Thank GOD we finally found an opponent bad enough to justify including Sacha Kljestan on the World Cup squad. Of course, it took over an hour just to tie it up, and the whole game to get the win, but hey, as long as we can field a team this summer barely capable of beating El Salvador. Have we got the seismologists at Caltech measuring the graphs of Algeria and Slovenia shaking in their boots yet?
Say what you want about Steve Sampson - and by the way, I couldn't help but notice that last night John Harkes didn't - at least he picked players based on some theoretical club form. He didn't keep trotting out the same players against progressively worse opposition until they managed to get within screaming distance of the Ralston Line.
Can you for one second imagine how this would have gone down if the original plan had been kept, and this had been Mexico at the Rose Bowl? Yes, you can - it was in New Jersey, and it was called the Gold Cup Final. I still have nightmares where I'm being chased by Blockbuster avatars.
Anyway, the real team plays Tulipstan next week, and I haven't put this much hope on European-based players since 1993. I don't need to see the US beat Holland (which is good, because - God, where did I read the other day that we weren't going to beat Holland...oh, I remember. The Gospel of the ********ing Obvious), but I do need to see the ex-patriates play very well. Because MLS players aren't good enough.
I'm not making any long-term value judgments of the league. And I'm certainly not saying that the national team would be better off without MLS. Current MLS players have been weighed in the balance, and found hilarious.
Which means that all this silliness I've been reading about Kljestan and Ching "punching their tickets" based on failing to lose to vastly inferior opposition must not be true, cannot be true, and will not be true. Four and eight years ago, it was different. Four and eight years from now, it will also be different. But that's an issue for later. This is only about, in the words of Flip Wilson, the Chuch of What's Happening Now. The only two MLS players I want to see starting in the England game are Donovan and Beckham.