As we speak, some of the finest players in Major League Soccer are gathering in Carson, preparing to take on the best and most famous players in the world. Check out the roster here.
I was going to write more about this, but I kept boring myself to tears. Basically, the World Cup dreams of Justin Braun, Kevin Hartman and Brandon McDonald are over. Everyone else still has a chance.
Well, I can't tell if Jeff Larentowicz is still hurt, hasn't given up on Europe, or whether he's simply busy packing all his "MLS Cup - Honorable Mention" memorabilia.
Astonishingly, closing the museum failed to provide the extra revenue necessary to keep the Hall in Oneonta. Equally astonishingly, the star power of Preki, Dooley and Arena weren't causing a backlash of travel reservations.
The final details of the surrender are here. To me, the most important task will almost certainly be the most thankless - making sure all the cool stuff doesn't end up on eBay.
And there's a LOT of cool stuff there, considering how much of our pre-NASL history was presumed lost without a trace. Mr. Ullman has apparently taken this task into account:
I think Eurosport is technically a competitor of the BigSoccer Shop, but nevertheless, good work, Eurosport. Please don't misplace the Caribous jerseys!
It would seem that Ullman and the Hall took the high road in all this, at least according to local officials:
Depressingly, the most valuable part of the complex were probably the lawns. Ullman referred to the main assets of the place as:
Which is a polite way of saying they wish they had a do-over on putting a two-story soccer ball on the side.
I know what you're thinking - what will this do to the hotly disputed title of Soccer Town, U.S.A.? Never fear, says the local state senator:
Keep us posted on how that works out.
So will the Virtual Hall work? Probably not as well as it should. The current website won't do, if the task is to replicate the Hall experience. There are some cool things there - like, say, the all-time USMNT player registry - but the transition from advertising the Hall to effectively being the Hall is going to take quite a few man-hours, and for some reason I get the impression that the Hall is short of cash.
On the other hand, this might be a golden opportunity to rethink some of the exhibits. Like, say, this one:
Claudio Reyna's Red Bulls jersey? Pretty sure you won't find Joe Namath's Rams jersey in Canton.