Juan Carlos Osorio's definition of crucial

Expanding a little on what Kenn and I talked about in the podcast.

That podcast is of course Four at the Back, starring him and me. And Kenn had to work extra hard to edit this week's show, because I was all over the freaking place. Gonna have to do a separate post on the big Abby & Briana v. Hope Solo match, even. Kenn and I would like to thank each and every one of our listeners. Well, Kenn would. I'm getting a little touchy about criticism, however deserved. Just give me unrestrained praise and encouragement and I'll get through it.

Anyway, let's talk about Juan Carlos Osorio, reigning best coach in the Western Conference. It's easy to take one sentence, or one word, totally out of context. For example, the word "crucial," as used here:

Today being yesterday, and the game being the Open Cup play-in against the Earthquakes.

Sure, that's a lot more fun to talk about than what Shep Messing called the worst loss in franchise history. But crucial? First of all, it's April.

Second of all, it's well-known when it comes to the Open Cup, Frank Yallop is the tournament's second-most passionate competitor in the league. All the other coaches in the league except for Preki and Cummins are tied for first, and Cummins at least has a good excuse.

Just for shirts and giggles, I thought I'd look up Yallop's all-time Open Cup record, having a sneaking suspicion it was pretty horrible. But check out this little chart Josh has up at www.usopencup.com.

Little did I know. It isn't just Frank Yallop - the San Jose franchise* has never beaten an MLS team in the Open Cup. Not as the Clash, not as the Quakes. Josh doesn't count play-in games on his chart, but San Jose was stomped by Salt Lake last year in Rice-Eccles, so that's no help.

In any case, if an Open Cup phone-in against San Jose is "crucial" to JCO, then John Carver Overreaction Disease has claimed another victim.

What does this mean for the Red Bulls? Nothing good. Tomorrow night's match is your basic dead rat game - there's no glory in beating it, it won't taste or feel good, and you might catch the Black Death.** The Galaxy are aggravatingly difficult to beat anyway, but their coach is at least as desperate as JCO. And worse still, Arena has something to prove against JCO and the Red Bulls. Yeah, the guy who actually fired Arena is now off selling Dr. Funke's 100% Natural Good-Time Family Band Solution or whatever, but somehow I don't think that's going to demotivate Il Bruce.

If you ask me, and nobody is, the losing coach Saturday night should be fired. If dumping the loser's contract is too prohibitive, at least make him coach in a mask and call himself "Charlie Brown from Outta Town."

*Going into this year, Houston is 2-3 all-time in the Open Cup, both wins coming in 2006, one against an actual MLS team. The new Earthquakes, depending on whether you count play-ins, are either 0-0 or 0-2.

**Absurdly, the Galaxy are promoting this particular game, at least judging by the radio ads. Maybe they had some leftover funds from the Milan publicity budget? Maybe the Barcelona game isn't going to happen after all?