All-American XI: Week 13

Discussion in 'The Beautiful Game' started by Knave, Jun 29, 2005.

  1. Knave

    Knave Member+

    May 25, 1999
    The pleasures of hatred. And they are pleasures. We can admit that. There’s nothing quite like getting a wee bit wasted and screaming obscenities at that no good son of a bitch – any one of them.

    It is something of a miracle that Major League Soccer’s antiseptic, overly-corporate, often saccharine commercial machine hasn’t killed off hatred entirely. Oh, no, it’s all smiles and heroes, and everyone is a winner for Major League Soccer. “Come see Freddy, or Cobi, or Landon, or whatever other away team “sensation” MLS thinks it can sell to the soccer moms and their pre-pubescent spawn. “It worked for the women’s national team,” the marketing gurus say emphatically. But, for heaven’s sake, let’s hope it doesn’t work for Major League Soccer.

    Why would you want to go to a game to rah, rah root for the home team when you could instead go to the game to loudly cast aspersions upon players on the opposing team – or, better yet, to cast aspersions upon everyone on the other team. “Oh, no,” they say, “you might offend the offendable.” Yes, indeed, we might. And that’s exactly what makes it so pleasurable.

    Now some teams are truly blessed when it comes to being hateable. Consider the Los Angeles Galaxy. That is a team only its supporters could love, and even then probably only after a few beers. Perhaps no other MLS team can match the generalized antipathy associated with the Galaxy. Sure, there are team rivalries between Chicago and Dallas, and DC United and the MetroStars, and Colorado and Salt Lake (well, that last one doesn’t really qualify yet) but no other team in MLS matches the Galaxy in inspiring hatred from all quarters. DC United comes very close, but, alas, several years of sucking wore some of the luster off that hatred.

    A couple teams really should come close but don’t. If Major League Soccer ever wants to succeed in New York City then the Metros will have to become a team that everyone loves to hate. As it is, however, they’ve become the league’s ne’er do well nephew – no doubt an object of contempt, but not generally of hatred. (Although, bringing Tony Meola back is a good first step.) There were high hopes that Chivas USA would be a team worthy of hatred, but it’s hard to hate a team that’s 1-12-3. Having Ryan Suarez on the squad helped the cause, but now the great headbanded one has been cut. Clownish, lovable losers? Perhaps. Objects of hatred? Hardly.

    So no other team inspires hatred like the Galaxy. Kevin Hartman, Cobi Jones, Jovan Kirovski, Chris Albright, Steve Sampson and now the one and only Landon Donovan – it is quite a collection. (Not even Justin Mapp could redeem that bunch.) When a team like the Colorado Rapids humiliate themselves few people notice and even fewer people care. But when the Galaxy humiliate themselves that’ll set the league abuzz. And we’re all still buzzing after that 3-0 loss they suffered on Saturday night. The two own-goals the Galaxy scored would have been, in themselves, treat enough, but that wasn’t what made the night so memorable. No, it was the abuse heaped upon Landon Donovan that made it special.

    Now there are certainly some (sycophants) who will say the San Jose fans didn’t treat Landon Donovan with the respect he deserves. “After all,” they say, “Donovan is one of the best players in the United States and he did a lot for San Jose in his time there. Even though he scorned the Quakes upon his return to Major League Soccer, he should be entitled to a certain degree of respect, and the San Jose fans didn’t afford him that respect. Booing and insulting him might even have hurt his feelings. That’s not nice. Your mother wouldn’t approve.”

    No it wasn’t nice. And since when did Mom approve of anything truly fun?

    If only Landon had cried …



    This Week’s AAXI : a 3-5-2


    • DJ Countess, Real Salt Lake (1)
      Best performance we've seen from a goalkeeper who gave up three goals. It would be no exaggeration to say that the Fire could have scored 8 or 9 with better finishing and worse goalkeeping. Stoned Jaqua twice, Herron once and Mapp once...all at point blank range. Not to blame for any of the goals. Made the Herron save on the last kick of the game and got up screaming at the top of his lungs at his defenders which seemed to go well with his Travis Bickle haircut. Line of the night from Ray Hudson on Countess' mohawk: "That's a man's haircut."

    • Bobby Rhine, FC Dallas (2)
      Banged up and bandaged, he still managed to hustle up and down the right side all night, taking advantage of the space the Rapids midfield left him there to score the winning goal.

    • Eddie Robinson, San Jose Earthquakes(1)
      Anchored a very stingy San Jose defense. Except for one flurry of shots where Onstad saved San Jose's (Canadian?) bacon, the Galaxy didn't threaten the Quakes' goal for most of the night. In fact, Onstad had made zero saves by the end of the first half.

    • Tony Sanneh, Chicago Fire (1)
      Best game we've seen from Tony in a while. Got up and down the right flank and shut down his side of the field. The guy has size, speed, strength, and a goatee. Maybe one day he'll be our next Marvell Wynne.

    • Brad Davis, San Jose Earthquakes (3)
      Whether he was playing on the left, the right, or in the center of the park, his passes were something to behold. He floated in beautiful crosses from both sides of the park, and threaded some exquisite balls on the ground behind the LA defense (one of these lead to the Quakes' first goal). And, as usual, his free kicks were very difficult for LA to deal with. Give credit to LA though - they found a way to stop him....knee him in the head.

    • Steve Ralston, New England Revolution (1)
      On Wednesday, his pass right to Noonan's head set up the first goal, and he remained extremely active for the full 90. Won a very entertaining battle with Herdsman, and showed that he continues to be on the same page with Noonan on basically every play. Some good late steals and plugging the holes that were being created by Hejduk in the last fifteen minutes also went a long way in preserving the win.

      On Saturday, while the MetroStars Chris Leitch was busy yelling at Dempsey for diving, Ralston nonchalantly took the ball from Parke and put it where it belonged. The closest thing you'll see to a pants-ing while a game is in progress. Jeff Parke has had a couple of good games this year, but letting Ralston take the ball back off his foot - after a pretty good defensive play by Parke, in a cruel irony - and slot it home far post was a "wake up in a cold sweat" moment. The Revs just are a little better than everyone else, and Ralston keeps coming up with moments that lead to Ws.

    • Justin Mapp, Chicago Fire (3)
      An absolute holy terror down the left flank, reasonably could have a goal and four assists (three point blank misses by Jaqua, one by Segares) instead got none. Also just barely missed on a 35 yard screamer free kick. Ran absolutely wild on poor Nelson Akwari who had no answers at all until Sarachan mercifully subbed him out in the 86th minute. When he's confident, MLS defenders simply don't have what it takes to stop him.

    • Ricardo Clark, San Jose Earthquakes (1)
      Big game from Rico who has regained some form and is playing well. Could have scored a laser if not for a big Hartman save. Absolutely destroyed everything the Galaxy tried to do in the midfield. Only 22, he has a bright future.

    • Clint Dempsey, New England Revolution (3)
      On Wednesday, he was the difference between a good team and a good team playing with urgency and intensity. It may be time to rename the diving header "The Dempsey" in American soccer, because he pulled off his patented move again. Combine that with a thread-the-needle poised assist to Noonan at the back post, and a somewhat luckier hustle play to touch a second assist to Noonan at the back post, and you've got his first MVP performance in a few weeks. Also embarrassed Wingert a couple of times, drawing a yellow and dancing over a slide tackle that could have earned another yellow. Best player on the pitch, but that's becoming a habit.

    • Chris Rolfe, Chicago Fire (3)
      His goal was nothing short of beautiful. Berkampesque. You’ve gotta love this kid. His tenacity is virtually unmatched in this league.

    • Pat Noonan, New England Revolution (5)
      Tapped in his two goals on Wednesday, but he did well to find himself space at the back post on each, and played a big part in creating the first one, with a brilliant header under pressure that hit a sprinting Dempsey in full stride to get behind the defense. Noonan also scored a classy goal Saturday, chipping Wells from distance.
    Plus One
    • San Jose Fans
      They changed the game and made Landon Donovan's night a living hell. The venom and the booing were obvious even on TV, and we’re led to believe that TV simply didn't do the atmosphere justice. What's more, it was about a lot more than just Landon Donovan (Anti Earthquakes Group, indeed), and that really did come through. As we saw it that was one of the better MLS fan moments this year - up there with Section 8 walking out in protest of Wilt's firing.

    __________________
    • The AAXI Week 13 Contributors are andrewt14, Casper, Chicago1871, fidlerre, Knave, Nutmeg, ur_land, voros, and zcgf02
    • Header by Knave
    • List compiled and edited by andrewt14 (with input from all the AAXI contributors).
     
  2. Ismitje

    Ismitje Super Moderator

    Dec 30, 2000
    The Palouse
    Club:
    Real Salt Lake
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Rolfe and Dempsey are both guys I look forward to watching play every week. They and the rest of this bunch are deserving, though I didn't pay enough attention to Sanneh to judge that inclusion. Thanks as always.
     
  3. Dave Marino-Nachison

    Jun 9, 1999
    Mapp may or may not have "put it all together" yet, but man is he a treat to watch. What an athlete!
     
  4. Bill Archer

    Bill Archer BigSoccer Supporter

    Mar 19, 2002
    Washington, NC
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I'm just curious how many weeks can possibly go by before someone from the Crew makes the list again. It's been about a month. Maybe longer, since the last legitimate contender was Frankie Hejduk who scored two goals and couldn't get in.

    Jon Busch was always good for a few nominations, but now that his straight jacket is in mothballs for the year, we're left hoping that Robin Fraser hits up the juice - sorry, the protein shakes - and maybe has a good match, or that Steven Herdsman will stop doing his imitation of a speed bump.

    Maybe the Crew can set a record for "fewest All American XI placements, Season" and we'll have another trophy to set next to Greg Andrulis' Coach of the Year hardware.
     
  5. onefineesq

    onefineesq Member+

    Sep 16, 2003
    Laurel, MD
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Very good list. Mapp and Rolfe were just awesome. If Mapp decided to play every game hard, the sky would be the limit for him. He has great pace, and is a very deceptive player with the ball. When he is on (and not playing DC United), I love to watch his game. Rolfe ......... well, he just has "it". He is essentially the same type of player as Wolff, but with more skills and better. He has a bright future in this league.
     
  6. texgator

    texgator New Member

    Oct 28, 2003
    Plano
    FYI: Rhine started at forward for the last two weeks......not RB as he has been most of the season.
     
  7. Liverpool_SC

    Liverpool_SC Member

    Jun 28, 2002
    Upstate, SC
    Based on Andrulis' pattern of playing Szetela, I agree. Especially since your coach's miserable tactics and team management have turned Edson Buddle and Kyle Martino into players that the average MLS fan yawns at. Given their individual qualities - that really takes some doing.

    The only guys who can give a glimmer from "weak-to-weak" in your team are crazy, unpredictable players like "El Loco" and Cornell Glen.
     
  8. Dave Brother

    Dave Brother New Member

    Jun 10, 2001
    Alexandria
    Well written Knave. :)
     
  9. NYAustinite

    NYAustinite Member

    May 9, 2005
    LIC
    I like Rolfe too much to compare him to Wolff. It makes me injury nervous. I've been mouthing off about him to my soccer buds all season, and he's what worries me most about tonight's game.

    Very well written, and it's a more than encouraging sign to hear the passion out of San Jose. Well, to hear about it, anyway.
     
  10. Geneva

    Geneva LA for Life

    Feb 5, 2003
    Southern Cal
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I don't get the hate. I never will. Hate is reserved for guys like Stoichkov or Kovalenko or nasty Oakland Raiders. But it seems to make y'all happy, so... c'est la vie. Hey, great job on the All-American list, as always. Except for Sanneh, who I only saw make one good play, I agree with your choices. DJ Countess was incredible, and I heard Ray Hudson announce for the first time. He's one of a kind.
     
  11. andrewt14

    andrewt14 Member

    Jul 25, 2000
    Atlanta
    Denton, Cunningham, and Razov were on the team last week. Oh, wait - nevermind
     
  12. andrewt14

    andrewt14 Member

    Jul 25, 2000
    Atlanta
  13. cleat/less

    cleat/less New Member

    May 7, 2004
    hoosier-land
    out of curiousity, you do know the crew stink don't you? asking when one of them will make this list again seems to be liking pissing in the wind. why go there?

    Knave, great header! palace was right, that game was awesome to see. here's for hoping Brad Davis can bring something to the nats during the gold cup.
     
  14. Bill Archer

    Bill Archer BigSoccer Supporter

    Mar 19, 2002
    Washington, NC
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Speaking of hate, thanks a lot. Rubbing salt in the wounds a regular hobby of yours, or just an occasional diversion?
     
  15. Chicago1871

    Chicago1871 Member

    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    He's a Crew fan. Sadism and watersports are their thing.
     
  16. Bill Archer

    Bill Archer BigSoccer Supporter

    Mar 19, 2002
    Washington, NC
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Gosh, no, I hadn't heard. Guess I'd better pay closer attention.

    Idiot.
     
  17. Bill Archer

    Bill Archer BigSoccer Supporter

    Mar 19, 2002
    Washington, NC
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Gosh, no, I hadn't heard. And I have such faith in Coach Andrulis. This is just horrible news.

    Idiot.
     
  18. Bill Archer

    Bill Archer BigSoccer Supporter

    Mar 19, 2002
    Washington, NC
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Vote for your favorite, or make up one of your own.
     
  19. Casper

    Casper Member+

    Mar 30, 2001
    New York
    Why do you think my avatar is a guy banging his head on his keyboard?
     
  20. FlashMan

    FlashMan Member

    Jan 6, 2000
    'diego
    Club:
    --other--
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    absolutely right. if I was Chivas USA, I'd go after Martino in a second and make him your #10 with zero defensive responsibilities. maybe you could change his name from Martino to Martinez and pass it off that way.


    true enuff.
     
  21. andrewt14

    andrewt14 Member

    Jul 25, 2000
    Atlanta
    This is the first time I've tried it....it's overrated
     
  22. irishapple21

    irishapple21 Member

    Apr 4, 2005
    A state of confusion
    Club:
    New York Red Bulls
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Never fear, foul Knave. My hatred for DC United is as strong as ever. Galaxy won't steal your thunder, I swear it. :p
     
  23. Billy Liar

    Billy Liar New Member

    Jul 11, 2004
    Arlington
    Speaking of Hate--Fat Tony in the Nets for the Scum. PLEASE MAKE THIS HAPPEN!!! We miss hurling abuse at him at RFK.

    Alhtough we scream ourselves hoarse yelling at Agoos (no redemption for WC 2002, back pass v. Jamaica, ponytail, etc.), Albright and Hartman, there is no one like Fat Tony.

    I for one like the idea of more MLS villians...whose your favorite player to hate? :mad:
     
  24. Billy Liar

    Billy Liar New Member

    Jul 11, 2004
    Arlington
    The Scum just picked up Suarez. My god that is a defense to really enjoy hating: Fat Tony behind Suarez and his manly headband.
     
  25. Bajoro

    Bajoro Member+

    Sep 10, 2000
    The Inland Empire
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Knave and team, thanks for the great work. Being at Spartan Saturday was a singular experience. For those who don't get the 'hate' thing, just substitute the word 'care'. Everyone in the crowd cared about their team -- and cared enough to demonstrate it, long and loud.

    Hell, they even got KNBR, the "nation's number one sports radio station" to pay attention. After 10 years of trying, it wasn't the front office that did it. It was the fans.
     

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