Monday, August 21, 2006

Fisch is back! Sorry, all -- had to run up to NY for the weekend and didn't have time to post. I'm sure I disappointed my returning visitors (2 each day!). I haven't had time to really think about what to post today, so I'll stick with some random musings about soccer. People like this stuff, I think.

US National team players: Santino Quaranta is off to a hot start with the Galaxy. Obviously, Bruce Arena always thought highly of Santino -- maybe, with the chance to star in L.A., he'll realize a lot of that potential. Speaking of realizing potential: Clint Dempsey is irritated with MLS for turning down an offer from an EPL team, reportedly Charlton Athletic. Yes, MLS would like to build some player-fan relationships, but the best thing that can happen to US Soccer is to develop some top-level players. I'm not a New England Revolution fan, to be sure. But, I think I can be broader-minded than that. DC United will lose Freddy Adu in a year to the EPL, almost certainly. I'll have to be OK with that. So lonmg as we can end up with top players for the national team, it will be well worth it.

As it is, the MLS is creating a system where some top college players are skipping MLS to take their chances in Europe. Is this really what MLS wants to happen? I'm OK with the best players moving on. I'm wondering if the MLS is afraid of losing more fans to FSC broadcasts of foreign leagues? That's going to happen, as it happens all over the world. The MLS isn't going to stem that tide by holding back a few players.

On the EPL -- did anybody see that Reading-Middlesborough tilt? What a thrilling match, made ever more so by a crowd that could not have been more pumped. Reading's first ever EPL game was a glorious success, thanks to a furious comeback. Down 2-0 in the first half (after a deadly rebound allowed by Marcus Hanneman), Reading nearly took the lead before the half. Finally, Reading did take the lead with more than half-an-hour still to play. Hanneman made some huge saves to preserve the win. Reading's other Yank, Bobby Convey, was willing, but the skill wasn't there. After several corner kicks that were becoming progressively more ineffective, including a short corner that Convey toook so as not to give the ball away, Reading's skipper found other players to take the kicks. Convey bravely took some tough fouls, but Reading was only dangerous when other players were carrying the ball. Hopefully, things will get better for Bobby, as they have in the past. Didn't get to see Tim Howard's winning effort for Everton, but I look forward to seeing the future U.S. no. 1 goalkeeper in action.

DC United - awful first half, better second half, including a magnificent effort by Jaime Moreno to set up Christian Gomez's tying goal. It would be nice to see United start playing consistently in the MLS again. I'll probably see their U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday, against the Red Bulls. A good effort there will be welcome (I think United is getting serious about winning the Cup this year), but United's going to have to get serious about league matches, too.

I'm a DC United fan. I might be as excited about MLS games if any of them were as exciting as the Reading-'Boro match-up...but MLS can't be so stingy with our national team's future!

1 comment:

the Bardguy said...

So, I didn't watch the Reading match, but I did see some of the highlights. When do you suppose that the promotion/relegation system will happen in the US? Or will it?