Seriously, Part III

"The problem in our league isn't who is or isn't in the playoffs; it's that not enough people want to watch our league yet, and we have to convince them that our league is worth watching. I don't think [playing conservatively] is the way to do it. I recognize there is more than one way to skin a cat. I'm not saying that everyone has to play an attacking style, but that is our style and identity, and we have to be honest with ourselves and say there are sometimes liabilities [such as missing the playoffs] that come with it." - Kevin Payne

Go read the whole sorry thing over at the Goffster's place if you haven't already. Go ahead, I'll wait...

Done? Okay. Now I composed this whole rant in my head about the limits of what you can accomplish vis-a-vis a "team style" within the hamstrung-academy and salary-capped confines of MLS. I had this beautiful bit about attacking beauty being in the eye of the beholder and what Fred's hemorrhaging of possession and Tommy's jumping in his bunker with a one-goal lead in the first half had to do with attractive, attacking soccer. Then I leapt onto the inability of our players to either pressure the ball (in order to get the damn thing back!) or move off of it (to get into position not only to receive the ball, but to be in a position that might actually threaten a defense and pull it out of shape, thus allowing further movement/passing through the gaps...), before wrapping it all up with the lambasting of a clearly delusional man who hasn't been watching the product on the field for the past two seasons and seems to be living in a house built of shadow-stadiums and past glories, arms wrapped jealously around a pile of old trophies.

But instead of all that, I'll go with...


  1. That's what I've been saying about the DC personnel(Payne). If DC is not progressing it because of the front office. Payne, to me is stuck in the past and holds DC's past glories hostage. I guess he's bitter and rather see DC fall then seeing DC process without him. It feels as though he is playing god with DC. History can only take you so far(E.I. Mexcio). MLS has changed since 96. The league has gotten a little better, and DC is simply falling behind in every way. I remember in the beginning how DC demanded respect. No team would bully DC is RFK. Now teams go into RFK not thinking of that "Tradition". Payne is and will be DC's downfall sooner of later... The fans have spoken... DC just do it like Obama. Change...Yes it can!!!

  2. It's not just MLS that's changing. The game as a whole is changing. Fading are the days of the #10 puppetmaster. Today's more athletic players squeeze out the space he needs to operate, and the more rigid demands of an organized, high-pressure team defense mean that there's increasingly less room for attackers that don't defend. I'm not saying you can't still employ a dedicated, attacking playmaker (Columbus' success with Schelotto would argue otherwise), but you need to surround that kind of player with high energy guys who can eat up ground.