MLS Fangirl

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

Monday, September 18, 2006

Bad calls, or just the way it crumbles, matchwise?

University of Oklahoma football fans in my state are in a tizzy over the Sooners' 1-point loss to the Oregon Ducks on Saturday. Yes, I know, I'd be pretty pissed off if I lost a game to waterfowl as well, but it beats losing to a drink mixer, I suppose. Anyway, practically the whole state is screaming Robbed Robbed Robbed over bad officiating that led to the controversial win. Now some of the officials who made the bad calls are getting one-game suspensions and OU is calling for the game to be stricken from the books for both teams.

As a soccer fan, I'm basically sitting back thinking, "Good luck with that." In my experience, it seems that it's never the team vs. team in any given game, but it's usually the teams and fans vs. the officials. We're always kvetching away at them. Are you blind? we cry, that was/wasn't a red/yellow card offense, that was/wasn't a foul, that was/wasn't worth a PK, and heaven's above, they were/weren't offsides! And yet, if the ref didn't see it, or conversely, if that's the way he thought he saw it, then that's the way it goes down, no matter what the instant replay says. Complain all you want, and that'll get ya booked. I wonder, though, how many suspensions of officials of this type, if any, have been served up in MLS or USMNT history? I recall that there were many complaints after the US/Italy game in July for the sheer number of bookings the US took, with some comment that the official who handed them out might not officiate again. So what's the score with that? And, do you have an opinion on the OU/Ducks results?

And thanks to the anonymous comment on my last post, I'm inspired to begin a Beckham Watch. Just when do we think Becks will grace MLS with his presence? The clock seems to be ticking. I still don't see him here anytime soon, not next season at least.

And I DID get to see the Chicago-DC game on Sunday on ESPN, and don't you love how this game isn't called on account of rain? Manly men, that's what they are. I was surely disappointed with the results on both sides -- didn't seem like anything could get started -- but it was nice to see it on my TV, which I haven't been able to do since June.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

I *knew* it!!

OK, so it's silly to get all cheerful about this two months after it happened, but I have to say I just KNEW that Materazzi was just talkin' some juvenile trash before he got bonked by the Head-Butt Heard Round the World. My favorite line: "I didn't even know he had a sister." It's all stupid on the pitch crap. Yes, a head-butt is a little bit of an over-reaction to a remark so stupidly normal. No, FIFA didn't under-react by handing down the penalties that it did. When you're on the world stage, for pete's sake, act like the role model you're supposed to be, even if you're not.

So to all the people who over-reacted with the "Ooooh, bad Italian man obviously said something racist to the French Algerian" people -- :P. Stop making trouble and save it for when REAL incidents of racism pop up. And they will.

And hey, congrats to the Crew for wonking the Revs 3-0 on Saturday! Now do that seven more times. :)

Friday, September 01, 2006

The wonderful Wizards of Ahhhs

I like the Wizards. Well, I like the team, but the team color and the logo need some work. OK, so I admit, I kind of picked them as a regional default since, smack in the middle of the country, I've got my choice of loving either FC Dallas or the KC Wizards. And I hate Dallas. Not the team, just the city/sprawl/metroplex thing with I-635 that I've gotten stuck on too many times. So even though there's a ton of talent in the Dallas club, I just can't see my way clear to be a fan. I suppose that Houston, seeing as it's about the same driving distance as Kansas City, can be inserted in the mix, but it's still too new to enter my fangirl consciousness. So it's Kansas by default. Not only that, but I'm adore a lot of the guys on the team. I love Nick Garcia and Jose Burciaga, Sasha Victorine, Kerry Zavagnin, Bo Oshoniyi, Jack Jewsbury and Davy Arnaud. Oh yeah, and that Josh Wolff guy, too. Not to mention Eddie Johnson and that Jimmy Conrad guy.

So I was really pleased to hear that the Wizards are settled in Kansas City for a little while longer, thanks to the sale of the team by owner Lamar Hunt to OnGoal LLC. A sale, which apparantly led to Eddie Johnson staying in-country for a little while longer. Josh Wolff, too, although that doesn't seem to have anything to do with the sale. That's just the kind of thing that demonstrates some futbol love and support, which is exactly what the league needs as it sets out on its road to Expansion. Rumours have flown around Oklahoma for years that KC would be coming to Tulsa -- of all places!! -- when it left Kansas City, as part of some grand MLS strategy to build up support in smaller markets. As you can tell, these were rumours spread around by people who don't know jack about soccer and MLS (*cough* sportswriters! *cough*).

Now I'm waiting with antici ... pation for news about when the soccer-specific stadium will rise in Johnson County. Not only do I hate watching futbol played on a football field, I hate going to a futbol game at a football stadium. Watching the Wizards in their powder-neon-blue play at Arrowhead with its orange-red color scheme was just a little too much to take. And a descent soccer turnout of about 14,000 looks pretty puny in a stadium created to seat almost 80,000. So I'm looking forward to 2009 -- I hope! -- when the Wizards get their own house. I'll make the 6-hour drive up for them.

Quick picks

Crew vs. Revolution -- wow, three months ago this would have been a no-brainer. Now, the Revs need a revolution of their own to build off last week's win. Still, ever hopeful Crew fan that I am, I'm going to bet on Columbus.

Dallas vs. Houson -- man, another intrastate Texas battle. Every time I turn around it looks like they're having one of these. With Houston biting at Dallas' heels for the No. 1 spot in the West, I can see how the Dynamo might bring some energy to the game. My gut tells me Dallas is going to win, but I'm throwing my hopes behind Houston.

RSL vs Colorado -- again, last year there'd be no guesswork here. This year Salt Lake is proving consistently that they don't suck. This is a playoff playoff here between these two. Again, odds are in RSL's favor, but I'll go with underdog Rapids.

Galaxy vs. Wizards -- I'd really really like the Wizards to cap their newsy week by beating Landon and the boys at Home Depot. Go KC!

Chicago vs. New York -- so, I've been looking at graduate schools and have settled on Chicago because -- you know why? yes, it's because the Fire are there. The Chicago school is the only one that has an MLS franchise in house. Ergo, Chicago is now my first choice for grad school. This is the way we pick our academic futures, gang, I fangirl therefore I am. So now I'm trying to stop worrying and learn to love the Fire. Even though New York and Coach Arena have been doing nicely. But go Fire!

Chivas vs. DC -- I feel bad for Chivas, I really do. They're getting to be a good team and they have some hard-fightin' talent. But damn if they're not up against a DC United that has something to prove over last week's thrashing at the hands of the Galaxy. LA's getting some payback, just on the cross-town team. All I ask is that Juan Pablo Garcia get one gol for the fantasy team, and then all my beloved DC boys hammer home the rest.