Monday, June 18, 2012

MLS Monday

Hopefully you'll forgive me for eschewing a league-wide Grinder this week in favor of Texas Derby coverage. The Grinder is a flexible beast, and this week it bent into BBVA Compass Stadium for a great game and horrible prepackaged media sandwiches. If you want me to come to your town to put down a marker on some MLS action, feel free to send a plane ticket my way. I'll be all over it. I do plan on getting up a post later on my wacky weekend in fine detail. It involved drunk Germans, foul-mouthed Metroplexians and an overweight Explosions in the Sky fan who spilled beer on my sandaled-feet in claustrophobic environs. Be on the lookout for that this week.

Lots doing in MLS on this fine $@(!!day.

— Goal of the Week voting going down over on MLSsoccer.com. I present your candidates. Vote for Julio Cesar or I will find you.


— 33-year-old Scottish international Barry Robson is coming to Vancouver as a DP to pair with Eric Hassli. The aging midfielder had a good year with Middlesboro with seven goals, but does Vancouver need him? The midfield is crammed with talent, and the 'Caps are producing. Somewhere Davide Chiumiento is grumbling discontentedly.

— It's All-Star voting time. Matthew Doyle hooks you up with your best guide as you pick this week.

Not super starts for newb coaches last weekend, but they weren't colossal train wrecks either. According to Mariner, TFC still kinda sucks. According to Hackworth, Philly is on its way to an MLS title. 

— Remember Bill Hamid? He of prodigious keeping talent? His benching fueled his renaissance.

— MLSsoccer.com began banging out a rhythmic drumbeat in favor of deep statistical analysis earlier this year, and it seems they're beginning to get somewhere meaningful. It's hard to understand these macro movements in the midst of their beginnings, but years from now we will look at the statisticians' revolution with wonder. I will await the tentative purveyors of The Game As It Used To Be Known and their outrageous claims that soccer's age-old quandaries cannot be broken into statistical categories. And then I will laugh at them. This is good for the game in a lot of different ways. It will make players smarter. It will make coaches more prepared. It will make MLS stronger. People want to know how MLS can start gaining ground on the world's most respected leagues? This is a big step. Outthink them.

- Will Parchman

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