Since the first set of Euro games were largely bland enough to power the USS Bland to Alpha Blandtauri, I would have felt no qualms about spending most of today's energies mulling over today's New England-Houston game. But then they got interesting all of a sudden, and, well, hey! MLS game, everyone!
No, MLS didn't stop for Euro 2008, why should they have? We're not in Europe. How many Euro national team players are even in the league, anyway? Just the one, right? Okay, MLS might have shortened the season for him, come to think of it, but as it stands, why shouldn't MLS continue to be our top priority, as good and loyal American soccer fans?
Because we're playing World Cup qualifiers the next two weeks? Oh, right. Usually, "let's align with the international calendar" gets morphed into "Let's play from August to May like many other countries do," which is why I pre-emptively dismiss the argument. I'm aware that the question is merely, let's not play on FIFA international dates.
It's not that simple. It never is. First of all, and perhaps most important, John Carver proved this week, there is much comedy in the Canadian national team stepping on Toronto's toes - nearly as much as the US (and England) national teams harshing the Galaxy's collective mellow. Coaching temper tantrums give our lives meaning.
And let's look at what we're actually asking - the entire league to go dark, on a June weekend, for the sake of Landon Donovan? That's an awful lot of money to toss aside. Sure, we lose more money by missing the World Cup, but look at Bob's roster. Seven out of twenty-one players work in MLS - and it would have been six if Hejduk hadn't been brought in to replace Spector. And they're still letting Dominic Cervi tag along. That's not the roster of someone sweating Barbados.
On the other hand, a quick glance at the MLS player pool doesn't ring up too many names that are conspicuous by their absence. Just Jimmy Conrad and a lot of question marks. Maybe this is a problem that eventually resolves itself - every good player plays in Europe, and MLS rolls along merrily, as blissfully uncaring of the FIFA calendar as Major League Lacrosse.
Anywhiz. Tonight's game is extremely interesting and important. It would behoove both teams greatly to rumble three points out of this somehow, and both teams probably think they can - the Dynamo are at home, but Chingless, Patless and Dwayneless. (And John Carver thinks CONCACAF is taking HIS players.) The Revolution have the best record in the league, and have looked like it, as well. If New England loses, it's just another game Chicago has in hand. I'm expecting an exciting, attacking game.
So it's really a shame that only diehard New England and Houston fans will watch. Tell us how it was, okay guys?