Quote of the Week: KC Wizards keeper ‘Fat’ Tony Meola on his first practice since he underwent reconstructive knee surgery on March 31, “I’m happy to get back on the field. I’m basically waiting for the final fitness test. As far as training goes, I’ll train just as I always have.” Slugging away chianti and linguini with the paisans in south Philly?
Second Best Quote of the Week: “You’re the parent and I’m the coach, and I’m the one who knows how to play this game.” Blissfully ignorant youth soccer coach to parent who suggested the coach screaming at players was inhibiting their play. The parent? Bob Bradley, whose Chicago Fire had just won MLS Cup 98. Bradley just walked away, and the unenlightened coach stayed that way.
Casual fans are sports heroin: Once a sport is economically hooked on casual fans, they must continue to feed the ever increasing demands of the casual fan or risk the hell of financial detox. (Made that one up myself, I am so proud …)
Would you please sign our petition? The TotW staff are all in favor of Pros Developing Pros, but are uncertain whether it is a wise idea to let the MetroStars develop anything other than a bad taste in their supporters’ mouths. Would you let an infomercial huckster teach your kids money management? Would you let PeeWee Herman teach your kids sex education? Would you let a postal worker teach your kids anger management? But then again one could suppose that allowing the MetroStars to train with DC United would lead to improvements in the skills displayed by Stillitano’s Lost Children.
Slap ’em with a wet noodle: The European Union, the übercrats in charge of everything between Dublin and the Danube, save a few Vikings, fined the French organizers of World Cup ’98 1,000 euros for the ticket scam they perpetrated on the rest of the planet. “They fined them 1,000 Greek hoagies!?” you ask. No, that’s a gyro (“geer-O”). A euro (“yeer-O”) is what they use for money over there now. No more francs (that’s French money, not a hotdog). No more deutschmarks. No more lira (not that they were worth anything anyway). Since the EU could have fined the organizers up to $1.4 million (10% of thier net $14 million profit), you’re probably thinking, “Damn, I gotta get out of Microsoft and invest in some of them there yeer-O’s!” This would not be a wise move. On Monday, 1,000 euros were worth a whopping $1,010! No doubt the exchange rate will have moved drastically on news of this major fund transfer as international investors flee into burritos.
|“Abandon hope, all ye who enter here.”|
|Sign that should be posted in
Spartan Stadium, home of the SJ Clash
Say what??? The TB Mutiny acquired forward Raul Diaz Arce from the SJ Clash for forward Alejandro Sequeira and the ever elusive “future considerations”. Diaz Arce is the second all-time goal and overall point scorer in MLS history; Sequeira is … well … he’s got alot of splinters in his culo and has scored half the goals this year of even the out of form Diaz Arce. Those must be some pretty hefty considerations the Clash are getting. Sequeira was so valuable to the Mutiny that they cut him early in the season, and only recently reacquired him. (Sequeira was cut to make room for Valderrama, after The Centrifuge kidnapped the Colombian from Miami.) Maybe the Mutiny just got lucky … or maybe someone in the league office let on that if the Mutiny were to just so happen to reacquire Sequeira the Clash would coincidentally come up with a blockbuster deal for him. No, it doesn’t take much to see the Hand of Logan behind this latest farce. One can almost picture The Centrifuge in a black cap & top hat, twirling his black mustache and laughing maniacally as his diabolical plan comes to fruition. What is that plan? Maybe its to reduce the number of crapshoots since the Clash have been involved innine of the abominations. Or maybe it was something more pedestrian, like Mutiny GM Nick Sakiewicz swallowing instead of spitting.
Speaking of which …
World Cup Team Feted at White House
WASHINGTON (AP) – Bill Clinton told the US women’s soccer team that its World Cup victory was one of the most exciting athletic events he’s ever seen, “except for that one time Seka deep-throated John Holmes.” Clinton, joined by his wife Hillary Robem-Cheatem, Vice President AlGore and his Stepford Wife Tipper, saluted the team that won the women’s World Cup by beating China on July 10 in Los Angeles.
Clinton said he “almost fell out of the sky box” he was so thrilled when Brandi Chastain made the winning penalty kick. “I thought I was going to see her knockers!”
AlGore said he found time to watch all three of his daughters play soccer, once even forcing a world leader (hopefully one without nukes) to wait because his daughter’s soccer match went to double overtime. “I gave the interpreter quite a workout that day,” he said.
“I gave her a workout too,” winked Clinton, elbowing AlGore in the ribs.
Ms. Robem-Cheatem labeled the World Cup players “our girls of summer,” adding they have helped women’s sports take a great leap forward.
“Not only have they captured our imaginations, they definitely have stolen our hearts,” Ms. Robem-Cheatem said. “And if I catch Bill stealing their ass I’ll cut his pecker off and shove it down his throat.”
Captain Carla Overbeck and co-captain Julie Foudy presented the Commander in Heat a No. 69 team jersey, AlGore an autographed soccer ball, and Ms. Robem-Cheatem with a crystal figurine of a soccer player. “Hey, nice hooters,” said Clinton. “Can I have your phone number?” It is unclear if Clinton was referring to the figurine or Ms. Foudy.
The Chinese cheat at soccer too! Not only do they steal our nukes from under the ever watchful eyes of our inquisitive public servants, but despite the wailing and gnashing of the newly self-minted soccer intelligentsia, Briana Scurry wasn’t the only player fudging the rules during the WWC PKs. You don’t say!? Oh yes, I do. Let us turn to USSF national referee assessor Jim Allen for some insight:
- Typical US Basher: “During the Women’s World Cup Final, the game decision came down to the taking of penalty kicks. During each kick taking by the team from China, the US goalkeeper was allowed to come forward off the goal line prior to the taking of the kick. I thought that the goalkeeper was only allowed to move along the goal line during the taken of a penalty kick. If so, why was the US goalkeeper allowed to come forward of the goal line?”Jim’s Answer: There are several points to be made here:
- There are three sets of rules under which soccer is played: The Laws of the Game, the rules of the competition, and the rules the referee uses to manage a particular game. Although many people were concerned about the US goalkeeper’s “cheating,” I would point out that what she did was not cheating on this particular day. She simply did what the referee allowed her to do. Viewed in that light, she was playing in accordance with the prevailing rules for the day.
- No one else seems to have noticed that the Chinese goalkeeper was also “cheating” during her team’s turn to take its kicks from the penalty mark. How? The requirement is that goalkeeper who is not defending against the kick must stand at the intersection of the penalty area and the goal line. Did she do that? No. She was running up and down, waving her arms and doing her best to distract the US keeper. Against the rules? Gamesmanship? Both of them, but perfectly legal in this game, as the referee allowed it.
- Referee instructors and assessors and inspectors and supervisors can teach and they can preach, but actual enforcement comes down to the individual referee. Yes, the call should have been made — under the letter of the Law. But the same could be said for almost every infringement the referee sees in a game: There is little use expecting a referee to call either of these infringements if he or she is not willing to call every incident in the game strictly according to the Laws. Has any referee ever done this? Not very likely. Would you or I want to be the first referee ever to do this? Again, hardly likely — at least, not if we want to live to leave the field. It is unfortunate that this infringement by the goalkeeper is more visible than many others that are also let go by the intelligent referee, simply because it occurs at a stoppage in the game. If it were the sort of infringement that occurs during dynamic play, hardly anyone would notice this blatant gamesmanship. The referees know it is supposed to be called, but they are reluctant to break with the tradition that such transgressions are not dealt with at this level.
What is it with American keepers? Back in ’94, post-World Cup, ‘Fat’ Tony Meola forwent another season of indoor soccer for the fame and riches of kicking for what was then the worst team in American football, the New York Jets. (Maybe Bora Milutinovic is really Rich Kotite with tinted glasses and an indecipherable accent?) Meola’s bathetic attempt at kicking NFL fieldgoals lasted long enough to ensure he failed to capitalize on his soccer successes by signing for a decent team in Europe, like Alexi Lalas, but not long enough to actually make the Jets, who preferred a geriatric British ex-soccer player. Instead ‘Fat’ Tony ending up tending goal for three increasingly inept editions of the RotMasters. Way to grab the brass ring! And who is set to follow in Meola’s footsteps? Why, WWC-winning keeper Briana Scurry, of course. No, she isn’t going to kick for the Bengals (the new worst team in American football). She’s actually over-qualified for that position. Instead she is going to immerse herself in the spine chillin’ supreme, in your face disgrace, Chocolate Thunder flying, cats flying, babies crying, cats crying, rump roasting, bun toasting, Phi Slamma Jamma, world of the WNBA. That is not a typo: the WNBA. Seems Scurry was an all-state basketball player in high school in Minnesota. Not on the legendary playgrounds of New York or Chicago, but in the mosquito infested swamps occupied by those inbreds from “Fargo”. (It’s a sad sign of a league’s quality of play when a dilletante can earn a roster spot — like that soap opera actor with the Galaxy in MLS’s first season.) The Ghost of World Cup Future takes flight 50 years into the beyond, finding a ragged figure stumbling around a soccer pitch mumbling to itself “I coulda been a contendah … ” Not to be out done, ‘Fat’ Tony, currently rehabbing a knee injured in his last attempt to be something he wasn’t — a striker — announced his plans to join the Bolshoi Ballet. God help us all.
Q: Position? A: Future consideration. MLS threw a sop to the Miami Fusion in the form of DC United midfielder/defender Brian Kamler, in return for Miami bending over and grabbing its ankles when the league came calling for premier signing Chris Albright. Somehow in the twisted machinations of MLS, DC United, despite already having “acquired” Albright, managed to also pry midfielder John Maessner out of Miami. One of the sure signs a serial killer’s spree is about to end is when his murders become more frequent then he is able to cover up for. Exhibit A being my homey, Jeffrey Dahmer, who had parts from 11 different bodies in his fridge when the cops came-a-knockin’. What does cannibalism have to do with MLS player deals? Lots. Notice how the deals are getting ever more byzantine, and frequent. And how one sordid deal, inevitably leads to another to cover up the first. The spiral gets tighter and tighter and harder to escape from. MLS’s serial deals have backed itself into a corner it is going to find increasingly hard to escape from. The whole issue would be moot, of course, if teams had control over their own players.
For being the Black Hand behind so many convoluted player deals:
Turd of the Week