Monday, July 21, 2008

Subjective Readings

Everyone has an opinion about Becks, it seems. Even those who know little about MLS. It amused me that the BBC would take in the NY/LA game, watch Juan Pablo Angel's goal, Van Den Bergh's cracker, Buddle's dribble and chip assist and come away with the description of "second-division football".
Ah well. It's all subjective, right? Anyway, here's that one.
Grahame Jones has his own take on Becks.
Blah, blah, more Becks.
And again.

Yeah, yeah, Markgraf still expects to win gold, that's great. It's the shot of her in action with her face mask that I love, though.

I'm not sure I buy that cutting baseball and softball is anti-American. Those sports require a lot more equipment than soccer, and are rather expensive to set up. Except for a couple of countries, the world popularity doesn't come close to soccer.

Preview of the teams for women's soccer in the Olympics.


D.S. said...

AC wrote:

It amused me that the BBC would take in the NY/LA game, watch Juan Pablo Angel's goal, Van Den Bergh's cracker, Buddle's dribble and chip and come away with the description of "second-division football".

ah, that's a succinct summary of the "mainstream" America's view of soccer, a trap into which this excellent soccer-writer has fallen.
It's not just the goals, but what happens between those few and fleeting moments of grace.

That's not to say that the Premiership or Serie A is all graceful and beautiful soccer: I've watched Portsmouth-Bolton and, in one case, even an Inter-Lazio match that absolutely wanted to make me puke.

A.C. said...

Failure to even note moments of grace is the blindness of many viewing American soccer. My view may be many things, but it's never been mainstream. The sport itself isn't even close to that description yet, let alone the views of those writing about it.

A.G. said...

A.C., that comment is like effusive praise from the English. Remember, last year it was "pub team", so just imagine where we'll be next year!

A.C. said...

I guess there's always that perspective, too. Baby steps. It's not that I want anyone to think MLS is wonderful, but when good play gets overlooked and unmentioned, it makes me wonder if people care about the beautiful game or just about being elitist.
Thing is, I'm sure the author would have praised any of the goals if Beckham had scored them.

East River said...

AC, Some have said that the best teams in MLS are maybe low table EPL teams at best. Thats not a bad place to be when you consider the EPL is the best league in the world (at least some say that it is). I don't think we should be so sensitive about these things. The BBC reporter was right that game was boring for long periods of time. Angel goal was great but there was some serious bad passing and the missed goals by Rojas and John Wolynic(sp) were just horrid. To make matters worst Donovan scores off a fluke goal that you wonder what the hell was Conway doing on that play? Considering how bad Redbull is playing and how inconsistent the Galaxy played I think the guy was being down right polite in saying it was 2nd division quality.

Trying watching highlights of the newly formed Puerto Rican Soccer just horrible but the teams are just a few months old and Puerto Ricans are just really getting into soccer.

Jim said...

Andrea, off topic but a British import is hooliganism. Seems that the Crews fans got into a little brawl this weekend with some West Ham supporters. I can't believe the Crew did not think about segregating the two supporter groups. Maybe a bit naive on their part but seems that the Galaxy front office is on top of this type of behavior.

In fact could you say that soccer has made a name for itself in the U.S. when you have to separate two supporter's groups? We don't see that at NFL or MLB games (though I wouldn't mind seeing some Boston fans get theirs at Angel games). Yet we see that sort of action at every Classico game by the use of police on horseback and having security guard an area for opposing Chivas fans. Still you see Chivas fans interspersed among the general Galaxy crowd. Someday that is going to go very badly I am afraid.

Diane said...

I love Comparative Media!

Here's a slight improvement from NY's local "paper of record:"
For those who don't follow, George Vecsey is smart, been around, a huge soccer fan, doesn't work for a tab, and has no reason to have a chip on his shoulder re Cockney lads who've gotten above themselves. Nothing we haven't read before but a little less bitchy than some in this round.

It's clear that local LA press is getting ever more peeved at lack of access to Beckham. Mention slipped into all their articles in this batch, and in Billy Witz's case it seems to be coloring his outlook Interesting to see his piece next to Vecsey's in the same section.

Even if we ever excused whoever is handling things for excluding local media in favor of nat'l/int'l press and "new markets," with the interest that really is growing tremendously local writers are clearly is getting picked up elsewhere so this would be a good time to smarten up.

I liked Angel talking about how big a deal it is that press around the world are including MLS results for the first time. Certainly a huge change from a year ago.

Finally, the game was fun. Heat, yuchy air, and not Galaxy's best, but still enjoyable and better than many reviews.

LBC United said...

I think until the U.S. has a superstar to call its own, it is going to be tough for non-soccer fans in America and world critics to take MLS seriously. And the likelihood for a superb American player to stay here instead of opting for a higher class league overseas is not likely. Someone on another site made a good point that the US only signs the aging world stars in the MLS -- which is a negative in many respects; receiving leftovers. I love soccer -- so I'll take it however it comes.

My take on Beckham is that most non-fans are going to come away disappointed with the play regardless of the outcome. I went to see LA and DC this summer. The game was decent in the first half, but I didn't think Beckham played particularly well and the Galaxy defense was dreadful -- especially in the second half. But a lot of Americans who haven't been converted would leave that game wondering "what's the big deal?"

I enjoyed the LA v NY game. It had some sloppy moments, but it was fun to watch. As far as the goal by Donovan, I think Conway was anticipating a header or was blinded by Buddle. Hard to say, but it was a nice cross from Donovan that was rewarded by lady luck.