That Was The Week That Was

I'll just do a drive-by on all the big stories that inconsiderately happened this week. Want to know why Chepo should have been fired?  Fire up Football Manager and try to do as bad a job as he has.  It's tough, right?  I understand he has difficult players to deal with, but he had three tournaments - World Cup qualifying, Confederations Cup, Gold Cup - with three different rosters, and Mexico underperformed in all of them.  Four years ago, Mexico was able to use the Gold Cup as a springboard of confidence to recover from a similar tailspin under an incompetent coach.  The Mexican federation declined to do so this year, and now Mexico is worse off than ever.  Sure, it all goes away with a win in Columbus, but how likely is that with Chepo?

Is now a good time to remind my fellow US fans that, especially absent a match against Mexico, the level of competition in the Gold Cup is measurably less than in qualifying, let alone the World Cup, and maybe we should calm down a little?  No?  Okay.  You know, two years ago, Mexico won the "important" Gold Cup, and ended up doing not a damn thing with it.  If the team is as hilariously overconfident as our fans in their manic phase, then Mexico might score more this cycle in Crew Stadium than they do in Azteca.

MLS has done a better job in remaking the All-Star Game into something within radio distance of relevant than I thought possible.  That makes "Rome will be destroyed in 90 minutes" posters a good idea.  The weak link in these things - well, one of many - is getting the other team to care.  It was a cheap way of doing it, but it worked.

If people were going to get all jazzed up about Neymar scoring a goal for Messi and His Amazing Friends - and they did - then Galaxy and US fans have every right to get equally pumped about Villarreal scoring on Real Madrid.  You know what team might end up being pretty good?  Our 2018 World Cup team.

Every time expansion talk comes up, I feel like a recovering alcoholic walking by the Free Liquor Store - man, how do those guys stay in business?  It's even worse than coming up with rock band names.  Would I love to waste a whole post on suggesting Orlando Calrissians or San Antonio Temptations or A Boy Named Sioux City or Helena Handbaskets or....sorry, I seem to have woken up in the drunk tank next to Otis.  The sad truth is, and I hate to contradict the Sons of Ben on this, but it's up to a tiny set of investors to decide where the next teams go.  Fan support comes afterward, after yet more investment.  Check USL and MLS attendances for the Sounders if you don't believe me.  As far as suggesting names - we're stuck in a terrible rut of Europhilia or nostalgia, with City, FC, Sporting and United all over creation (except in former and current NASL cities, which also shows a lack of creativity).  The San Antonio Scorpions seem to be the current exception, and if San Antonio gets a team, watch some focus group turn them into Futbol Club de San Antonio.

Oh, and I'm way behind on this, but if Spurs sell Gareth Bale, that could be a huge opportunity for Clint Dempsey.  Hope it works out for him!