Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Robbie Rogers - on the Past, on Today

The Today Show is covering the 3m price for the Cowardly Lion costume. Then the YouTube video of the eagle flying into the stadium - Now Robbie!

Maria Shriver introduces him as a "star" of the Galaxy. Eh, ok. I'd say the stars are LD, Keane, OGonzo, maybe Penedo. Robbie could make it into the unsung heroes ranks of the Galaxy with Juninho, Sarvas, de la Garza.

Fan favorite? Well, Robbie's getting there. Mike Magee was a fan favorite. Rogers had to overcome their affection for Magee and dislike of the trade. His early injuries didn't help. 

That's probably small potatoes to coming out of the closet. Rogers speaks on his family support and how he had to endure general slurs from coaches and teammates who used anything homosexual as a code for "wimpy" or "weak". Yeah, for many years, that's been typical jock-speak. Often female slurs are used the same way - "You kick like a girl!"

Clips of interviews are shown at the Galaxy's home stadium, Stub Hub. A.J. de la Garza and Brian Rowe vouch for Robbie's skills from a locker room interview. 

The Today segment closes with a photo of Robbie from his Palos Verdes school days, mention his new book and new contract with the Galaxy. They don't mention his new TV show, though. Probably because it's on a competing network. 

"Soccer Cup playoffs" - argh, Maria. MLS Cup playoffs. Oh well. To her slight credit, Shriver stumbled there like she wasn't quite sure it was right. It wasn't, but all is forgiven, Maria. Pretty nice piece on RR. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Assessments - Everyone Has 'Em

I've been writing the Liga MX Best XI all Apertura long . Can I just say that few things make me feel more like a hack than the type of articles that are popular in sports now. 
Edgar Castillo, who now plays for Atlas

I blame Letterman and his Top Ten list. Or fantasy football. Either way, listicles are the popcorn of the Internet sports world. 

I mean, obviously, there's something valid in writing about which players did well over the weekend of games. But soccer isn't as quantifiable as other stats based sports, so there's quite a bit of conjecture and speculation on my part as I subjectively try to decide who makes the Best XI cut. 

There also isn't enough time for me to watch every Liga MX game, but I do try to catch the highlights. So I hope my judgments are fair. 

Just for fun, here's another writer's take on NY's Mike Petke's coaching. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Mike, LD and Awards of the Year

Landon Donovan has an interesting relationship with Latino fans, especially Mexican fans, who alternately love hating him and yet respect his play and his ability to speak to them in their language. 

But even so, it's interesting to see Donovan get nominated for a Univision award. If he wins and is at the ceremony, I'm sure he'll give a nice speech in Spanish. Just remember, LD, "deservo" is not a word in Spanish. 

One of the awards, I noticed, is best Tweet by an athlete. Can I just say, I have no idea how Mike Magee wasn't nominated for this stunner that called out both JK and his son and supported his former teammate, LD, after Donovan set the MLS record. It was subversive and devastatingly clever, like a phaser blast of truth. 

Most of all, it revealed Mike's courage. During his MVP year, quite a few advocated a USMNT callup for the MLS player. He basically willingly torpedoes that option in defense of his friend. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

El Tri Ends 2014 With a Whimper

After all the excitement over the prodigal son return of Vela, Mexico suffered a loss to Belarus. 

It wasn't all bad. Raul Jimenez scored, but the defense really let the side down

It was really cold, though. 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Kill the Ghost. Let It Die So LD Can Live in Peace

I have a soft spot for this blog, but Twitter is where it's at with all the cool social media kids these days. Communication in short bursts has both benefits and drawbacks, as I found out in a recent dust-up over the medium. 

I like Phil, he's a great guy, but this tweet drives me crazy. Landon is not a What If. 

A What If is the sad song of a career cut short before it ever got a chance to flourish, due to injury or some other tragic occurrence. People shake their heads, remembering the youthful talent that never reached maturity. Len Bias is a What If. Or this guy. Or Steve Snow, if you need US Soccer-specific examples. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Mexico, Beautiful and Beloved

Or, in Spanish, Mexico, lindo y querido! 

But more importantly, how about that Carlos Candle! 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Canales and Moyes, Together!

I have actually met David Moyes before. Well, not in terms of having exchanged names, but we have sideline-watched the same practices a few times and he once nodded a greeting at me. 
Here's Moyes at USMNT practice

But more importantly, Moyes is bouncing back from the haunted-by-Fergie mess that was Manchester United by boldly going where few foreign coaches have gone before - Spain. It may not be as exotic as Bob Bradley in Egypt, but La Liga isn't a common route for English speakers, either. The Scott has pluck and guts and tactical knowledge as well. 

Plus, Moyes will be coaching my blonde cousin, Sergio Canales. 

Seriously, though, I do have roots in Basque country. My father's grandfather, so the story goes, was Basque. 
Already speaks Spanish!

It won't be easy for Moyesey, though. When I was in San Sebastian, I was a bit floored by all the Euskara in use. The menus in some places didn't have translations into Spanish. I can understand quite a bit of Catalan and Portuguese, so when I hear those languages, I can generally follow a simple conversation, but the Basque language is an isolate one, so I can't draw on the Latin roots of Spanish at all to help me. 

If Moyes needs help with his Spanish, though, or if he wants a handy, skilled player who picks up new languages well, I do know one that might be available for a new adventure. Moyes has counted on him before, too.