Daily Sweeper, 09.04: Ticking Clocks; Lotsa Open Cup (+ Blasphemy); Yallop’s Lifeline(?); St. Louis Update…Gasp!

– I’ll lead with a doozy of a concept. A Houston Chronicle article on the local team’s recent staggers pointed out that said local team has only SIX regular season games remaining. Nah, I said. Then I checked the standings. Holy crap. The same applies to Kansas City. It’s crunch-time, people. Good stuff.

– The semifinals for the Lamar Hunt Head-On/Activ-On U.S. Open Cup (LHH-OA-OUSOC) go down tonight – but all y’all knew that, of course, and planned accordingly. I know what I’m doing tonight (unless the wife says otherwise…yes, dear) and will duly prime myself with previews from both games:

FC Dallas v. Seattle Sounders
MLSnet.com
US Open Cup unofficial site
Nice bit from FC Dallas Updates – especially the crack about Seattle humidity

New England Revolution v. Carolina RailHawks
MLSnet.com
US Open Cup unofficial site

By time of posting, the New England/Carolina game should be close to underway – so I’ll be missing that one – but the Seattle/Dallas Super-Epic-o will air online tonight. Huzzah! I would live blog the game, but…well, I’m not sure how it’s done – on a practical level, I mean. That’s to say, I have an approach in mind – e.g. watch the game and write comments, posting them as they come to me – but that seems like such a pain in the ass. Is that how people do live-blogging when they do it?

Anyway, I’ll probably do my usual thing, wife and kids allowing – e.g. “Brain-Dead Blogging,” where I write down a bunch of crap in a whiskey-juiced haze and foist it on all y’all later.

Finally, those interested in predictions can enjoy the Beautiful Game’s stab at calling both semis (and that, unless I’m completely crack-baffled, is a Center Holds It affiliated site). Enjoy.

– Speaking of the LHH-OA-OUSOC Greg Lalas wrote a short piece for Sports Illustrated explaining why the Open Cup struggles – e.g. MLS teams barely care, we have enough playoff, single-elimination fun in this country, etc. But Lalas declines to take the last step, so I’ll do it here: why not call off the U.S. Open Cup? Blasphemy? Maybe. But, y’know, if no one watches it, if it kicks the crap out of players’ bodies, etc. what is the tournament for? Second-chance tryouts for players aspiring to rise from the USL to MLS? As much as I love this tournament, it’s reaching “dear-old-Uncle-Frank” territory: perhaps pulling the plug isn’t total madness.

– Some time last week, I came across a stout defense of Frank Yallop offered up in the wake of the Superliga final loss by Chris Klein. I can’t find that now, but, today, Landon Donovan chimed in with this:

“It would be ignorant of people to put any blame on Frank and I think they know that deep down. Nobody is quitting for that guy, we will run through the wall for Frank. No matter what happens, we will bust our ass for him.”

The vehemence of both defenses (you’ll have to take my word that Klein’s comments echoed Donovan’s) has me wondering whether the players could effectively force the front office to give Frank Yallop a second chance, perhaps at Alexi Lalas’ defense. It’s not far-fetched to think they could get one David Beckham – who’s opinion surely counts for something – to weigh in on Yallop’s side. Whatever happens, there’s drama to spare in LA, ain’t there?

– Everyone mentioned this, but here’s another reminder: U.S. Men’s coach Bob Bradley called up the Yanqui’s best for the upcoming friendly against Brazil. He also called up the Kansas City Wizards’ Davy Arnaud. I kid, I kid. I like plenty in “Wavy” Davy’s game…and the people at American Soccer Daily posted something that tells me he’s an all right guy to boot.

– Finally, it’s starting to look like St. Louis is getting serious about building a home for an MLS club – even if it’s going to be in Colinsville, Illinois. Based on the article under that link, a simple “I do” from MLS will get the money flowing to build a St. Louis soccer-specific stadium. I’d like nothing more…except, perhaps, a Portland, Oregon MLS team…but I also STRONGLY suspect that’s not going to happen here.

Whoops. One last thing: I think I’m going to start a weekly, Team News post. This will cover “hot” players (this is in terms of play, not my physical attraction to them), trades, injuries, etc. etc. Look for this, oh, I don’t know…Friday?

Talk at you tomorrow….or ramble at you tonight if I get to post the stuff from the Seattle/Dallas game.

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