Christmas can be such a disappointment sometimes.
Particularly when there's something you really, really wanted and you've spent a couple months dropping hints and leaving catalogs around the house opened to a particular page and writing to Santa promising to be an extra good little blogger this year and not pick on those nice Canadian boys too much even when they're acting like jackwagons, you can actually convince yourself that all that hinting and promising will bear fruit when the Jolly Fat Man - (no, not the CONCACAF one, the one in the colorful suit) (no, not Sigi Schmid either) - stuffs your stocking.
Alas, this year it was all in vain and the game against THE 1994 BRAZILIAN WORLD CUP SOCCER TEAM is nothing but a lump of coal in my heart.
Hoping that there might have simply been some kind of mixup, I called ExtravaGift today and asked if perhaps they had misplaced an order but sadly the guy I spoke with told me that despite "several inquiries" they have never actually booked a game.
He did however volunteer that if I was interested I should know that the listed members-only price of US$9,999,999.00 is, in fact, "somewhat negotiable" (I'm thinking to myself "it damned well better be") depending on the location but that I should know they could not actually guarantee the entire "1994 World Cup Team"[/i] would show up.
I told him that I'd get back to him but, personally, not having the chance to whack Leonardo in the face with my elbow kills the whole deal for me.
I'm a big Landon Donovan fan. Always have been. Fine player, fine guy, has turned into a fine leader and I'm certain he's kind to his Mother.
But I must confess that I'm getting every bit as tired of the yearly "Will he or won't he go play for (your team here)" on loan as I am of hearing about Brett Favres' yearly dithering over retirement.
Go. Stay. Retire. Join the Foreign Legion. As long as he shows up with the National team in time for the increasingly speculative Brazil '14 (question: will Sergio Mendes be starting a new band?) (if you don't get the reference I'm not explaining it.) then I don't care all that much.
Robbie Findley, on the other hand, is now off to the East Midlands where he will ply his trade with Forest for two or three years before almost assuredly reappearing back over here desperately hoping to land an MLS spot where he can get enough PT to hoist himself back onto Bob Bradleys' roster for 2014.
Lather, rinse repeat.
When first I learned of the JUAN CARLOS OSORIO to Seedy Chivas reports last week I must confess to having my doubts about how it will work out.
It's not that I don't think Osorio can get the job done for the Home Depot Squatters. Everyone recalls that in one season with Chicago he took a last place team to the playoffs and a series win against best-record-in-the-league DCU and the very next year he had les Taureaux Rouges playing in the MLS Cup final.
Those accomplishments are not entirely negated by the monumentally disastrous 2009 campaign which was highlighted by the down-to-the-wire run for Worst Record of All Time and a CCL elimination at the hands of T&T side W Connection, an outfit that would have serious problems holding Our Lady of the Festering Swamp Middle School under 6 goals.
In any case he spent 2010 winning the league championship in Colombia with Once Caldas (insert joke here), proving that, perhaps, he's not entirely unworthy of another shot in MLS.
The problem I have is twofold:
First, if memory serves he's only the third guy to coach three different MLS teams, the other two being Bruce Arena and Thomas Rongen (who of course has coached four and is now Sporting Director of the Chivas and presumably was involved in the hire).*
*Yeah, I know, Schmid and Bradley. Just makes my point. Of the five coaches, four of them have MLS CotY and MLS Cup wins and one does not.
The other guys had extensive records, history and experience in US soccer and have won some serious hardware. Conversely, Osorio has very little tin cluttering up his mantle.
The other issue is simply this:
One big reason you fire one guy and hire another is that the natives are getting restless. Put another way, the fans are often the ones you're trying to appease and one goodway to convince them to re-up those season tickets is that there's a new Sheriff in town.
When you hire a retread coach whose most recent MLS experience is an embarrassing train wreck (NYRB 2009, for example) you don't get much of that, and any that you do get is very tenuous. Get off to a lousy start and your fanbase will start writing you off around May 1.
Onolfo is a good example. Maybe the guy is terrific, I don't know, but he was neer going to get a long time to prove it. His final season in KC meant that as soon as things started going South he was going to be tossed into the volcano to appease the soccer gods. Guys like that just don't qualify for the Jason Kreis "He's Still Growing into the Job" exemption. They're already supposed to know the job and they're expected to produce from day one.
And Osorio sure isn't going to get the three years to get into the playoffs that Schmid got in Columbus. There's no way in the world JCO will be around for a third year if he misses the big dance in 2011 and 2012.
Unfortunately, while I actually do think that Chivas is a much better team tha they showed in 2010, they obviously have some big holes here and there and if the organization can't fill them then Jesus, Joseph and All The Saints aren't going to get them into the top tier of the tough Western Division.
It just seems like Osorio is set up to fail, which will set the team back once again.
Good coach, weak coach, not really the point; if he's not a winner right away he'll never survive.