Saturday, August 15, 2015

Mas y Mas Gio

More leftover quotes on Gio/Galaxy. 

Head coach Bruce Arena

Players are getting better. We’ve had a long year. We’ve had a lot of injuries and absences for periods of time. For the most part, we’re over the hump and hopefully, we can get our team healthy and ready for the last nine season games and hopefully for the playoffs.

We’ll see. Baggio should be back soon.

Not at all. We have to step on the field and play well each and every game and try to win. All that other stuff is all garbage and hype. We don’t talk about championships yet.

--Supporters' Shield?
It’d be nice to have. The way the league is made up right now, with the regular season schedule, it’s hard, because too many teams play without their players for so many games. The Supporters’ Shield is an awkward goal to have, given that a number of teams play without their players for long periods of time. So it makes that difficult.

--Robbie Rogers Achilles heel issue?
Every player has injuries and deals with it differently. He’s playing 90 minutes now.

They’re a good team. I haven’t watched them that closely, but Castillo continues to be dangerous player. Diaz is good. Perez has been outstanding goalscorer. Defensively, they’re pretty solid. They’re a good team.

We’ve seen the weather before. We had weather the other day, so it’s not an excuse. Still weather.

--Gio adjustment? There’s been no issues to date. Like any player, they’ll be some ups and downs along the way, but he’s doing very well.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Dan the Man

I mentioned on Twitter today that I could have made my entire "Galaxy teammates adjusting to Gio" piece all on Dan Gargan's quotes. 

To prove it, I'll just leave the ones I didn't use right here. 

We understand the elements (heat in Dallas). It’s not going to be a surprise. We got a good result on the road in Colorado.

That’s what our focus is for the next nine, to sharpen up and tighten some things in our game.

People hyping our team means zero. People’s opinions on a team that hasn’t really played together yet don’t really mean anything. We all know that every day is a new day, so if we don’t prepare and bring our best game to every game, we have just as much opportunity of getting beat as anybody else does. Unless we’re prepared to live up to those expectations on a daily basis, that praise being put on our team doesn’t mean much.

That’s a definite.That’s something that the guys here have understood and adapted to. We understand that when we’re not prepared to play a game, we’re going to get beat because there’s a lot of good teams in this league. We’re adjusted to that and well aware of it. That only helps us, because that raises our level as well.

We’re all here to win titles. Just because Gio comes in and says he wants to win a title, that’s no different than the other 29 guys sitting in that locker room, because they all want to win championships, too. If they were to come in and say, we don’t want to win a championship, that wouldn’t be aligned with what everyone else is thinking. For them to say that they want to come here and win a title, well, of course they do. That’s why they’re coming here and that’s why everyone else is here.

I'm absolutely not satisfied. If that was the case, then what am I doing here? What are we all doing here? If we’re not trying to win? That’s the name of the game. That’s why we play. That’s it. This isn’t rec sports. We’re not out here just for fun. Winning is what we do and what gives us the most joy.

We’re greedy. Bruce has put together a roster that’s capable of doing that. The Supporters’ Shield might be tough to attain at this point, but I don’t think it’s out of reach. Hopefully, if we continue to gel and put the right pieces together and find a good rhythm so that another championship is realistic as well.

Our approach might be a little bit different this weekend. They’re a dangerous team. They play kind of a different style. They have a lot of guys who are able to exploit weaknesses in one on one, which tends to make for a more disjointed game. Our team is focused on maintaining a good 11. This is a good test. It’ll be a formidable opponent.

They both have some very dynamic players. They have that playmaker that sits in the hole and tries to pick out players.

That was a fun piece. Sadly, it was only too easy to convince Alan to do that and show off his abs.

He’s a good solid veteran. He’s been doing it for a while. Jaime was very good at reactionary saves. Donovan (Ricketts) is more of a presence in goal.

For better or for worse, it could go either way, Gio’s a little bit more instinctual in front of the goal, in terms of creating stuff for himself. Landon was a very selfless player, both ways. If he needed to finish a goal, he’d finish a goal and he would also track back 90 yards to stop a play if he saw that developing. From what I’ve seen from Gio, he’s deadly in front of the net. That’s hopefully where we’ll be able to find him in those positions. We looked to Landon to alleviate a little bit more pressure for us and kind of take over games. Gio will fit in well with our attacking corps and kind of create a bit more. That’s what I’ve seen so far. Both are obviously very talented and very deserving of wearing the #10 for LA. Wouldn’t see much difference there.

Landon was a veteran at this point, and a veteran of the league as well. Gio’s coming in and he’s younger and he’s also new to the league. He probably doesn’t have the same amount of confidence from an understanding of the league. He’s learning and seeing a new culture and environment for himself. That’ll take time for him to get settled and to get comfortable.

Keane’s a link. That’s not only a captain’s responsibility, it’s a friend’s responsibility. He has a relationship with both of them prior to the Galaxy. In order for both of them to feel comfortable, he’s been able to integrate them into the group. It’s not like the other guys on the team have been closed off. We have a pretty good locker room and it’s been very open and welcoming. Both of those guys, Gio and Gerrard, have fit in pretty well.

I’ve been a witness to Stevie coming, and everyone was excited for him. Gio attracts a different fan base. He’s a bit younger. He also has the Mexican side, which is a big community in LA. The response to Gio being signed is a bit different, but the LA Galaxy community is excited to have both of them and rightfully so.

Stevie's Thoughts

I wondered what Steven Gerrard thought about getting to the Galaxy fairly recently and getting asked so many questions about his new teammate, Gio Dos Santos. 
Steven Gerrard in Los Angeles

Turns out, he doesn't mind much at all. 

I was very pleased for him. He was desperate to get out there, onto the pitch. His debut went perfect. Good team performance and he came on and contributed at the end with a goal.

I’m just pleased and smiling that the deals over the line and he’s an LA Galaxy player. I want to form a good relationship with him. I’m excited for him.

I think he’ll adapt a lot quicker than me. He’s used to the climate. He knows the guys better than I do. I’m sure he’ll settle in very quickly and play in good performances with the team. I’m pleased for him. When I heard the news he was coming, I made contact with him. We were both very happy with the pickup.

So Gerrard clearly doesn't mind answering Gio questions. At least, not nearly as much as he minds the extreme weather conditions in some places in MLS. Dan Gargan, his LA Galaxy defender teammate, had a bit of fun with him about dealing with that. 

Stevie’s first two road games were in Houston and Colorado. Dealing with that humidity and then that altitude - after the Colorado game, he was wondering where we were playing next. I told him we’re playing on Mars next. That’s indicative of some of the situations we have to deal with in this league, with the travel and the environments. Seeing that in two of your first three weeks was probably a bit eye-opening, because those are two of the tougher places to play. Dallas will be another one. Might was well see them all early and get them out of the way.

Gio, obviously has played in heat plenty of times. That’s probably tougher on Stevie than it will be on Gio, but still, it’s a tough place to play. Some of that travel and flying three hours, and then playing a game the next day, it’s not easy either. It won’t be easy for either of them, because as far as I know, they’ve never had to deal with that before.

Gerrard seemed to agree that he found the transition difficult.

Houston was wild. That was certainly a big learning curve for me. We spoke about the challenges in the press conference and I said I’d give it my best and that’s what I’ve done.

Yet, though Dallas won't be easy, Gerrard was optimistic about all the games ahead for the Galaxy, especially now with Gio on board.

We can both help each other, on the pitch and off it as well. I said when I signed that all the players and the staff at LA Galaxy made me feel so welcome. I’m sure Gio’s feeling the same. The important thing is that all the players are available. When I signed, we had players in the Gold Cup, some injuries, and we were still trying to get Gio over the line. Now everyone’s fit and available, ready to fight for the team. I think we can go on a winning streak now and become a real force.

For more on how Gio's LA teammates are adjusting to him joining the team - read this!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Oh, Canada Gets Herculez!

Herculez Gomez will now play in Canada for Toronto FC, making him a true North American soccer player, now that he has plied his trade in clubs located in all of the countries that make up NAFTA. 

Having been in Canada recently, I can vouch that it's a cool spot.

Thus, it should be a good combination. 

Friday, August 7, 2015

Watershed Moments

Last night, Alan Gordon came off the field and was substituted by Giovani Dos Santos for the debut of the Mexican international as a Galaxy player. 

Gordon was already the answer to the trivia question,"Which player came off for David Beckham's debut as a Galaxy player?", so perhaps this is all routine for him. Still, it was an interesting full circle moment.

Gordon was pretty low-key about it, though. 

"I think it's a bigger deal to you guys than it is to me," he said, shrugging. 

I'll have more Dos Santos info later, but for now, here's a picture and my own full circle moment. 

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Radio Days, With Two Different Stars as Main Topic

Years ago, I used to work the graveyard shift at my college radio station. I was on from midnight to 8am, then I hurried to my dorm room to change for a 9am class. Most of what went out on the air at that time was pre-programmed, although I did a short traffic and weather report at the top of every hour. Basically, that job helped me realize radio is both a great and tough medium.

Even before I moved to the LA area, I used to listen to KPCC. When I got the call to come to my local NPR station as a soccer expert guest, I was excited. 

Have to say, I don't think my first time, discussing David Beckham, went all that well.  It probably wasn't advisable to disagree with the host of the radio show that invited me right off the bat. 

My most recent appearance was to talk about Giovani Dos Santos, who honestly, has the potential to be as big a signing in certain ways as Beckham ever was. No, Dos Santos won't have the same world-wide impact, but on a local marketing level, this could be huge. He's much younger, a massive star with the Mexican fans in LA, and more creative on the ball. Dos Santos will still have to play well to justify all the hype, but the potential is definitely there. 

Here is the individual show segment about Dos Santos. Who knows - if Dos Santos plays amazingly tonight in his debut as a Galaxy player, I may be asked back again. It's always the big stories that get media attention.

The Galaxy are also a more balanced team now to support the skills of Dos Santos. With Robbie Keane, Steven Gerrard, Gyasi Zardes and Omar Gonzalez all on board to help carry the burden of garnering wins, Dos Santos shouldn't feel as isolated as Landon Donovan and Beckham seemed to be those difficult years when the Galaxy depended on that duo so much. 

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Then and Now - Hugo Perez

So, back in 2007, I spoke to Hugo Perez about U.S. Soccer improving their efforts in developing the Latino pool of soccer talent in the US.

Now, Perez is looking to take his coaching talents to El Salvador. 

Meanwhile, a few of the USA players with Mexican heritage are developing in that country and also playing for Mexico. Isaac Brizuela and Miguel Ponce are the first wave of talent in this direction that continues with Uvaldo Luna. 

The route of Mexico development isn't really open to Latino players who aren't Mexican, however. I'm pretty sure some squad in Liga MX would have been interesting in signing Oscar Sorto by now if he wasn't Salvadorean and thus, cost them a foreign player spot. 

Major League Soccer teams are improving their development and youth academies, but there's still a long way to go and frankly, the style of MLS isn't always a good fit for players, in terms of learning to be creative and tricky.

In addition, dismissing Latino coaches from U.S. Soccer posts isn't helping the players coming through the ranks to feel valued and that their future lies with the USMNT.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Ronnie in the Twilight

Ronaldinho isn't what he used to be, but that doesn't mean he can't be great in a different way. It also might be enough to help Querataro win the Liga MX title. 

I've met Ronaldinho a few times, back when he was in LA with Barcelona, and later on with Milan. 

He's friendly, playful with press, in terms of a smile and a wave, but he doesn't like doing interviews, at least in terms of stopping to answer many questions in a mixed zone. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Whose Jersey Did You Get?

I asked Landon Donovan that question once, six years ago. He was exiting the locker rooms at the Rose Bowl and he had a Barcelona jersey slung over his shoulder after a friendly game against the Spanish squad. 

"Pique." Donovan answered, succinctly. 

I wondered what Pique did with his Donovan jersey. 

Just yesterday, I found out, via Twitter. 

There's Donovan's Galaxy jersey, in the bottom row of uniforms next to Andrea Pirlo's. 

But Donovan actually gave away two jerseys that night in Pasadena. 

LD hasn't tweeted any pictures of his jersey collection yet. 

He's been busy with other stuff, though, like getting married!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Super Clasico is finally Set Up

For a while now, Club America v Chivas has been a relatively mild affair, because there hasn't been much at stake between the two squads. But now there is a lot. 

Meanwhile, defending Liga MX champions Club America are fighting to retain a playoff spot, so there's a lot at stake for them as well. 

Here's a preview that Tom Marshall and I wrote covering both sides for this big game today. 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Mike Penner, Bruce Jenner and Me

Years ago, at the great media brouhaha that was the official unveiling of David Beckham, I was walking on the concourse of what is now called Stub Hub Center stadium, when I spotted a tall woman. She, like me, was on her way to the media rooms designated for different groups of reporters. Even though Beckham's move to the Galaxy was a huge story, there weren't that many women covering it, so I noticed her. I stopped for a moment, thinking that she might be an ex-athlete turned reporter, perhaps a former basketball or volleyball player. It even occurred to me that, if so, I should ask her about that, and get a unique perspective that might add some insight into a Beckham event reaction story. She looked somewhat familiar, so I tried to remember where I'd seen her before. Then I realized she was Christine Daniels, the transgender sports writer whose story I'd read about about earlier that year. 

Even before that galvanizing story, I'd read Mike Penner columns/stories in the LA Times for years, but never ran into him in the LA pressbox for Galaxy games, where Grahame Jones had the regular local soccer beat. I'd been keeping up with Christine's blog, and I wondered if it was ok to start with that as a intro comment, "Hi, I've read your blog; I'm a reporter, too, are you going to come to more soccer stuff?" 

But then Christine walked into the suite marked for national media reporters. I went to the one for local media. Maybe I'd see her after the interviews ended, I figured. Or perhaps she'd be out soon again to actually see Beckham play and I could introduce myself in the pressbox before a game. 

Beckham came to the local media interview room last. Christine and most of the other reporters were long gone by the time I stepped out of the suite into the bright sunshine. 

Selfishly, I hoped I would see her again soon. I had friends in the LA pressbox, but sometimes it still felt a little isolating to be the lone female reporter there. I imagined that Christine wouldn't be intimidated, at over six feet, walking into a locker room full of players amped up after a game. I, who was always more comfortable at a keyboard than speaking in person, would sometimes wonder if players refused interviews or ignored my requests for a quote because I was a woman and they didn't take me seriously as a reporter. I figured Christine wouldn't be so easy to brush off. I also thought I could help her if she needed anything translated from Spanish. We could be like a distaff soccer-writing Mutt and Jeff.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Alexi Lalas is Doing Fine, But What About Bob?

Just another day in the soccer-writing life, but now I suddenly have a few hundred more Twitter followers than before. 

It's pretty much Alexi Lalas' fault. 

The man has a gift for garnering media attention, so perhaps he's in his best career fit as a sports pundit, but I remember well when his trajectory in sports management seemed unstoppable. 

Instead, Lalas was derailed when he became the ringmaster in the circus that was the LA Galaxy's colossal craziness in the early Beckham years. It's kind of a shame, given his energy and enthusiasm, but living by the propaganda sword means dying by it as well. 

Bob and Alexi Lalas
That's what happened to Lalas, but like the phoenix, he's risen from the ashes of that disaster to do quite well on television. 

Still, I wonder what happened to his little Yorkie, which I believe he told me was named Bob. 

Alexi would bring him to Galaxy practices sometimes. Maybe Bob hides in the TV studio or Alexi's office now. 

Update! Alexi says Bob is fine.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Once More Into the Ring

Ahead of the big "friendly" USA-Mexico game today, Luis Hernandez has a new commercial for Wells Fargo similar to the Landon Donovan one. It's to introduce a banking app in Spanish. 

Like Donovan's, the scenario is a coach handing out jerseys to players, and Hernandez, as the new addition, uses his banking app to send in his payment quickly. But a crucial difference (as well as a tip of the hat to the Mexican fan loyalty in the rivalry) is that as soon as Hernandez pulls the jersey over his head, his hair magically grows into the long tresses he once sported, complete with a headband. Everyone on his team recognizes him and celebrates having a legend on their team. 

Hernandez then runs to the field in triumph, despite never actually having touched the ball yet. "El Matador" was indeed a Mexico icon. While his Galaxy career wasn't spectacular and he lost to LD and the USA in 2002 in the World Cup, he gets the last laugh here.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Matosas Going Nowhere?

So I wrote on Matosas and the latest struggles for Club America

Meanwhile, this dude just offered a GIF visual of the same situation. 

Here's a more statistical, analytical tack. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

21 Not Gunning For Those Above

Yes, the title is a reference to the Green Day song. 

Memo has proved himself against world's best teams before
It's also a reference to my latest article. Mexico is ranked at 21 and it isn't playing any teams ranked higher of late. At least, not until their Costa Rica friendly. 

Ok, I know the rankings aren't everything, but Argentina was on a USA tour at the same time as Mexico. Why not schedule that? 

Mexico did manage to win both friendly matches of 2015 thus far. So - anyone want to predict El Tri's first loss this year? Let me know your guess if you have one. 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

If You're Happy, Then You Know It

Is it possible to rate happiness? If so, how much does that factor into a team sport like soccer?

We've seen disgruntled teams implode in tournaments, and we've also seen teams where everyone was smiling, looking like they're having a great time, genuinely friendly with each other, do very well in games. 

But is happiness measurable as a factor to winning?

What about personal preference? Would a player prefer to be part of a team that was a happy one? 

The truth is, most players will say that they want to play for the best team they can, regardless of the camaraderie among teammates. They'll take sullen silences and diva attitudes in return for winning. 

Then again, losing a lot probably doesn't improve a team's attitude or ambiance. The US have only won 2 of their last 11 games. 

William Yarbrough and Ventura Alvarado are eligible for both the USA and Mexico. 

Mexico seems to be having more fun under Piojo. If that matters to the duo, it could play a factor in any final decision, should Mexico ever come calling for their services. 

If you could choose, which would you pick and why?

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Matosas Offers His Resignation

Whoo, hooo! Fall on one's sword in a great show of sacrifice - or is it really? 

So do others. 

Anyway, never fear, Matosas fans, he's not going anywhere yet. 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

F.C. Fashion Choice - FC Dallas.

Yep, the FC Dallas logo is now apparently all the rage abroad in England. 

But, as I have noted before, FC Dallas has a way of getting into the hands of the most stylish kids. 

Gwen Stefani with kids, check out Kingston's FC Dallas kit

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Who Mexico Didn't Call

They didn't call Billy boy. 

Anyway, I'm not sure anyone even calls William Yarbrough "Billy", but I couldn't help myself. The Mexican-born goalkeeper of American parents has accepted a call-up from the one and only Jurgen Klinsmann, so he's apparently going to throw his lot in with the USA instead of Mexico. 

Club Leon had a nice little throwback to their history of USMNT players. 

But is Klinsmann really serious about Yarbrough? He's made some picks before that just seemed off-hand and not about building a strong senior squad. 

Then again, Yarbrough is probably smart to seize the opportunity. Miguel Herrera wasn't encouraging on El Tri prospects for Yarbrough. 

A friendly match doesn't cap tie Yarbrough, of course. But he would have to file an official FIFA switch to Mexico if he's already suited up for the USA, even in a friendly. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Finding Fitness - Pilates

So, yeah, if Rossi can use Pilates for rehab, I should probably give it a try in my finding fitness series. 

My local Pilates spot is Eagle Rock Pilates, although when I look up the site, they apparently call their place Pilates Eagle Rock.   This gives me the same vague embarrassment/stubborness I sometimes get whenever I pronounce a player's name wrong in an interview, but still prefer my version. (Yeah, it's your name, but have you thought about changing?)

I once took a Pilates class at my local gym and thought that was pretty cake, but it turns out, that was at best what is known as a 'mat Pilates' session. The more intense versions follow closely the teachings of Joseph Pilates and make use of specific Pilates equipment like the Reformer. (Cue my reflex reaction to get Snow's Informer ditty stuck in my head for the rest of the day.)
Me on Reformer - As if!

Pilates focuses a lot on slow controlled movements that seem simple at first, but really give muscles a workout. I'm trembling by the time I have to repeat most any movement. The core muscles especially get exhausted. Just try Rossi's sideplank circle walk - it's not easy.

Fitness: 8/10 It's an amazing way to strengthen muscles and build body control, but I felt it was missing a cardio element. 

Fun: 6/10 Pilates is cool way of getting in touch with what one's body is capable of and the exercises are almost like a body experiment - this looks easy, but damn, it's not! - and a good instructor really makes each session an educational experience. Lose-yourself-in-the-moment fun, though? Not so much. 

Sociability: 4/10 For private sessions, the only socialization is with the Pilates trainer. Group sessions are still quite small, and everyone seems serious about the exercises, so there's not much interaction or conversation.

Convenience: 7/10 Pilates is very popular in California, and there are studios all over the South Bay for retiring and rehabbing soccer players. 

Cost: 3/10 Private sessions are more expensive, of course, but even group sessions are pretty pricey. 

Pilates is an excellent workout, especially ideal for athletes who need precise body control, like dancers and soccer players, but it's not a terribly entertaining exercise. I'll probably do it some, like I try to eat some vegetables because I know they're good for me and I should, but not because I wouldn't rather have something else. 

Monday, March 9, 2015

Best of the Bunch

Here's the Liga MX Best XI - IMHO, and yes, I put in Joe Corona, but I'm not being American-partial. 

Tijuana are top of the league right now. 

It's deserved. 

Friday, March 6, 2015

Herculean Effort at Understanding

It's probably the headline of this piece quoting Herculez Gomez on yet-uncapped Mexican-American Ventura Alvarado that threw me off a bit. 

Herc, who played in the 2010 World Cup with the USA, is as red-white-and-true-blue as they come, encouraging other young Mexican-Americans like Paul Arriola to cast their lot with the USA. But I remember years ago asking a young, as-yet-uncapped Herc about his chances with Mexico - and yes, he was open to that possibility. Mexico never came calling, but the USA did. Thus, I was surprised that he would judge Ventura (a bit harshly, I thought) for doing something similar - saying he was undecided as to his final choice, but open at this point to both countries. 

I tweeted that opinion and then went on to do something else. While I was gone, Herc responded in a couple of tweets. But on my phone, this was the first one that popped up. 
While I thought it was odd that Herc would tell me, "Get offended," I figured it was short for "I can't control if people get offended," or something. 

Now I was confused. I scrolled down and saw that the first Tweet I responded to was actually the second part of another one. 

So Herc was explaining that there was more to the quote in the article and he was actually cautioning Ventura about possibly offending fans, not really blasting him at all. Now it was my turn to try to explain. 

Herc was pretty forgiving about it all. 

  Ultimately, Ventura Alvarado will have to make his choice - like Herc and Omar Gonzalez, Joe Corona and many others to come. Honestly, I think part of the fun of the rivalry involving the USA and Mexico is watching what happens with those choices. 

Thursday, March 5, 2015

What Is Heard May Be in Your Heart

I still don't really know what Davy Arnaud said. I wasn't there and the video isn't totally clear. If Rolfe was indeed spit on, (as Chris Pontius himself attests) Arnaud may have been issuing a warning. 

What I do know is this - what we perceive is partly the result of what we've gone through in the past. Our filter is a lot of what we see. 

Here's the first tweet I got last night. 

The next day, I figured that somebody had to have more info, so I asked about it. 
So I retweeted.

A DC United player verified one aspect of the debate.  

Meanwhile, I was fielding criticism of my own.  

Others still weren't sure what was said.  

The video got made into a Vine.  

I started to wonder if the racism could be in the eye of the beholder.  

Others still aren't sure. The truth is still out there.  

Meanwhile, here's the story on the game I did watch and write on.  

** Update - I got a call from DC United's communications director about my tweets. Apparently the team is looking through video to try to prove the spitting incident by an Alajuela player. Multiple DC players verified to him that it did happen, even if the cameras missed it. He was concerned that my tweeting was putting Arnaud in an unfairly bad light and wanted to remind me to reach out to the team if I have questions like this one in the future. 

Honestly, I would have contacted the team if I had gone into this as a story, doing research, but I don't cover MLS as a regular beat any more. Instead, I was reaching out on Twitter to MLS reporters in general, wondering if any followed up on the controversy. I don't regret that, because it opened up some interesting perspectives and I think all the people involved were in general fair about it. Still, it reminded me that as a reporter, even idle questions about stuff on Twitter has ramifications. People will treat what I tweet differently than just a random account, even if it's not directly connected to anything I'm reporting. I guess my point is that sometimes even my limited influence has some effect. I have to stay aware of that.

Finally, though, it's still DC United's version of events being told here in regards to the video. I was contacted by another reporter who is reaching out to Alajuelense. If I get an update on that end, I'll include it here as well.