Back in the saddle

Chelsea’s CL win over Liverpool – wonderful entertainment, or two drunks stumble-fighting in the street?

First of all, thank you all for your patience while I got settled in at my new job this month. Sorry that the blog posting slowed down, but let me assure we’ve got more good stuff coming in April both on the blog and the podcast.

Here’s what I’ve been thinking about recently:

  • DC’s stadium situation is moving forward more than people realize. I’ve spoke to a lot of people who have confirmed that DC is currently speaking to almost every local jurisdiction except for PG including the District and Fairfax County. Things have gone very quiet on the stadium front since Garber’s bomb, but folks say that is indicative of United’s aim of doing this deal a bit differently than before and ensuring that everything is a as lined up and organized as can be, before annoucning any kind of progress and facing down the inevitable opposition. So far, less than a month after hearing that United faced a 70% chance of playing elsewhere in 2010, I feel pretty darn optimistic that United won’t move anywhere outside of the DC area.
  • The Champions League has been, far-and-away, the best tournament I’ve seen this year. Yes, we have an ostensibly competitive Premier League and La Liga this year, but this year’s CL has blown me away with the kind crunch-time performances we’ve seen. So often, when the games get this important, we see dull, putrid fear-fests as teams (and more importantly, managers) don’t want to surrender goals far more than they want to score them. Folks were saying that they weren’t sure if the 4-3 Liverpool-Chelsea thriller was one of the greatest matches I have ever seen, or a rousing performance of idiot theater. My response: Who cares? That match was unbelievably entertaining.
  • The early MLS standings have me completely and utterly baffled. Columbus can’t get out of its own way and sits winless at the bottom of the East while Chivas, Chivas, leads all teams in points, goal allowed and features Mexican journeyman Eduardo Lillingston scoring the goals and unknown hometown kid Gerson Mayan serving them up. Of course not everything surprises me, which brings me to the ballad of….
  • New York and DC, otherwise known as stumble and bumble. New York is following the old chestnut says “if you’re going to lose, then suck completely.” If Osorio’s days aren’t numbered, I’d be utterly stunned. DC meanwhile is tempting its fans with visions of competence interspersed throughout long periods of cluelessness. United, built around an aging, injury-prone core, is less steady than a drunk trying to climb out of a moon bounce. I guarentee that at least two out of the combo of Olsen, Moreno, Gomez, and Emilio will get hurt and/or otherwise wilt as soon as it gets hot and the schedule gets more demanding. This United team is built like an egg – brittle on the outside, a soft delicate center, and if you leave it in the sun for more than 60 minutes it begins to stink like hell.
  • Joey Saputo has gone to the Montreal and Quebec governments to look for funding to upgrade his stadium to make it appropriate for MLS. Believe it or not, I wouldn’t write this off as impossible. The Montreal and provincial governments have plowed an enormous amount of cash in keeping the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal and appear interested in forking out for it again. Additionally, the Montreal and Quebec governments have supported the ATP tennis tournament in that city in various ways. My point is that the Governments up there might be willing to fork for some of the stadium costs for the prestige that they see with getting a second major league sports franchise.
  • Has Colorado seriously just signed a defender from Crewe? Not only that, but according to his Wiki, he will have played for six clubs ranging from the “heights” of Toulouse (a soccer team in a rugby town) to Oldham without ever once being good enough to attract a transfer fee. Great signing, Gary Smith!
  • Is the Champions League moving to FSC such a disaster. Yes, it will likely rid us of the scourge of Tommy Smyth (who while terrible on the air, is one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met in soccer), but Paul Gardner rightly says that the alternative will bring with it its own issues.

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