Almost Turd of the Week: Tampa Bay midfielder Musa Shannon for scoring an 87th minute goal against the Dallas Burn that knotted the game at 1:1 and almost forced a crapshoot.
Hero of the Week: Dallas midfielder Jason Kreis who fired home divine intervention in the 90th minute, putting Dallas up 2:1, and delivering us from Evil.
Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire, Nose as Long as a Telephone Wire: At his weekly news conference, Our Doug offered this gem of veracity, “Again, 55% of our games (15 of 27) have been decided by shootout … As I said last week and as history dictates, that percentage will drop as the season goes on.” Unless time travels backwards, week five of the MLS season followed week 4. After week 4, 11 of 21 games (52.38%) had ended in crapshoots, including five of six that weekend. After a week five in which four of six games ended in crapshoots, 15 of 27 games (55.56%) overall had ended in crapshoots. Granted four is less than five, but 55.56% is more than 52.38%, so the percentage of crapshoots is still going up. In fact, the percentage of crapshoots has recently skyrocketed, rising 138.9% over the last two weeks from 40% of all games to 55.56% of all games! Our Doug’s new nickname, “The Centrifuge”, because he spins so fast.
Hope on the Horizon: Qualifying began this week for the 86th annual U.S. Open Cup. That’s roughly 10 years older than the NFL gridball championship. Why is winning the Open Cup better than winning MLS Cup? Two reasons. One, it’s open … to all MLS, A-League, D3 Pro, Premier Development and U.S. Amateur Soccer Association teams. (Think the NFL will open up the Super Bowl to college teams? Think they want the University of Florida pounding the Cincinnati Bengals?) Two, it is played under FIFA laws. That means tie games result in two 15-minute golden goal periods, followed by PKs, if needed. You heard that right: no crapshoot!
Turd Emeritus Non-Sighting (Thank God!): Two weeks ago Steve Sampson, currently employed screwing up Southern California youth soccer, was reported to be in line to takeover the LA Galaxy helm from troubled captain Octavio Zambrano. This week, Zambrano walked the plank. The LA Galaxy showed unusual common sense in naming UCLA coach Sigi Schmid to the position. Schmid, like Bruce Arena at Virginia, is a proven winner, compiling a record of 322-63-33 (note the draws) over 19 years, including championships in 1985, 1990 and 1997.
The Good Works of Saint Robert of Fowler: St. Robert suffered a broken nose after a fight in the loo of a Merseyside hotel this past ante meridian. It was unclear if, having celebrated the Holy Alcoholic Sacrament, His Holiness suddenly decelerated when encountering another whiteline, this between the tiles in the floor, or if the nasal strip upon his Blessed Proboscis had been manually pushed into the vacuum that resides immediately behind his nasal passage.
Let’s Hold Hands & Sing “Kumbaya” … Vasco da Gama’s Ze Maria and Flamengo’s Luis Alberto were sent off for fighting on the field in a “peace match” intended to end violence in Brazil’s stadiums. (Earlier this month, a teenager was shot dead in a clash between Flamengo and Fluminense fans before the big Rio derby.) After the game, won 2:1 by Flamengo, Romario, always the good sport, paraded in front of the 97,000 spectators, displaying a t-shirt with the slogan: “No War. Peace in the World.” For an encore the Brazilian football association (CBF) will be hosting a Serbia-Croatia friendly at the Vatican on Mother’s Day. Check your AKs at the door.
… All Together Now! Olympique Marseilles and Bologna also engaged in brotherly love and witty repartee, this coming after the teams drew 1:1 at Bologna, sending OM through to the UEFA Cup final on away goals. The greatful Bologna fans threw gifts of oranges and fire-crackers to the OM players as they headed for the locker room. The OM players responded with words of friendship and gestures of thanks. Bologna players and even some fans came onto the field to join in the revelry. The party was unfortunately cut short as party-pooping stewards and truncheon-wielding riot police arrived to break up the lovefest. Giampiero Maini, a Bologna substitute, suffered a fractured cheek bone. (“Bless you my son”, said Saint Robert of Fowler, while laying on hands.) But some people just didn’t get into the spirit of the moment. At the post-match press coneference Bologna captain Michele Paramatti petulantly accused the French side of being ungracious winners, to which Marseille coach Rolland Courbis wittily rejoined, “And you’re not intelligent enough to know how to accept defeat.” I know you are, but what am I? Neener, neener, neener.
Turd of the Week
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