I've read a lot of complaining out of Seattle yesterday and today. A lot of bellyaching, bitching and moaning. A lot of whining that doesn't do a damn bit of good today or tomorrow. A lot of shots at the Galaxy, the way they play, the way they approach the game.
Well, now I've got something to say. Something to all the born-again virgins complaining about fouls and bad calls. Something to the fans who have followed the game for all of ten minutes now. Something to all the background extras who want to be valedictorian and prom queen based on perfect attendance.
And I want you to listen, because I'm not just saying this as a Galaxy fan, or even a soccer fan. I'm saying this as a human being. As a man. So pay attention.
You're all absolutely, positively, 100% correct. I heartily endorse everything said, from Sigi to the Sounders players to the Seattle media on down. Every word of it was depressingly, sickeningly accurate.
I would tear out my eyes if I thought I could unsee it. I'd gladly type with bloody stumps, while my still wriggling severed hands flopping around on the desk, if I could write about something else.
Okay, nice header from Alan Gordon, Mr. Galaxy.** I prefer to think that he resented being booed by his former fans, which is why he taunted the crowd in his celebration. (EDIT - nope, lost track of which Pacific Northwest team this particular Galaxy player was imported from. Gordon apparently has always hated Seattle as much as Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf.)
It wasn't because the Galaxy had a festering rivalry with the Sounders - although they probably do now. It wasn't even as if anyone on the team had something to prove to Sigi at this point - I don't know who on the Galaxy has ever even played for Schmid, with the possible exception of Miglioranzi.
Oh, right, Eddie Lewis. Okay, Lewis and Migs went to Arena and said how important it was for them to show up their old coach.
Or, the Galaxy continually fouled for the same reason anyone fouls. You're about to get beat, or you just got beat. It's an equalizer. It's a strategy. It's deliberate. Talented players are uncommon and expensive. Hacks are not. Both the Galaxy and Chivas are doing this, both are at least claiming success at it, and both are unwatchable this season.
Why did the Galaxy play this way against the Sounders? Because that's who was on the schedule. It wasn't a rivalry game, at least from the LA point of view. It was another day at the office. Foul the forward in the penalty area, hope you get the no-call. Break up the action in the midfield. Only go forward when it's absolutely safe, because your defenders' speeds top out at Mach Continental Drift.
What the Sounders do not want to do is go week after week, month after month, complaining about the referees costing them points. Didn't work for John Carver, won't work for Seattle. Against cynics like the Galaxy, the mindset must be "How can we win this game?" instead of "How will the refs cost us points?"
For all I know Mike Magee really was clipped badly on an earlier play, before he grabbed James Riley by the neck and baited him into retaliation. But I prefer to believe he had read Sigi's quotes about how anyone rolling around three times on the turf is faking, and decided to roll around on the turf just to mess with him.
That's more gruel for the conspiracy crowd, since the Galaxy got to play this past week against teams without Javier Morales and Fredy Montero. But those aren't the two points that will get them into the playoffs, those are the two points that will get them eliminated a week before the end of the season instead of two weeks. Want to be scared for LA? Chart their progress in the standings last year compared to this.
Besides, it's not as if AEG has anything to lose by missing the playoffs yet again. The Galaxy are tuning up to play two games all year - AC Milan, and Barcelona. Those are the money games for LA this year. That's the focus. These are the tactics they will use in order to avoid being completely humiliated. (In fairness, I don't think there are more than about, what, two teams in the hemisphere that wouldn't approach those games from a position of weakness.)
So the rest of the league can look forward to that act, with or without David Beckham, coming to a city near you. Good tickets still available.
*...wait....that's Sigi Schmid's philosophy? To always move forward? Since WHEN?
**Nickname copyright from the Hammer at 94th minute, I think. I'll double-check before posting, to make sure I have my facts straight.***
***HA HA HA HA HA HA HA my God like I would EVER do that EVER EVER EVER