This whole off-season thing has me thinking about what I want in soccer competitions to get me through the Major League Soccer (MLS) off-season. To begin, I want a little relevance; hence my excitement about the upcoming NCAA tourney and the Mexican Primera…at least what I can see of it; at least a couple NCAA players will make the jump to MLS (that’s where I first saw Ned Grabavoy to name one player) and the Mexican league makes sense due to Superliga, etc.
The same may apply to the Argentine league, which I can follow tolerably well through Fox Soccer Channel, so maybe I’ll sneak in that as well (or sub it in for the Mexican Primera, which can be hard to follow for a fella whose cable package sports only Univision).
After relevance, what comes next? Modesty. With MLS being something of a modest league, I’m finding it hard to watch the Glamor Boys duke it out, whether in their domestic leagues or the bloated and disgusting Champions League (do I mean the “bloated and disgusting” sincerely? Nah. Just thinking about Ren & Stimpy for some reason). So I think I’m going to be a UEFA Cup man instead, a tournament that includes good, honest teams like Tottenham Hotspur, Everton, and…let’s see…who do they have Tuesday…Zenit St. Petersburg. The kinds of teams for whom the UEFA Cup is their only genuine shot at a title of any kind. Yes, yes, yes! (Sorry, that last one is a habit borrowed from a minor character in Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle).
And, just as I’m wondering what to watch this weekend – hello! – what do I see but Harrogate Railway v. Mansfield Town in the second round of the FA Cup? So add the FA Cup to the list.
There…that ought to keep my busy. I’ll keep tabs at least with the FA Cup and UEFA Cup, while picking up stray snippets of the Mexican and/or Argentine leagues. I don’t think Mexico will keep me all that busy; my issues with coverage aside, they’ll be knocking off for a while between the Apertura and Clausura tournaments.
OK, really, that is all for today. Fix achieved, etc. I’ll wrap up the rest of the 2007 season reviews next week and normal service should resume thereafter.