Barcelona Twists the Knife

It would be nice
if Joan LaPorta and the rest of the suits who run Barcelona FC could get their stories straight.

When last we saw this merry band of sportsmen they were lamenting the fact that ITTET it was, sadly, going to be impossible for them to participate in Marcelo Claure's Miami MLS outfit. They somehow never quite got around to explaining exactly what it was they were worried about losing since they admittedly were offering to put up exactly no money of their own.

But the blood is barely dry on the shank they openly jammed into Claure's back - the poor guy had to read about it in the papers and hop a flight to Spain to hear what the whole world already knew - and here they are again.

This time though it's PHILADELPHIA that's the object of their desire. (I hope that link works; SBJ is funny sometimes).

In fact, it seems that Laporta paid a visit to Nick the Sack and the Philadelphia organizers and was given a tour of the Chester digs, which isn't particularly remarkable except that it occurred just a few days before they pulled the plug on Miami.

What's even worse, apparently they're talking about actually investing money in the Philadelphia team rather than just lending them some coaches and trainers and whatever.

There's no word from Miami on just how Claure feels about this, but like most jilted lovers he was the last to know and that's never a pleasant experience..

The Don helpfully tells us that Barca "are continuing to look at opportunities around the league".

Opportunities, he could have added, that are not in Miami.

Of course one problem that people have been whispering about the Philly bid for the last few months is that their lead investor, wealthy financier Jay Sugarman, ain't quite so wealthy any more. Everyone is quick to note that Sugarman's Pile O'Cash extends far beyond his holdings in iStar, the company where, as CEO, he's watched the share value go from over 20 bucks to just under 2 in the last 12 months.

But at the same time he's probably answering some rather pointed questions from the little woman about why the hell he's sinking all this dough into a soccer team right now, and rightly so.

Meanwhile, it appears that Barcelona didn't lose interest in MLS, just Miami.

By now you've probably heard that serial miscreant Kei Kamara of the Houston Dynamo has been suspended for two games because of "comments" he made to an official after a preseason match from which he was ejected for another brutal assault on his favorite target, Nick Garcia.

(No word on what it is he said, but it must have been a doozy)

Of course Kamara has a history of this kind of thing, including almost starting a riot during a friendly little scrimmage the Crew was having with a local Columbus adult open team as a combination leg-stretcher and PR opportunity.

Houston badly needs decent forwards, and Kei is undoubtedly talented but the unhappy truth is that the guy is a ticking time bomb who either can't or won't grow up and learn some self control. Some guys never do.

You have to wonder if California Klinnsy is having second thoughts about packing Landon Donovan off to LA after the news that Miroslav Klose IS GOING TO BE OUT FOR EIGHT WEEKS getting surgery on the ankle he tore up over the weekend.

We don't currently have any salient comments on the subject from LDo himself, but Landon swears he answers questions posted ON HIS PERSONAL WEBISTE so you might give that a try, although Nico, the guy who posted the last one a week ago ("Hi Landon, wollten sie unbedingt bei dem FC Bayern München spielen?
aber, ich bin froh dass du bei Bayern spielst.")(which I believe translates roughly as "Couldn't you at least have cleaned the cat pan before you left?) is still waiting for a reply.

Apparently "Scotty" ("Dude, sup?) wasn't really looking for one.

Our friends at US Soccer, who are always exploring vast new vistas of marketing genius, are offering a splendid deal for the US Women's match against Japan in Dallas on May 20:

Buy an on-field seat for $125 and you get to keep the chair.

Maybe this is common, I don't know, but I don't remember ever seeing it before. I'm just curious whether these are, you know, really sturdy chairs or the ones Pro Wrestlers hit each other with.

I've seen some pretty nasty responses to Sepp Blatter's comments the other day about how MLS NEEDS TO GO TO A "TRADITIONAL" SCHEDULE, meaning October to May.

I'm not sure what the fuss is about; Blatter says all sorts of stuff, mostly it's whatever comes to mind at the moment, often contradicting something he said the previous week. Or day.

So whether you like the idea or hate the idea, it doesn't really matter. It's just Sepp flapping his gums.

Pay no attention.

In a piece of reassuring news from North of the Border, it appears that Canadian soccer players think that HAVING MORE CANADIAN TEAMS IN MLS is a good idea.

I'm certainly glad they've cleared that up.

They all agree that the more MLS teams Canada has the more good players Canada can produce.

You know, here's a thought: if they had their own league then they could produce lots and lots of great players.

Boy, that'd sure show us.

Finally, I'll admit up front that I'm not Andrea Canales' biggest fan.

Like all of us she has her moments but she really lost me over the incident with Marcos Gonzalez when he wanted her out of the dressing room while he showered and she raised a huge public stink instead of dealing with it through the press officer who was, conveniently, about 15 feet away.

For about a week she acted like she thought she was Susan B. Anthony crossed with Dr. Martin Luther King, striking a blow for equality, instead of dealing intelligently with the culturally bred reaction of a guy from South America who hadn't heard that in the US athletes are supposed to get naked for female writers.

Nonetheless, when she's right she's right, and her take on MLS AWARDING THE CUP GAME TO SEATTLE is dead on.

I admit that I prefer LA or Dallas or someplace warm (I guess Miami is out? Just asking) but I don't have anything against Seattle per se. Honest.

But holding a league championship match on FieldTurf, particularly when it's highly likely that at least one if not both of the teams involved don't normally play on the stuff, is just not a good idea.

Particularly when it's just not necessary. There are lots of other alternatives available.