Horrors! The Galaxy bounced from the CCL while the defending champions of MLS? It's so 2006. That was a bad year for the team due partly to scheduling, but also partly due to the lack of coaching foresight to cope with the scheduling and either be creative with the lineup or kick up a bigger fuss to get games moved. The Ghost of Galaxy Coaches Past, Frank Yallop, is visiting Bruce Arena right now to say, "Whatever you do, don't miss the playoffs." Actually, it was MLS Cup-winning coach Steve Sampson who lost the CCL game in Costa Rica, then was fired midway through that debacle of a season, but it was Yallop who got saddled with a crazy Beckham-fueled schedule in 2007 that helped hobble the Galaxy to yet another playoff-missing season. Ah, memories.
I'm taking a break from grading essay papers to post here on the revamped Sideline Views, where I will pretty much be cheering Luis on, but probably not posting a lot of original news myself. For those who care to know, I've returned to teaching (morning and evening classes which pretty much wipe out time for reporting anything). I've also bought a fixer-upper property. It turns out that transformations are not as easy as the DIY Channel makes things look, so that's a lot of ongoing work.
I always wanted to write about topics that tended to be overlooked and bring new and different stories to readers, so I haven't taken down my freelance badge. I still write for Futbol Mundial on occasion. I still get a happy thrill when a player I picked out early for stardom has a good game. It's always fun to see a quote from a player I personally know is a great interview, kind and fair to reporters. If I recognize a byline from a writer who was friendly in the pressbox, I'll still feel collegial camaraderie. I'm always proud to see bylines of writers I personally worked with and tried to help. Life goes on though, and my spot on the sideline these days is closer to the couch.
Of course, that doesn't mean I can't snark from there about how the Galaxy should have done better against TFC. Luis covered the details of that, already, though. I'll just add that those who thought an MLS Cup win bought Bruce Arena a lifetime appointment as Galaxy coach, think again. Every coach before him who won the Cup (Schmid and Sampson) was fired by the organization. The AEG shakeup of the Galaxy admin staff (where they let Galaxy president Tom Payne go, among others) also reveals an impatience for any results deemed poor. Losing to TFC in the CCL, and starting the season with a losing record at home won't get Arena fired, but those are definitely poor results for the Galaxy.