Some Stuff About Soccer

Now here's a shocker:

Since the LA Galaxy can't guarantee that David Beckham will be on the squad in December, the scheduled exhibition is Brisbane on December 11 HAS BEEN CANCELLED.

Apparently, Tim Leiweke's master plan - turning the Galaxy into a World Class Brand - isn't going all that well. Two years into the program and still nobody gives a damn about the team if Posh's hubby isn't in uniform, and if he won't take my word for it, he can just take a glance at this headline from an Australian news report on the topic of the Galaxy cancellation:

"BECKHAM vs. ROAR POSTPONED"

Or maybe this one:

DAVID BECKHAM GAME AGAINST QUEENSLAND CALLED OFF.

Offhand, I'd say that is a pretty strong indication that Timmy still has some work to do.

Picture of the Day:

Someone really ought to mention to Frankie Hejduk that when they hold a gala awards ceremony and hand you the team "Man of the Year" award, that you really could put down the damn beer for a second.

Or not.

It's interesting that the overseas press has just recently begun to take a somewhat less sunny view of star players who sign with MLS "like David Beckham".

For a while there, the meme was that these guys were coming over here - or just considering coming over here - to help DBecks on his holy mission of bringing football to the savages. Every time a player was mentioned in connection with moving stateside, the phrase "like David Beckham" was an integral psrt of the equation.

But the Seattle signing of Freddie Ljungberg for a seemingly ridiculous $5 million, an amount which is hard to justify based on potential ticket sales (unlike Beckham, most American sports fans don't know Freddie Ljungberg from Freddy Flintstone) and it's unlikely a midfielder with his particular skill set (no one will ever mistake him for Etcheverry, Valderrama or Schelotto) can carry a team around on his shoulders.'

All that's left, now that the bloom is off the Beckham rose, is "FREDDIE IS AN OVER-THE-HILL GREEDBAG GOING FOR A PAYCHECK. Which is, of course, exactly the NASL-reminiscent headline Don Garber has been dreading but must have known was inevitable.

Then again, in this case, the other headline: FREDDIES GOING TO THE US TO BECOME A BIG MOVIE STAR, would be comical if it wasn't so sad. It's the functional equivalent of tying a pork chop around your neck in order to get a puppy to play with you.

The GOAL.com Brain-Free Post of the Day goes to THIS HOWLER which makes the argument that FIFA "could" combine CONCACAF and CONMEBOL, thus making for, apparently, one hell of a really great Qualifying Round.

The term "When pigs fly" comes to mind. Even after assassinating both Jack Warner and Chuck Blazer, thus covering the necessity of doing this over their dead bodies, the reality is that while "increased competition" would be a splendid thing for this region (presumably CONMEBOL doesn't have this "non-competitive" issue) most of us would prefer that the improved competition come from, you know, OUR REGION.

If making it harder to get into the World Cup finals is the goal, screw CONMEBOL, let's just join UEFA. That trip to Zagreb ought to put some starch in the Honduran's shorts.

On the other hand, maybe it would be better to get better quality from countries like Canada and Jamaica and T&T and another consistently competitive Central American side to go along with Costa Rica and have our own tournament instead of joining someone else's in an effort to play "better competition" or, put another way, see how many CONCACAF teams can get themselves eliminated.

Just a thought.

They did it. They really did it.

They made Diego Maradona coach of the Argentine National team.

I'm sure that a soccer nation as sophisticated and urbane as Argentina has some excellent reason for this besides "he was a really, really, really, really good player for us" but I'll be damned if I can see how this drug-addled freak is going to do anything beyond make a circus out of the Argentine program by making the whole thing all about him.

I understand that they're feeling a bit of desperation after a less-than-sterling qualifying campaign, but this goes beyond desperation. I wish them luck.

Finally, if any of you ever call in to World Soccer Daily, would you ask Steven Cohen why he never reads my emails on the air?

Why, it's almost like he doesn't appreciate my helpful suggestions. Go figure.