Hot Euro Action
Tickle - Anfield was rocking as Liverpool and Arsenal tussled in a surprisingly open encounter, and Bayern Munich's late equalizers in both regular time and stoppage time against Getafe in Madrid were heart-stopping stuff . . .
Tackle - But that was about the extent of the real excitement. Chelsea limped along at their conservative best, Man U rested their big guns (confident in the squad players or confident that Roma had no self-belief?), and a flat Barca benefited from Schalke's squandering chance after chance. At least Fiorentina and Rangers bagged some nice goals in their away leg victories to advance to the UEFA Cup semis . . .
Major League Soccer
Tickle - Pretty crazy start to the season, eh? Plenty of thrashings to go around and no real consensus about who the dominant players will be this season. For all of its faults, this is the joy and beauty of MLS. Can you, for example, see the likes of Manchester United or Inter stumbling out of the gates like fellow defending champs Houston have? . . .
Tackle - Seattle Sounders FC? Yes, yes--good for them for keeping Sounders in the name via the power of democracy and the write-in vote, tradition is wonderful--but FC? Good God, ya'll--it's called Major League SOCCER for a reason. Forget the history lessons and digressions into semantics--football in the US is played on a gridiron, and we all know it (no matter how deluded with Euro-fever some may get). Screw the FC's of America, what's wrong with SC for Soccer Club? Sounds kinda like "sexy". Oh dear, oh dear, don't let Ruud hear. Here come the LA Galaxy SC! . . . And speaking of things getting stolen (but not really). Looks like Osorio is running the rule over Jorge Rojas, who I seem to recall identifying as a possible left back solution (pre-Burch Bomb) based on some strong Copa America play nearly a year ago. And he can play as a winger too? Conspiracy! . . .
Tickle - The goals are a-flowin' at RFK, and United are undefeated in their own digs so far this year . . .
Tackle - But the road form isn't so spectacular. And despite banging in the goals at home, the finishing isn't anywhere close to being up to snuff, particularly from the gilt-booted Emilio. At least most of the attackers have gotten on the board early in the season . . . Yet again, we go out of an international competition early. Was it too early to expect results from a team that the FO was building for international success? At least the manner of the defeat was encouraging. We went after that second leg hard, and but for some shyness in front of goal, we might have advanced . . .
Tickle - 8 games without a loss for Sheffield Wednesday would seem to be an encouraging sign. Of course, the last seven are draws (ugh!), and once again the Owls find themselves in the midst of a relegation scrap, hanging out just above those set to tumble down the Football League ladder. Only four games left, and two are on the road after the late collapse against the Blades. As if I needed more reason to hate James Beattie . . .
Tackle - Arsenal's season, so rosy just a couple of months ago, has crumbled about their ears as Liverpool deliver the coup de grâce in both the Champions' League and the Prem. And that narrows the race for the title down to two . . .