The Americans in Albion occupied a land somewhere between the Tickle and Tackle zones during the festive fixture pile-up. It's all blurred together a bit in my memory, but I suppose those with rose-colored spectacles were encouraged by Spector's steady performances at center back for the Hammers, Dempsey scoring a beauty for flailing Fulham, and our trio of netminders pulling some big saves out of Santa's sack. Those in the glass-half-empty crowd, however, probably saw Fulham USA's leaky defense, Hahnemann and Howard both committing major blunders, and Spector handing a penalty chance to his former employers . . . Back in the black, alright! Sheffield Wednesday move out of the drop zone--but for how long. Ugh squared, or perhaps to the 1867th power, but in the wild and wooly world of the Fizzy Soda Pop Experience, we're only 10 points from a playoff spot! . . . Goff is back with the dirt and it looks like we'll have some answers soon regarding the major comings and goings for United. Go ahead and check out what I'm keeping my little Charlie Brown tree up in hopes of receiving . . .
TackleA moment of silence for former Owl Phil O'Donnell please. It doesn't rain, but it pours . . . Zach Wells is the only United player on the MLS + Scandanavia "best of the rest" USA Roster for Bob Bradley. That knowledge is tempered by the fact that Will Hesmer of the Columbus Hardhats will also be in attendance as a member of the goalkeeping cadre. I understand that Olsen has had surgery, and Namoff, while a fantastic MLS player, isn't quite National Team material, but whither Clyde Simms, who has sent former fringe-Nat Brian Carroll packing and is showing exciting signs indicating an expansion of his game? I realize the center mid pool is deep and filled with young sharks, but the likes of Noonan and Califf are still getting call ups, so I'm just sayin' . . . Do we really still have three freakin' months to wait until MLS gets under way? C'mon, off-season! Get on your bike! Get on your horse! . . . New Year's Resolution: Don't watch any more Liverpool or Chelsea matches unless the opposition plans to bring something tremendous to the party, which is a real drag as I normally enjoy watching the likes of Kewell, Benayoun, and particularly Gerrard (though Carragher is really starting to bring me down). I realize that I'm probably not the first to make this observation, but anybody else think that Avram Grant bears a disturbing resemblance to the unmasked Darth Vader? Yikes!