Hot on the heels of last week's "TvT: MLS Edition", here comes a big clearout of some of the stories that have been clogging up the inbox as of late. It's not just a standard clearout--I think this level of clutter calls for the nuclear option . . . BOOM!
It's a social media world, and we are all social media girls (or boys, or something). The USMNT joins the blogoverse (on our friendly neighborhood Blogger no less) along with assorted other US Soccer properties.
Much like the universe itself, the blogoverse just keeps on expanding. There's room enough for all--lose yourself in the stream of new media goodness. Just don't try to keep atop of this particular wave, lest it drown you in a sea of inattention and lost hours of productivity. Twitter too? [note to readers: yours' truly has also decided to dip his toe into the vile sewage canal that is Twitter, and I wouldn't mind having a few more followers to make it worth my while ;-)]
A blogspot address? They don't give those out to just anybody, do they? Come on, guys, how hard is it for an organization of your size and funding to do subdomain redirects or some such web voodoo? Also, Twitter just becomes one more information source to shun on game days when I'm time-shifting my footie viewing. Another one? Ugh. I suppose I could stop following, but . . . ah, who am I kidding.
Take My Designated Player, Please!
Landon Donovan heads out on loan to Munich, joining fellow Galacticrapo Becks, who is in Milan, and followed by El Hunchbacko Blanco heading for Santos in Mexico.
At least we're not seeing Landycakes at Wigan or Becks at Hull City. These are some real quality gents that we're lending our expensive toys to.
Still, I'm not quite sure what to make of this trend. Did our highest paid players not put their all into the MLS season? Or weren't they tested enough in MLS? Is it just that the MLS season is too short? Are they so phenomenally driven that they need to keep playing through the off-season? And what if one of these high-ticket draws does an ACL or worse? Hmmm . . .
Hey, Scandanavia! Want a Bargain (again)?
Let's get this straight. One of the best defenders in the league is jumping the MLS ship . . . for Denmark?
Uh . . ? The Revs get screwed again? Maybe United can pull a Noonan and bring him back to shore up a fragile backline midyear? Help me out here, I'm drawing a blank on the positive side of this particular coin.
Oh dear. Here we go again. Second and third tier Euro leagues can still afford to pay more than MLS can for its "star" players. Remind me why expansion has to occur at such a quick pace again. Question: if we continue to expand senior rosters and add even more teams while losing the backbone of the league, what remains? Foreign legions chasing an elusive buck and the not-quite-talented-enough-for-Europe Americans. Yum-yum! That's some good watching there! At least FSC will have the on-air talent to match the quality of play on the field.
All Draws Are Not Created Equal
So let's check out the groups for next summer's Confederations Cup in South Africa, shall we? Group A = South Africa + Iraq + New Zealand + Spain; Group B = Italy + Brazil + USA + Egypt.
Though the draw seems a bit, how shall we put it delicately, unbalanced?; it's going to be the sort of stern test that we need to get everybody focused on what a step up the World Cup is. Let's face it, the Gold Cup, CONCACAF qualification, and friendlies are not sufficiently testing encounters. Italy, Brazil, and a quality Egyptian side will give the US boys all they can handle. Here's hoping we're wiser, more experienced, and stronger for the competition.
FIFA corruption is old hat, but let's look at the numbers here from the latest FIFA rankings, admittedly a flawed ranking to begin with, but illustrative nonetheless.
Group A: South Africa (80th), Iraq (75th), New Zealand (60th), Spain (1st)
Group B: Italy (3rd), Brazil (5th), USA (24th), Egypt (21st)
So let's see. Four teams in one group from the top 25 in the world versus one? And the other three in that one's group aren't even in the top 50? Whatever, FIFA.
Alright. Let's consider that inbox nuked. Anything catch your eye above? Let's hear what you think in the comments below.