Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Through Welsh eyes

With Kenny Cooper a target of Welsh side Cardiff City, this writer took the opportunity to explore football in America. He really wasn't too positive in his story, but then again what else is new, right?

I suppose this story caught my interest only because it was written for Welsh supporters and tried to familiarize them with MLS. Because, you know, Welsh football is clearly superior. Wales is, after all, a world power.

Wait... they're not? Surely you jest.


Adam said...

What exactly is this guy's point? He berates the standard here and backs it up by citing a couple successful players over 30, the amount of space a player has in his highlight reel, and names the only 7 other American players he's ever heard of, with 5 of them getting glowing reports.

What a scumbag. Cross your fingers that Kenny goes to Rosenborg, not some second rate British Empire team.

Anonymous said...

I think the "foreign reporter looks at MLS to see what it's like" article has become the new "U.S. non-soccer reporter takes a look at soccer to see if it's really as bad as he thinks" article in terms of frequency and lameness

just another one of you said...

Is there an analogy for the "foreign reporter looks at MLS to see what it's like" or "U.S. non-soccer reporter takes a look at soccer to see if it's really as bad as he thinks" for other sports or anything else for that matter? For all the baseball articles (read: toilet paper) out there I can't think of one where the author talks about what crap the Japanese league is. They usually just point out the positives and how there are good things to take away. I just find it odd soccer gets this treatment.

Anonymous said...

thanks for the link, luis... it's pretty much what it is, the state of amrican soccer, once you strip the hype produced by the mls pr office, and its array of associated journalists.

jon e said...

I think most of us are used to this sort of story. I still resent it, of course, but not because it's critical--because it's unbelievably lazy. The guy dredges up some vague memories (and, he admits, possible rumors) from 1994, sprinkles in a potpourri of factoids from after that, manages to look up a few Kenny Cooper clips on mlsnet.com, and voila--a story on the state of soccer in America.

The only thing I take away from this is a reminder to read the American press more skeptically. If a story sounds like it's telling me something familiar, I'm gonna start fact-checking.

Steve said...

Hi, a Cardiff City fan here.

These sorts of articles are what you come to expect in the UK. What they generally consist of is half-truths and stereotypes.

The article is the usual embarrasing, poorly researched piece you'd expect from the local press in Cardiff. The point about Vietnam was real "head in hands" stuff. Awful.

The comparison of MLS with Japanese football is a very interesting one as you're right. Japanese football is never patronised or slagged off in the UK in the way MLS is.

Jon E said...

So to my mild shame, I just sent off a letter to Tucker's editor pointing out the myriad ways in which Tucker's article is shamefully lazy.

I'd love to see the tangle of plagiarism suits that would result if British journos started suing each other for ripping off one another's "I 'analyze' football in America" articles. Somehow, I imagine that all of them get thrown out of court when they discover that the ur-text of them all, a 1784 article on the low-standard of American bear-baiting is far too old to fall under copyright protection.

As I pointed out in that e-mail (sigh, priorities), in addition to the laziness, the points of comparison in the article seem irrelevant. As Luis points out, it's shaky ground at best for a Welsh journalist to sneer at the low standard of American soccer. Also, it's more than a bit odd to discuss the risks of Cardiff's paying a substantial (for the Colaship) transfer fee to Cooper in terms of how American players have done in the Premiership. For example, Onyewu (whom Tucker mentions) struggled at Newcastle, sure, but he did really well at Standard de Liege last season, and I have a hard time believing that the Belgian champions play at a much lower level than a mid-table Championship squad. Probably even the cellar-dwellers of the Prem are better than the best MLS teams; their squads are certainly deeper. But right now Cardiff would have to improve and have a bit of luck to rise to the level Premiership relegation fodder.

papa bear said...

add me to the chorus of people who find this article incredibly LAZY.

I am 100% certain this guy has only seen goal highlights and has never watched a single game.

On that note, I am sick and f'n tired of people judging the level of defending in MLS (or any league for that matter) based on a goal highlight video. Of course the defending looked bad, the guy scored and f'n goal! The only way you are going to score is if you make the defender look bad.
Sure there are some howlers in terms of defensive performances in MLS now and then (show me a league that doesn't) but they make it sound like every team is Keystone Cops in the back every game.

Plus as LB mentioned, it's Wales. Their domestic league is so goddamned awful that Cardiff would rather languish in the lower divisions of another "countriy's" then be the top dog in their own abortion of a league.

Great move for Kenny to stay here as he will no doubt be playing in the top flight in a BIG league next year if is current form keeps up.