"Riches and Honor Depend on Heaven"

It was going to happen sooner or later, and Mo Johnston - perhaps a bit desperate at this point - was the guy who has pulled the trigger AND SIGNED AMADO GUEVARA bringing back a stylish, talented guy with some serious baggage to MLS.

(Unfortunately, just a couple days ago I used that great "Fidel and Che" photo. Pity. "Castro and Guevara come north" or something similar would have been a terrific header.)

He's known to have talked to several MLS sides, including most recently New England, (hardly surprising since his agent, Pat McCabe, who lives in Natick, is also both a Revs fan and a pal of Steve Nicol's) but nothing came of it. McCabe is perhaps better known for shipping American players who MLS is trying to lowball off to Scandinavia, but Guevara has seemed focused on MLS.

Todays "Who Cares?" moment comes to us courtesy of The Mirror: David Beckham has a new tattoo.

I'll give you a moment to re-compose yourself after that shock to the system and tell you that it is on the right side of his torso above the ribs and it's Chinese Mandarin script which reads: Death and life have their determined appointment... Riches and honour depend on Heaven.

Very deep. Or something..

Beckhams' official tattoo spokesperson says he's always wanted that particular saying scrawled across his body, so he must be a very happy man today.

An extremely pedestrian Op-Ed piece in the Philadelphia Inquirer discusses how "the groundwork" hs already been laid for an MLS team in Philly, by which the writer means that a whole lotta kids pull on cleats every Saturday morning and run around on local fields.

Having seen it proven conclusively over and over and over again that that fact usually amounts to ougots in terms of packing stadiums, we'd all dismiss it except for the thought: if the Philadephia investors were really smart they'd run out real quick and start a USSF/MLS Academy youth program. Wouldn't cost all that much, would give them a presence on the ground and it would give them a leg up come next spring to have had their youth development program up and running for a year .

I've tried to adhere to the division of labor around here which dictates that I make enemies north of the border and 10Shirt is in charge of ticking off out neighbors to the south, but in regards to THE PISTOLA WHIPPING HUGO SANCHEZ IS TAKING from the Mexican "sporting press" I really have to say that at some point, after Mexico has hired and then fired everyone in the country capable of holding a clipboard they're going to have to accept that the problem is not the coaching.

I'll leave it to others to try and decipher what the problem really is, but at some point I really think the FMF needs to hire someone, give him a meaningful guarantee of four years on the job and then leave the guy alone and see what some coaching continuity can accomplish.

This "Coach of the Month Club" they're running down there is counterproductive in the extreme and they need to pull the plug on it.

The frequently imitated, never-equaled Jack Bell of the Old Gray Lady reports on THE CONFERENCE CALL IVAN GAZIDIS HELD with various media types yesterday.

Gazidis says "we can't develop domestic players overnight" and so we have to bring in more and more guys from overseas.

I'm not unsympathetic to the issue here, and I do look forward to seeing an upgrade in terms of good soccer leaguewide this year, but I can't help commenting that MLS is now in it's 13th year, and 13 years does not qualify, in my book, as "overnight".

One of the main purposesof MLS was supposed to be the development of American players who would finally have an opportunity to play at a high level domestically instead of being stuck on the bench or used as cheap practice players overseas.

Gazidis is acting like this is a brand new league and a new idea and that we need to bring in foreign players as a short term solution. Which is, of course, what they did back in 1996 when he and his then-boss Sunil Gulati were signing foreign players to kick start the league.

Back then, everybody assumed that the foreign guys were going to hold the fort until enough American players rode out of the sunset and took over the league. Instead, we seem to be back at square one.

The real question seems to me to be what the heck happened? And more to the point, if the last 13 years has failed to raise the level of American play, what are we going to do differently in the next 13 years besides scour every village and hamlet in South America for skilled players willing to work cheap?

Maybe it's just me, but I'd rather not have this same discussion again 13 years from now. Something just isn't working.