Foose On The Loose

I'll admit that I don't have a clue who Bob Foose is other than the Executive Director of the Major League Soccer Players "Union".

Probably a lawyer, but we shouldn't stereotype: they're not ALL blood-sucking, bottom-feeding boils on the ass of humanity. Or so I'm told.

I'm guessing mid-40's, wife and kids. Maybe a dog too. Springer spaniel or possibly a setter of some kind. Low handicap on the golf course, likes sailing and cigars. (I'm projecting now).

We do know that he was around for the last CBA negotiations in 2004, so the players obviously like him, and that's a positive.

If you can tell that I'm trying to find some nice things to say before I start in talking mean about him, well, you're obviously a regular reader, and God Bless you for that.

The thing is this: either a) Bob Foose is pretty stupid or b) Bob Foose thinks you and I are are pretty stupid.

As Exhibit A for this proposition, I give you Mr. Fooses' organization yesterday on the topic of Major League Soccer L.L.Cs' reluctance to toss out their business model just because he thinks they should:

"MLS is governed by the U.S. Soccer Federation, which in turn must answer to FIFA....By thumbing its nose at FIFA's regulations, MLS could jeopardize the U.S.' World Cup bid for 2018 and 2022, and could even jeopardize the U.S. national team's eligibility for next year's World Cup."

Now personally, I AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA...

...sorry, I really didn't mean toAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA...

...OK, it's OK, I've got it under controlAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA....

Now, to be fair, maybe Bob honestly thinks that MLS' current negotiating position really does jeopardize USSFs' bid to host a World Cup, or that if MLS doesn't give in to his demands that the US team will be tossed out of South Africa 2010, but if he does then he's simply ignorant.

Perhaps "ill-informed" is a kinder way to put it, but that would necessitate believing that the guy knows literally nothing at all about how FIFA operates.

Sepp Blatter and the FIFA Executive Committee don't give one flying fart about what's going on with MLSPU, a position they made abundantly clear when, in response to FIFPros' "DEMAND THAT FIFA FIND MLS IN VIOLATION OF THEIR REGULATIONS, charging that:

MLS ....ignores FIFA rules in several respects. For instance: there are players without a guaranteed contract, player contracts are routinely terminated by the league, MLS acts as a cartel, there is no freedom of movement for any MLS player, and virtually any player can be transferred to another club in the league without his consent.

FIFA COVERED THIER EARS AND HOLLERED "I CAN'T HEAR YOU" back at FIFPro:

"FIFA understands that this domestic issue is being resolved in accordance with U.S. labor laws and does not involve the U.S. Soccer Federation. FIFA will not] interfere in the process. We have been assured that FIFA's regulations have been and will be respected."

Notice that FIFA does not say that MLS IS in fact in compliance. Although that point is indeed arguable, it's also true that FIFA has known about it since Day One and has refused to interfere.

(If you want to know a good reason to like Chuck Blazer, and why MLS likes him so much, there you go. It pays to have friends in high places)

But of course what they gave us was "we have been assured that everything is just fine, and that's good enough for us".

Then, adding insult to Bobs' injury, Jack Warner and CONCACAF PROMISED THEIR FULL SUPPORT FOR THE US WORLD CUP BID (hat tip: Pablo Chicago).

(Just in passing, this announcement puts the lie to the theory we've been hearing around here for years that Sunil Gulati has no soul, since judging by CONCACAFs' decision quite obviously he just got done selling it to Jack Warner. Of course the amazing thing is that there would have been any question about CONCACAF supporting a CONCACAF bid. But since it's Jack we're talking about, it doesn't seem strange at all)

So on the one hand we have Bob Foose claiming that the US bid is in jeopardy because of MLS and on the other hand we have Jack Warner, Chuck Blazer, CONCACAF and FIFA itself saying the opposite.

Who to believe....who to believe...gosh, there's tough one.

Nothing personal Bob, and nice try by the way, but you're just not going to get very far with "The Sky is Falling". Back to the drawing board.

So either Foose honestly believes that tripe, which leaves his competence open to serious question, or else he knows it's baloney but thinks YOU AND I will believe it.

Of course, there have been several guys in the soccer blogosphere who have taken Bobs' Bone and are now running with it for all they're worth, but we'll consider the sources and move on.

If the "American soccer fans aren't all that bright" posit is in fact where Foose is aiming here, he really ought to spend a few hours on BigSoccer sometime.

Sure we've got our share of crackpots and conspiracy theorists (not excluding myself on occasion) but they're greatly outnumbered by intelligent, reasonable people who do, in fact, have a clue and aren't likely to accept that FIFA is going to turn its' back on the ludicrously lucrative payday a US World Cup would provide - or toss out a previously qualified World Cup finalist - because MLS is run a little differently.

Seriously: can you envision FIFA throwing the United States out of South Africa 2010 over this? If Bob thinks he can convice you it's possible I suppose it's OK to try, but don't you lose a bunch of credibility when you peddle patent nonsense?

I've been waiting until after MLS Cup and the expansion draft before I started in on the MLS CBA debate because, although several guys I like (read: don't want to indsult) like Beau Dure, Shawn Mitchell and Dan Loney tried moving the debate to the front burner in the last week or so, I figured there was plenty of time.

(And speaking of the draft, is there any event - apparently MLS intends for it to be a permanent fixture on the league schedule - that causes more excitement and amounts, in the end, to so little?

Seattle, as they did in damn near everything, got very lucky in what was offered last year and more power to them, but this year was much more typical. At the end of the day, you look at the list and say "Meh")

And that time has come, maybe a little sooner than I thought, but with Bob Foose trying to scare us with his silly, patently phony "warning" about the dire consequences of not giving him what he wants, clearly the "We're not negotiating in the press" phase is dead, and I therefore do declare CBA Silly Season open for business.