It's been a while since I've done one of these, so let's have at it . . .
Alessandro Del Piero has been absolutely on fire lately, his goals belying his advanced years (34 on Sunday--Jeebus the dude's almost as old as moi!). If you didn't get to see the two that he scored against Real Madrid, in Madrid, last night, dig up the highlights. Suffice it to say, the Bernabéu gave him a rousing ovation as he was taken off.
Tickle - In the day and age of younger and younger superstars, particularly of the attacking ilk, blazing their paths of glory across the futbol universe (Messi, Ronaldo, Aguero, etc.), it's nice to see an old warhorse getting the Cocoon treatment . . .
Tackle - But what does this mean for all those rumors of bringing Alex to MLS? The Red Bulls were bandied about as a likely destination not so long ago, before the latest round of TFC gossip started swirling. My prediction? If he wants to be here, I wonder what Philadelphia is planning to do with their DP spot. Too old? I don't know. I'd take a 35-year-old Del Piero (in 2010) over a 32-year-old Ljungberg (in 2009) with bad knees any day of the week, what about you?
Tommy Soehn apparently gets a pass this season and looks set to return to the DC United bench for 2009 despite failing to make the playoffs and crashing out of the international competitions that were the front office's stated goal.
Tickle - As strange as it seems to someone who's never been Tommy's biggest fan, it is nice to see a professional sports organization not automatically press the knee-jerk "fire the bum" button. There is something to be said for continuity, as well as a bit of understanding when it comes to a stretched and wounded roster trying to fight on too many fronts.
Tackle - With that said, I'm still not happy with the decision unless--and this is a big unless--Tommy flat out told the FO when they were going Sudamericano shopping that he wanted to bring in some solid, hard-working domestic roster filler, and they failed to oblige him. If the FO didn't give him what he wanted, perhaps there is a case to be made for him. Of course, you have to weigh that against a team that failed to perform in several key matches and Tommy's often-baffling tactical and personnel decisions (Dyachenko anybody?). Color me neutral but leaning towards "well crap!" I'll be interested to see what sort of roster moves we make and if we treat the draft with a little more respect this time around.
They're scampering down the mooring lines like rats trying to get off the sinking LA Galaxy ship. Donovan wants to bolt for Europe. Beckham is going to Italy on loan against the backdrop of his possibly re-crossing the Pond after 2009. What does it all mean for the "flagship" franchise?
Tickle - Couldn't be happening to a nicer club. Seriously. I know I'm supposed to hate the Red Bulls, but that's kind of like picking on a mentally handicapped quadriplegic. No, the Galaxy are a much more satisfying object for my ire.
Tackle - But that said, Beckham--like it or not--makes LA the face of MLS that the world sees. If they're seeing highlights of an absolutely wretched side, that doesn't do MLS any favors when it comes to international respect. I wonder if losing Donovan's big salary, along with shipping Ruiz out a while ago, frees up enough cap space to build a competent side around Golden Balls for a decent 2009 run. If they put together a good season with some silverware, does Beckham stay? Is he even planning to leave?
So that's what's been swirling around my head in the last week or so. What's on your mind? Any potential subjects you want to toss out there for my consideration? Let's here 'em!