It’s been an interesting week on the MLS Coaching front. Of course, LA now have a Dutch coach….a coach who I idolized as a player. The guy was awesome. My hope is that he can introduce Total Football to the HDC.
I was fortunate enough to group up in the Total Football heyday. While I lived on the other side of the North Sea, Bobby Robson had brought a taste of Total Football to Suffolk in the late 80’s when he signed Arnold Murhen and Franz Thijssen. The think of love about the style isn’t the obvious, ball movement, it’s the player movement. Players off the ball finding and creating space so the player with the ball can use them. That’s what gave me goosebumps when done well.
How will it work in LA? I don’t know. I do remember (fuzzy memory again here) back in the Rose Bowl days when LA were getting pretty close there. I don’t remember if Zambrano or Schmid were in charge at the time. It may have been ’98. Anyway, I hope he can bring some of it to LA. Sampson killed anything entertaining and Yallop was never given the chance to develop it.
Pele has been getting in the news while watching Ipswich go down to Sheffield Utd. He claims that MLS sold Becks as a goal scorer. Um, I know I’m getting old (another birthday this week) but I honestly don’t recall anyone saying that. In fact, I seem to recall everyone explaining to those who aren’t as familiar with the sport that he is a midfielder and is a great passer and freekick taker. Nothing about goals. Granted, there were many who made comments about his productivity in terms of stats when assessing his impact on the field this season. But then again, I’m not sure the average American sports writer can write anything without citing some type of stats. For me, I saw a different team when he was on the field. LA were much more organized and seemed to have more direction and flow when Beckham was getting touches. But what do I know? I’m sure Pele saw all the matches he played for LA and is more an expert on those things than I. Beckham, for his part, only said great things about Pele when asked to respond. What a class act.
Speaking of Ipswich, I loved this result. 🙂
Is it me, or are things in NY (ok, NJ) at a standstill? (Insert 60-90 day’s joke here.) Is Red Bull going to pull something amazing out of the hat? Firing Arena (yeah, I read the statement) just seems a bit drastic. Now they are making changes to the stadium plan…well, according to Ives who is one of the more reliable reporters–ad the stadium probably won’t be ready until 2010!!! Now, I’ve sat on this for a few hours and given it some thought. My conclusion is, this may not be a bad thing. Granted, there are things in Red Bull Land which need to be addressed. However, I think this shows a long-term commitment to the team and the league. Also, I’ve a feeling that Red Bull–who don’t do things half-way–are going to create one heck of a sweet stadium. I just wonder how much longer the Red Bull loyal can wait?
So, Seattle will have an MLS team sometime in the future–possibly before Red Bull moves outta the Meadowlands. Drew Carey will probably now get grief from my buddies in LARS but I guess I don’t really blame him. What’s interesting is where I read something along the lines of the team having fans buy shares of the club and allow them to vote on things. With Red Bull in NY, Chivas in…err, Chivas, Toronto doing something no other MLS team can–like selling 16,000 season tickets before the previous season is finished. Back to my point, there’s more investment from people who arefamiliar with how the game is run in other countries coming into the league. The league isn’t anything like it was in ’96–and I’m not just talking quality of play. I’m just surprised it’s taken so long for the owners to realize things things. Maybe I’m not seeing the right picture but things do seem to be headed in that direction. I just wonder how much longer we’ll have to put up with matches on FIFA International dates?
Anyway, enough rambling for today. I’ve not been good about writing much lately…I’m blaming school. However, if you are interested in random comments and the occasional live match comments, check out my Twitter.