Posted on January 22, 2012 1:17 pm
We beat a baseball country in a friendly on a last minute goal. We could have easily given up a counterattack goal when we were pressing so much at the end. Even with the disgraceful time-wasting by Venezuela, we scored when the whistle might have fairly been blown sooner. If our “‘C’ is for Cupcake” team beats a baseball country’s B team, as Dan Loney might say, whoop-de-shit.
All true. But results matter.
We are approaching World Cup qualifying with a coach who replaced a coach who had gotten, at least, minimally acceptable results, with occasional superb results. Said coach is being paid cash by the ton, becuause The Sunil apparently considers him the best thing since under arm deoderant was invented. As an Ivy League economist, The Sunil does not need me to tell him he is paying squillions and squillions per victory more than he was paying Bob Bradley.
In fact, in the Klinsmann era, our main claim to fame is a road victory against a country only slightly more populous than metropolitan Columbus, Ohio.
Now the Cupcakers have a much better feather to stick in their caps than “we got drawn at home by a baseball country’s scrubs, but we had more chances.” Now they can breath down the necks of the guys who obviously need a little competition with a cry of “we get results.” Speaking of underarm deoderant, the assembled cupcakers at the end of the match raised their hands, raised there hands because they were sure that they, confident, confident, were dry and secure their worthy efforts had garnered victory, because it had.
Another issue is the reward for tactics. Klinsmann seems to think we should try to be Barca/Spain and play something like a 1-17-1 formation. We continue to suck and be ineffectual playing with one striker.
Our “famous” victory in the fog in Slovenia in which we scored three goals came while playing two strikers. Tonight, Klinsy started with his preferred 1-17-1, and we had possession, lost it a lot, regained, lost it again, and generally spent the night stepping on our feet, or other members of our collective body.
Then Wondo subbed in for a midfielder and we started dominating the game and being dangerous. I know Claudio Reyna has a cunning plan to make us a nation of Messis, but, until that happens, the USofA plays better in a quaint, old-fashioned 4-4-2, so getting a win after going to that formation starts to flaccidify the hard on Klinsy obviously has for the 1-17-1.
So tonight matters. If we hadn’t got that goal in time added on to time added on, it would have been yet another night in which we had the better of the play in terms of possession and chances and still not gotten anything done.
It should be noted that the shining star on the night was one Jermaine Jones, a “fake American” according to Preston Zimmerman. My objection to Zimmerman’s observations, other than the obvious ugly zenophobia ironically coming from an expatriot living IN GERMANY and earning a soccer living there, was that they distracted from the more important point that Klinsmann’s natural preference and comfort level with German-based players was not getting results. And, aside from his “fakeness,” he is a hothead suspended from Bundesliga play for violent conduct. Klinsy cannot be faulted for lacking the courage of his prejudices - he brought the guy in, praising his Champions League cred, and didn’t stop there – he gave him the freakin’ captain’s armband. Whether aimed at Zimmerman, a person Klinsy might dismiss as “a boil on the butt of humanity” were he channeling his inner Momma, he certainly went all in for his preferences in a way that might make even UVa-preferring Bruce Arena blush. Tonight, Jones was the most dominant player on the pitch and assisted on the winning goal.
In other news, MLS has decided to turn back the clock to 1910 in terms of our understanding of how worthy universal values should be applied. By associating in a project of leadership development with Boy Scouts of America, they have decided to acquiesce to a policy of official discrimination against atheists, agnostics, and gays. My personal opinion is that the USSF is a quasi-governmental organization, as it operates outside of the normal constructs of anti-trust law and has, in effect, granted a monopoly to MLS. MLS is, in effect, a company town. MLS should be held to the same standards as the U.S. Government with regards to equal protection. Plus, as a matter of good manners to folk like me and the heteros who love people like me, if they want to promote leadership among yout’s,
All that aside, there is the human decency angle – we soccer fans come from all sorts of places and opinions and from all sorts of human categories. The organization that depends on all of us for its commercial success should not favor any organization that discriminates against a segment of us. If they want to promote leadership among yout’s, why couldn’t they have picked a non-discriminatory organization?
Then there is the Viva Pete story. As a survivor, Pete Vagenas is beginning to take a place among ferns and cockroaches. He is like a fern because he dates back to pretty early in the development of life in the history of MLS. Not quite back to bacterial stage, but pretty close. He is like a roach, because, for several teams now, the fans of the teams whose locker rooms he inhabits consider him more of an infestation than a welcome guest.Pasadena Pete, aka Pass Back Pete, aka
, is STILL employed, apparently, as a first division professional soccer player, and back at home, too. It couldn’t happen to a nicer guy, and I am sure Robin Fraser knows something we don’t.
Except, whose car will Chivas fans vandalize now?