Random comments here heading into Labor Day weekend:
So Chelsea gets a major transfer ban for recruiting an 18-year-old Gaël Kakuta to their development academy, but Real Madrid can be commenting on a back room deal with Ronaldo and nothing happens. Hmmm… (Is it odd that this transfer fiasco is happening to a foreign owner of an EPL team who recruited a French player?)
News now that Manchester United might be facing a transfer ban. The US could have used whoever is regulating here when a little issue of mortgage financing went down a few months ago.
Even with Jay DeMerit being shelved tomorrow, should the US take care of El Salvador (as expected) the Gooch suspension might be a blessing. With Bobby Zamora and Kenwyne Jones up next, Gooch’s strength and aerial ability will be needed more there.
How do we insure that Brian McBride stays involved at the national level once his playing days are over? He only opened the door for Americans to Fulham FC, showed his meddle in Italy in 2006 playing with a UFC gash in his face and was so respected upon his departure from Craven Cottage that the club has now renamed one of their sports bars after him. Class act.
Our poll on the right sidebar ponders the question: Which player, who flashed some promise earlier this year, is a glaring omission from the USMNT roster now? A fifth name we could have put in that poll is Chris Rolfe who made news this week with his transfer to the Dutch SuperLiga. Here’s hoping that Rolfe, who’s USMNT window is still showing a shred of light, struts his stuff and makes it happen over there at sea level.
Speaking of Rolfe, Frank Simek is on the comeback trail over at Sheffield Wednesdayafter two seasons chock full of injuries. Keep it up Frank, we still need corner defense.
David Beckham had a glowing endorsement for England skipper Fabio Capella this week. Talk about sucking up for a spot; this is some serious junior high school, teacher’s pet stuff.
TSG would like to send a sixer of Scrimshaw over to The Free Beer Movement (wait, don’t they get free beer?) for their efforts to recruit Frankie Hedjuk as their spokesman. They hit that nail squarely on the head.
Before you sling some mud over at Bob Bradley, as the U.S. is still in the steel cage with their qualifying division opponents, consider the following: Portugal is nearly out of qualification–yes that is the same Portugal that has Ronaldo, Deco and Jose Bosingwa. Sweden (Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Kim Kallstrom) is still in a fight to go through and ranked a lowly 41st by Fifa in their September rankings, below such powerhouses as Gabon and Scotland. And Argentina (Messi ’nuff said) has looked and played horrific in advance of an all important showdown at home with Brazil this weekend. The only thing that Argentine coach Diego Maradona is fit to strategize about is how to get his next, er, party favors. Who’s bright idea was that one?
Congratulations to the Seattle Sounders for setting the bar exceedingly high for incomers Portland, Vancouver and Philadelphia with their record attendance and the US Open Cup win, the oh-so-junior version of Great Britain’s FA Cup.
Speaking of the FA Cup, the oldest known soccer tournament in the world, I happened to be in an Irish bar in te North Beach area of San Francisco last weekend spending time with a good friend from Dublin and his Irish and Welsh friends. Noticing a soccer shirt I had on, one of the Welsh women launched into one of the most-educated turned passionate fan conversations I’ve been part of (at least late at night in a bar). This ended with her telling me that upon Liverpool’s 1977 FA Cup victory, her dad, an emigrant from Liverpool, painted their entire house red (mind you she lived in Wales). If the Dynamo win the US Open Cup next year, ring me up and I’ll fly out and help you paint your house that shocking color.
Keep your laptop on you if you are traveling around game time on Saturday, ESPN360 is showing the match. Please ESPN keep that product free.
Have a great weekend, especially those on their way to the Rio Tinto. My brother will be manning the controls through the weekend and reviewing the US performance after Saturday’s game.
I have to get myself a throwback….(…and good to see Ben Olsen out there in the clip)