The Flight of the Center Backs

On the heels of the unsurprising news that MICHAEL PARKHURST IS OFF TO EUROPE comes the unsurprising news that CHAD MARSHALL IS TAKING A STAB AT IT AS WELL and as for William Conde, well, he isn't talking but when you SELL ALL YOUR BELONGINGS, DISCONNECT YOUR PHONE AND MOVE TO COLUMBIA you've pretty much said it all.

Solid back line defense was a major reason why these three teams - not coincidentally the top three teams in the top MLS conference - had the seasons that they did, and nobody can lose that kind of talent without it having an effect.

All three teams have options, but you can't easily replace the kind of quality Parkhurst and Marshall - pretty much unarguably the two best defenders in the league - represent.

The thing that bothers me most though is the level to which they're going (assuming Marshall gets an offer): Denmark and 2.Bundesliga. While the money is certainly better, these guys are the best MLS has to offer.

For several years now we've all confidently asserted that American players were "beginning to get the respect they deserve" from the European leagues, after years of being considered as nothing much more than cheap practice players.

It's beginning to look like nothing much has changed.

Several sharp-eyed posters noticed the gargantuan presence of Biker Claus, AKA CONCACAF Vice President Chuck Blazer, at the Women's U20 World Cup final.

Indeed, as the Chairman of the event (Jack Warner is on a 40-nation "Tour de Greed" at the moment) Chuck and his "personal staff" was al over this one

Making it easier for Chuck and his "personal staff" to make the grueling trek from end to end of the vast expanse that is Chile was the FIFA-provided personal jet, fueled and ready at all times

I'm told the young lady is the official CONCACAF Director of Travel and Accommodations, a recent graduate of the Ultra-Exclusive "Hotelschool" in The Hague.


The Seattle Sounders have a "Marching Band?".

Fire fans are still pretty ambivalent about the upcoming addition of cheerleaders, and I understand the dilemma; nobody wants a repeat of the ugly incident in Denver a couple years ago when A RAPIDS CHEERLEADER WAS KNOCKED TO THE GROUND AND GROPED by a crowd of horney seventh graders.

But at the risk of offending the already notoriously touchy Sounders fans, isn't a Marching band just a little, you know, excessive?

I'm sure Daniel will have more for us on the US Soccer Hall of Fame voting, which concludes tomorrow. He probably won't be mentioning J Hutcherson's objection to anyone except himself getting a ballot, though.

They've assured that there won't be another shutout year by lowering the bar from 70% down to 66% and if that doesn't generate a winner or two they'll conduct a runoff amongst the top vote getters.

I for one like the idea that if nobody can get 70% then nobody gets in. See you next time.

But Oneonta wants a ceremony, dammit, and so Oneonta is going to get one if they have to enshrine Steve Trittshuh to do it.