Plans within plans. The front-office's ducks are all beginning to align into something resembling a row as the first of United's long-rumored Sudamericano invasion begin to touch down. Niell and Martínez are confirmed and Carvallo is lurking about baggage-claim somewhere. Moreno is all but finalized to come back at a lower salary. The only big questions remaining are (1) Gomez or Gallardo, and (2) wherefore art thou, wide threat? . . . Crazy season is on! EJ jumps aboard the sinking ship that is Fulham USA. The Rapids are shopping Mastroeni like mad. Half of MLS is headed for Norway, and Europe is sending their out-of-favor misfits back in exchange. Houston's strike-force is dust in the wind, the Revs legendary tightwad owners may get what they pay for this year, and the Galaxy are going to be left with a handful of stars and a U-12 girl's team playing for orange slices and autographed Beckham head shots.
Don't tell me you don't care about United's new, stripeless jerseys. Don't tell me you don't love democracy. C'mon people, get voting in the sidebar before it's too late to make your voices heard! . . . Seriously, what the hell is the deal with MLS players and Norway? Is it the skiing? The health care? Those fine viking women in horned helmets? Inquiring minds need to know . . . Greenbelt United? Now, speaking as a resident of the rural backwoods of Pennsylvania who manages to drag the family down to a handful of games each year with the promise of a day at the zoo, museum or Chinatown, and makes heavy use of the Metro anyway, I'm not too bothered by a move out of the District from a travel perspective (and I'm joking about the "drag" bit--my wife and daughter love going to United games). But all other things being equal, I'd rather keep DC United in DC. Does that outweigh my desire to see United safely ensconced in their own home? Sorry, RFK old gal--I'll miss you terribly, but my attentions are often fickle, and a younger, more fashionable (read: soccer-specific) lass may indeed steal my fancy, provided she has good Metro access . . . I like Bob Bradley. Really I do--for club-level coaching. And I know that he'll keep putting together positive results for the USA. He'll get us to the World Cup in 2010, and we'll show reasonably well, yet still manage to get knocked out at the group stage when we demonstrate a decided lack of invention and tactical nous. What I'd really like is a bit of possession and a bit of style. Entertainment over efficiency. Room for artists, not just assembly-line cookie-cutters punching the clock for the Red, White, and Blue, getting their heads down and putting in a solid shift. Is there an American coach that can even threaten to bring that sort of magic to the table? Would the USSF even recognize and nurture this notional coaching genius? Can soccer in the States cure its addiction to big bodies that can get around a patch of grass at pace but stare stupidly at the ball when it comes to their feet and bounces ten yards clear from a lead-footed touch? The Magic Eight Ball says . . .
Yeah, it's a pretty crappy mail app, I agree . . . Wait! You're still here? You're still reading this? Where am I? These aren't the droids you're looking for. Move along, move along, nothing to see here.