Just Keep Smiling

Last night's CONCACAF Champions League match between District of Columbia United and Cruz Azul turned out to be every bit as peculiar as - and perhaps symbolic of - United's entire season.

Playing in a torrential downpour, DCU was represented on the RFK Stadium field by possibly the least expensive lineup an MLS team has ever sent out for a serious game they sort of wanted to win.

Exceptof course for Jaime Moreno, who was available because MLS has suspended him for the unfortunate face-whacking incident involving Dallas midfielder Andre Rocha and a portion of Moreno's anatomy.

Otherwise, Tom Soehn, trying to salvage something of DC's MLS campaign, sent out a lineup which included several guys who are only available because the USL2 season is now over and a couple others who earn less than the guy who mows David Beckham's lawn.

And in the ultimate indignity, DC's patchwork collection of journeymen and developmental kids held their own pretty nicely against the Mexicans right up until Cementman (no, seriously, that's what they're called) Pablo Zeballos summarized DC's year by scoring with his ass to secure a 1-0 win.

I just don't know how to top that one, so I won't even try.

Meanwhile, the USL1 teams in the CCL keep chugging along, with the Impact picking up a 2-1 win in Honduras against CD Olimpia and Colin Clarkes remarkable Puerto Rico Islanders tied Municipal 2-2 in Guatemala.

Olimpias goal was the first scored against Impact keeper Matt Jordan in five CCL games, while the Islanders, resting several front-line players in anticipation of the opening round of the USL1 playoffs tomorrow, got a late equalizer from Sandy Gbandi and, like Montreal, leads their Group.

Even Houston's wild 4-4 battle on Tuesday night, while thrilling, only means they stand at two points in their battle to emerge from Group B, while DC is all but finished.

Commissioner Cheetah is right, I think, that right now MLS just can't worry a lot about these admittedly embarassing results, but do they have to be this embarassing?

Finally, as a followup to yesterday's piece abput Poland getting into it with Sepp Blatter, the Polish press is reporting that "the Sports Minister’s lawyers do not intend to give in to FIFA President Sepp Blatter".

They claim that "new revelations" will be published tomorrow that will "further discredit" the President of the PZPN, and that they won't back down in the face of Blatters obvious blackmail attempt, highlighted by the threat to cancel Poland's October qualifiers.

They still don't seem to grasp the concept that Blatter doesn't give a damn what these, or any other, "revelations" are. The principle of governmental non-interference is all that matters to him and he WILL go to the mat for it.

All Poland is doing is backing themselves into a corner. Blatter means what he says, he has no fear of Poland or anybody else, and if the Polish government is really stupid enough to try and call his bluff, all that's going to happen is that Poland will be chucked out of the World Cup and the general public will kill them in the next election.

And Sepp knows it.