which is some consolation) and only 7,000+ turned out for the title game.

That’ll all play out over the coming months and years, though. For now, congrats to the little team that could – and did.

Nothing But Blue Sky Do I See

Friday, August 21st, 2009


The WPS playoffs have seen Sky Blue FC moving westward like the frontier. First, a win in Washington in the first round. Wednesday night, St. Louis fell. Tomorrow, The Little Team That Couldn’t Finish .500 plays in Los Angeles in the first-ever championship of Women’s Professional Soccer.

My previous WPS playoff preview was off the mark on both preliminary games, so there’s no reason to believe I’d have any idea what I’m talking about when it comes to tomorrow’s final (presented by MedImmune – does that mean it’d be okay for Landon Donovan to kick out the first ball…assuming he wasn’t in DC, that is?).

So I’ll just say this: LA is obviously the superior team. Marta scored as many goals (10) as the Sol gave up all year. They’re at home. They’re rested. They’ve been a model of stability all season.

So there are only two X factors at play here: momentum and the lack thereof.

If you believe that Sky Blue is on some magical run and the fact that they’ll be playing their third game in a week (all on the road) will keep them from realizing that they are the four seed, you might think that anything can happen tomorrow.

Or, if you think that the fact that LA had a first round bye and hasn’t played in almost two weeks could have them rusty, you might think that anything can happen tomorrow.

I’m a sucker for an underdog, so I will be pulling for Team Jersey tomorrow. Barring that, a close game that’s still in doubt in the last 10 minutes will do just fine.

Christie Rampone is a great story and what Sky Blue has accomplished makes things really interesting. But I think the Sol is just too strong. I think they should win, 2-1.