Turd of the Week #26

klugeQuote of the Week: “Many years ago I played a couple of games against a prison team. The prisoners were formidably fit but, although some of them were inside for violent crime, the games were not at all dirty — certainly nowhere near as dirty as matches against police teams.” (Mick Dennis, Soccernet)

Player of the Week: Mario Gori, NE Revolution defender, for playing with a broken hand in a losing cause against the SJ Clash. (In the Revolution’s case, it is a lost cause, as well.) Gori never hesitated to throw his body into the gaping holes in the Revolution’s defense, several times taking hard knocks, yet still coming forward to provide offensive spark. Unfortunately, the Revolution lost 1:2. When will Walter Zenga realize that opponents have a better chance of scoring on erstwhile defnder Mike Burns than they do with Madonna? That Mister Burns, Homer’s boss on The Simpson’s, would be nastier in the tackle than Mike Burns? That having Mike Burns defend a post is like having the Italian army defend your city? (See, “World Cup ’98, USA vs. Germany”)

Idiot of the Week: With the RotMasters level 1:1 at home with DC United (breaking an MLS record 375 minute scoring draught), New York defender Mike Petke was already sitting on a 29th minute caution. With his team’s faint chance of garnering a rare point in their distant grasp, Petke chose the 34th minute to dispute a referee’s decision by picking up the ball, kissing it and flipping it to the ref. Wow, that showed the ref! Goodbye Mike, have an early shower. Goodbye point, say hello to Mr. Etcheverry. DC United went out 4:1 winners. With idiots like Petke, who needs crap players like the rest of the RotMasters squad?

DC United hones plumbing skills in Charleston: Apparently not able to make ends meet on the generous salaries provided by MLS coffers, DC United players have taken up learning another skilled trade. Since new home starts are on the rise, construction work appears to be a better choice than finding employment at Starbucks:

“DC United apparently used the visitors’ locker room to vent its frustration over losing to the Charleston Battery in last Wednesday’s US Open Cup match at Blackbaud Stadium here. Members of the Major League Soccer team smashed two coffee pots and pulled off some showerheads, according to Battery officials. ‘I think a bill will be sent to them,’ Battery general manager Buckley Andrews said earlier this week. The US Soccer Federation website’s match report on Charleston’s 4-3 overtime win over the two-time MLS champion called it ‘one of the biggest upsets ever seen in American soccer history … It will surely go down as an Open Cup classic.'” (local Charleston rag)

And you thought all hooligans were in the stands. Sometimes, they’re under them, too. (James Gregory, TotW Bribe Taker)


By “John Rea’s Dirty Shorts”

Nicolas Anelka will not be playing Major League Soccer next season, despite the best attempts of league officials to convince the unhappy Arsenal striker to “follow the money”.Anelka originally turned down a proposed move to Lazio of Italy, saying he wanted double their $50,000 wage offer.

MLS officials did their sums and announced that they were willing to meet the French striker’s demands. Anelka and his two brothers who act as his agents were flown over to Los Angeles to finalize the deal. Everything was going well until MLS realized Anelka didn’t want $100,000 a year – he wanted it every week!

Flabbergasted negotiators tried to keep the deal alive by offering Anelka incentives and bonuses instead of hard cash, but it wasn’t enough to convince the moody Gallic prodigy to sign up and he went to Real Madrid instead.

Details of Anelka’s proposed MLS salary package are sketchy, but on top of his weekly tax free wage of $2,000 it is understood MLS also offered him complimentary two-bed two-bath apartment in Newport Beach, a new Ford Mustang with leather seats, a pair of season tickets to San Diego Zoo, and free Herbalife vitamins for the duration of his contract.

“We offered him the moon and he still said no,” league commish Dr. Timothy Logan told reporters after the deal collapsed, adding that the player would probably have ended up “causing more trouble than he’s worth anyway.”

Oh, great … New MLS commissioner Don ‘Shemp’ Garber said in MLS’s weekly telephone news conference that “… I need to spend as much time as I can getting as broad an understanding of the soccer world so that I can be confident with the game and lead it in this country appropriately.” All very scary, both for the wordy legalism of the prose, but also for Shemp’s stunning lack of foresight and preparation. Stuart ‘Step’N’Fetchit’ Subotnick and Robert ‘All My Teams Suck’ Kraft first approached Shemp a year ago. What the hell has he been doing since then, scouring the hills of Kosovo for future NFL kickers? The NFL Europe season is only three months long, fer crissake, you’d think he coulda spent a few hours here and there attending even a tiny fraction of the thousands of conveniently located soccer matches liberally sprinkled about Europe like track marks across a Dallas Cowboy’s elbow?

“We’re obviously very concerned not being successful in New York,” said Garber. “It’s a major league concern, and one of our priorities is to find out what can be done to have a successful franchise in New York.” Fire the morons who hired you. Not unionized? Can’t fire your boss, John ‘The Puppet Master’ Kluge? Bend over and grab your ankles, because despite any potentially sincere effort to the contrary you are fucked from the git-go.

Having two metropolitan New York teams that could appeal to differing ethnic groups and areas while creating a natural rivalry appeals to league officials, Shemp said. So the Puppet Master and Step’N’Fetchit can corner the market on crap soccer teams? So there is a team that even the RotMasters can actually beat? (What’s the transfer fee for the entire national team of Vanuatu: two coconuts, a shrunken monkey head and Tab Ramos?) Gee whiz, you don’t suppose those “league officials” would be Shemp and his Wall Street butt buddies, Kluge and Subotnick, do you? I can see it now: Step’N’Fetchit, tired of having his strings pulled, hops back and forth from one foot to the other before the Puppet Master, “Can I have my own team? Huh, can I? Can I, huh? Please, please? Huh, can I?” Whereupon he promises to empty the trash for a year, mow the lawn forever, and to care for the team even after it loses its post-Christmas glow, like a puppy grown into a mangy mongrel.

Second Best Quote of the Week: “If there is one thing reporters have learned over the past four years it is that it is much easier to get straight answers out of the Kremlin and the CIA, than out of MLS offices.” (Robert Wagman, Soccer Times)

Have at their shins: “MLS is considering a two-referee, two-linesman system for next season. This is neither the right place nor time for such an experiment. FIFA is attempting to evaluate the system, and Italy will try it during its Coppa Italia competition starting this month. How it functions in Italy should provide reliable data for possible future use, since the Italian game has evolved over decades and its referees are considered among the best in the world. But MLS has so many weaknesses and wrinkles as to render such an experiment worthless. No reliable conclusions can be made until the league solves its other major problems, or at least until it has evolved past an embryonic stage. If the system were tried in Mexico, at least some relevant data could be compiled. The Mexican league is mature, a rich and secure enterprise with a distinct playing style, plus consistency in administration, coaching, and refereeing. The two-referee, two-linesman system would be wasted on MLS. It will be perceived as a gimmick by casual observers and anyone with an elementary understanding of experimentation. Gimmicks already seem to be a priority in MLS, and until quality and substance become paramount, the league will not make progress.” (Frank Dell’Apa, Boston Globe)

And while you’re at it …

Kick’em while they’re down: Go ahead, Soccer America, they deserve it: “Charlie Stillitano is a grand fellow, but on his watch, the franchise has run aground. After a proposed sale of Eduardo Hurtado to Swiss club FC Zurich broke down, Stillitano talked about getting an ‘impact player’ as compensation had the deal gone through. In MLS? In August? The man lives in a dream world … Vice president of marketing and sales Jim Leahy, in just a few short months, has irrefutably proved that he can’t attract fans to watch club teams from any country, most notably that of his own.” If you want to dance on the rotting corpse that are the MetroStars, feel free to indulge.

And it’s retractable too! “With redevelopment just a year or so away, plans for the new Wembley were unveiled. Supposedly it’s a daring and modern design, though to me it just looks like an identikit football ground made from shoeboxes and bits of old railway station, but then I’m just an old curmudgeon, I know. More remarkably, we are informed that “the new design respects the tradition and reverence of the old stadium and will retain the atmosphere for which Wembley has become famous. This does not include the famed twin towers, which were Wembley – though the new stadium costs $760million, it was deemed too expensive to add another $30million to the bill to incorporate them. So what tradition and atmosphere is being retained then? Overpriced tickets. Watery beer and cola. Indigestible burgers. The ever present threat of contracting cholera when you go to the toilets. The stale stink of urine. Ah yes, the traditions that matter. The future is in safe hands.” (Dave Bowler, Team Talk, Matchday USA)

TotW just can’t compete with this depth & breadth of vitriol & sarcasm, so we’ll just fold our tent for the week.

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Turd of the Week
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