Houston's shiny new player acquisition, US U20 forward Felix Garcia, HAS TAKEN A WALK ON THE TEAM, although given the amount of time he actually spent in camp I'm not at all sure how anyone would notice.
After MLS GAVE THEIR PLAYER RULES A GOOD WORKING OVER WITH A TIRE IRON finding a way to keep the kid out of Mexico and onto Houston's roster, Garcia has a) walked out of a practice, b) failed to show for a physical and c) apparently skipped town, missing a week of training.
The Dynamo, though clearly miffed, are trying to put as good a face on the situation as they can, characterizing the affair as some variety of homesickness, saying that Garcia was "clearly not ready for this" and "has decided to finish high school".
Perhaps so, but even 10 year olds at Summer Camp take a few days before they start crying themselves to sleep because Mommy isn't there to tuck them in. This is an 18 year old for Pete's sake. The same age that hundreds of thousands of kids go off to college every year.
Garcia wasn't there long enough to unpack his suitcase.
And it's not even that he was hit with a huge culture shock: Laredo to Houston is just not that big a change. Danny Szetela was a year younger than Garcia when he got shipped from Clifton New Jersey to Columbus Ohio, a move Ives Galarcep seemed to feel was akin to sending him to Zimbabwe.
Houston says they will continue to "monitor the situation", but I'm not sure whether that means they'll be keeping tabs on his tardy sheet or on whether he gets caught out back of the gym giving Mary Jane Grabcrotch a good old Texas howdy.
Maybe Houston can work out a deal to let him stick around Laredo and spend another season in the PDL and snacking on Mom's chicharrones. Meanwhile, all of you who complain that we need to get these kids into professional environments can give Dom a call and share your thoughts on just where they go from here.
It's hard to figure out just what Bruce Arena, the man we love to hate, is thinking about this whole David Beckham kerfuffle.
Is he pissed that he won't have the guy available? Is he happy to be rid of the distraction and to have the money available for somebody else?
We just can't say. And we certainly can't figure it out from his PUBLIC COMMENTS YESTERDAY which were masterful in their complete and utter vapidness:
"I really didn't have the opportunity to see the full context of his comments.
"However, we have been evaluating the situation.
"We are going to do in the end whatever is best for the Galaxy.
"There is always a contingency plan for everything.
"We are going to take it one step at a time.
"At the end of the day we are going to do what we think is best for our team as we continue to try to build this team to be a play-off contender."
All he left out was "we'll cross that bridge when we come to it" and a couple verses of "Que Sera Sera".
Whatever happened to that old "Shoot from the hip let the chips fall where they may, damn the torpedoes" guy who used to coach the US? Older and wiser? Or just sick and tired?
I'm normally a big fan of Glenn Davis, but THIS PIECE THE OTHER DAY smacks an awful lot of "pounding out a piece of crap in a hurry because I have a dental appointment".
From the first sentence declaration that Don Garber "is expected to choose two franchises in March" (I would have thought lGlenn understood that a) MLS has an expansion committee, headed by Phil Anschutz, that will do any and all deciding involved here and that the Commish is an employee not the Chairman of the Board and b) for the 5000th time, MLS does NOT SELL FRANCHISES) to the puzzling comment that MLS has diverse ownership and that "with that diversity comes fresh ideas" (but, sadly, he can't seem to think of one and, frankly, neither can anyone else) Glenn puzzles us with a disconnect more reminiscent of Graham Greene than someone who actually has a clue.
Ah what the hell. We all have our off days. Hope the root canal went well.
Somehow, although it probably ought to be, it's not terribly surprising THAT MLS SEASON TICKET SALES ARE HOLDING STRONG despite the current economic uncertainty.
Maybe it's just me but soccer fans in the US are a highly committed bunch. There just aren't that many casual fans who buy season tickets on a whim or to impress the neighbors or as business entertainment.
We buy season tickets because we need soccer like Kei Kamara needs weed.
I would expect any market softness to show up more at the game day ticket window than in ST renewals. April and May will show whether MLS will be taking a hit when the girls manning the windows are twiddling their thumbs.