That's On Point Archives for January 2007
"The horror...the horror." -- Col. Kurtz, "Apocalypse Now." Personal history was made Sunday
afternoon around 1:39 p.m. (EST) It was the first time in my years of watching professional soccer
that I heard use of a sideline reporter from a non-US produced game. Sorry to begin a post after a
livelier than expected Arsenal/Liverpool 1-1 draw with a note about sideline reporting, but it
First, a moment's silence for Martin Jol...we hardly knew ye. (Wonder if his sacking was met with
Journey's 'Don't Stop Believin'' and a sharp black fade out?) Composed? Ok, let's move onto the
main story of the week, the clash of unbeatens: Liverpool v. Arsenal, Anfield, noon (EST). There
are storylines galore here, let's look at a few of them.
For a long, long time I questioned here what exactly DaMarcus Beasley was thinking when he signed
on the dotted line for (Glasgow) Rangers. Why would one of the brightest stars in the United
States' soccer universe (ok probably not the right word) want to move to a second-tier league,
especially at the height of his playing career. Cut to Tuesday afternoon and on my television
screen I look up
Everyone enjoy your slate of Premier League games this week. For those with access only to Fox
Soccer, like me, it was a rather forgettable weekend. Here's the one nugget to glean from the
games: this was only the second weekend of the campaign that the so-called "Big Four" of Arsenal,
Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United all won. The other was August 25.
Anyone out there happy as that the International break is over? Don't think I could handle another
game as disjointed as the USMNT vs. Switzerland. But hey, a win is a win. Still, I'll maintain my
theory that many Americans treat the National Team as their defacto club team. It's very difficult
to form as emotional a bond to an MLS side or a club from Europe you've never seen in person.
Toblerone? Check. Muesli? Check. Swiss Amry knives? Check. Neutrality papers? Check. Unmarked bank
accounts? Check. Swizz Beatz? Check. High school level Swiss stereotypes? Check. Sounds like we
might just be ready for some midday live-blogging action! Things kick off in Basel around 2:30 p.m.
EDT. Fox Soccer kicks off it's pregame a half four earlier.
Part of me was tempted to simply use the Ricola video as the preview for Wednesday's USMNT friendly
against Switzerland at St. Jakob Park (2:30 EST, Fox Soccer). Ah, I won't sell you guys short. So
brew up a nice cup of instant Swiss Miss cocoa, flip on your 'Sound of Music' soundtrack and let's
boogie. Talking Points 1. Keepin' it up -- Ever since the dying days of Stuart Pearce's days at
Remember Anatoly Zelentsov? Of course you do, the coach of Dynamo Kiev in the 1970s and 80s who
helped develop a computer method for tactics. (Think Ivan Drago's training system...that's a lot of
PSI) Anyways, the long and short of Zelenstsov's system was to play with soulless, communist
efficiency. Don't think. Do as you're told and have been drilled to do.
To quote the best sports movie of our lifetime, "Who are these fucking guys?" So, late on a Tuesday
night the USSF decides to release it's roster for the upcoming Alpine clash with Switzerland on
Oct. 17. Brilliant. Bob Bradley went to his magic chalkboard and it reads as follows: Goalkeepers:
Marcus Hahnemann (Reading, England), Tally Hall (Esbjerg, Norway), Chris Seitz (Real Salt Lake)
"I livvvvvvvve." -- Andrews. Way back when (no, not when the now Arizona-based Andrews used to
contribute to this here slice of Internets...before the futbol madness) the lad would spend a lot
of time playing N-64 shooters with my younger brother, namely -- "Goldeneye" and "Perfect Dark"
(Ah, pre-Halo days.) Well, whenever someone would elude a tight spot or near death experience, that
The post from Wednesday got me on a lists kick. Admittedly, they're easy, cheap (heat) and allow me
to mark out for players that I favor. (Again to clarify, the list of top Americans was based on
current club status, not international play or past merits.) For a while I've had list lingering
idea of exploring the idea of the "skipper." The inspirational player that can rally a team sort of
As long stated, everyone loves lists. Usually I'm loathe to do stuff like that, but what the hell.
Let's make some subjective opinions and angry up the blood. The genesis of today's list come from
Rangers' 3-0 win over Lyon in the Champions League group stage. Generally, 'Gers can eat a bag of
dicks, but since American DaMarcus Beasley tallied yet again in Europe it got me to thinking.
Ding dong the Blues are dead. Perhaps I'm spending too much on the demise of Chelsea Football Club.
(Bear with me, didn't see too many matches this week with a wedding and all.) When you factor in
that Chelsea has been, arguably, the biggest story in club football the past three seasons, their
face from grace is just too juicy to resist. It's especially pertinent to Americans, because