June 11, 2007

Major League Letdown

Recently on BBC Five Live's football (soccer) call-in show, 6-0-6, a commentator who had been to the United States and went to an MLS game (DC United and L.A. Galaxy) commented that the quality was poor. She went so far as to say that it was the quality of "Barnsley and Luton", both of which played in the second level of the English soccer system. Luton were relegated to the third level (because unlike in America, bad teams are punished with demotion as opposed to being rewarded with the opportunity to score some potentially franchise changing player) and Barnsley nearly followed them down.

On top of this kind of external insult comes the internal nonchalance of the league for the ways of the rest of the world. Europe and South America halt play in their domestic soccer leagues when the big summer international tournaments come. For example in Europe, they are currently playing qualifiers for Euro 2008. When Euro matches are going on, national leagues across Europe grind to a halt and nobody plays their club games simultaneously as the national team matches. It's verboten... or, at least heavily frowned upon. But not America! No no no! Because of the demands of having teams playing in arenas that they share with other sports teams (New York Red Bull plays at Giants Stadium, Houston Dynamo at Robertson Stadium on the University of Houston campus, etc.), the brass at Major League Soccer feel they must play on through international tournaments.

Case in point? The United States is hosting the Gold Cup, which is the main tournament for our region (CONCACAF). In spite of this, the league is playing through the Gold Cup, even though a good percentage of the players participating in the competition ply their trade in Major League Soccer. So, what happens? Quality of play drops even further because the best players for each team are usually pulled for international play. You have teams fielding weakened teams, playing while their peers are representing their country. Isn't that just a massive crock of shit? To me, that shows massive disrespect to their teammates, to their countries, the country they play in, and to the game itself.

Speaking of disappointment, let's look at my San Francisco Giants.
Holy hell, bottom of the division. But if we were sitting in the NL Central, we'd be second. Yeah, I'm taking a pot shot at Jenn's Cardinals... who we are currently better than. It doesn't help that we've: lost 7 out of our last 10 games, got swept by the A's (I guess I'm not hardcore enough of a fan because I don't have any animosity for them), our $120mil pitcher is 6-6 with a 4.02 ERA (fucker isn't getting the resepect of having his name typed until he starts getting results), and MATT MORRIS IS OUR BEST STARTER. Offensively, we're as weak as ever. I guess Brian Sabean is gorging on Barry Bond's 'roided feces because there is no reason why RYAN KLESKO should be our best hitter for average. Fuck. I'm pissed. I can't type anymore without the help of a paperbag. I'm going to hyperventilate over this page.

I'm going to drown my sorrows in Wheach.

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