Monday, December 3, 2007

Tab named NY coach

In our SIDELINE VIEWS poll, that is. Mr. Metrostars had a disappointing history with the club, due largely to a host of injuries, but there's still apparently a groundswell of genuine affection for the guy (or a lot of DC United fans voting and hoping Tab's management would mirror his playing career).

I suspect though, that part of the logic would be that Tab, in many ways, is still affiliated as being a true New York team guy. Bruce Arena might have the New Jersey accent, but his success came in Virginia and DC. Bob Bradley was a Chicago Fire pioneer. Even though it was often for worse than for better, Tab was New York from the start. That mattered to him, and it probably matters to some fans as well.

It also doesn't hurt that he was probably one of the most skillful U.S players in history. It was great to watch him play. Before I was old enough to develop a reporter's objectivity about game situations, I nursed a deep and abiding antipathy for Leonardo. The Brazilian player aimed a vicious elbow at Tab in the 1994 World Cup that should have earned a straight red. Ramos suffered a skull fracture.

During that match on Spanish television, the announcers were indignant. They'd been praising Tab all game long because he was displaying some inspired moves that day. They called him by his full name, "Tabare", emphasizing the third syllable with enthusiasm whenever he did well.

Unfortunately, that high point and the subsequent injury was an apt metaphor for much of Tab's career.

No comments: