Friday, January 18, 2008

Changes - Good?

Hey folks, I'm finally back in town. Despite my occasional posts here, I kept up on very little soccer during my vacation.

I did make it out to the Home Depot Center today for the final US training before the Sweden game. It was there that Landon Donovan told me that Chris Albright was traded from the Galaxy. (The New England Revolution gave up allocation funds in exchange for Chris.) That turns the tables a bit, when a reporter is clueless.

"Andrea, where have you been?" asked a flabbergasted Landon. "Iraq?"

No, no. I think soccer is more popular in Iraq than where I went for my break. In fact, though soccer is a very international sport, there isn't a single player from there in MLS right now.

"It's kind of a bummer, but that's the way it goes," said Landon about the Albright trade when we switched back to that topic. Landon and Chris are close friends. Bianca, Landon's wife, is also buddies with Leah, Chris' wife. Now they'll be separated by the entire country.

Chris was the first Galaxy player I ever interviewed, and one of the best go-to guys for a good quote. He kept things real with all the beat reporters - he was never one to act differently just for the press. I'd sometimes edit his colorful language out for print consumption, but try as hard as I could to keep the character and clarity of his statements.

The move wasn't entirely a surprise, though. I told Landon last year that the Galaxy didn't have any attractive trade options besides Joe Cannon and Chris. I reminded Landon today of that statement and he nodded. Landon and David Beckham, of course, have no-trade clauses in their contracts.

I was tired from jet-lag - trying to interview Chris Rolfe after talking to Landon, I had trouble focusing. At one point, in response to my question about new coach Denis Hamlett, Chris said, "Change is good." Luckily, he went on to say other stuff, because I was still processing that simple statement.

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