The Canal Zone is Nice This Time of Year

Steven Goff reported yesterday that District of Columbia United WILL RETAIN HEAD COACH TOM SOEHN for the 2009 season.

I know that there's a large school of thought amongst DC fans that says Soehn needs to go, and I'm not going to argue with them, but no fair observer would claim that all, or even a majority, of what went wrong this season can be laid at Soehn's feet.

Of course, "DC United" is synonymous with "High Expectations" and they like it that way.

But I think giving the guy another shot is the only fair thing to do. It's next to impossible to take a team that made as many changes as they went though and turn them into an instant winner. The dilemma is that massive changes were a big factor in their slump this year, but it's hard to see how they can dramatically improve without - drastic changes.

So if I call you out for gaming the officials am I gaming the officials?

That seems to be the gist of the debate in the leadup to tonight's "Win or go home" match between the Fire and New England.

In the aftermath of last week's match, Brian McBride claimed the Revs were working the ref pretty hard. NE keeperMATT REIS ADMITS THEY WERE but says the Fire was doing it too.

I'm reminded of Rodney Dangerfield handing the umpire at the golf match a hundred bucks and saying "Keep it fair, keep it fair"

Luis Arroyave has been providing some interesting stuff all season, and YESTERDAY'S PIECE ABOUT THE MCBRIDE-BLANCO PAIRING is a good example.

Golden Boy McBride, Mr. Wonderful, Mr All America, Mr. Beautiful Blond Wife and Beautiful Blond Children and Beautiful Blond dog, the guy who no one has ever, even once, accused of taking a dive or sulking does indeed make an odd partner for Blanco, The Guy Everyone Loves to Hate, who glowers and complains and dives and pushes the limits every chance he gets.

The Yin and the Yang have a bunch of pressure on them tonight, and to a large extent how they perform will determine whether the Fire plays again next weekend or whehter McBride goes home to play frisbee with his dog while Blanco heads home to kick his.

Someone - he neglected to give me permission to use his name so I won't unless I hear otherwise - pointed out one other glaring piece of sludge in THE MONUMENTALLY IGNORANT ARTICLE I POINTED OUT YESTERDAY courtesy of what passes for "journalism" North of the Border:

He says I should have mentioned that the pearl of wisdom now being bandied about by the MLS-hating media that the writer prominently features in regards to attendance is also either willfully misleading or simply ignorant. My vote is for the latter, but I'm a cynic.

Since I'm seeing this "fact" popping up with regularity, I thought it worth a moment to examine.

The writer points to "average attendance" being down across the league, and specifically cites San Jose, with an average of 13,713 and KC, which drew "a league-low 10,686" as examples of teams which are, apparently, just collapsing due to lack of interest.

These might indeed be telling numbers except that this bowlfloater neglects to mention that KC plays in CommunityAmerica Park, which only seats 10,385, meaning that on the "average" KC sold 300 STANDING ROOM tickets. Not exactly a sign of a team in trouble.

Likewise, San Jose plays in Buck Shaw Stadium, which has a capacity of 10,300 and likewise sold every seat for every game. In fact, had Mr. Brilliance bothered to look it up instead of just repeating some crap he heard from other imbeciles, he'd see that they sold 3,000 more seats than they actually had, a discrepancy which came about because they played two games in Oakland-Alameda Stadium, averaging over 23,000 customers each time.

Personally, I think MLS ought to stay out of areas that demonstrate this level of hostility to the league.