Today’s Best: RFK Kicks Out the Squatters

As excited as DC United players are to ditch the quirks that came from sharing their home ground with a baseball team, the best news about the Major League Soccer (MLS) club taking up sole occupancy of RFK comes with what it means for the field that will host MLS Cup:

“The entire field will be replaced as grounds crews take advantage of a United road trip to lay down a mix of Bermuda and rye grasses, designed to bed in quickly for the fall calendar — including MLS Cup 2007 — while also providing a solid base for next season”

Also, it’s possible Bobby Boswell is some kind of mad genius….

Beckham, YoYo Team, and Coining New Verbs

“And certainly no franchise in recent sports history compares as an outright bust.
The big bang of a breakout disappeared into a black hole of a season – and a club returned to obscurity in the L.A. market.”
– Paul Oberjuerge, LA Daily News, 9.25.07 (LINK)

That’s about as close as one can get to saying the David Beckham experiment has failed without actually saying it. Since I’m feeling ornery today, I’m going to take that final step and say, yes, the David Beckham Experiment failed.

Once you go beyond the LA Galaxy, whose on-field “exploits” speak for themselves, proving failure is by no means easy. After all, the man brought buttloads of money to LA’s coffers along with the tsunami of exposure. There’s also the possibility that Beckham’s signing may soothe the squeamishness other foreign players feel about playing in Major League Soccer (MLS); call this last item the “Beckham Prism,” a device that somehow shines pretty rainbow colors on American soil and soccer-specific stadiums.

Trouble is, rebuttals to each of these upsides come pretty easily: the exposure flopped in that it only confirmed the bias, especially among European observers, that MLS sucks, a factor that plays into both the revenue side and the “Beckham Prism.” On the money side, a one-shot burst of revenue, no matter how large, means little if it can’t be sustained and, as Oberjuerge suggests, the Galaxy lost a lot of momentum by sucking total, collective ass when the iron was hot. As for the “Beckham Prism” it can’t do much so long as there are more jobs paying better money in Europe; the best will stay across the pond. Beckham might have made it easier for a geezer or two to swallow his pride, but, if Denilson is the kind of player doing the swallowing, we’re better off without.
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Does Rafa need anymore proof?

Rafa doesn’t play Torres-Liverpool has 3 draws.

Rafa plays Torres, Torres scores 3 goals and they win 4-2.

I’m not a manager by any sense of the word.  But I like to believe that I know my football.  I understand the rotation system I do.  As I have expressed over the past month, when it works, Rafa looks like a genius, and when it doesn’t he looks like a complete ass.  And when your top striker is worth 26.5 million pounds, and you don’t play him.  You really look like an ass.

Rafa came out last week and said that Liverpool’s goal was to win the Premiership this season.  How can you say that when you start Voronin over Torres against Birmingham and then you procede to start Torres in a Carling Cup game.  Does anyone care about the Carling Cup anymore?  NO!

What people care about is the Premiership.  That is what brings home the bacon.  Rafa has demonstrated that he knows how to coach in Europe, taking Liverpool to the finals last season.

What he hasn’t shown is the CONSISTENCY in the Premiership.  That is, the ability to coach well and to win points when you should, ie against Birmingham at Anfield.  There is no reason to drop 2 points at Anfield.  No reason at all.

Hopefully this will settle the Torres ‘rotation problem’ once and for all, and we all can get on with our lives.

But why am I certain that this isn’t the last of it…

¡Hay Liga! open for business

A couple of guys that write about La Liga at the offside wanted to start up their own site, so I will be helping out at ¡Hay Liga! for a while and seeing how things go over there.  Of course I’ll still be doing my La Liga stuff here, so don’t fret!

But give it a couple of days and give it a look, I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.