Classic game last night

Of course I'm referring to the Galaxy-Quakes game. Oliver Cromwell debuting for the Red Bulls? Pssh. The real action was in Carson. That game had everything! Except well-taken goals.

Well, and except the sell-out that a tense rivalry game deserved. I've been very patient with the new San Jose Earthquakes, but if they can't sell out a game with Landon Donovan at the peak of his prime, in the heat of a playoff race, for a game that featured all of the intensity and passion that MLS allegedly lacks? Then maybe it's time to look at finding a market that will appreciate - oh, wait, it was in Carson. Move the Galaxy!

I'd make more of a deal about the Galaxy drawing...well, not Sol numbers, but nowhere near where they should. Except the Galaxy's attendance problems are easily solved. Stop selling tickets at prices that reflect the Beckham fad peak.

Of course, with lower ticket prices, a sellout only makes as money as a non-sellout does now. No wonder the Galaxy keep trying to bring in big names to boost the gate, no matter what their record is. And this didn't exactly start with Beckham, either.

Of course, those of us who have been mulling over whether AEG will spoil one of the all-time great Galaxy teams were brought down to earth by Bobby Convey last night, on the field and off:

Convey is absolutely right.

Okay, he's also absolutely wrong - the Quakes have 23 points, and if they were to get all nine points from their games in hand, they would still be eight points behind the Galaxy. Also, as the MLS article helpfully pointed out, the Quakes have yet to beat the Galaxy, the Royals, or the Texan FC - although going to Carson and getting a point should quiet some critics.

But Convey is right on the larger point. The second half of MLS is going to be a great adventure in Regression To The Mean. Just because Dallas is on a pace to only lose four games all year, doesn't mean it will happen.

Unfortunately for Convey and the Quakes, this particular blade cuts both ways. Seattle and Houston just aren't as bad as their record, and at the very, very least they will be disagreeable spoilers for the rest of the season. And San Jose still has both games left against Houston, which isn't good news for the Quakes. And even though the Rapids haven't won in over a month, I still think they're going to make some noise in the West.

Even Chivas USA dumped Lillingston and acquired Sal Zizzo, which...okay, they're playing out the string.

Anyway, Convey is right - the Galaxy aren't as good as their record. But nobody is. Parity is alive and well. Don't believe the standings, believe your eyes.

The real big game last night, as far as MLS is concerned, didn't count in the standings.

Nick Green has had enough of Major International League Friendlies. I don't think MLS is overdoing them yet.

It says a lot about the maturity of our fan base that we can shrug off these friendlies. Once upon a time, an MLS team beating Juventus would have been the biggest news of the year. It was a big deal back in the day when the Crew beat Leeds, for crying out loud.

Now, we have a much better attitude towards friendlies. They're for the lookie-loos and the terminal Eurosnobs, and as long as MLS can make money off them, that's delightful. Besides, those who lament the lack of a reserve league can hardly complain about the opportunities for reserves to play high-powered international teams, even if it's just high-powered reserves.

Nick is paid to care about friendlies, of course, and I can see why that would be annoying. But MLS still sees these friendlies as a chance to (a) win over European partisans to the local team, (b) bask in the glow of the visitors' celebrity, (c) get a cheap result thanks to the visitors' lack of motivation, and (d) ring up some impressive attendance numbers.

Still, it's embarrassing that MLS makes such a big deal over friendlies that international teams treat as a...wait, four out of the six splash stories on the Spurs website are about the Red Bulls game? Wow, maybe these games do matter!

(Actually, one of the other stories was about Steve Nash missing the Red Bulls game, and I wouldn't have thought your average Spurs fan doted on the Phoenix Suns. Should Spurs fans be concerned that in the offseason, one of the major stories is a celebrity fan not seeing one of their games? Isn't the transfer window open?)