Friday, October 07, 2005

We're dedicating the news to Jack Bell (now please stop writing about futsal)

Please forgive me if I make mistakes and say stupid things. I am a feeble replacement for El Brucio.

The U.S. faces a tough task Saturday taking on the Ticos in San Jose. They've never won a qualifier at Costa Rico, compiling an 0-5-1 record. The crowds are notoriously hostile. The trip didn't get off to a good start: the U.S. team plane was diverted to Panama because of poor weather and they arrived in San Jose a day late. Why is Kyle Martino on the roster? Were they lacking someone proficient in diving? I hope Ricardo Clark gets a start.

Why doesn't the U.S.A. have a goofy nickname, like the Red Devils (Belgium) or the Indomitable Lions (Cameroon) or the Super Eagles (Nigeria)? Or do they have one and I'm just unaware? I will propose a few: the Super Beagles, the Invincible Owls, the Inscrutable Sparrows. These admittedly aren't very good. Please come up with some additional suggestions. The best ones will be submitted to Dr. S. Robert Contiguglia.

These teams have already qualified for the World Cup: Argentina, United States, Mexico, Japan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Ukraine and, of course, Germany.

All kinds of intrigue heading into the final weekend of Africa World Cup qualifying. Most shockingly Nigeria is likely out. Togo is likely in! The Guardian has a swell rundown.

The European action should be wild as well. Some of the more compelling matches: France visits Switzerland (minus Henry and Trezeguet; have you been to his official web site?); Sweden journeys to Croatia (with a chance to nail down a spot); Netherlands visit Czech Republic (Remember that incredible 3-2 Czech victory last summer during the European Championships? Of course you do. Too bad Pavel Nedved has abaondoned his homeland.) The UEFA site has a complete rundown and all kinds of other good information.

The English are going bonkers as Austria visits Old Trafford Saturday. The home side needs to win their last two qualifiers to insure a booking to Germany. How did it come to this? Rio Ferdinand has been benched. It will be highly amusing if they lose.

MLS continues to play. Here are Saturday's games:
D.C. United v. MetroStars, Kansas City v. New England, Chicago v. Columbus, Dallas v. Colorado, San Jose v. Salt Lake.

The only games that matter much are the first two. K.C. and the Metros are still fighting for the final playoff spot. They both have looked pathetic of late, though. And the Metros craptastic defense will likely get worse as Michael Bradley has to sit owing to yellow card accumulation. They'll also be missing Ante Razov, but the way he's been playing lately that may be a blessing. In the last game against D.C. Razov hardly even touched the ball; then on Wednesday he pissed the game away by acting like a moron--something he seems to excel at.

D.C. is putting on a phenomenal show of late, scoring beautiful goals and driving opponents batty. Their shredding of the Metros last weekend was exquisite. Saturday night we'll get to see their latest Argentinian addition, striker Lucio Filomeno. Say all you want about New England and San Jose and the great seasons they've had ... D.C. remains the team to beat.

A few other items that I found to be worthy of attention.
A profile of third string San Jose keeper Robbie Fulton
Ives Galarcep mulls over who will be the new coach of the Metros. He's big on Mo Johnston.
The mighty Maryland Terrapins get to knock off the dreadful Dukies on national TV tonight
Sir Alex's attempt to trademark his name has been rejected. Poor fellow.


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