Adu & Absurdity

Thanks to Luis Arroyave’s Red Card blog, I took the time to read Jamie Trecker’s update/interview with Freddy Adu. Apart from being generally impressed with the little scamp’s maturity (here, I’m thinking his decision to “go Benfica” before “going big”), one passage caught my eye…and also prompted a “say what now?” moment:

“Some will have little sympathy for a kid who made more in four years than many MLS players will make in a career. Others will correctly point out that Adu contributed to the hype himself when he signed a $1 million contract with Nike, and appeared in a series of Pepsi product ads.”

While my ability to blow right past considering the implications of the salary Adu made in Major League Soccer (MLS) may seem a little weird in light of recent entries, but I’m talking, here, about something subtly different – e.g. human behavior. To be blunt about it, the thinking Trecker attributes to “some” and “others” is nucking futs. Adu didn’t “contribute” to anything. He only did what any sensible person would do in his position – e.g. take…the…fucking…money. I mean, shit, he’s supposed to say no?

I know I could be bought for a hell of a lot less. And I’d do a hell of a lot more than just wear a pair of shoes – and that at only $50K. I don’t have Adu’s talent, of course (nor his speed, his youth, his polished social abilities), so I’ll obviously have to come up with something a little different…maybe changing the way I sit on the couch?

Suggestions welcome…(and don’t worry about keeping ’em clean).

Pre-Season Results: Old Beats New + Polish Trialist Fells Crew (TSII)

Two preseason games played yesterday….even if sneaked Chivas’ win over Red Bull, which I swear prior to yesterday, into their round-up of February 13 games. But here’s what I found on the two games that were legitimately recorded as being played on February 13….and may God have mercy on the soul of the intern who mucked up the dates…

San Jose Earthquakes 0-1 Houston Dynamo
If there’s a special thing about this game, it’s with typing “San Jose Earthquakes” and seeing the fans happy about again having a team in the Bay Area; that’s a major part of the angle in Soccer Silicon Valley Blog’s write-up on the game, nay, the moment that was The Return. They also talk about who looked good (Shea Salinas, Kei Kamara, Nick Garcia), much like the San Jose Mercury, who liked what they saw from Salinas as well…though they also did their share of dwelling on “the mood.” It’s possible, in fact, the whole “Return theme” may recur for a while, at least judging by’s fairly grand, all-its-own write-up. But one thing all the articles makes clear: prettier games have been played, yes, but the appreciation and enthusiasm made a day of it.

Chicago Fire 3-2 Columbus Crew
Covering the Crew picked up this game early yesterday afternoon and recorded good nuts ‘n’ bolts, like line-ups and who scored for the Crew – Eddie Gaven and Robbie Rogers, in case you’re curious. For what it’s worth, I count Gaven and Rogers on the score sheet as good news; the Crew giving up three, on the other hand, doesn’t look so hot. Against that, at least where the Crew are concerned, one trialist for the Fire – Polish forward Tomasz Frankowski – scored two, thereby canceling Gaven’s and Roger’s effort; that made Chris Rolfe’s earlier goal good for the win (see February 13 round-up). The box score leaves me wondering how hard the Fire will try to land Frankowski…I’m thinking they could use a forward or two.

In a semi-related bit of news, Crew fans may notice Lars Ricken’s name on the Crew’s roster; the Crew’s other trialist, Roman Friedli, played as well. In one of today’s posts, Covering the Crew provided a little background on the player and his experience with MLS so far….and hats off to Shawn Mitchell for a damned clever title.

MLS Rumors posted something linking the Crew to a Nigerian player named Emanuel Ekpo…I’ve never heard of him, either, but don’t know if he’s good, don’t know if it matters. Till he’s signed or on trial, this is just a rumor…just like the editor’s note says, people.  UPDATE: Or not.  Credit to the comment below (from someone watching this more closely than me) Ekpo has been working with the Crew for a while…and, had I paid enough attention, I would have seen his name on the second half line-up.

– I have enough trouble taking showers (sleep takes priority fairly often). But this would put an end to the practice altogether.

– I admire dedication, especially when it comes to pranks.

Sloppy, Stadium Valentines!

To all the Center Holds It readers, Happy Valentine’s day.  We love you….and not platonically…

And, to borrow a headline (and concept…and the reporting; I’m only posting this for my own Valentine’s joke) from the Washington Examiner, DC United got a big sloppy kiss from the Washington D.C. city council in the form of a renewed interest/talk about funding a soccer-specific stadium for the club at the long-discussed Poplar Point site.  Kick ass.  Still, all cause for elation aside, a couple warps and wrinkles loom.  First, it appears this is just step one in a “three to four year process,” so, say hello to 2012!  Second, whispers of a potential political backlash echoed throughout the Washington Post’s write-up.  I’ll leave it to people better connected to the D.C.-scene to make sense of that.  Still, something to watch for…

Still, like getting a kiss from someone other than the perfect girl, don’t it all beat a kick in the head?

In case you’re not feeling good enough about the overall soccer-specific stadium situation, word coming out of Kansas City mentions good, steady progress on the “Bannister Mall-area” stadium for the Wizards – complete with talk of being on schedule for a 2010 opening.

Assuming these two fall into place, that will make…let’s see…nine plus two…eleven Major League Soccer (MLS) clubs in their own homes by 2012.  Comfortably over half the league=good stuff.

BONUS MATERIAL: Back with the silly today.

– Think of nothing but the shape of this toy.  Now, think that someone designed this, that it passed through multiple levels of approval, etc. without anyone catching the obvious problem.

– We all have to start somewhere…well, those of us who go anywhere that is.  Evangeline Lilly is no different.  And do note how she says “out.”

Pods: Another Interview and The Offside Podcast in Double Digits

On Monday I had the opportunity to interview on Forza Futbol and give my two cents about Sevilla and why I’m such a fan.  It was nice to get the opportunity to talk about Sevilla, in English, for once. Their podcast focuses on La Liga and Serie A mainly and it is always a good listen.

If you want to give it a listen, go here and you can listen to it on the sidebar (I can’t figure out a way to download it myself). I start about half way in.

Also, the new The Offside Podcast is available to download.  I was not on the show this weekend, but was replaced by Christian Reyes, who talked about the first weekend in the Argentinian Clausura.

UEFA Update: Everton, PSV, and Bremen cruise, Rangers held

EVERTON 2, SK Brann 0

Timmy Howard in net. Yakubu returned from a David Moyes-given suspension (came back late from the African Nations Cup). Everton and Howard overcame a Ramiro Corrales’ former team without the services of Mikel Arteta. Leon Osman and future star Victor Anichebe put two late goals away to secure a third round win.

Zenit St. Petersburg 1, Villareal 0

A Pavel Pogrebniak goal was all it took to beat a lifeless Villareal squad. Guiseppe Rossi came on in the 66th minute but was largely disappointing.

Werder Bremen 3, Braga 0

Werder took care of the Portuguese upstarts with goals from Brazilian defender Naldo, Daniel Jensen, and Hugo Almeida.

Sporting Lisbon 2, FC Basle 0

Sporting can thank Montonegran midfielder Simon Vukcevic for their victory after he bagged a brace to lead Lisbon past a rather tame FC Basle squad led by the firepower of rising star Eren Derdiyok (who recently received his first Switzerland caps, choosing over Turkey).

Marseille 3, Spartak Moscow 0

They can’t exactly keep good form in Ligue One, but at least they can do so in Europe. Benoit Cheyrou, Taye Taiwo, and Mamadou Niang crushed Moscow at home as even Spartak’s Brazilians Mozart and Welliton couldn’t do anything to breach OM’s defense.

PSV Eindhoven 2, Helsingborg 0

The presence of legend can only do so much in some instances. Henrik Larsson struggled to jumpstart the Swedish powerhouses to victory as Timmy Simons and Danko Lazovic took advantage of their lackluster performance to give PSV a victory at home. Keep an out for PSV’s new scoring threat…(if you can pronounce it) Balazs Dzsudzsak. He is a 21 year old Hungarian midfielder/forward that has made a name for himself within the Eredivisie and put a good showing in against Helsingborg.

Anderlecht 2, Bordeaux 1

I guess you can call this an upset, but Bordeaux’s form as of late hasn’t exactly been pristine. Young Czech midfielder Jan Polak and Mbo Mpenza struck for two late goals to overcome Bordeaux’s only scoring chance of the day – a penalty conversion – to grab the win.

Other scores:

Rangers 0, Panathinaikos 0
Galatasaray 0, Bayer Leverkusen 0
AEK Athens 1, Getafe 1


Aberdeen vs. Bayern Munich
Slavia Prague vs. Tottenham
Bolton vs. Atletico Madrid
FC Zurich vs. Hamburg
Rosenborg vs. Fiorentina
Benfica vs. Nurnberg – Word is, Adu might get the start.

Spain: Luis Aragones not Going Anywhere, But Who Is Next?

The Real Federación Española de Fútbol (RFEF) put the kabosh on rumors that El Viejo Luis Aragonés would be leaving the Spanish national side before Euro 2008.

Angel Maria Villar, president of RFEF who according to the FIFA website likes ‘history, music and hiking’ (WTF?) said

“The national team coach is determined to continue in his job until the end of Euro 2008 and he knows that the RFEF has full confidence in him”

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