Daily Sweeper, 10.9: Playoff Omens & Predictions; LandyCakes; MLS’ Best Youth Set-Up

By way of continuing my tradition of burying the lead, I think I’ll lead with something outside the title…

The Columbus Dispatch, in the course of dissecting the corpse of the Columbus Crew’s season, gets some inside dish that suggests Sigi Schmid and his belly will stick around for another year. So, Crew fans (assuming any visit this site), any thoughts on this one?

– Why this came up again, I’ll never know; maybe we can credit/blame (depending on what you think) the reserved and tasteful kiss Andrea Canales’ planted on Landon Donovan for ESPN’s site. Whatever started it, people are picking up on it. If you want to know what I think, check out the comment I left on the post Laurie wrote for the LA Offside; and, naturally, Laurie’s thoughts are well worth the time. But I have to credit Nick Green’s 100 Percent Soccer for the best post on the recent Donovan-chatter: he looks at how the Galaxy rate him (through the eyes and, naturally, the mouth of Alexi Lalas), but he also asks the ever-relevant “Europe” question. I found Donovan’s answer surprising and unsurprising all at once.

– The best youth system in MLS: Sideline View’s Luis Bueno makes the case for Chivas USA’s. Well, OK then.

– Finally, the playoffs: people are getting serious about this stuff, whether it’s the Chicago Tribune’s Luis Arroyave making predictions about future games and post-season match-ups or Luis Bueno from Sideline Views reinventing the abacus to tell us who clinches what by myriad results and combinations of results. (I’ve never had the patience for this kind of thing and will thus nod dumbly and smile.)

But the scariest thing I read today was this (and that came from here):

After five months of injuries, poor play and unfulfilled expectations, the Galaxy’s late surge has put it in a position that only weeks ago seemed preposterous: They’re masters of their own fate.

Son of a BITCH!!

At least that’s what I barked at my computer before Ives Galarcep brought me the perspective I needed to return to my happy place:

“That just might be enough to get the Beckham hype machine rolling again, only this time the added attention would be focusing on the MLS playoffs, where the league’s best teams and players would be on display.”

And there you have it, the Devil offering a deal: is the risk of LA repeating the Act of Extreme Asshole-ism* worth the exposure a Beckham-iffied Galaxy would bring to the MLS playoffs and, yes, the (formerly) better teams they would face therein? I’ll only say this: the Devil is one tricky motherfucker. (OK, OK, I’ll answer – put away the screws: Yes! Yes! I’ll take the publicity. God help me! I feel so dirty!)

* “The Act of Extreme Asshole-ism” refers to LA scraping into the 2005 playoffs as the 8th seed and going on to win MLS Cup; this rendered the good work many teams put in over the regular season – back when LA was sucking eggs – irrelevant to the point of mockery.


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