MLS Fangirl

Comments from a fangirl's eye-view on Major League Soccer, the American slice of the world's greatest sport.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Next time, Jaeger shot sans the RedBull

MLS fined Alecko Eskandarian $250 for "inappropriate conduct" with the RedBull after his first goal in Saturday's game against RedBull NewYork (hat tip to The DCenters). So was the inappropriate conduct that he spat out the drink, or that he put that crap in his mouth in the first place? Yick.

Yeah, it's all silly, heaven knows Alecko can afford $250. Hell, even I can afford $250. We all know why the fine was issued, you can't, if you're a governing body, let folks just do anything questionable without a reaction. This is what they do. It's a minimum, I'm good with it. What's cool is, Esky did it anyway.

Monday, April 24, 2006

News of the day

Eskandarian wins award but may face a fine for unsportsmanlike conduct over his celebratory swill. Yeah, well, it's a small price to pay for the perfect in-yer-face knock. Sometimes the crime is totally worth the time.

Iran to let women attend soccer games -- Someone alert Franklin Foer ...

Canetti resigns as RedBull assistant GM -- because New York hasn't had enough changes this fortnight.

It's karma, is what it is

Ya spend your time doing a little something to help the environment and what happens? You beat last year's Cup champs. Yeah, that must be it. I glanced over at Soccer365 and saw this little tidbit of info about how the Columbus Crew is getting honored for its recycling efforts, and the little environmental shoulderangel in me is just gleeful. But

moreso, as I raptured all over this blog on Saturday night, I'm thrilled that the Crew got a win, thanks to Kyle Martino's gol at the last second in stoppage time, and that the team has climbed out of the standings well. It would be nice (yeah, I'm talking to you, MLS) to be able to see game highlights, and to see how on earth this happened. Hopefully this is more of a sign that the Crew is starting to pull it together rather than that the Galaxy is falling apart. That said, Paulo Nagamura has been axed from the fantasy team for just not doing anything in particular lately.

This was the game I didn't get to see, because it was on HDNet, so the isn't exactly a cure-all for my soccer addiction, but it's good enough. It felt a little bit like a cheat to plunk down my $24.90 (that's $19.95 for the streaming video and $4.95 for the audio), but it was rather nice to see two games on the telly instead. It'll pay off next week with four whole games, including one on Sunday.

No need to go over the DC-Red Bull game, and don't you wish we could vote for Cheeky-Move-Of-The-Week honors? I had fun watching the Houston-Salt Lake game, which actually came down to be a bit of a nail-biter, because for juuuuuust a second there, I thought Salt Lake might break it's losing streak and get a win. I'm almost at the point where I want this team to win something, anything, for pity's sake!

And wow, I was really surprised by the outcome of the Dallas-Wizards came. Not at the score, because quite honestly, I feel these teams are very evenly matched, especially now that Carlos Ruiz is back, but with the Wizards' weak play in the first half. They came back in the second, which I don't think was due to Dallas playing a man down. If not for that stoppage goal by Pitchkolan, I'm sure the game would have held at a draw. Oh well. The game was truly a sophie's choice of a moment, as I like the Wizards and wanted them to win, except that if they lost then DC would take the top spot in Eastern Standings, which of course I want because they're my absolute favorite team. Oooh, choices.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

It really does give you wings

You'd really think that this moment would be the highlight of my day, 41 minutes into DC United's game against Red Bull New York. My favorite player in the whole world not only makes a nifty goal, but he follows it up with the coup de grace, a CarbonatedPixieStix chaser that he spits out all over the astroturf. Oh yeah, that's some huevos grandes right there, boyo, and that's one of the reasons I just looooove this guy. My favorite quote of the day --- has a piece on his return to his old stomping grounds, and when asked whether the Red Bull moment was planned, Alecko said, "I have a history of concussions, so I really can't remember." And then he follows it up with another pop into the net past Tony Meola, and there you go, the kid is back.

And then, then when you didn't think it could get any better, Argentinian defender Facundo Erpen knocks in this colloso of a gol from 40 yards out, clearing out the cobwebs from the upper deck of the net, ensuring his place for the GOTW. Oh man, marry me, Facundo. This is one of those little pieces of heaven that make futbol what it is. Follow that up by a gol in the 88th by Jamil Walker and that's what I call a good day of play, ending at 4-1.

It's a good thing I didn't buy a lottery ticket ...

... because the Crew beat the Galaxy 1-0 in stoppage!!! Hoo-boy, so much for betting that I'd have a better chance of winning the lottery than of the Crew beating the Galaxy.


AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH, Erpen!!! Facundo, you stud! Gol from 40 yards out, huzzah!

Friday, April 21, 2006

Ooh, there's this thing called 'soccer' in the US

AP has broken out a story about the soccer-specific stadium building boomlet that MLS is undergoing at the moment. The nut graf: essentially that MLS can't ever be taken seriously in sports until it gets its own houses.

Which is true, to a certain point. Nothin bugs me more than watching a futbol game on a football field, complete with NFL team logo in the center. Also, the narrower boundaries of football mess me up. It's not a thing now, but come August, ugh, there we go again. But there's no way that MLS can even think about being an athletic equal with other sports without their own turf. Very much reminds me of high school PE, where the girls get to use the equipment only after the boys are through with it.

Of course, note that the story wasn't written by a sportswriter, but by an AP national writer. This was a feature, not a sports story. And that's still part of the problem there, with soccer still being considered by some not as a professional adult sport. Part of the problem with getting soccer and MLS accepted in the US is getting very anti-soccer sports departments of various news outlets to stop with the futbol discrimination and start sacrificing more than a half-inch of space to coverage.

Quick picks

Thank heavens it's a lite weekend for futbol this week, is all I have to say. I've got too much to do this weekend to spend it glued to the TV. Of course, it occurs to me that maybe listening to one of the games en espanol will inspire me for my Spanish class project that's due Tuesday.

Speaking of that, I just put my money down for the MLSLive.TV and for the audio streams. Yay, now not only can I be assured of getting all the futbol I want this season, but I can complain about the crappy screen reception or inaudible audio. Hah hah, MLS, you've been warned, part me from my money and I do become a demanding consumer.

Looking at the weekend's four games, I'll go out on a limb and predict:

NY vs. DC
Of course I go with DC on this one, but y'know, New York seems to have some tenacity that I wasn't expecting. Draw, draw, draw is what they do. Still, I think DC has gotten its grove, whereas New York has yet to find it.

Houston vs. Salt Lake
Let me just say that the whole brouhaha Salt Lake flamed up over DC Coach Peter Nowak's "hospital" comment just injures the credibility it has for making other cries of racism again. It's a whole crying "wolf" thing, and at the moment it would be pretty easy for me to snark off at Real and tell them that the best way to get on the board is to win a game, which they've failed to do so far this season. But racism is never something that should be brushed aside lightly, especially in this beautiful game. So let the investigation go, and let it be thorough, and please, heavens, MLS should actually be clear in the response. That said, I doubt that this is the weekend Salt Lake makes news on the pitch. Houston's looking to bounce back from the drubbing they got from DC, and I think they'll do it.

LA vs. Columbus
Awwwwww, I don't even think I can watch this one. I think the odds of longshots for the day are I can either win the lottery or see Colombus win, and I'm rather leaning toward buying that Powerball ticket.

FC Dallas vs. Wizards
Ooooooh, this is the game I get to watch, at home, with beer and chips, in front of my very own TV. I'm muy excited, can you tell? Will the Wizards keep their streak, or will FC Dallas take its third win? It's dependent somewhat on whether the Amazing Carlos Ruiz returns, but I'm not sure it'll matter that much. KC is king at the moment, and I don't think they'll fall here. I think a draw is possible, but I'm really hoping for a KC win.

And oh yes, so the MLS All-Stars are taking on Chelsea? A month after the World Cup? Ooookay, whatever. I recall being rather bored watching the All-Stars against Fulham last year, and I'm not so much of a Premiership fan that I'm slobbering to see the Blues kick some MLS butt.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

In Bizarro World, a loss is a win

The US is fourth in FIFA rankings??? Don't get me wrong, I love my boys, but how in the holy heck is that possible that they moved up? A butt-whooping and a tie make for a boost in rank? I'd really like to know what they know. Good gravy, we don't even know yet for a few weeks who's on the team!

MLS Commissioner Don Garber and Co are making an annoucement Thursday at the Chicago Fire's stadium. About what, I don't know, although there seems to be a rumour floating about that it's about the MLS All-Star team playing Chelsea this summer. To which I agree with post, I should care, why?

I like this story at about how my adored Frankie Hejduk is the faring as team leader of the Crew this season, and how the team's relying on him as their man of experience. Which, of course, means they're totally screwed if/when he goes off to Alemania this summer. Oh well, wouldn't it be a rip if they actually did fantastically without him? This is what happened with my indoor team when I went off to Barcelona, they started winning in my absence. Of course, I suck at actually playing the beautiful game.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Weekend wrapup

First off, a big "Wha-hoo, you rock!" to Climbing the Ladder for the wonderful goal compliation. That beats the snot out of just watching them on, and it's a great way to wake up on a Sunday morning.

Another great weekend in fútbol, and thanks to MLSTV and ESPN2 I got to watch or listen to five of the six games that were on this weekend. This was the drawingest weekend, and the one draw that I predicted almost came to pass before getting shattered within the 10 minutes of stoppage time. Yep, I'm talkin' 'bout the Súper Clásico between Chivas and the Galaxy, and whattagame that was. The Galaxy looked like they remembered how to play the beautiful game, and once Landon got a toe on the ball and passed them to Cornell Glen, it was all over. I was rooting for Chivas on this one, but I'm not displeased with the way they played the game. They did well against a team that remembered that, oh yeah, we're the Cup Champs, and Chivas really doesn't have anything to be ashamed of. Keep watching the Goats this season.

DC's win over Houston also was a good game, with the Black-and-Red putting the smack down on Brian Ching and his boys in orange. DC's South American investments are still proving that they were a wise choice. Still not seeing as much ooompff out of Freddy Adu as all the hype leads us to believe. Believe me, I want to see him get the goals and the assists, but I also wonder if he's not the soccer version of LeAnn Rimes, the cute lil 13-year-old country music star that everyone thought was fantastic until she grew up, because they realized that singing like an adult at 13 is something, but singing like an adult as an adult is nothing special. Wow, and if that's not a strange comparison, I don't know what is. Anyway, Freddy still plays solidly, and he looked good most of the time on the pitch, so I hope next week -- the first away game! -- he brings it all together and gets on the board. I thought Troy Perkins did well, so well in fact that I wonder what will happen when Nick Rimando returns.

I was pleasantly surprised by the Chicago-Colombus results, but I don't know that it says much for the Crew. That is a very young, very inexperienced team there, and it shows. If not for the PK, they wouldn't have gotten on the board, and I think it was a minor miracle that they held the Fire to 1. I fear that we're looking at the Chivas of 2006. Still, I have much affection for the Crew, and so I'm hopeful for signs of improvement. As for the Fire, it looked to me that they were giving as good as they were getting, which wasn't much all around. I wonder if they're the kind of team that mirrors their opponent, so that they play better against a great team and not so great against a mediocre team. Well, if that's true we'll see on the 30th how well they do against the Revs.

And speaking of the Revs -- actually, let's speak of the Wizards, who are at the top of the standings with three wins. None of this "well, they haven't lost yet" like you can say for New York or Dallas. Nope, they're winning, and they look great doing it. This is a great team -- Wolff, Johnson, Conrad, Garcia, Zavagnin, Victorine, Arnaud, Oshoniyi, a cat ... no, wait the cat wasn't playing for KC. But anyway, if they keep this up, it'll be the year of the Wizards, which just might help them get that stadium and keep them in KC. I wonder what the Revs will do soon, as there's a good chance it'll lose some of its top members to the USMNT. The Wizards stand to lose as well, but there's still enough talent there that won't be going to keep it in form.

New York and Real was the game that I didn't watch, and I can't really say much for the game. I did just notice an update at about New York General Manager Alexi Lalas is heading out to LA to take over that position for the Galaxy. Wow, for New York this is a year of change. And I caught the tail-end of the Dallas-Colorado game, and it was already after the goals had been scored, so I can't say much for this game either, other than Dallas is a sure-fire team, but I suspect that Colorado is up-and-coming.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Finally!! MLSTV details

Thank you, for finally posting the How-To-Get-Yer-Fix instructions for watching MLS via computer this season. Get it here. Yep, it is $19.95 for all games not on the ABC Networks and ESPNs, or exclusively on HDNet. And -- the best part -- it's free for another week. They must've known that I don't get paid for another week.

Pregame musings

Get ready to rumble in Week 3, and those of us not in the West need to be prepared to stay up late tonight, because the big game's a late one. Who needs to be awake for Easter Mass anyway? Yep, I'm talkin' 'bout the Súper Clásico in la Ciudad de Los Angeles, and now one's more surprised than me that this is the big game of the day. A year ago, I would have passed this game by just to avoid that sense of embarassment you get when you're going to witness someone going down in a hail of shame. You know, that same feeling you'd get about 20 minutes into an episode of Fraiser, whenever you realized that Fraiser and Niles had just taken a left turn into utter you-deserve-it-because-you're-pompous ineptness. But this year, well, if there's a walk of shame, it'll be well-deserved, no matter which team takes it.

In Week 3, Chivas is tied for second in the West with Houston and Colorado, whereas last year's Cup Champions the Galaxy is standing in fifth. For Chivas, this isn't saying so very much yet. Chivas whaled on Real Salt Lake in a 3-0 victory, then lost to DC last week 2-0. Admittedly, some attribute that loss last week to some bad luck and bad calls for Chivas, but that aside, they played well. For the Galaxy, however, their standing speaks volumes. They lost against the Revs 1-0 and then tied 1-1 last week with the Fire, who also is sitting in fifth in the East. The Galaxy have not played well, their opponents have cut through their defenses and kept superstar Landon Donovan a marked man. This kind of play has frustrated Donovan to the point of public venting.

I'm about to repeat what I said about a month ago about the USMNT, all I've got to do is replace USMNT with Chivas -- and isn't that an interesting exchange ... Anyway, Chivas doesn't necessarily have to win, all it has to do is play well and come up with a decent score. If it draws with the Galaxy, it's a win. If it beats the Galaxy, it's a conquest. It's quite possible that Chivas will completely self-destruct, like the USMNT did against Germany, and get snuffed and thrown to the bottom of the standings well, where they will either spend the rest of the season either crawling out or wallowing in. All Chivas has to do is fight hard and play like they belong in the big leagues. The same applies to the Galaxy, only the theme of that win won't be Underdog Prevails, but rather The King Isn't Yet Dethroned. Sure, if they play well but draw, they'll salvage their honor some, but a true win, without technicalities, is needed to restore their glory.

So there's a lot riding for both teams, which means a lot of pressure. In this case, I think the drive for respectability is going to be a better motivator than the instinct for survival. However, that will bring the teams dead equal. In the game of Chivas vs. Galaxy, it's a draw.

Colombus vs. Chicago -- Oh, how I wish that I could go for the Crew on this game. No one will be happier than I will be if Colombus pulls it out and gets a win. But Chicago has been a scrappy bunch, fighting each game like a pack of dogs over an thrown out BigMac. Barring a miracle, I think it's Chicago.

DC vs. Houston -- This is going to be a good game. DC is tied for second with New England in the East and is coming off a 2-0 victory against the Goats. Houston is coming off a squeaker of a loss to the Wizards. The Dynamo, the Earthquakes in Orange and Humidity, will give a hard fight, but I think DC has found its footing and will prove it. DC will be the winner.

Wizards vs. Revs -- Oooh, I don't know. I just don't know! Quite honestly, the Revs should have killed the Galaxy in Week 1 and snuffed the CarbonatedPixieStix in Week 2. So they're not doing nearly as well as I would have thought. The Wizards narrowly beat Houston last week and killed the Crew in Week 1, so they're sitting pretty at the top of the Eastern standings. But have they really been tested? Today's the day for both teams. I'm going to go with sentiment on this, since the Wizards are my regional favorite. The neon baby blue hat on the hatrack over there says Wizards win.

Rapids vs. FC Dallas -- Yeah the Rapids beat the Crew last week. Ho hum. FC Dallas, however, opened the season with a good give-and-take game against the Fire and then knocked Real. The Rapids are up-and-coming, but Dallas is already there. It's Dallas.

Salt Lake vs. New York -- This is an easy one, two ties by New York trumps two losses. New York wins, easy.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Bending my mind around Beckham

David Beckham in MLS? I can't quite decide if this means that Beckham has officially lost his mind, or if MLS has become a professional league respected in the rest of the futbol world and I just wasn't paying attention. Of course, that's not to say that both can't be true at the same time. As they say, just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they ain't out ta get ya.

"I want to be part of a country that is passionate about sport," he noted. Note, Becks, that this country is passionate about every sport other than futbol. Not that I'd mind seeing Beckham play for MLS, even in the capacity of "Rather than be put out to European pasture, I'll come play for an American league and be the top dawg." Having both Beckham and Ronaldo playing in the US certainly would be a draw. Still, I can't imagine it. The salary that they'd be paid in the US is chump change compared with what they get in Europe. But it'd be something, wouldn't it?

So if Becks came to MLS, which team would he end up on? I'd think LA, and then which one? Beckham on the Galaxy seems like the natural fit, but wouldn't it be a thing if he ended up playing for Chivas?

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

It's an honor to be spanked by you, sirs!

Holy crap, HOLY CRAP -- has announced that FC Barcelona is coming to the US in August to do a little tour. The team of Ronaldinho is coming to beat the living tar out New York and some TBA Mexican teams.

For your money's worth, with your ticket you also get to see Chivas duke it out with the Revs in LA on Aug. 6. Then it's off to Houston to play a Mexican club on the 9th, then to New York on the 12th.

I'm so excited about this that I'm willing to go to Houston in the middle of August in my Ronaldinho jersey that I bought in Barcelona in 2004. Eek, Houston, the city if smog, eagle-sized mosquitos and humidity. Yeah, but the Barca are worth it. You can put down a $25 deposit for tickets, but I wonder how much the tickets will be.

I did not get to see the MLS sorta-all-stars take on Jamaica last night, but that's OK, other than missing out on Tony "I'm the size of a Hummer" Meola's 100th cap and a newly shorn Ben Olsen -- and doesn't he look all cute when you can see his whole face, much better than the "I'm a lumberjack and I'm OK" look he was sporting last outing, maybe the beard wasn't a good-luck charm after all, eh? I would like to see Olsen make the US team, simply because I think he's a really dependable player with a lot of heart and skill. We're just a few weeks away until Bruce Arena names the final 23-man roster, so here's to hoping for ya, Ben.

So's I'm hunting high and low for info on the live streaming for MLS games through Anyone know where I can put my money down for that?

Monday, April 10, 2006

Weekend hindsight

I love love love getting to watch my MLS games on the viewer at Love it love it love it. I watched FOUR games this weekend, can you even believe it? I can't even remember the last time I got to watch that much soccer. And the video in three out of the four games were crystal clear, much better than the grainy view I got last year using Windows Media Viewer for Mac. My only complaint -- the sound cut out on me for the Rapds-Crew game. But considering that I was rooting for the Crew on that one, I wasn't too upset by not getting to hear the sound of utter defeat. But that's OK, where oh where do I sign up to get this every week?

DC 2, Chivas 0
My Black-and-Red came out and played a good game against my favorite West Coast expansion team Chivas USA. Jaime Moreno's two goals were nice, especially the one he stalked into the goal. The only thing that would have made it a great game for me is if one of the goals had belonged to comeback kid Alecko Eskandarian. He has some nice shots on goal, but no connections. Oh well, he'll get 'em next week. Can't say I was surprised that wunderkind Freddy Adu didn't start. And yay, welcome back Christian Gomez! I was a little irked at John O'Brien didn't come off the bench for Chivas, since I just bought the guy for my fantasy team. I swear I'm trading him for Ante Razov.
Later edit: I'd completely forgotten about that Chivas free kick. Quite honestly, it looked in to me then, and after reviewing the highlight reel, it looks in to me now. Oh well, don't mean a thing today.

Kansas City 2, Houston 1
Sometime USMNT player Brian Ching garnered the first goal for the new Houston Dynamo, but that effort was completely wiped clean by scores from the Wizards' Sasha Victorine and Jose Burciaga. I'm pleased by this result but I have to admit I'm surprised. I thought Houston played a stronger game and still believe, despite the Wizards' 2-0 record so far, that Houston has a stronger team. Still, we'll see if the luck that drew the goals for KC will translate into a lion's share of skill.

Rapids 3, Crew 1
I only caught the tail-end of this game, and that last 30 was a true heartbreaker for me. I'm thinking that my soccer crush Frankie Hejduk needs a new team. I hate saying that, because I became a fan of the Crew last summer, yes, last summer when the team ended in the tank. But they played with a lot of heart, and I just haven't seen them do that yet. I hope they find it soon. On the plus side, Frankie looked awfully damn cute.

Chicago 1, LA 1
Ha. And let me say that again. Ha. Yes, Landon Donovan is arguably one of the best players in the league, but hell, everyone knows it, and everyone knows to keep the ball off his feet. Admittedly, LA has other stars -- Herculez Gomez and Cobi Jones, just to name a few -- but Landon's Da Man. Well, it sucks to be the one everyone's out to get.

Dallas 2, Salt Lake 1
I didn't watch this game and I could hardly care less about the results, as these are my two least favorite teams in the league. But I can't say this surprises me. Whatever momentum Salt Lake had in the off-season, they've completely lost now. Dallas, however, is playing well and if they continue they'll be a huge force to reckon with this season.

New England 0, New York 0
Another game I did not watch, and I have to say I'm surprised as hell at this result. I expected a win from New England. Oh well.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Eagles vs. Goats

Four hours until the DC vs. Chivas match, and I have to say I'm pretty pumped about my fútbol day. And I can't believe -- in a good way and a bad way -- that this is a game I'm getting anxious about.

Let me tell ya, I love Chivas. I've loved Chivas since they first hit the ground, that same ground into which they ran their entire initial season. They were patently awful, and I felt really bad about that, because this was an experiment that I wanted to work. As much as I cuss out the Mexican National Team when they play los EE.UU in World Cup qualifiers, I enjoy the snot out of Mexican club play, and Guadalajara's my favorite team. Yeah, I know, it's an easy team to love, much like it's easy to be an Arsenal fan. So when I heard that the new expansion was going to be a Guadalajara expansion, I was all up for it. And I cringed at every tanker of a loss, except that you could tell that they were really really trying, they were working on finding their footing and figuring out how to come together as a team. By the end of the season, they had just about found it.

I was really glad to see that they were doing decently in the off-season, and last week's 3-0 win over Real Salt Lake, which is easily my least favorite team (even more so after the Ellinger fiasco) made me a very happy gal.

Which brings us up to today, up with two teams that are both trying to find their rhythm after a bad previous year. Although the Red-and-Black didn't win its season opener, the team showed that it can get it together and keep the rally going forward. I think that it's going to continue, and this will be the game to do it. Likewise, one can write off the Goats' win with a dismissive "Well, it was just Salt Lake." Except Salt Lake also seemed to do pretty decently in the off-season, so I wouldn't say that it was completely a toss off. Chivas has also found its way, and that's going to continue in their second year.

So predictions -- unless I'm proven wrong today, I think DC still has the better team, especially when the players remember that they are a better team. So it's DC to win, but I think it won't be by more than 1.

New York vs. New England
-- Sheeya, no contest, New England easily. This is a good solid team that knows how to play like a good solid team, whereas New York exploded out and then fizzled.
Dynamo vs. Wizards -- the Wizards are my regional team, and it's a team I love, but I think I'm gonna have to go with the Dynamo on this one, by 2.
Dallas vs. Real -- oh please, Dallas.
Colorado vs. Crew -- A scoreless draw, but I think I'm speaking more out of hope than anything.
Galaxy vs. Fire -- you know, before last week I would have said that LA would win this easily, but after witnessing the smackdown that the Revs handed out, I'm uncertain. One of the problems of having the one shining star is that everyone knows that you need to keep him and the ball separated, and the Revs did that. Chicago played a good tough game with Dallas in its season opener, so I think that unless LA has come up with a new strategy, it's the Fire by 1.

On a final note
To all the people who are arriving at this blog by Googling the words "Soca Bonito," which I included in my early February musings on the USMNT game against Guatemala -- the funky lettering and the oddness of the intial commercial made me misread the first word. It's Joga Bonito, and it's a Nike campaign that asks players to "Play Beautiful." Go check it out at Nike Football, the commercials are great.

Friday, April 07, 2006

How soccer is nothing like Barbies (tm)

Yes, I admit it, I played with Barbie dolls when I was a little girl. It was hard not to, because she was the status symbol of all the girltoys. If you didn't have a harem of Barbies lounging in the DreamHouse, you were the shame of your classroom. I wasn't much on dressing the Barbies up -- my family didn't have a lot of money, and the clothes were bloody expensive, so my mom, bless her, made Barbie clothes. Like me, my Barbies wore homemade clothes. I took my Barbies on little "when I grow up, I'm going to do this" adventures, all over the house. Remember the age when the couch could stand in for Paris?

But the point really isn't to play with Barbies, it's just to have the Barbies. You just want to have the Model Barbie, the Malibu Barbie, the My Perm Barbie.

I realized that with my fantasy MLS team, I had approached the issue with the same outlook. I just wanted to have the guys I wanted to have, and while that didn't fare to badly as a strategy -- I have a lot of good guys that I wanted to have -- it's definately hurt me competive-wise. I realized that you really shouldn't have three strikers from a single team that only ever plays two men up front.

OK, I decided, I need to find strikers from other teams. But dammit, I want those guys in my little soccer harem.

It's becoming quite the Sophie's Choice for me, to pick between actually competing and just enjoying.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Eskandarian's back, baby!

OK, so it was a draw. But what a beautiful draw it was.

After about 15 minutes of play where it seemed like DC United had their eye on the ball, they spent the next 30 collectively acting like flock of headless chickens after a goal by New York's (notice the omission of the product name) Youri Djorkaeff in the 18th minute and followed a couple of minutes later by Edson Buddle. The Black-and-Red came charging back in minute 56 with a hell of a goal that almost made me dump the computer off my lap. That's my guy whom I love so very very much. Follow that up with a out-of-a-gun shot by Facundo Erpen, whom I've enjoyed for lots of reasons since the moment he joined up last year, in the 65th, and suddenly we have a really nice draw.

Yeeeeeah, I'll take it.

I can't say that I was particularly impressed by any of the New York guys, except for maybe Tony Meola, that man's a tank, holy merde! And I can't say that I care for their away uniforms, either. But DC had a good showing! Lucio Filomeno made a nice showing in the first half, as did Ben Olsen and Josh Gros.

So now let's talk about Freddy Adu. So Freddy played his first full 90 as a starter. And so far I'm wondering if maybe his main talent at the moment still is that he comes in at the 2nd half to provide a burst of speed from his fresh adolescent legs. I've said it before, Freddy is great when he turns it on. It's turning it on that's the problem, and I really didn't see that today.

So nearly ends Weekend No. 1 of the 2006 MLS season, and it's been a fútbol-heavy weekend, thanks to ABC, EPSN2 and the video that's showing the games live. What's with this "watch it free until April 14th" thing? Not that I mind, anything that gives me nonstop fútbol without having to go to digital and Direct Kick -- hey, I'm a poor student, I can't afford that sort of thing -- I'll take it if it's not too dear. Yeah, it's a little grainy, but what're'y'gonnado?

It turns out that I suck at predictions, I came out wrong on almost every game. Dallas beat the Fire 3-2, KC beat the Crew 3-1 and DC tied with New York. What I did get right: the Revs over the Galaxy 1-0 (a game I stayed up to watch, which made this first Daylight Saving Time morning reeeeaally hard to wake up to) and Chivas beat Real 3-0. Still waiting on the outcome of the Dynamo and Rapids game, but at the moment it looks like the Dynamo are winning, and if so it goes in the first column of "wrong guesses."

Ahhhhh, soccer. I'm so glad you're back.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

First Kick

Huzzah, finally, MLS has opened its season, and I actually got to watch FC Dallas take on the Chicago Fire, and dammit, they won. The game, from what I saw of it, seemed fairly evenly matched throughout the first half and most of the second half, right up until that goal by Dallas' Kenny Cooper in the 70th put his team on top to win 3-2. In the first 20, especially after a tidy goal for Chicago by Chad Barrett and his "got a little captain in ya" pose afterward, I thought the Fire were living up to their name. All in all, though, it was a good game and I'm glad I got to watch it, even if it was from my desk at work.

The Embrace the Colors ad looked better on TV than it did on the computer, too. The real sucky thing about this game was, we're having some foul weather in Oklahoma today, and the top right third of the screen was blocked by this large map of the state telling us where the bad weather was. And, the meteorologists broke into the game in the last 15 minutes to update us on storms, so I really didn't get to see much of the game. One reason why I prefer games on basic cable. If there's a real problem, the Emergency Broadcasting System will come over the audio and tell you to git yer goodies and git out. Which I actually heard them say once.

Right now I'm match tracking the Wizards-Crew matchup off, getting my first taste of fantasy futbol. KS's Nick Garcia and Kerry Zavagnin, as well as my crush Frankie Hejduk of the Crew, are on my team. Frankie's not playing today -- hamstring injury recovery still -- but Nick and Kerry are, so I'm enjoying that. And in about an hour I'll start match tracking LA vs Revs in their championship rematch.

So yeah, I'm in MLS heaven, and you can find me here every Saturday for the next eight months.

But first, this brief announcement

Yay, six hours to go until First Kick!

But before that, I just have to say, Happy Sixth Anniversary to my wonderful hubby, who puts up with me in this fútbol obsession of mine. I love you more than I can say. And you know me, I can actually say a lot.