At some point, every one of us has to face up to our limitations.
Despite what Mom and Dad always told us, success is not simply a case of wanting something badly enough to do the work.
Life isn't always about the destination; rather, it's the journey, the striving, the reaching for the stars; THAT is what it's really all about. Successful soccer players, guys who have nothing left to prove, who have reached the pinnacle in lower level leagues, always talk about how they dream of testing themselves on a bigger stage, against better competition, in the biggest venues and in front of the most rabid supporters.
Sooner or later, a player's competitive drive, that unquantifiable thing which makes great athletes who they are, makes a man want measure his game against the best.
Unfortunately, as we all know, it often doesn't work out. How often do we see players go off to some exotic league only to show up on the Rapid's roster two years later (after Colorado gives Toronto a first round pick for his rights) because he just wasn't able to cut it in some foreign country?
Players who at least give it a try are of course to be applauded. They took the risk, they rolled the dice and they gave it their best shot. The fact that, in the end, they just came up a little short in the talent department is no shame. All any of us has is what the Lord gave us.
And so it is with David Beckham.
After almost two years of playing in MLS it's become very plain that he simply can't hack it here. He just hasn't been able to raise his game to our level. It's not his fault. He did his best, gave it all he had, reached for the sky.
At this point though it's become clear that he simply isn't good enough for Major League Soccer. Oh he can go over to some backwater like Italy and be a big hero, scoring goals, getting mobbed by his teammates and toasted by adoring fans. Plenty of guys have succeeded in Italy.
The point is that he has nothing to be ashamed of. He tried his best but in the end, sadly, he just wasn't quite good enough for MLS and it's time he just admitted it and bowed out while he still has some dignity left.
With regard to the whole Amway deal, I think my colleague has covered the bases pretty well on that one.
It only remains for me to point out that useful blogger and sometime BigSoccer maven djwalker CALLED THIS ONE TWO YEARS AGO
Prepare to be amazed.
Sportswriters in Vancouver are all atwitter today after nicely cleanshaven MLS Commissioner Don Garber TOLD OTTAWA THAT THEY NEED A SOCCER STADIUM if the want a team.
They feel this "improves" Vancouver's chances for landing a team.
What the writers don't seem to grasp is that THEY DON'T HAVE ONE EITHER. hello?
Yes, they have some nice plans for refurbishing 60,000 seat, artificial turf BC Place and then - stop me if you've heard this one - putting up some drapes across 40,000 of the seats to create an "intimate" atmosphere.
Now I'm as aware as anyone that MLS bought this same package in Seattle, but I highly doubt they're going to do it again.
It's not like this is some kind of radical new idea - I was attending MLS games in football stadium s with 3/4 of the seats covered in gaily screenprinted tarps in 1996. Everyone agreed then that is was stupid, and that what we needed was soccer specific stadiums.
Now along comes Vancouver with this swell new idea, dancing and singing about what a "World Class" soccer facility it is.
Sorry guys. We've been there.
Chivas USA has just announced the hiring of FORMER DC STAR CARLOS LLAMOSA as an assistant coach.
I can only applaud. Not only was he a terrific player (Bruce Arena picked him out of the chorus, in case you've forgotten) but he also seemed like a decent guy.
Furthermore, I'm a big fan of a couple recent trends in MLS:
1) Bringing former players into coaching positions around the league. Whatever you think about MLS, it's really not like anyplace else - for better and for worse - and extensive league experience is, I think, becoming more and more important.
2) Hiring more Hispanic coaches. While Juan Carlos Osorio is still the only Latino head coach, everyone knows that normally you have to go through the chairs, as they say, to get to the end of the bench.
There aren't going to be more South American head coaches until there is first a pool of South American assistants. Another example is the Crew, who just hired former a former defender, Argentine Ricky Irrabarren, to sit behind Bob Rifle.
MLS badly wants to sell themselves to Latino fans, and I've always thought that one reason why they have trouble with this (there are lots of them) is because of a lack of SA influence on benches and in front offices.
In a very real sense, Latin influence has been actively avoided, and fans know. They're not stupid. Or blind.
The lack of Hispanic coaching has always seemed odd considering that some of the leagues best players, and many of it's most successful teams, have been driven by South Americans on the field.
MLS has always been more than happy to have them run the show on the field, but when they retire they can't send them packing back down south fast enough.
The NASL, conversely, was a real bastion of British soccer influence and that influence stuck around for the next couple of decades, influencing American Youth soccer and USSF to a degree which I think anyone would admit has been detrimental. These guys designed the coaching courses, wrote the books, conducted the seminars and coached the kids for 20 years.
And look what it's gotten us.
If we're ever going to shake off the British strangle hold on American soccer we're going to have to start with the coaching. Nobody is going to learn to play like Barrs-Schelotto or Angel or Etcheverry or Cienfuegos by learning the game under the coaching influence of the British good old boys club.