Here I was moping that blog post info I was chasing had pretty much imploded. I mean, why do you think I spent yesterday talking about astronauts? This was pretty much the gist of the conversations I've been having the past couple of days, highly paraphrased:
But just when all seemed lost, my lucky angel comes through for me again! A JAMIE TRECKER ARTICLE! He's so great. He's the Bugsy Siegel of soccer trolling. He's more fun than Anakin Skywalker killing the younglings. I haven't even read it yet, and I just know it's going to be full of really, really great stuff.
Boy, I was THIS close to using three hundred words on why Admiral Adama was a Picon Panthers fan despite living on Caprica. Now, I can simply run with whatever Trecker controversy I choose, and no one's gonna call me on it! Least of all Trecker! This is SO much easier than thinking.
I think what makes it fun is because I'm absolutely sure Trecker loves it. MLS Rumors takes it personally when you bash them. Real journalists - Goff and Canales and such - get all mopey. Steven Cohen believes his gimmick. But if ever there was a guy who lived to be bashed on BigSoccer, it's Jamie. Hell, what did he do before this site came around?
Now, to actually read what he says. I know! It's like Christmas morning!
I agree with most of this.
Crap, crap, crap.
Hell, I was gonna write about some of this.
Okay, Beau Dure did a better job on the "fewer Americans moving this January than we might have thought" story - but Trecker is giving his opinion, and Dure was breaking news, so it's probably unfair to compare them.
The only remotely original thing I have to add about Kljestan and Donovan (FREE LANDON!) is that they should be sold not because of any overarching, comprehensive superiority of "Europe" over MLS. Transfers abroad - transfers anywhere - can go right or wrong in so many strange and wonderful ways. It's just that Donovan, Kljestan, and to a lesser extent Kenny Cooper are in particular situations that aren't tenable in the long term.
Donovan's isn't even tenable in the short term. I dunno why we're dancing around this, but the reason Landon went from "I have no interest in Europe" to "I can't wait to get to Europe" was because of Bruce Arena. Donovan's reward for scoring twenty goals with zero help is the opportunity once again to work under the coach who said he needed to go to Europe to improve his toughness. That, the constant losing, the constant front office instability, the constant Beckham circus - he doesn't need this crap anymore. Yeah, it would be bad for me as a Galaxy fan, since I won't get to see one of, if not the, greatest American player week in and week out.
Donovan is plenty familiar with Arena and Sarachan. The nicest thing you can say about Donovan's relationship with them is that he considers Arena and Sarachan the last straw. The idea that he's thrilled about the prospect of spending the next two years with them is not borne out by his reaction. And this was a guy willing to work with Sampson and Gullit, willing to stick around after Yallop was let go. Am I reading too much between the lines? Fine. You explain Landon's reaction, then. Sure, Bayern is a world class team and nearly any player would be happy with the opportunity to play there. But if Klinsmann hadn't called, I'll bet Landon would have demanded a trade to Chivas USA.
Speaking of CUSA. There are better reasons for Kljestan to stay in the red half of the Home Depot Center, once we get past how hilariously underpaid he is. Trecker correctly points out that Kljestan is a lousy passer, but to me it's a wash whether he would benefit more from competition for a first team spot at a big club, or from being The Man at a club that cannot do without him.
"Say, isn't that Landon's dilemma, more or less?" It is indeed. But Landon was earning very roughly the same amount of money in MLS as he would abroad, give or take endorsements. Kljestan's salary last year was $128,000, and there's no way CUSA is going to pay him what he's worth. Unless Sacha is even more devoted to Southern California than Donovan (and hey, he might be...the guy fairly radiates the OC; I doubt he owns anything warmer than his CUSA track suit), he's got to take into consideration the financial beating he's taking every day he's MLS property.
Now, it isn't Kljestan's choice, yet, but the price goes way down as of February 1, and I think we all remember Brad Guzan playing goalkeeper in the first half of last season via phone, and Guzan is at least as much of a gamer as Kljestan.
Obviously, I'm cheering for Kljestan to be sold literally anywhere, since I'm well aware of how much worse that would make Chivas USA, heh heh heh. But again - exact same scenario last year with Guzan, and I think we're going to see the exact same outcome, either this month or in August.
As for Cooper...hell, that's a whole other topic right there.
Not really much to bash Trecker for here, sadly. Oh, sure, he says there's a "20% chance" of "young Americans moving abroad...and a few just staying there", which makes about as much sense as a cotton hammer. But since I too am currently mired in the middle of a blog post where the beginning premise died a pig's death somewhere around the fourth paragraph, I'm hardly one to throw stones.
What else. Oh, EXCELLENT move on Trecker's part, punting the WPS portion of his post and pretending he didn't. Come on, Jamie, you know as well as I do you're waiting to see what Marta does. Yes, the economic realities in this ever-changing world in which we live in are going to factor considerably - but you don't know where to begin yet, anymore than Beau or Merrill Ring or Jen Striker or anyone else. You're DYING to say "WPS shouldn't even kick off!", and that's your right under the US Constitution, but it would look awfully silly a week later if Marta is posing under spotlights and fireworks in the Home Depot Center next week. Wise stall, wise stall indeed. Yeah, so it reads as if you're flipping a coin as to whether WPS accepts "certain," but unmentioned, "realities," which on its face is as helpful as a bacon and cheese Lipitor.
But I'm still blown away by the positive - by Trecker's standards, downright giddy - MLS coverage in the first two topics. Never mind that Trecker himself played his own humble role over the years in making sure MLS gets that 0% credit from the outside world. The spectre of the financial downturn, apparently the worst economic crisis since the comet wiped out the dinosaurs, is the elephant in the room. A big, farting, alcoholic elephant with daddy issues. I'm not sure I agree with Trecker that MLS should forego expansion, because we're talking about fairly large and enthusiastic markets. The Sounders, for example, are going to be a huge success, even if Microsoft goes under and takes Starbucks with it. Seattle and Philadelphia, like Toronto, will get along fine until the economy rights itself.
And if Obama turns out to be more Franklin Pierce than Franklin Roosevelt...well, it'll suck majestically for schmendricks like you and me, but Soccer United Marketing in 2010 gets another big windfall in the form of the World Cup no matter what. MLS really is just a loss leader for the World Cup when it comes to media rights, and the last few tournaments have been mainstream hits, independent of US or Mexico on-field success or lack thereof. I can't think of too many scenarios where that doesn't help America's soccer capitalists greatly, and it's a boost that every other American sport won't get. Even predictions of a calamitous job by South Africa of hosting won't affect the home viewer. Unless South Africa does such a horrible job that games are actually cancelled. And we'll have the Confederations Cup next year to see whether that's likely to happen. (It won't, otherwise we'd have been named hosts by now, is my guess.)
Yeah, I didn't think MLS would be a better investment than California real estate, either.
Well, hell. I was hoping for another masterpiece along the lines of WPS should give up for the good of women's soccer. Back to reading mock drafts.