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Preview: Ramblings of a Soccer Junky

Ramblings of a Soccer Junky

An American who fell in love with soccer while living in Europe.

Updated: 2014-10-02T01:22:11.441-04:00


I've moved.


I’m not sure if it was a need for a change of scenery or if I just felt the neighborhood was better for my family, better schools or what, but my blog has now moved. Either way, I just got tired of Blogger. So, new name, new location...however, you’ll be happy (I hope) to know it’s still the rantings of the same degenerate soccer junkie.

You can now find me over here.

It's good to be a star playa....


I sure made the wrong career choice. ;)

I'm sure any fine or suspension will be worth it.

Coming of age


It's Midnight, my team is losing and not looking like they'll do anything except give up a couple more goals in the second half so rather than be a zombie the next day at work, I decide to go to bed. I guess I missed a good second half. Or at least a valiant effort. My Twitter on the right gives a taste of my thought process at the time.

What did we do before YouTube? Heck, a co-worker of mine came to my office to tell me he'd seen the highlights this morning on ESPN. It's sure not 1996 any more.

So, LA lost. I'll be willing to bet there weren't many who gave them much chance of winning any silverware. But, the team came back and played well from what I read. It's not the opponent was an average team...this was a Mexican team which has been winning every piece of silverware in site. The best team in CONCACAF.

But the thing which hit me the most was the fact that LA fans, the ones who have been with the team long before Beckham thought about heading to the New World, are heart broken yet proud of their boys at this loss. It's taken twelve years but that's the type of passion the league has been needing and it's coming around.

So, the season is virtually over for LA. The best bet now is to focus on next season. Rest Beckham for as long as he need to be fully fit. If McClaren wants him, so be it. But give him plenty of rest so he'll be 100% next season. Look at some of the youngsters and, heck, see if Cobi is willing to make one more tour. I know he has it in his legs if he really wants it.

Personally, I don't blame Lalas or Yallop for the failure of the team this season. Lalas is simply a puppet and Yallop an employee who hasn't had all the tools all the time to get the job done correctly. The blame rests with the money whores who own the team. Everything about this season was done to maximize the return on their investment in Beckham. Ok, they should at least break even, but it seems to me at this point they are getting that and more...much more. Of course, because of the salary cap we won't be seeing any of that applied to the talent on the, why ruin the team buy continuing this tactic? call Vancouver and Minnesota and reschedule their friendlies for next spring. Give injured players (in addition to Beckham) time off to heal. Let the youngsters gain some experience.

Of course, AEG still calls the shots and, well, I'm not too confident about things at this point.

So, let's see if LA can build on this performance and get a good result in the Wooden Spoon Derby this weekend.

Too funny to not share


I'll probably stop laughing some time this afternoon.

I'm sure it was a recipe of hers.

Norwich players laid low after barbecue

Four Norwich City players were among 30 people taken ill following a barbecue at the club’s training ground, it emerged today. Delia Smith, the celebrity chef, is a director of the club but sources said outside contractors were employed to lay on the food to allow staff at Delia’s Catering Company to enjoy the event.

A statement from the club read: “City today confirmed a number of its staff, including four senior professional players, have been taken ill following a social event on Sunday.

“Players, staff and their families attended an annual informal summer event at the club’s Colney training centre, following which approximately 30 people who were at the event have suffered symptoms including sickness and diarrhoea.”

...and still my wife wonders why I won't allow her cookbooks in our house.

The Jocks may have got something right


SPL refs will now be able to review match tapes and issue cards to those who cheat--ie dive. I've been saying this is needed for some time. It'll be interesting to see how it works out.

The only downside is if the refs become too dependent on the replays. Say a player dives and the ref is pretty sure it was a dive needing a yellow. Is it possible he doesn't give the card then and prefer to be 100% certain after watching the tape before booking the player.

Only time will tell. Hopefully this does work and players think twice about cheating to gain an advantage.

Sorry, but the guy with the sign is an idiot


It's a sporting event. Players get injured. Just cuz you bought a ticket, doesn't mean that player won't get injured. Don't you think Yallop would have preferred to have Beckham's experience and poise on the pitch last night? They sure could have used it.

Of course, I've been saying for years that the league should be promoting teams rather than players. If you're a regular reader of my blog, I'm sure you've heard it before. But the bottom line is, players come and go...but the team (unless they are in Florida or No Cal) are there forever. We as fans cheer for the team colors (whatever they are this month) and not the players.

Think of it this way. If Dallas hadn't made such a big deal about this match being Beckham's one 'appearance' in Dallas this year, they wouldn't have had to make the special offer to appease unhappy fans.

Remember, pimp the player match ups seems to be the credo of MLS marketing. Anyone remember how silly that was during the WC last summer?

But what do I know? I'm just a fan who wants to see things run right. After all, it's not my money on the line...just my entertainment...for which I do spend my hard earned money on.

Oh, and speaking of idiots, it seem the Brit media doesn't know the difference between LA and Dallas fans. If the guy is wearing a Dallas jersey, why would the print that he's an LA fan? Jeez, when I lived in England, the education system was pretty good. Guess things have gone downhill the last 20 years.

Defence was more a theory than a practice


What the heck was that? Think about it, you score 4 goals in the first 20 minutes of a game on the road and still struggle to win? C'mon now, that was just crazy. Sure, it was entertaining but it was poorly played at the back for both teams. In the half-a-day or so since the match ended, I've read everything from, "it was the greatest MLS match ever," even though it wasn't an MLS match to," it was a sloppy mess and proof MLS is crap." Now, I'm not going to take either of those extremes...hey, I'm a moderate politically so why can't I be one here as well? But the match certainly touched on both ends on the spectrum.I'm sure those Dallas fans who showed up at PHP for the first time expecting to see that English guy were disappointed at first but had to have enjoyed the wild ride...and, hopefully, will be even more determined to use that discount they were offered for when the Becks Circus really does come to town.Now, I've used the baseball no-hitter analogy on numerous occations when confronted with the low-scoring argument from those who don't care for the sport. I guess you can use the other extreme after last night. Those high-scoring slug fests (with or without Bonds juice) are usually brought about by poor pitching. If baseball fans enjoy it, cool. Personlly, I've a hunch it's usually one pitch who's having an off night and one teams builds a huge lead and everyone (well, they do in LA) heads for the exits. Last night, both backlines just fell asleep. I remember the last time LA lit up the scoreboard in Dallas. Harut Karapetyan (had to look the spelling of his name up cuz it's been a while...I got it right first time) put three past Dallas in 5 minutes in 1998 on the way to an 8-1 for the good guys. It could have been worse as the game was stopped early cuz a storm was on the way or the ref decided the mercy rule was needed or something. My point is, that afternoon, LA did all the scoring and Dallas....well, they didn't.Anyway, now LA have another match to add to their already busy schedule. Looks like it'll be at the HDC as well. Will the new pitch have taken hold by then or will it tear apart and injure Becks again? Of course, if LA are playing Morelia, they may just play the match at the Q. Why not? Another town for the Beckham Circus to hit.One other point. Landon's goal celebration was silly and probably unnecessary, but he is an emotional player and I wouldn't wanna stifle that. Bottom line, it could have been worse.Ok, enough of that. The match was an anomaly and LA were fortunate to get through it.So, now LA return home for a couple days before heading to the Great White North for the first time. No one knows If Becks will be involved. Personally, if he does play on their plastic turf, it'll be as a sub late in the match...where have we seen that before? Well, the same TV network will be in attandance.Now, the fans up there have already had fun with a recent big name import.We'll see if they can come up with something different if Becks gets to take a corner.It looks like the move north hasn't changed the method of operation for the Jamacian Hatchet."TFC defender Tyrone Marshall, who started the season with L.A. before being traded to TFC in June, is hoping to see Beckham on the field."I'm definitely going to get over there and get a hit on him. For sure," Marshall said."That's my first priority. I'm going to welcome him to the league, and welcome him to Canada."Nice to see the higher tax rate hasn't mellowed him out.Well, that's enough for now. Tune in next wee....ah, never mind. Next week is sumer session finals. I'll be lucky if I find some time.[...]

Sorry I didn't post this sooner


I was on Beckham overload at the time...ok, I still overloaded. Anyway, here's a nice piece from a Sports Business News writer on whatshisname and MLS.

Beckham, Baseball, All-Stars and.....yawn....


I've been defending MLS and US soccer for....well, a heck of a long time. I've defended it against Euros who still seem to think we'll make the goals bigger, play four quarters and so on. I've defended the sport against Americans who insist soccer is slow and boring--while watching a baseball game. However, the insanity of MLS/AEG reached new levels as I watch the Spiced Savior tell Rob Stone he'll probably not be playing against Chelsea while reading the scroll at the bottom of the screen claim an "insider" saying he would.

Ok, here's the deal. Saturday's match is a meaningless friendly. If you put Becks on the pitch (even more the final 10 minutes of garbage time) you stand the chance of him injuring himself worse and perhaps not have him available when the season continues (or starts considering the number of games LA has played thus far this summer)

While I'm on the subject...MLS can't take a break for the World Cup, Gold Cup, Copa America but they can have a couple of teams basically take a month off to play a bunch of friendlies. Heck LA have played a lot fewer matches than the rest of the league yet MLS was able to create a schedule which will allow them to catch up in three months.

Please guys. Give me the sport without all the optional extras. For the $400k of cap space being used to bring Beckham to LA, you could get 2 or 3 quality least better than the supporting cast of rookies Beckham currently has.

If you want sports fans on both sides of the Atlantic to take MLS seriously, perhaps the league itself should do so first.

Nope, I think I'll just become a fan in hiding. I'll watch games in my new Beckham jersey from the safety of my reclier and no longer will I explain the Cobi Jones bobblehead doll I have on my desk to my co-workers. Heck, it's now in my desk drawer. No wonder even the few Metro...errr RBNY fans there were are disappearing.

...And I didn't even mention the red-headed GM/President.

Probably the last Tank



Like I said a few days ago. Being the topic of this cartoon strip has to be a sign that Becks arrival goes beyond anything else the league/sport has seen so far.

My thoughts on the Beckham Press Conference


After watching the 'event' I came away with one burning question.

(image) Why does every event have to have a confetti canon?

More from Tank


With all the silly media hype available everywhere you look right now (they even had news of his arrival in LA on the local morning news here) these silly Tank cartoons are a nice change and probably more accurate than 90% of the British Tabloid reports.


More Tank



Paul Anka? Well, I guess it would be a change from some teenybopper group.

Becks to LA good for England?


By the time he heads to Moscow, Becks could have played as many as three matches on the stuff. In typical England fashion, the media will completely over react to the surface and after the match the players will say it was no big deal.

The big time


I haven't read Tank in years...well, not on a regular basis. But I'm glad I stumbled on this.


If this isn't a sign that the mainstream media is paying attention, I don't know what is. I'll be sure to check the rest of the week.

Yallop vs Lalas


I've been hearing rumors to the effect that Lalas and Yallop aren't exactly BFFs. It seems a lot of the recent trades (many of which I still don't understand) are all the work of the ginger one. Now I'm finally hearing about it from a reliable source.

If you want my opinion--well, your reading my blog so your gonna get it--dump Lalas before he does much more damage to the team. My problem isn't what he's been saying to the British press--I actually enjoy the way he winds them up--it's with his player/coach management. He doesn't exactly have the best record there.

However, I'm sure AEG will see things different. What do I know?

As Ives said, don't expect anything soon...but it's gonna by playoffs or bust time once Spice Balls arrives.

I said I wasn't going to...


....but I'll be wearing this shirt pretty soon. I've talked about wearing old Galaxy shirts all the time as proof I'm not some bandwagon Becks fan. But to be honest, I hope the all white (with blue and gold trim) is what LA will be wearing on a permanent after Becks retires.

And don't forget, Vicky B's TV show is on next week.

Those kids can play


Freddy Adu and the boys drop the hammer on Poland. Some sweet goals.

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All the fire power on assignment in Canada. Maybe Bradley could use a couple of the kids in Venezuela.

Ah the memories


It seems like it was a million years ago. Yeah, we won the double since then but this one was sweet.

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BTW, I still think those are the best jerseys the team has worn...but they are changing again next month.

A letter


Dear Hugo,

Thank you for all your advice on how to run the team. You really know what you're doing.

Your friend,

Ricardo LaVolpe

Interesting move


At first I was excited to see Yallops latest gamble was to bring Edson Buddle to LA. But then I noticed he was giving up Tyrone Marshall to do so. Further thought leaves me thinking the backline isn't the problem as much as LAs lack of goals. After all, isn't Abel Xavier already in town waiting for his work permit?

This should be a good move. Alan Gordon and Nate Jaqua shouldn't be planning a long-term stay in LA at this point.

If he wasn't injured, would Chris Albright be packing his bags? Tyrone has plenty of time to pack and get his move in order though.

On the flip side, Toronto are getting one of the best central defenders in the league. their defence just improved dramatically.

Beckham Rules


I've been too busy to write (or even watch) much lately. However, I saw this and had to share.

Nice one Dave. Thanks.

'cuz Ipswich are the greatest football team


Just stumbled across this great photo compilation. Brought back a bunch of memories. I can still recognize all those players from the 70's/80's. Guess you don't forget the good stuff.

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Greatest small club in the world. Here's hoping for a return to the Premiership next season.

Can someone help me out here?


It's Thursday evening. I got lil' PZ to bed and figured I'd check out what game is on the deuce (does anyone still call it that?) tonight. Nothing.

The only explanation I could come up with was it violated some "only one US soccer even per week" rule or something as they are showing the US-China game this weekend. OK, whatever. I can deal with no game tonight.

So, I decide to get prepared. What's going on next week? OK, who's the Einstein who scheduled the Houston - Colorado game at the same time as the Guatemala Gold Cup game? Seriously, everyone wonders why TV ratings aren't doing better then the decision makers pull gaffs like this. It's no wonder the sport isn't doing better in this country.

Another good move


First it was Chelsea with a YouTube site. Then the EPL decided to sue YouTube (I'm still not sure what they hope to accomplish) and now MLS has created their own YouTube site.

It's a great move in my opinion. YouTube is a very popular source of video sharing. Anyone with an internet connection (as long as they aren't serving in the US Military in Iraq or Afghanistan) can now access the latest goals. Hopefully the programing will expand.

My only question is, why did it take so long?