Leo Messi costs LA a rare chance to see live soccer

If you think I've got nothing better to do than sit here and smirk at Southern California fans who felt that Messi & Friends v. Rest of the World was going to bring quality soccer to their sordid little lives - you're absolutely right.  It's worth revisiting Kyle Bonn's delightfully skeptical article on this from last week, seeing as how his cynicism has been vindicated:

Last year Messi held a similar event, a snoozefest in Miami that finished at 7-7 in front of 50,000 clearly bored fans.

You were warned, suckers.  I hope nobody gets their money back.  And yes, I celebrated unreasonably the publicist's choice of words in announcing the cancellation:

"It's unfortunate because the only losers in this scenario are the fans that were looking forward to the game."

"But Dan, you swine," you say, rather rudely if you ask me, "these games were for charity."  But which charity?  Why, the Leo Messi Foundation, of course, which has the noble goal of helping at-risk youth.  Among the many projects the foundation has helped with recently are...

Okay, there's an iPhone app.  Oh, here we go.  Back on Wednesday, February 9, Audemars Piguet lauded the Foundation's efforts and auctioned off a watch to help them.   That was certainly....

Huh, that's funny.  February 9 fell on a Saturday this year.  Must have been in 2012.

Nope.  2011.

Well, maybe my mistake is reading this in English.  I'll just hit that little Spanish flag, and....

Okay, well, there's the iPhone app again.  And something for Balance Social 2011-2012.

Geez, you'd think they'd have mentioned that their patron and a bunch of his co-workers and peers would be playing a series of high-profile games for their benefit, and go into detail about all the people who would be helped by fans buying tickets.  I might have added convenient links to actually purchase tickets to those games, were I put in charge.  I guess the Foundation are just really shy.  And I'm guessing responses to outright allegations of fraud aren't going to be addressed on the Foundation site anytime soon.

Well, maybe on his official personal site there might be a no, guess not.

Sponsors link works, though.  Oh, look, Audemars Piguet luxury watches.

I don't know how things work in Spain or Argentina, but if I were a celebrity, and I wanted the IRS to climb up my ass and take out a long-term lease?  I'd start a charitable foundation and list absolutely jack for two and a half calendar years.  Then during those same years I'd publicly support that charity by selling tickets to watch me and a bunch of my friends dick around for two hours at a time.

We'll see if the Chicago game goes off as planned.  Otherwise, Chicago fans won't get to see Carlos Bocanegra until Chivas USA comes to town.

EDIT - Kevin Baxter again, with more detail.

But, officials were told, it's not coming to Los Angeles after Messi complained of receiving little more than travel money for the Colombia game from promoter Andres Barco. Fearing his foundation wouldn't be paid by Barco in Los Angeles either, Messi announced Tuesday that he would not be coming to California.

This makes the Derek Zoolander School for Kids Who Can't Read Good and Want to Do Other Stuff Good Too look like Doctors Without Borders.   But what I really wanted to mock was this:

Largely ignored in all the confusion and finger-pointing were fans such as Earl Foote of Park City, Utah, who estimated he spent $5,000 to bring his family of five to Los Angeles for the game.

"We actually went to one of these last year in Miami with Messi, and it was great," said Foote, who owns a wholesale soccer store in Utah. "We thought we would do it again a bit closer to home this time…. Myself and my sons are huge Messi fans, and it is always a dream come true to see him play."

Or he could have bought two years of season tickets for Real Salt Lake for his whole family.  And had money left over, depending on where he wanted to sit.  But he'd rather have plopped at the Mausoleum to watch Leo Messi jog for his tax dodge.  I can't express how thrilled I am that "fans" like this got their well-deserved shaft.  Enjoy your Dodger game, Eurosnob.  Next time, support your local.