If you smush together the Columbus Crew’s 1-2 loss to the San Jose Earthquakes (et tu, Kei?) and their 2-1 win over Chivas USA, they wind up breaking even on the weekend. And that’s good stuff: ending at .500 in MLS gets a team into the playoffs about half the time, right?
In all seriousness, the real good stuff – or at least the stuff that means much – comes with the details, namely, who scored goals and who’s trying out with the team. If there’s a big bright-spot, in my mind at least, about the Crew’s pre-season, it’s seeing Eddie Gaven’s and Robbie Rogers’ names continuing to show up in the box scores. The Crew’s present, um, difficulties with bringing in impact players turns up the pressure on the guys they’ve got. If you review the Crew’s pre-season results – which one can easily do on a numbers and goal-scorers level, courtesy of the team’s official web-site – you’ll see both players’ names twice. Better still, you’ll see rookie “Meet” George Josten’s name three times – and that’s just what it takes to get flattering copy in in-house perspective pieces.
Fortunately, a couple trialists have joined the Crew on their way to compiling an impressive (and largely irrelevant) 4-2-0 preseason record (that’s W-L-T; and use the “numbers and goal-scorers” link for verification; and, seeing as they play the Ventura County Fusion next, I’d expect that record will go to 5-2-0). I’ll admit I can’t pick ’em all – even after reviewing the current roster – but these are the unfamiliar names I’m seeing: Emmanuel Ekpo, who I believe is a “midfielder,” type unknown…to me, anyway; Ryan Miller (?); Sandro da Silva, who, according to a report by Covering the Crew, may not stick around; and, Mamadu Bah, who, according the the report linked to in the previous sentence, is a Sierra Leonian striker. Damn shame about not seeing his name on the score-sheet, ’cause that’s where the Crew need the most help.
That’s just from the win over Chivas. I saw Guilherme So’s name among the subs for the game against the ‘Quakes (see game link above), as well as someone named Kevin Burns. If I didn’t think I wouldn’t see half these names again, I’d chase them down to figure out who they are; and, in the event they do make the final, March 3rd cut, I hereby pledge to take an interest in all these players. Till then….
And, if that’s not enough, Covering the Crew reported the presence of an unnamed Cuban – Shawn Mitchell, the guy who writes Covering the Crew, says it’s Alonso…and I don’t know how that is. I expect Mitchell will tell me, and all of us, before too long. Probably already has (yep; it’s Alonso – and a good story to boot). Plenty of hats in the air for the Crew (is that even a proper saying?); it’ll be interesting to see where things end up with the roster next Monday.
In the meantime, the Crew just keep on rolling…through pre-season anyway.
GREAT OUTDOORS (because “bonus material” suggests it’s still about soccer and “bonus” doesn’t fit either)
Still reading Milan Kundera, just a different book. (Still want to post that bit about God and bowel-movements from The Unbearable Lightness of Being…brilliant.) This new one is titled, Identity. I think “very French” is a good way to describe it – and that’s not a knock. So far it’s good enough I’d recommend it.
But the part I’m excerpting below hits on a subject of intense fascination for me: what people do to earn a living and, more intriguing still, how they cope when you know their job just flat….out….sucks. The passage below speaks to that – and it’s Chantal speaking here, the story’s female protagonist:
“I get the resumés of people looking for work at our place. It’s up to me to recommend them or reject them. Some of them, in their letters, express themselves in this perfectly up-to-date lingo, with all the clichés, with the jargon, with all the required optimism. I don’t need to see them or talk to them to detest them. But I know these are the ones who will do the work well, and zealously. And then there are the ones who, in other times, would certainly be going into philosophy, or art history, or teaching French literature, but, these days, for want of anything better, almost out of despair, they’re looking for work at our place. I know that in their hearts they feel contempt for the job they’re seeking and that therefore they are my kinfolk.”