I learned a lot this week from the show, at which you may point your ears here.
Most obviously, it was informational listening to Andrew Bell of the Charleston Battery talk USL. I don't see MLS ever expanding there, so I think the Bats' future is pretty bright. Even if MLS expands to 36 teams or something, the USL can make hay off markets 37 and down. Wikipedia tells me Charleston is only the third largest market in South Carolina, and 136th in the nation. That's an entire freaking English pyramid's worth of MLS before you get there, but the Battery have been going strong since 1993.
So naturally, mainly because I need the practice at being a radio loudmouth, we started talking about Giuseppe Rossi. I didn't actually mean to imply that you can't be a fan of the US National Team if you don't hate Giuseppe Rossi. It's just really easy to understand how those two things follow - at least, in my opinion.
American fans' hypocrisy on this topic has become a fairly prominent side issue. For one thing, we haven't been screwed as badly as Canada has yet. Fair enough.
And then there are all those, y'know, guys who were born elsewhere that played for us, and how this isn't exactly a short list. My standard response is, these players usually flow downhill, as it were. JP Dellacamera reminded us Thursday morning that Benny Feilhaber was born in Brazil. How badly do they miss him, do you imagine? Germany Jones, like Thomas Dooley before him, is only considering the US because Germany said danke but no danke. This was the case for nearly every player I can think of....
....and then Kenn reminded me of Hugo Perez, in a portion which didn't make it on the show. Moved to the United States at age 11, chose the bigger country over the smaller.
So I looked it up. In 1984, the year Perez got his first US cap, El Salvador hadn't been in a World Cup for nearly two years, while the United States hadn't been since 1950. The NASL was very nearly what it is today. We were at least as minnowy as ES back then - Perez probably made a sideways move at worst.
Speaking of not knowing things off the top of my head - in response to a suggestion that Rick Davis join the US Soccer Mount Rushmore, as the first real US-born, homegrown star...I probably should have remembered that Billy Gonsalves, Bert Patenaude, Frank Borghi and Walter Bahr were all born in the United States, and all learned the game here. So, when you listen, pretend I pointed that out.
...and, then there's the topic of the US National Team. That nice little sequence against Brazil between halftime and red card is a frail reed to pin hopes, dreams, and support for Bob Bradley. Really, at this point it's all about whether Sunil sees Alan Rothenberg sticking with Steve Sampson as precedent or warning.
The really depressing thing to me is that people are looking at Iraq, and thinking Bora Milutinovic should return to the job. C'mon, Metrostars fans, tell them about 1999.