Thursday, July 22, 2010

World Cup Withdrawal

Anyone else have the same feeling?  Constantly craving?  Checking sites like ESPN for news only to realize that there's absolutely NOTHING going on right now?

After the month long orgiastic spectacle in South Africa, we have to content ourselves with MLS or news that James Milner wants to move to Man City.  Be still my beating heart.

The European leagues haven't started yet and though some of the top clubs have started their preseason tours, those matches just aren't that exciting this year particularly because stars from the World Cup are taking breaks.

Maybe it wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for the fact that I'm forced to watch not just any MLS soccer, but the worst soccer in MLS.  On top of that, this weekend DC United plays Portsmouth, the worst team in the EPL last season, now playing in the Championship. 

I guess this gives us a different look at gauging where an MLS side compares to an English side, whereas usually you're gauging the MLS team against a good team in its preseason rather than a poor one (literally).

Can DC United put on a respectable performance?  You'd think so.  DC isn't getting blown away, which maybe is what makes them harder and harder to watch.  Not that it's agonizing in a heartbreaking way.  It's that I know the hammer blow is coming after watching DC unable to create anything offensively and miss the chances it does create.  It's only a matter of time before the loss comes, almost pre-determined.  And these are home matches I'm talking about. 

Shouldn't a team with a bright US prospect (Chris Party Boy Pontius), a 17 year old rookie that has the entire league buzzing (Andy Najar), and good/solid veterans (Troy Perkins, Jaime Moreno, Clyde Simms) be better than 3-11-3 in MLS play?

I suppose it could be worse.  I could be watching the games in a dilapidated sinkhole of a stadium... oh wait.  If anything I'm at least taking heart in the fact that the NY Red Bulls are creating the Easiest Team to Hate or Super Evil Friends (take your pick) by first signing the Hand of Gaul and now chasing after the Mexican Red Card Stomp maestro Rafa Marquez. 

I may not have much to root for, but at least I'll have something to root against.


  1. I love my football, but I do quite like a break from it all, and lately there seems to very little of that. It barely seems like 2 weeks since Spain lifted the World Cup aloft and my club is about to undergo a Champions League qualifier, before most leagues are even underway. I don't understand it, I consider the World Cup and the Champions League competition to be two of the biggest contests in football, why someone in the hierarchy of the game doesn't sit down to make a timetable for the year that shows respect to both competitions by allowing more time between each contest is beyond me.

    As for DC United and other teams in the MLS I think they need to respect themselves more and only offer friendlies to teams that have something to offer them, either in competitive value or number of fans that the team can bring over. No disrespect to Portsmouth but I can think of many teams that could offer more presently.

  2. I guess with the scheduling there isn't much time to get in the early qualifying matches before the season starts and then the CL proper begins. I suppose UEFA and FIFA don't particularly care since you wouldn't expect the big draw, money making teams to play in the qualifiers, though there is always a Liverpool or Juve type that has to go through these rounds. Just wait until one gets knocked out at this early stage and the complaining starts about timing.

    I think generally MLS has done OK with scheduling friendlies mostly against higher profile opponents (save for things like a match against the El Salvador national team, which is purely a draw in DC for a specific fan group) . I don't remember off the top of my head but DC tried to schedule a more high profile friendly only for the team to cancel its tour. I believe it was Rangers. So Portsmouth was likely just a last minute replacement. As an aside, DC beat Celtic 4-0 a couple years ago so I was looking forward for the opportunity to get a double (if you can call it that) over the Old Firm duo.