DS, 10.11: More FCD v. Chivas, DP v. Salary Cap, Pennies From Heaven for LA, and Bachelors

I’ve really got to work on  tightening up my titles, making them more thematic.  Till then, though, expect sprawling lists…

– Naturally, people are following up today on last night’s draw between FC Dallas and Chivas USA, though no one took quite so much offense to Brian Hall as I did…probably on the logic than bad calls from American refs are the norm.  Then again, Ian Plenderleith seized a bit of dudgeon at a blown offside call that nullified a legitimate goal by Francisco Mendoza.  Now, Plenderleith has this right on three critical levels: 1) it was a blown call, 2) that no righteous anger followed, and 3) refs really don’t read the rule correctly.  And he’s correct in pointing out that these calls both cheapen the game and that they somewhat mysteriously roll right off our backs; I mean, I didn’t remember the blown call till this morning.  What did I remember?  That Mendoza later missed a close-range header…that and Arturo Alvarez’s hair’s-breadth miss in injury time.

In other news from last night, Chivas’ Ante Razov left the field wounded, a tough break for Chivas, especially with Galindo operating at less than full strength.  Also, as MLSnet.com’s write-up on the game pointed out, Adrian Serioux doesn’t look so bad in Dallas’ midfield.  You know who doesn’t look so good?  Denilson, as  alluded to in the Fullback Files post-game wrap under the section titled “Send in the clowns.”  More to the point, think of where Dallas looked more effective last night: Arturo Alvarez’s right side or Denilson’s left…or, less euphemistically, the place where promising attacks go to die?  The Brazilian stoops low as the worst DP signing so far.

– Speaking of which, a couple reports suggest that the league is considering adding a second DP slot for each of MLS’s teams (credit (or fault) Luis Bueno for finally getting this issue in my head).  The conversation so far consists of a Jeff Carlisle piece that dubs the rule “a clear success” and a Pat Walsh article that’s is less satisfied and leans against the league doubling down on the rule.  I line up behind Pat Walsh and question the use of “clear success” – at least on the field.  The only designated player I would accept as a clear improvement over the general MLS mob would be Cuauhtemoc Blanco – all the others come with a variety of qualifiers (e.g. Luciano Emilio, a non-DP, stacks up just fine against Juan Pablo Angel; both Claudio Reyna and David Beckham have suffered on-off availability, though Beckham definitely delivered the dinero; Denilson does a poor imitation of Arturo at – what? – five times the cost?).  Basically, most of MLS’s best haven’t been DPs; if I had a vote, I’d say just raise the cap (as Steve Goff says seems likely about 4/5th the way down the page) and hold off on adding another DP slot.

– Looks like LA’s deal with the devil is still working: Toronto FC comes into this weekend’s game with a mix of youngsters, absentees, and gimpy players.  Hmmm…on second thought, change “pennies from heaven” into “Nickels Kissed by Satan.”

– Looks like we have a stupid-good weekend ahede

– I’ll end with a bit of fun.  Hearing about (the now-unemployed) RSL defender Jack Stewart’s inclusion among Cosmo’s 50 Hottest Bachelors, the Chicago Tribune’s Luis Arroyave responded by posting a bachelor profile of his own…one that suggests eerie similarities between his personality and mine (especially the pick-him-up pointer).  Still, differences exist so, in hopes of moving this concept to the amateur soccer ranks, here’s my Cosmo profile (sorry, ladies; profile aside, I’m a taken man):

Name: Jeff “Balding Adonis” Bull

Hometown: Portland, OR

Occupation: Office Pinky at undisclosed location, though not an employee of Dick Cheney.

Personality Profile: Mildly paranoiac, often silent due to the parade of unmentionable thoughts rattling through brain, and I make me laugh, though no one seems to join in.

Girlfriend Must-Have: General and profound stores of patience because the many, many pointless thoughts in my head distract me from the business of daily life; a willingness to endure aforementioned parade of unmentionable thoughts – I recommend a steady diet of drugs and booze to facilitate the latter.

Pick-Him-Up-Pointer: A total absence of ambiguity in communication and courtship.

Favorite Female Body Part: The body, by which I mean the whole woman; I find disembodied parts off-putting.

Turn-Him-On-Tactics: Anything this side of active or passive shunning.

Why Do Women?: I know exactly zero women who do anything that Cosmo purports their readers do.  That’s in spite of having three sisters (and no brothers), one wife, and two daughters.  All of them continually amaze me with their superior talents for functioning on a day-to-day basis.

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FCD 0 – 0 Chivas: Brian Hall Ruined My Thursday

I’ll begin by acknowledging I may be out of line due to come child-inspired gaps in what took place exactly, but…

…what the hell happened with Brian Hall? I mean, how often does a referee have a “moment of madness?”

First, whatever it was Arturo Alvarez said to Hall, it must have been something sacrilegiously insulting – e.g. on of the scale of peeing on a crucifix in front of a Sunday school class judging by the vein-popping rage with which Hall slapped Alvarez with that yellow. While he appeared more in control when dishing the red card to Bobby Rhine, his physical appearance belied the action. A straight red for “abusive language”? And to the captain, the one player on the field specifically charged with communicating with the referee on behalf of his team?

The next thing to watch for is any disciplinary action against Rhine, whose views on Hall’s refereeing came out in a post-match bark at ESPN sideline reporter, Allen Hopkin (speaking of whom, why, oh good god why, did we have to endure the wig fascination for the length of the game?). A fine to Rhine given the totality of circumstances would only bring further embarrassment to what should be an entirely embarrassing evening for Hall. I can’t recall seeing a ref that straight-up livid in many, many moons. The overwhelming impression matched what Rhine alluded to – i.e. that Hall acted in a fit of personal animus; in a word, it looks a whole lot like Hall lost it.

So, no, not the best night for the referee. Oh, and the game wasn’t so bad either, at least till Dallas looked to have run out of gas…going down to 10 men with 15 minutes to go didn’t do much to up the entertainment, either.