Bored With Beckham...

....but writing about him anyway.

SIGN OF THE APOCALYPSE: In exhibition play yesterday, the Seattle Sounders played their first game against an actual MLS opponent. And won.

The opponent? The Galaxy.

Please don't pound out some "Archer you blithering idiot, it's a meaningless game" reply below. I am well aware that the value of winning preseason games is roughly equivalent to that of a bucket of warm spit. Honest.

But in this case, Arena is in an impossible spot relative to his roster. Roughly a third of his salary budget isn't in camp at the moment, and isn't likely to be anytime soon, in any form.

The Gals biggest problem last year (besides the fact that the GM was a certifiable imbecile and the coach was apparently just vacationing) was that they had way too much of their budget invested in two guys. Now they don't have the guys OR the money.

You just know this is killing Arena. He's going to have to bring in some key players and put together a team at some point, but right now all he can do is sit around and - well, and lose to Seattle.


FORGOTTEN BUT NOT GONE: RIDGE MAHONEY is reporting that Panayotis Lalas, the Dreaded Destroyer of MLS Teams, has signed acontract with ESPN to work soccer games, starting with a studio gig for tomorrow's National team match.

Apparently his duties aren't entirely defined at the moment, but he'll apparently be doing some gamecasts as well.

Regarding his Galaxy gig, Lalas remarked that "There were plenty of mistakes made and I certainly did my share."

Not much to add.

DUMB AND DUMBER: I mentioned the other day that the quantity of ignorant drivel being written about the whole Beckham kerfuffle was reaching monumental levels that I doubted could ever be topped.

So of course someone came along and topped it.

I HAVE NO IDEA WHO THIS GUY IS or whether he's normally either a) opposed to the cultural degradation that soccer represents to the American sports landscape or b) a blithering idiot, but this piece starts out stupid and goes downhill.

Beckham is "one of the Greatest Sports Failures in Los Angeles history"? Wow. There so much competition for that particular title covering so many sports over so many years that it would take a lifetime to catalog and rank, but if your idea of "failure" includes selling tons of tickets and souvenir shirts and generating an avalanche of international media interest in your team, then maybe we're setting our standards a wee bit high, pal.

No, the Galaxy didn't win much. Hell, sometimes it seemed like they barely won at all. But if not winning a championship is the bar we have to jump here, well, the line of LA sports "failures" runs around the block a couple dozen times.

However that may be, we've really reached some kind of milestone in journalistic malpractice when a "professional" goes looking for an unbiased expert to express his views on the topic of La Affaire Beckham and comes up with: Steve Douchebag Cohen.

Now love him or hate him (and I'm firmly in the latter group) the one thing even his best friend (assuming he has friends) would have to admit is that Cohen has done nothing but slag on Beckham for a long time. Granted it got much more pronounced and bitter when Becks publicly dissed him by refusing Stevie an interview, but the guy's done nothing but badmouth MLS and trash DBecks from Day One.

To use him as your "expert" analyst on this topic demonstrates either a monumental ignorance or an intentional stacking of the deck. It's sort of like asking Hugo Chavez for his opinion on how the Bush administration worked out.

COUNTING YOUR CHICKENS DEPT: A prominent Victoria BC sports enterprenuer has purchased a PDL FRANCHISE that will start play this summer.

The plan is that the team will serve as the basis for a new USL1 team in Victoria when the Whitecaps (Vancouver is just across the bay,and BTW there isn't much prettier scenery anywhere) move up to MLS in 2011.

They might want to check with Portland relative to which North Pacific city is coming in, but I do so admire confidence.