A Trade that MUST Happen…plus a round-up of some others…

MLSRumors, god bless ’em – and do note the title, people – posted the coolest damn rumor today about a delicious mega-deal in the works between DC United and the Colorado Rapids. Here are the details and, so far as I’ve seen, they’re posted only on MLSRumors:

“The buzz now is that there may be a trade involving Christian Gomez and the Rapids’s Terry Cooke, Pablo Maestroeni or another player.”

Please, god, let this happen. With Cooke, DC fans would finally have the width they (or at least The DCenters) believe they need and, with Mastroeni, they should get valuable leadership and grit (and, yeah, the occasional unhinged, ejectable attack on an opposition player). For the Rapids, bringing Gomez to Colorado provides hope, if only of the slimmest kind, that fans at The Dick will witness something remotely resembling attractive soccer; add Pat Noonan from New England, perhaps even Ecuador’s Agustin Delgado (for the record, Black Panther seems cool to this one), and things get a little less remote….until they all pick up injuries and take Fernando Clavijo’s job with them to rot on the physio’s table (along with what’s left of his self-respect and his hair).

Most important of all, god, this trade needs to happen because we’ll have no way of knowing what all this would look like if it doesn’t. And I really want to know. Just passing on a wish, sir. The seemingly imminent influx of South American players is nice and all (according to Goff, who cites “sources and reports”: Jose Carvallo, Gonzalo Martinez, Franco Niell, and, possibly, Gonzalo Peralta), but the “Gomez Deal” just seems that little bit more special.

Now, the rest of the trading business for the day…including some I’ve neglected to mention in the past: Continue reading

Ives “F-Bomb” for Rapids’ Draft Day

And “F-Bomb” refers to the “F” Ives Galarcep awarded the Colorado Rapids for their SuperDraft decisions. Let’s go to the text:

“Fernando Clavijo has always been regarded as a good judge of talent, but that didn’t stop many from scratching their heads at the Rapids’ two picks Friday. Clavijo passed on a top forward (Nyarko) and can’t-miss defender (James) to draft a young and undersized defensive midfielder (O’Brien) who doesn’t really fill a need…Colorado’s second pick, Chevannes, is forgettable. O’Brien has talent, but the Rapids earn the worst possible grade for passing on so many players who could have made more of an impact.”

For those who didn’t see it, this contrasts rather sharply from my assessment of Colorado’s draft, which I’ll edit in this space to read, ” So, where Colorado is concerned, it’s arguable they worked with what they had.”

Whom should you believe? Well, Ives attended the Combine, probably watched a few college games last year, um, he gets paid to write about soccer, while I do it in my spare time…I dunno. It’s close. You be the judge.

Then again, maybe Clavijo is stupid…like a fox. Maybe he slept-walked through the SuperDraft by necessity, what with all the other fish he’s got in the fire (whoops, rumored “fish,” let’s be clear on that). There’s talk of Pat Noonan joining from New England, perhaps Christian Gomez coming from DC United on a Kee-Razy swap deal (more on this one later), and some defender named Chase Hilgenbrinkenschwarzwilderstein (sorry to dick around, but I love names that just seem to go on forever; they sound like the accountant alter-ego for a superhero).

The point is, maybe Clavijo knows something Galarcep doesn’t…which is not to suggest I knew what Clavijo knew when I wrote my more generous assessment of the Rapids’ SuperDraft. That’s also not to say you should trust Clavijo over Galarcep. I mean, we’ve established that Ives is, at the very least, paying attention. With Clavijo…I’m just sayin’.

Anyway, count this as part of the record Rapids’ fans.

La Liga: Jornada 20-A Derby, A Goal, A Team Struggling

Jornada 20 down in the books in La Liga and what a Jornada it was. Some of the more notable happenings in this matchweek.

—Saturday saw my Sevilla fall to a 12th place Getafe side in the 92nd minute. A back and forth game saw Sevilla draw first blood, but watched Getafe fight back in the second half. Sevilla, down 2-1 in the final minutes, were redeemed by Right back Drago in the 89th minute, but saw their hopes for a point crushed by Contra in the 91st minute. Struggling can’t describe what place we are in now. Luis Fabiano said in AS ‘We should be embarrassed to play this way’. As well they should. All Sevilla has left this season is the Champions League, which

— Sunday brought upon the fastest goal in La Liga history. Llorente scored 8 seconds into the Espanyol-Valladolid match thanks to a hail mary-esque pass springing him for the goal. Valladolid were victorious 2-1.

(Go here to see the goal, for some reason the video won’t embed)

—The Madrid Derby brought out another early goal, this time by Raul, who netted 30 seconds into the Atlético-Real Madrid game. Ruud Van Nistelrooy volleyed in a corner in the 42nd minute to put the madridistas up 2-0. (More on the Derby by Tim Stannard here) The win puts Real Madrid 7 points clear of Barcelona, who won 1-0 against Racing Santander (attended by CHI pundit Breton).

—Real Zaragoza broke their 10 game losing streak with a 3-1 win against Real Murcia. Zaragoza were led by Diego Millito’s brace, which gave Zaragoza’s newly installed manager Ander Garitano his first win at the helm. Abel continues to be a bust for Murcia this season.

The scores for this week were:

ATLÉTICO 0-2 R. MADRID
BARCELONA 1-0 RACING
ZARAGOZA 3-1 MURCIA
LEVANTE 2-2 MALLORCA
ALMERÍA 1-0 DEPORTIVO
VALLADOLID 2-1 ESPANYOL
BETIS 1-1 RECREATIVO
OSASUNA 2-0 ATHLETIC
GETAFE 3-2 SEVILLA
VILLARREAL 3-0 VALENCIA

LA LIGA: Outsider´s Perspective of Camp Nou

Quick hello from Barcelona – and the slow computers of free-internet IES Barcelona. Attended Barcelona-Racing Santander last night. A 1-0 win for Barça thanks to a Thierry Henry knock-in. Couple observations and then the next time you´ll hear from me specifically is Wednesday.

Thierry Henry is simply a beast to watch in person. His grace is just as intimidating as his strength on and off the ball. Playing mostly on the left – but switching into the center when smart to do so – Henry handled the inexperience on the front line with him. Giovanni Dos Santos lined up on the right side, with Bojan Krkic in the center. Only Krkic had a great game as Gio made too many stupid passes to warrant praise (in fact all of Camp Nou jeered the little guy at one point)

We had a birds eye view of the field (meaning last row in the whole frickin´place), but it was great in terms of taking everything in.

Walking in, we were given Barça newsletters, which once inside, were promptly used by the masses to create paper airplanes. Many failed to reach their target – the pitch – instead, gliding down the three tiers and plunking an unsuspecting spectator in the head. Good for a few laughs, but it really summed up the atmosphere. Could be due to the opponent – one they´ve beaten 10 out of the last 10 times, but this stadium was somewhat quiet. Almost peaceful, to be exact. No real supporter group presence and my girlfriend at one point – one who has taken in many a-Red Bull games – added that the Red Bull´s supporter groups were simply much louder and dare I say it, more in numbers.

Regardless, the flow of play was slow, with quick stretches of brilliance. Combination passes, give and gos, feints, Maradonas, we got the whole lot, but Racing Santander was tough and frankly, Barça kept them in the game. Andres Iniesta is damn good – he caused most of the disturbances, while Deco was kept quiet the whole game and looked rather unfit. On top of that, Gio´s inconsistent play on the right caused for the crowd to ask for the return of their injured star Leo Messi. And it came, with about 15 minutes to go amidst a standing ovation from the Nou Camp crowd.

One other quick word, that stadium is OLD. Tradition or not…a 50 year old stadium, housing over 100,000 every weekend or so is interesting to say the least. No alcohol either. We couldn´t believe, but the grandeur of the place certainly made its mark. Just walking into the stadium, you could feel how important this club was to its city.  Poor Espanyol…

Danny Szetela dressed for the visitors, mainly due to injuries. Never saw time. He did get up to stretch out at one point though. Apparently, there is word of a loan move for him…don´t know much more than that right now.

Back with a big EPL post on Wednesday.