Klepto Jack, Fat Zach and Qwest Attack

A few weeks back, in the wake of the widely applauded court ruling which ordered Jack Warner's T&TFF to hand over the millions of dollars they owe the players from the 2006 World Cup yours truly wrote that despite what people were claiming, HE STILL WASN'T GOING TO PAY.

Well, as much as I hate to say "I told you so" (oh, OK, I love saying I told you so like Hugh Hefner loves silicone titties and Viagra), I feel it my sworn duty to pass along the fact that Klepto Jack still plans on keeping the money.

THIS WEEK THE T&T FEDERATION APPEALED THE VERDICT to the nations' High Court, citing eight grounds for dismissal.

Tellingly, one of those eight is not "We don't owe them the money". They gave up claiming that a long time ago.

(Before the legal hounds jump me for saying this, yes, I know that technically the facts have been decided and appeals must, by definition, be decided on the basis of errors in process or the law. But they don't say it anyplace, at any time, for obvious reasons)

The previous ruling also ordered the T&TFF to pay the players legal bills which have been estimated at a staggering TTD$3 million (just under half a million US dollars) and which is about to go much higher. (And that is of course on top of the roughly US$20 milion the players are owed already).

Of course the real irony here is that the suit names the T&T Federation and it's President Oliver Camps, the poster boy for bought-and-paid-for stooges everywhere. It does not name Warner because, as we all know, Jack holds no official office in the Federation, preferring the title of "Specal Advisor".

This complicates the process considerably because the T&TFF has very little (almost no) money besides what FIFA and the T&T government gives them. Jack Warner's son deposited the FFA check into the account of a business he owned which no longer exists.

(It's also worth noting - as Jack surely has, that despite the fact that everyone in the country knows he personally robbed their national teams' players, he and the party he founded and chairs won the election anyway and is now, according to many, the de facto Prime Minister down there. So he's got to feel pretty bullet proof at this point)

Thus, if every court on Earth eventually rules that the T&TFF must pay up, it still isn't going to get them any money.

At this point it's seemingly more about principal than the hope of actually getting paid and God bless them for it, but the only party who can actually get them their money is FIFA.

If Zurich - ie. Sepp Blatter - was to decide that this whole thing had become too much of an embarrassment and ordered Warner to pay up, he'd have little choice.

And if Warner ever does give up the money, then you'll know that's - very privately - what happened. Beyond that, they're simply out of luck.

THIS ARTICLE begins by seeming to hold out hope that replacing the FieldTurf at Qwest field with grass sometime in the future is a real possibility.

Then it goes on to explain how the current turf is bad and getting worse from a soccer perspecive.

Then it concludes by discussing just how soon they'll be getting to work putting new FieldTurf down.

With the announcement that Brian McBride is going to be hanging them up at the end of this season comes the usual "career review" type of article that is the bread and butter of writers desperate for a day off from thinking.

What they're finding is, sadly, not much to say. In a long and celebrated career, his entire portfolio amounts to exactly one domestic championship win, that being the US Open Cup in 2002.

A CV studded with Golden this and MVP that is nice to show the Grandkids, but in the end theres never going to be much in the way of framed photos of trophies gleefully held aloft amongst a sea of jubilent teammates.

A classy guy, a fierce competitor and an skilled player, absolutely. A dead-certain Hall of Famer, no question. (And the "Princess McBride stuff, while cute, is rudely uncalled, even if his wife does seem to wear the pants in the family).

In the end, that's going to have to be enough.

Via my favorite soccerscribbler, Sirk - who, like Elvis, Cher and Madonna just doesn't need two names - comes word that the Cleveland MLS bid is, unbelievably, STILL ALIVE.

The last we heard from the organizers, which was right after the locals had managed to fend off the stadium proposed for the 400 acre site they had options on, bid President Paul Garofolo was saying that they were going to build a "24 hour truck stop" or "a garbage transfer station" on the site just to spite them.

Since that time they've even taken down the website which had the usual "this is what a stadium might look like, sort of, maybe" renderings and everyone assumed they'd abandoned hope.

Countdown before someone demands a "Cleveland Expansion Forum" begins now.

From Shawn Francis @MLS_Insider:

Someone just said that CJ Brown & Mike Petke are so old that they played on a U-12 side with Jesus. Am I damned for laughing at this?

Well, if you weren't already, Shawn, that'll probably do it, yeah.

Unless Jesus got to wear the ten shirt and they gave his Dad a pass on bringing juice boxes and Fruit Rollups.

"Hell? Yes, reservations for two please"

Finally, if you can stand a little more on the Henry-Hartman kerfuffle (and we're still awaiting news on Hartmans' prognosis):

Back in 2005 (I think) there was a somewhat similar confrontation between Zach Thornton and Jamie Moreno.

As I recall it was after a PK. Thornton and Jamie both went running after the ball, Thornton because it was always a peeve of his that nobody but him was to retrieve a ball from his net and Moreno because he wanted to get it back into play.

As Moreno was approaching the ball, Thornton slid and chopped him down. The ref gave Thornton a yellow.

After that, the league issued a squishy directive saying that if you had no right to the ball (ie. it was dead and it wasn't up to your team to conduct the restart) then you were to leave it alone or draw a yellow. Said directive seems to have been forgotten at this point.

I would expect the USSF, in their weekly "MLS Referee Review" posting, to bring it up again. It's sensible, it's easily enforced and there's not much room for interpretation.