Thursday, December 31, 2009
Top 5 Recent Random Thoughts That Didn't Make It Into Any Other Top Five
Isn't it great to clear the clutter? Nothing like it, be it clouded thoughts or your nightmare bedroom. In this case, it's just my running notepad that is getting the off-dusting... but it's still good to be so fresh and so clean clean.
Now, let's put these random observations lying around to some use.
#5 - It seems to me that it would be best for everyone if MLS allowed a small exemption for players from Latin American countries in this hemisphere. It seem like two is a good number to start with, and it could be toggled from there.
The reason I say this is because American cities have large Hispanic populations now. It can be argued that, for instance, D.C. United shouldn't have to count a player from El Salvador on their international slots because - for many of the team's fans (a ka the people who bring the money to the stadium) - that is just like having a "hometown player".
It seems silly to restrict, say, Chivas USA or Houston from signing more Mexicans at a younger age. If MLS wants to grow it needs to involve Hispanic players more for both revenue and quality of play reasons.
There are new teams or more on the way, so we can't get into some huge debate about taking jobs away from Americans. I realize that Canadian clubs may not have quite the reason to sign these players (or the climate to lure them, heh), but some sort of concession can be made to even things out.
And if they really want to add a second Designated Player slot, it can be argued that making some sort of Hispanic star exception as a "second DP" allotment would be fiscally smart for the team and the league.
The other financial upside is a greater ability for teams to grab a budding young CONCACAF star like Wilson Palacios or Bryan Ruiz before Euro-suitors come calling with fat checks on offer. This creates more regional interest and leads to nice transfer turnovers. Spending good money on the right Hispanic ace could rapidly become some of the best MLS money ever spent.
#4 - It seemed unthinkable a few years ago, but my money says the Bundesliga has passed Serie A in overall quality. And if things keep going about how they've been going in Europe the rest of the way this term, Germany's top flight will also pass Italy on the UEFA Coefficients country ranking into third place.
And just think, not so long ago, Serie A was at or near the top of the mountain. Now, in my mine, they are about to be #4. It couldn't happen to a nicer league*.
* = Dripping, disdainful sarcasm
#3 - Okay, this may seem ticky-tack... but why on Earth does MLS not credit an assist to a shot-taker whose rebound has been netted? There are many, many second assists given for less impact on the goal. If you want to give out two like the NHL, then do it right like the NHL. Forcing a save that results in a rebound goal should get a notch in the "A" column. I mean, c'mon.
Side note: While I'm on the topic of forcing saves that result in rebound goals, why is this not coached? A shot that forces the keeper to cough up a fat rebound is just about as effective as a curling wonder rocket into the upper 90.
The best player at doing this over the last decade? Deco, hands down. Porto strikers gobbled up second chances all the way to Champions League and UEFA Cup glory, especially when the field was wet. He'd fire short-hop shots and free kicks all day long with a slick surface/ball.
#2 - Ya know what bugs me even more? Any TV announcer that says 'offsides' - there is no such thing as offsides, which is so not a word that it even alerts spellcheck as I type this. Please stop saying 'offsides' during broadcasts. I am well past cringe with this one, it drives me nutso.
#1 - It never ceases to tickle my funny bone when I see observers of any stripe make out a potential USMNT World Cup squad with only seven defenders.
Dudes... get with the program. Do you not remember World Cup 2002? Had Hugh Dallas been wearing his eyeballs and the U.S. managed to find a way past Germany into the semifinal, we'd have been scraping barrels for a backline despite bringing nine defenders.
Berhalter, Pope and Mastroeni (not actually included in that nine count) were suspended, while Agoos and Cherundolo were injured. That would have left Hejduk, Llamosa, Regis and Sanneh to work the semifinal with no subs.
Yeah, we're bringing eight. Put it in ink.
- Greg Seltzer