Tag Archives: UEFA

So much going on

What a busy time.  In case you are the 2 visitors I get to this blog that aren’t my mom, I just moved again.  Ok, it was only cross town but with everything that’s taken place the last few weeks, it may as well have been a much longer move.  Anyway, between that, school and work (can’t forget to pay the bills) I’ve just not had the time to really post lately.  So, I’m gonna share a few thoughts though I’ll probably forget half of what I wanted to say.

  • LA fans who pushed the panic button after the Colorado game should knock better.  LA fans excited after beating SJ need to get a grip.  We still have no clue how good LA will be this season…though without the Trio of Becks, Fish and Landon they won’t be as good…at least we know that.
  • Seattle will more or less keep the Sounders name when the MLS team forms.  My only question is, why this need to add “FC” everywhere.  C’mon now.  At first though had a little giggle when I’d read reports referring to teams as “The FC” but now it’s just annoying.
  • Speaking of expansion, what’s the bet that MLS will keep growing as long as investors are willing to pay the Expansion Fee and build a new stadium?  It’s obvious there’s money to be made with the current structure of things.
  • Anyone who has ever read this blog around the MLS All-Star break know how much I hate the event.  However, the league has sunk to an all-time low by putting the leagues best up against a pile of Wet Spam.  Huh?  Oh, my bad.  It’s West Ham.  Well, maybe I’d watch if Iron Maiden were the half-time show. *
  • Ipswich Town have just about managed to choke away their chance at promotion this season.  Personally, I think another go-around with out the need to sell off their best talent will put them in a better spot for both promotion and relegation avoidance once they go do up.
  • Glad to see Cardiff make the FA Cup Final.  Wish West Brom would have made it as well (Tony Mowbrey was a class player) but ya can’t have everything.  A few weeks ago that call-in show on FSC was asking if we would pay the $25 for PPV to watch the Cup Final if it didn’t feature one of the ‘Big four’.  Well, my personal opinion is that it’s going to be a much better final without any of them.  If it’s not Ipswich (about to hit 30 years since the day) then I’d rather it be a team of players who probably aren’t going to seem many chances at major silverware.  As for this UEFA Cup stuff, well, Cardiff should have some way (either through Wales or England) where it’s possible for them to reach Europe.  What’s fair, well, that I don’t know.
  • Guaranteed, if (and it’s looking more like when) Amando Guevara joins the squad in Toronto, they’ll be lucky to do as well this season as they did last.  You heard it here first…well maybe.
  • Was it just me or was having back-to-back MLS games on FSC and ESPN2 last week pretty sweet?  Granted, it helped (well, for me) that LA was involved (thanks Becks) but still. four solid hours (plus pre/post shows on FSC) was just awesome.  Perhaps that’s something we may see on a more regular basis down the road.
  • Nope, haven’t had time to spring for the MLS PPV package yet.  I should but, well, almost all the LA games are going to be on TV anyway.  I dunno.
  • Hey, does anyone know of a good source for games you can play with a 3-year old to introduce soccer skills?  My boy is able to pass the ball back and forth with me (and he enjoys it) but he needs something more to keep him going longer.  I’m just doing my bit to insure success in 2026.
  • Does anyone else have their DVR set to record “I’m on Setanta Sports”?  Besides Lost, it’s the best show on TV.
  • Oh yeah, Becks got his 100th Cap for England a few weeks ago.  While it’s a great (and well deserved honor) for him, I can’t help but wonder just how bad England have become.  First, they can’t qualify for Euro ’08, and now one of their best players plays for a club in a Mickey Mouse league.
  • Actually, now that I think about it, his goal the other night hardly registered with the anti-soccer media over here.  All those article critical of his injury plagued season last year are staying quiet for now.
  • The MLS Players Association released the MLS salaries last week.  Was there anything in there we didn’t know?  I missed it if there was.  I’m sure everyone will agree that the players at the bottom aren’t making enough.  Now, I’m a firm believer that a team is only as good as it’s weakest link.  If good mid-salary range players are being cast off to make cap space, you are weakening the team…especally in a league that plays matches on FIFA International dates.  Many of those players are ending up in the USL, Europe or following a different career path.  I  hate to see this.  My one hope is that the new CBA which will become an issue soon will help this situation.
  • If you haven’t already, spare a thought for Gretna.  Talk about greed gone wrong.  Dumping millions into a small club in the hope of rewards once the top-flight is reached.  The thing is, will anyone really miss them?  Even the Dream Team writers couldn’t have come up with a plot this good.
  • Speaking of Harchester… That’s just silly.
  • Hey, Santino Quaranta can really perform when he’s motivated.  Took him long enough.  Is it too late for Memo Gonzalez?
  • Is it me or do the MLS stadiums have better atmosphere this season?  KC actually doesn’t seem dead.  Granted, there’s only 10k there but there’s more energy in the stadium.

Ok, enough for now.  I’m sure there’s lots I forgot though.  Hopefully, I’ll have some time to post more soon.

* In case you didn’t get the attempt at a joke. Iron Maiden bassist Steve Harris is a huge West Ham fan and was even on their books as a youth player.

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The sky hasn’t fallen…yet.

I grew up in the UK and used to fall for the “chicken little” type of reporting which goes on in the UK.  Some of it is justified–Band/Live Aid would never have existed if it wasn’t for the BBC–but a lot of it is just sensationalistic hype.

Here’s a classic example.

England players will be covered with insurance indemnity of up to £100,000 a week in the event of injuries suffered in the Euro 2008 qualifier against Russia on the artificial pitch here tomorrow.

Ok, so it’s the FA and not Fleet St this time.  However, the amount of press coverage the pitch has been getting the last few months has been amusing…at least it has in my opinion…which is the only one that counts here.   I’m surprised that none of these articles has mentioned the fact that Spice Balls (that would be the injured English guy in LA) has played 90 minutes on the same surface and came through in harmed….his injuries were sustained on traditional grass pitches.  But I guess that would ruin the hysteria.

Speaking of hysteria–well, maybe not–Nick Webster has done his best to create some.   Then I read Dan Loney’s piece which tears Webster apart.

My personal opinion, I’ve witnessed hooliganism at US Mexico games.   I’ve seen the video of the NY/DC game a couple years ago.  Will it be organized?  No…not by groups like LARS.  They (and other supporters groups) work with their teams administration too much to even think about that type of thing…besides, supporting a team has nothing to do with beat downs.  However, unless MLS and others running the pro leagues here get a clue, something bad will happen at the rate things are going.  There will be some renegade individuals who could very well start stuff.  That’s how it starts.   But then again, I’ve a feeling with the way stadiums are constructed over here (vs. how stadiums were in England 30 years ago) it’ll be a lot more difficult to start stuff…if security have a clue how to react…but that’s a whole different rant.

More TV rights

Wow, ABC/ESPN have bought the rights to the 2008 Euro Championships.

All 31 games will be televised in the United States: two by ABC and the rest by ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPN Classic. The tournament will be played in Austria and Switzerland from June 7-29.

It wasn’t that long ago that I had to go to a pub to see the matches on closed circuit and pay at the door to see it. Now it’s on free (well, over the air and basic cable) TV. Who said no one in this country watched soccer?

It’s a start

We keep hearing about using replays in soccer to judge things. I’ve never been a real proponent of that. However, if leagues were to review players diving, and suspend culprits, I would be in favor of that. Yeah, it would be after the fact and the players involved would have still had the advantage during the match…But if they have to miss more matches, would it be enough to get them to stop? I’d think so.

Anyway, at least one club have decided to put an end to the cheating. I hope they follow through with it and other teams take notice.