• Honestly, what’s left? Sunil Gulati out Monday saying that CONCACAF won’t influence how the US votes in the upcoming FIFA presidential election.
Our sentiments? Big deal. Why not just vote with CONCACAF? What is gained now?
Without getting flowery and nationalistic, the United States and it’s soccer foundation as is this country’s heritage and what it stands for should have stood up and questioned the voting process that awarded both Russia and Qatar the forthcoming World Cups. They should have stood up when FIFA awarded the World Cup to a country that does not treat females or those of diverse sexual orientation equally.
That’s not sour grapes for the US. That’s a legitimate beef. What would have been lost?
Not being influenced by CONCACAF now? Hollow, just hollow.
• MLS: Juan Pablo Angel gets his 2nd goal of the season on what you might call a frenetic play and MLS Soccer poses the question Tuesday: “Are the floodgates open?”
Class, everyone together now: TSG Axiom: “You can’t look at observations in isolation, you have to look at the whole body of work.”
What does that mean here? JPA has hardly looked liked the lethal striker that once threatened teams by his lonesome up top. Two goals, 12 games, and assuming a pick-up in familiarity with his teammates. That makes, what, 7, 8 goals on the season. That’s not DP worthy unless you are creating chances. Sorry.
• In the other dressing room: Three goals and a Player of the Week award weren’t expected of Justin Braun when he entered the line-up Sunday, but the Salt Lake City native certainly had the ability to produce. Last year, starved of service, Braun still went 9 and 3, goals and assists respectively with little around him for Chivas.
Braun’s late arrival in the starting line-up is just about the only place that new Coach Robin Fraser has erred this season.
That said, it also a reminders that in the domestic league tough defense and grit still win over attacking football…if you don’t have the pieces. (Exceptions: Real Salt Lake and New York Red Bulls, maybe)
• Hell of an ending in Findleyville between Swansea and Nottingham Forrest Monday. I’m looking for the video. It’s worth it.
• Media: A caution to Fox Soccer and ESPN from….the Food Network. The Food Network has done a decent job over the past decade realizing the following: That if you build your brand around stars, they have the leverage and can command beaucoup dollars in contract negotiations for the very fame that exposure on the network gave them. The Food Network saw this with Emeril Lagasse among others.
With ESPN and Fox consistently pushing their audiences to follow Taylor Twellman, Alexi Lalas and Kyle Martino respectively on Twitter, they’re sort of making the same mistake.
Fox Soccer, however, is worse off for this strategy. While ESPN still brings a fair amount of production value (maybe not promotion) to their broadcast, Fox brings neither and they run the risk of letting institutional network walk out the door when another network (Versus, an MLS Soccer Network?) eventually comes calling.
SportsCenter is a format. Soccer In America is lipstick on the proverbial….and I’m not buying it Fox.
• An injured Charlie Davies will be out for a few weeks and insights into Bob Bradley’s psyche are again rainchecked in 2011.
First Stu Holden gets banged up and US fans don’t get to see line-up selections at full force against Argentina and Paraguay. Now Davies is out and the question of whether he would have been chosen likely moves to the back burner.
Very interesting questions on the Gold Cup roster and according to US Soccer, you’ll get your answers by May 23rd.
• Jermaine Jones’ occupation location is up for grabs this weekend. Blackburn plays against Wolverhampton in a battle to stay in the Premiership. A win guarantees EPL revenues next year for the victor, a lose and some help will be needed to avoid the Championship.
A loss and Jermaine Jones unequivocably heads back to Schalke (which he may be anyway).