Your Man in Carson

So yesterday morning I'm freezing my ass off in Eastern PA, and today I'm Detroit Leanin' down Avalon under 80 degrees of LA sunshine.

It's no goddam wonder everybody around here is so cheerful. Where I've been for the last week, everyone is talking about how bad business and the economy is with clenched jaws and looking like they want to kill someone.

Here, everybody is talking about how bad business and the economy is also, but they're smiling. I suppose if you're going to find yourself living on the streets, this is altogether a better place to do it.

Anyway, so I took Dan's advice and rented a car, which has worked out OK I guess, since I've been to the HDC and back twice already and it's not even Noon yet.

He might have mentioned though that I could have made it down here from LAX in a rickshaw about as fast as I did in the finest that Budget has to offer. What is that, 18 lanes? 20? Where the hell is everyone going at 8 PM on a Friday?

Danny's Traveler's Aid aside, I just got back from the Crew's final practice before the game. The first 45 minutes were closed, apparently because of the super-secret offensive strategies they intend to employ, such as getting the ball to GBS and having him pick our Rogers, Gaven or Moreno.

Osorio will no doubt be shocked when he sees it.

Anyway, so all I saw was the last 15 minutes where - like virtually every other MLS practice I've ever attended - they worked on set pieces.

However, Sigi's famous penchant for secrecy must have taken the day off because I am herewith able to pass along a tidbit which I'm certain they would prefer I kept to myself:

There's this somewhat diminutive guy with dark hair, possibly a South American, wears number 7, and it appears that he will be taking all the corners and DFK's inside 40 yards.

I kid you not.

Afterwards, the players and coaches mingled with the assembled media types and based on their comments I was able to glean the following:

This will be a tough game. Everyone will have to be ready to go hard for 90 minutes. The Red Bulls are a very good team. Their record means nothing. They have many fine players. It's going to take a great effort to win. And each and every player plans on "just going out there and giving it my best".

Where else can you go to get this kind of inside scoop, I ask you?

On a side note, I'm sure the Commissioner's address is posted elsewhere, so I'm not going to spend a lot of time on it now. We've got all Winter.

However, for those of you who have been telling me all year that Montreal was a lock/shoe in/sure thing/done deal for the next expansion team and how I was crazy to waste my time saying otherwise:

Montreal has officially dropped their expansion bid.

Ah, gloating is such a guilty pleasure.