Daily news roundups / Featured

Reserves lose, USWNT move on, Dragon an All-Star

Faryd Mondragon was the only Union player selected to the MLS All-Star roster. Sigh.

The Farfans are playing doubles tennis. I will not write a more exciting sentence all day.

A brilliant Shawn Wright-Phillips goal lifted Man City over Vancouver last night. Yaya Toure went off injured but appears to be alright. Omar Salgado looked very good for the Whitecaps.

The Shin Guardian features a round-table discussion with many of today’s most prominent US soccer broadcasters. Taylor Twellman reps the Union broadcast, although he sounds nothing like he did on the YSA Report podcast around the 49th minute.

Goal.com has had some wacky Best XIs this year, and this week is no different. Congrats to Gabe Farfan and Brian Carroll for making the list. For Carroll, this must be cumulative. Maybe he turned in enough Toughness Points to earn a Best XI nom, because after holding the Union midfield together for much of late June and July with duct tape and will power, Carroll had very little to do on Sunday.

Dave Zeitlin gives Roger Torres the ol’ Zeitlin bump after the playmaker stood out in the Union’s latest reserve game.

A different Torres says he is ready for a big season. I hope he’s wrong because that guy sucks.

Amobi Okugo, Michael Farfan, and Jack Mac also saw time in the reserves loss, with Okugo announcing his return to full fitness by getting his name on a shiny yellow card. Academy player Keegan Rosenberry came on for Ryan Richter in the 70th minute. Keegan, you better play well. I cannot tell you how excited I am to get a Rosenberry jersey.

Keith Hickey tells us that the “Real” in Real Madrid relates to the Spanish Royal family, but he neglects to mention that the 31 La Liga championships and 18 Copa del Rey wins signify pervasive fascist influence for multiple decades.

The 700 Level reminds us to be thankful for the awesome experience that is Philadelphia Union soccer.

Construction on 2012 MLS expansion side Montreal Impact’s stadium has been delayed.

DC and NYRB completed another deal yesterday, with midfielder Austin da Luz going from New York to the district in return for an international spot. Don Garber commented to himself, “I have no idea who New York will get for its new international spot, but I can guarantee you they will be more deserving of an All-Star appearance than that scoundrel Sheanon Williams.”

Goal.com’s Chris Savino says that non-profits should see MLS shirt sponsorships as a great opportunity.

I don’t have the heart to do much USWNT coverage today. Abby Wambach says the team has to move on. Supporters gave the squad a warm welcome when they flew in yesterday.

Yesterday was the anniversary of the USMNT’s comeback to tie Slovenia in the 2010 World Cup. These US national teams sure seem to need to come from back a lot.

Deron Snyder of The Washington Times turns his nose up at soccer: “In soccer’s case, besides the pace being too slow, scoring being too sparse and comebacks being too rare, the matter of not using your hands is a major drawback. That takes away at least half the fun of playing with a ball.”

Comebacks being too rare… well, everything is rare in soccer when you watch 90 minutes of it every four years.

People who claim soccer is too slow are such a curiosity. Imagine! Having to pay attention to a sporting event for 45 minutes without pause! Why, I much prefer a “faster” sport like football. It’s so fast that every 10 seconds, both teams have to stop and catch their breath while the coaches tell them what to do for the next ten seconds. Be still my beating heart.

Or basketball, where play is fast for most of the game but the final few minutes are allowed to stretch on for close to an hour. So many timeouts and stoppages and foul shots occur in the final moments of a basketball game that it’s analogous to halting a soccer match after 85 minutes and letting the teams play HORSE from set pieces to decide the winner. Golly, I hope this insanely talented athlete can knock down a pair of uncontested set shots.

And yet, I watch both football and basketball. I didn’t grow up loving football, but I watched it and learned about it and now I appreciate it. I recently became a fairly intense hockey fan. It’s the first time I have dedicated myself to figuring out the nuances of a sport in a long time and it was worth it. To a newbie, hockey, like soccer, appears to be a disorganized group of competitors making random and sometimes haphazard decisions and occasionally running into each other. It isn’t.

So to Deron Snyder and everyone else who watches one soccer match every four years and feels fit to criticize it… stop. There are thousands of us slapping down millions of words about the world’s most popular sport. If you don’t feel you have the time or inclination to research your subject, then leave it be. We will cover for you. One uninformed writer’s first reaction to something he doesn’t understand is just farting into the wind.

Photo: Paul Rudderow

2 Comments

  1. Ed Farnsworth says:

    I love Tyler’s, I mean, Taylor’s smooth radio voice.

  2. WolfmanDan says:

    Hear, hear! If people really wanted fast games, hockey would be the most popular American sport. It’s almost non-stop action. I love football, but it’s 20 minutes of action spread over 3 and a half hours.

    Also, the scoring argument is ridiculous. Part of why I took to soccer so quickly after resisting it for so many years is because the first time I saw the Union score a goal it felt as exciting as any late game TD or grand slam. The relative scarcity is what makes it special (to me, at least).

    These “soccer is lame” articles are one step below “kids now days” for editorialists.

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