Definitely, They Ain’t…

14 04 2009

I truly don´t get soccer fans here in the States. Fans here want the league to get respect or think that there is a sense of entitlement that their league deserves.  Get in line.

I will tell you for starters, I have been considered a huge MLS basher, and that is farther from the truth.  MLS is considered a third-rate league worldwide not because of the players.   It is considered third-rate because of the way it is run.  The players are some of the best human beings out there and I root for every single one of them to make it big.  I want the league to do well because of them.  The administration of the league it what needs an overhaul, and I am not reinventing the wheel.  But let me not get off subject too much.

Kartik was slammed the other day for ¨pandering to the MLS¨, ¨backpedalling¨, and a host of other charges.   I for one, could give a rat´s ass about Don Garber and what he thinks or says about me.  To be honest, he probably doesn´t even know I exist.

I am not trying to blow smoke up Kartik´s ass.  I don’t need to.   He knows how good he is and what he needs to do.  Part of his job description is not for him to always write columns that will make you agree with 100% of the time.  He is there to make you think and really get past the superficiality that the media and its ala carte simplicity offer nowadays.  I am in no way as eloquent as he is.  Actually, I write like a sailor compared to him.  So to hear people criticizing him for his ¨position¨, it baffles me.  Based on his position as a writer, he needs to know when to pull out the feather and when to pull out the sword.

First of all, Bob Bradley´s job description as national team coach is not to help the league grow.  Yes, he might have that corralation a little bit more than any other coach in the world; in the end he is not responsible for MLS to grow. The league could fold tomorrow and Bob Bradley will still be the coach of the national team.  He does not answer to Don Garbage, I mean Garber.   Last time I checked, Sunil Gulati was the man with the plan.

Second of all, Bradley´s responsibility is to help US Soccer (not MLS) grow.  Now player preferences, those are exactly that- player preferences.  Part of the job is to select the best side possible to compete internationally.  This is the beauty of the game.  Each person would have a starting XI.  It is the nature of the beast.  But ultimately, he is the one whose job hangs in the balance with every match.  So that is why he has to pick the best players available out there for him.   His evaluation is based on how the US does in tournaments like Gold Cup, Copa América, the World Cup and others.  So he does what every single coach out the does, he looks to Europe first.  Brazil, Argentina, as well as teams in Central and South America, the Caribbean, Africa, and Asia do that.  For the most part the US’ best players are in Europe, I would be safe to say about 70/30.  There are players like Landon Donovan, Sasha Kljestan, Brian Ching, as he mentioned that are locks for the national team.  The simple fact of the matter is that MLS is not cutting it as of yet on the international scene.  Call it lack of respect, call it whatever you want- it’s the reality of MLS right now.  Let’s forget about those old Dave O’Brienisms.  No one is a “eurosnob” in this picture.  Bob Bradley is looking for something more than just success… he is looking for the game here to obtain an identity.   Ric Flair always said,”In to be the man, you’ve got to beat the man…WOOOOO!!!”   That might be crazy to say, but in the end it is quite deep.  In order to be growing into the upper echelon of world football, we cannot be thinking about our hangups socially and politically to our counterparts across the pond.   When you want to learn about history, you read Gore Vidal.  When you want people to see the greatest basketball, you think of Michael Jordan.  So why can’t Bradley look at some of the best players, leagues, teams, and minds in the world?

Let’s get away from this crap of “snobbism”.

It’s not bleak though.  When we had Greg Sica on the show last week, he talked about the growing appeal of MLS in South America.  MLS is quickly becoming an option for several players South of the Border.   There is no doubt that the league is quickly becoming a haven for players that want stability as well as tranquility on top of playing decent soccer.

So maybe I am not the best person to go out and defend Kartik, but you guys better count your blessings.  Yes, I know that I am a step away from writing my articles in crayon but I do think I know a little something about the game.  He at least is one of the few that has the balls to go out and tell people the good things about MLS amid the MLS jokes that are hurled his way by both Mexican pundits as well as Europe and Latin America.   He’s one of the few that could stand up to them with eloquence.

This is the way I debate them…

So eloquence is not my strength.  My strength comes from my passion and sometimes that is not a good thing.  So thank you stars there is a guy like Kartik out there fighting for you.


70 Cities Considered By US World Cup Bid

13 04 2009

US Soccer Comunications- The USA Bid Committee mailed letters to public officials and stadium operators in metropolitan markets across the United States in an initial and important step toward preparing a formal bidto host the FIFA World Cup in 2018 or 2022. The 70 stadiums dentified by the USA Bid Committee as candidates to host World Cup matches in 2018 or 2022 include National Football League stadiums, college football stadiums, and domed and retractable roof stadiums. The 70 stadiums
represent more than 50 metropolitan markets in 31 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. FIFA has set May 2010 as the deadline for countries to submit their final paperwork to host the FIFA World Cup in 2018 or 2022. FIFA’s 24 member Executive Committee will then study the bids, conduct site visits and name the two hosts for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments in December 2010, completing a 21-month bid and review process.


7 04 2009

Yes, how time flies.  We now have posted ten shows in this new cycle.  You know what it could not have been at a better time and with a better guest.  CNN SI’s Greg Sica was with and he taught us about the best hang outs and why everyone in Uruguay loves TITS (not those, you pervs!).  George starts to feel the the effects of strip clubs as well as his new partnership with Dr. Sica as they scrounge the world looking for hot soccer women.

Oh by the way we did talk about  South America, Spain, Champions League, and some CONCACAF in this edition of Mad About Futbol.




maf Show x.4

Maf Show x.5

Maturana On The Plank In Trinidad

7 04 2009
Trinidad Coach Francisco Maturana (Trinidad & Tobago Express)

Trinidad Coach Francisco Maturana (T& T Express)

According to the Jamaica Gleaner, CONCACAF president Jack Warner is not looking to give national team coach Francisco Maturana complimentary tickets to the World Cup after the Soca Warriors recent performances.  This comes in light of Trinidad’s loss to the US in Nashville 3-0 in the fourth round of the CONCACAF hexagonal.

“I think it was way below expectations of a team that is aspiring to be among the qualifiers for the World Cup finals in South Africa next year,” said Warner, who also serves as FIFA vice-president.

“My concern is that we are not getting the required results. Results are all that matter at the moment and we have to start getting the right ones from the next match.”

The country’s football federation is preparing to meet with the national team’s technical staff later on this week and decide on their future.  Odds are that Warner would be looking for a coach by the end of the week.

The Trinidadian media has also smarted after the loss and has blamed Maturana for this loss as well as last year’s historic defeat at the hands of the “Yanks” worst loss in history, further pushing Paul Caligiuri’s (who 20 years ago crushed the island with his goal at the Halsey Crawford) into distant memories of the past or into the wound that is the island’s soccer history.

His misuse of players and sporadic selection of veteran players that were part of the nucleus of the 2006 team have generated more questions than answers and he could be seeing the door very soon.

US Bring Kissinger To Help With World Cup Bids

30 03 2009

Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger (BigHeadRob)

Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger (BigHeadRob)

The United States Soccer Federation announced today that former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger will be on board in order to obtain the World Cup bids for either 2018 and 2022.

U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati announced on Monday that former Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger has accepted an invitation to join the USA Bid Committee and help drive the country’s bid for the 2018 or 2022 FIFA World Cup. The USA Bid Committee is putting together a comprehensive bid to present to FIFA by May 2010. One of the most prominent political figures in U.S. history, Dr. Kissinger has been a longtime supporter of soccer and has contributed greatly to raising the visibility of the sport in the United States. He was a crucial figure in helping bring the 1994 FIFA World Cup to the United States, serving as chairman of a 16-member advisory panel. In 1996, FIFA honored Dr. Kissinger with the Order of Merit for his service to the sport across the world. Dr. Kissinger joins five other members on the USA Bid Committee: Gulati, who will serve as the Chair of the Bid Committee, Carlos Cordeiro, non-executive Vice Chairman of Goldman Sachs (Asia), U.S. Soccer CEO Dan Flynn, MLS Commissioner Don Garber and Phil Murphy, the former National Finance Chair of the Democratic National Committee. The Executive Director of the Bid Committee is David Downs. Other members of the USA Bid Committee will be announced in the near future. The U.S. is one of nine countries that have formally declared their desire to submit a bid. The others are Australia, England, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico and Russia, with joint bids from Netherlands-Belgium and Portugal-Spain. Qatar and Korea Republic are applying solely for the 2022 tournament. FIFA’s 24-man Executive Committee will review each country’s bid and name the two hosts for the
2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups in December 2010.

US Enabling Barrabravas?

28 04 2008

 With the weakening dollar being pertinent in the US economic agenda this year, Europe is now a tremendous expense for Americans.  Read the rest of this entry »