Crap Shootouts: Four MLS games, three crap shootouts. That’s my TV viewing record for this Spring. Obviously, I am being punished for the sins of a past life.
Referee of the Week: Rich Grady, and his assistants Del Rainho and Peter Kokolski, did an excellent job in a DC United-NY/NJ RotMasters game that saw 37 fouls, 7 cautions and 1 ejection. Especially notable were the issuance of two cautions (one to each team) for dives, and a red card to RotMaster’s defender Billy Walsh for a late, high, studs-first, two-footed tackle into the shins of United defender Jeff Agoos. Honorable mention to MLS referee Brian Hall for his center of the Corinthians-Tottenham U-19 match at Dallas Cup XX: Brazilian forward Gil did a world class flop in the Tottenham penalty area which drew a Hall caution. The Russian judge only gave Gil a 2.5.
Hero of the Week: The British government for telling Rupert Murdoch where he could stick his dosh. Today the Monopolies and Mergers Commission denied Murdoch’s US$ 1 billion takeover of Manchester United, the most popular club in the world. (Some people — okay several million people — have no taste.) Murdoch also owns BSkyB, the European media mega-corporation, which owns exclusive Premier League live broadcast rights. The merger would have “hurt competition in the broadcast industry … and reinforced the trend towards growing inequalities between the larger richer clubs and the smaller, poorer ones”. Amongst his US holdings, Murdoch counts baseball’s LA Dodgers, basketball’s NY Knicks, hockey’s NY Rangers, Madison Square Garden, and Fox TV (which has hockey, baseball and American football broadcast rights). Wish our own government had the same wisdom & courage, but that’s asking too much of a group that fires cruise missiles the way the LA Galaxy used to fire shots on goal.
Turd Emeritus Sighting: Steve Sampson, currently employed screwing up Southern California youth soccer as bad as he did US soccer, is reportedly in line to take over as LA trainer should the formerly high-flying Galaxy continue their nose-dive:
What’s Going On!? : Vibrations from the Black Hole
This columnist hopes the Galaxy are able to rectify their problems post
haste and return to a semblance of the form they displayed last season. So
far, the Galaxy have looked like a bad flashback to the form they
displayed during the second unlamented season of Lothar Osiander’s tenure.
Add in the fact that former US National Team Coach Steve Sampson (who had
been rumored linked to the Galaxy job immediately after the sale of the
team to Philip Anschutz) is now a full time resident of Southern
California. The potential for an ugly situation is in place if the
Galaxy’s woes continue.
Ugly doesn’t even begin to describe it: Can you say ‘Worse than the Wizards’? Yes, I knew you could. Because that’s where the Galaxy will be if Sampson takes over: Crap at the bottom of the bowl. How do puds like Sampson keep finding employment? It’s like baseball (God forbid): all you have to do to find a job as a coach is to be a known name; you don’t have to actually know anything, or have accomplished anything. Sampson proves that the Peter Principle is just a principle, not a law, because he continues to prove that one can rise above one’s level of incompetence. If Sampson takes over I am dumping every single last Galaxian on my fantasy team.
Jerry’s Kids: Commenting on Sunday’s pending clash of the titans between the RotMasters and the Mutiny, Soccer Times columnist Jerry Langdon referred to the combatants as “two improved teams”. He then went on to mention all the ways Tampa Bay sucks, noting the Mutiny are “winless in two starts” and have a “shaky” defense. Two points: One, Allowing eight goals in two matches is crap. Two, it isn’t an improvement, because in their first two games last year they only gave up three goals. How bad is Tampa Bay? So bad that next week I am going to buy two Dallas players for my fantasy team simply because Dallas gets to play Tampa. But Jerry is special and he tries real hard, so we should postively affirm his effort. When the Mutiny give some effort we will positively affirm that also.
And now our feature presentation: Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler has been charged with misconduct by the FA for his goal celebration in last Saturday’s 3-2 derby against Everton. Following his 15th minute conversion of a penalty, Fowler knelt down and sniffed the white line alongside the goal, as if he was snorting cocaine. Police had to calm the crowd after Fowler’s taunting of Everton fans over drug allegations that blighted him last season. The incident is Fowler’s second brush with football authorities in as many months, following an incident against Chelsea, wherein he taunted the reputedly homosexual (though actually heterosexual) Graeme Le Saux by repeatedly grabbing his arse while Le Saux prepared to take a free kick. With exquisite timing, Fowler’s FA hearing on the Le Saux incident is this week. Fowler’s foot is now so far in his mouth that he ought to be able to get a grip on it next time he grabs his buttocks.
Turd of the Week