MLS Cup? Is That Today?

Although it hardly qualified as a secret that Toronto was hot on the trail of Predrag (as opposed, I guess, to POSTdrag) Whats-his-face (AKA Sensei Preki), nonetheless, credit where credit is due it was the esteemed Ives Galarcep who first posted that it was a done deal.

(Apparently Mo Johnston is taking the approach that hey, if you can't beat 'em then you might as well kick, trip, gouge and punch 'em. )

Much more out of left field is HIS SCOOP TOUTING STEVE SAMPSON as having the inside track for the Seedy Chivas job.

If true - and seeing as how it's coming from Galarcep rone tends to believe it - then I for one want to publicly thank CUSA management for providing Dan Loney with enough utter-contempt-based material to keep him posting well into the New year.

Much if the talk today centers around the bone bruise on David Beckhams' right - ie. "bending" - foot.

But since there's probably not another player on the field with as much at stake tonight as Poshs' hubby, I'm guessing he'd run on out there in a full body cast if he had to.

For Becks, this is just one more "they wrote me off and I proved them wrong" opportunity in a career full of them.

Of course if the Gals win the debate over whether it was because of him, in spite of him or something in between will commence before he finishes his shower.

But if any athlete has had a stranger year than DB has had in 2009, I can't think who it would be.

Also in Seattle are undoubtedly the owners of Chrystal Palace Baltimore and the Tampa Bay Rowdies, both of whom announced that they too have jumped the USL ship and are signing on with the TOA (who badly need a real name for their burgeoning league, considering that at this rate it's going to be as big as the NHL).

Unfortunately, no one is starting a rumor that their presence in some corporate courtesy suite indicates their impending MLS membership, so I can't ridicule anyone for it. What I can pass along is that the increasingly desperate NuRock/USL management is now making serious noises about the TOA "interfering" in their business affairs and the seceding teams violating certain agreements.

All of which would seem to point to everybody doing the deposition shuffle in the near future. Fortunately - or not, depending on your point of view - the final word in all of this is going to come down to what USSF is willing to allow. They say you can play, you can play.

I've heard some references recently about TOA possibly being a "renegade" league, ie. playing as a non-sanctioned organization.

It says here that you have permission to mock people who express said opinion with, as Dan would say, "Great mockery". NOBODY takes a soccer field without a USSF registration card, and even if they could find 11 guys stupid enough to do so they'd never find a referee willing to toss his career away for a couple hundred bucks.

FIFA and USSF take, shall we say, a very dim view of this kind of thing. Put another way, they would immediately issue a lifetime ban on anyone who participated in such a farce, including administrators, officials, grass mowers, ticket takers and restroom swabbers.

Not gonna happen. Which means that the TOA wouldn't even be talking about this - and signing up new members - if they didn't already have a wink and a nod from Sunil and the Boys.

You heard it here first.

You know, I completely get - and heartily endorse - the kind of community involvement events that Mr. Garber noted yesterday are crucial to MLS' claim that they are indeed "major league".

And I think having The Don, Juan Pablo Angel, Jeff Cunningham et. al. out with shovels and other assorted implements of destruction picking up garbage in an effort to keep Seattle "Clean and Green" is better than, say, hanging around the bars with reporters.

What I don't get is if it's indeed true, as the Commish said yesterday, that "Seattle is such an environmentally focused city" then how in the hell did the good burghers of that fair city leave "546,000 pounds of garbage" laying in the streets waiting to be scooped up?

I happen to live near Akron, Ohio, one of the great open cesspools of the Western world and they'd declare a municipal emergency if there was over half a million pounds of garbage lying around the place.