free page hit counter The Metrologist: May 2006
Not ready to make nice.

The Capello rumor


Yesterday afternoon came the almost-unbelievable-yet-somehow-feasible story that Mateschnitz is ready to offer Juve boss Fabio Capello $5 million, and some Lotharesque perks (any places in Trump Tower open?) to escape the mushrooming Italian soccer scandal and coach in NJ. For one year, anyway.

Since rumors generated by the Italian press have earned a reputation for being more or less watertight, we're going to go right ahead and take this as a done deal. Farewell Mo! Welcome Fabio!

No, really, this would be us throwing a finely-appointed lifeline to a guy who, world-class manager and all, has no knowledge of or experience with the weird world of MLS nor the American player, but could probably use a year or so away from the glare of the Italian courts and media. That's one reason, I guess, why we should even be bothered to give this rumor the time of day; I can think of exactly five million others.
So, make a "splash" by throwing some soda money at a guy who'll likely do a Queiroz after eight months or so, leaving us back at square one?
Yep, that's just exactly what this team needs to do right now.

The sun is out for the first time in months


So no time for anything but today's picks just now.

Houston 2 Chicago 0
Colorado 2 DC 1
Metro Reds 0 Chivas 1
FCD 2 New England 2
RSL 2 KC 0
Galaxy 0 Colorado 0

Piling on


It's not going to make us feel any better, but, I can't help myself here after checking out some just-released WC rosters (still waiting on you, Togo!). Like, Trinidad & Tobago's.

Look at the one and only alternate. A name from the past - Evans Wise. Evans Wise!

That's right, people. We're one strained Trini hamstring or tainted goat curry away from having the Tampa Bay Mutiny put more players in the World Cup than the Metros.

Abbe Ibrahim - remember him?


It's WC roster deadline day, and just like you I'm frenetically clicking refresh on the Togo page at and waiting to see if Abbe's been named to the African debutantes. As for this slimmest of chances that someone (sort of) from Metro will be reprasentin' in's not looking good for him, since he isn't listed in the squad for the Togo team that lost 1-0 to the Saudis yesterday in Holland.

As has explained, that may in fact be a little beneficial for us, at least if you want to see him back as a Metro Red anytime soon. After telling him, his physical attributes and raw style to get lost over the winter, Mo evidently woke up one morning and realized his striking options were, well, shit, and meager shit at that. Cue an interminable period of visa problems (we don't know where the culpability lies, but MF insinuates that the team was partly to blame for these) Togo national team training camps, and so on. We're still waiting. The official Togo Football Federation site - surely the only offish national team webpage with naked Kelis photos posted front and center* - is shockingly devoid of reports on the situation.

But if it is true that the team is only offering Abbe a $10,000 developmental contract, can you blame him for looking elsewhere? I'd go fishing for a while, too.

On the other hand, with Peguero scoring this weekend, and the news that Jozy Altidore is back, and scoring with the reserves, one wonders if there's that much interest from the Metro end anymore, anyway.

*Ha! Made you look. Can't wait to see how my keyword stats are skewed by people searching for "naked Kelis photos".

Red Bull: tasting an awful lot like Hateorade


If I listened long enough to you
I'd find a way to believe that it's all true
Knowing that you lied straight faced while I cried
Still I look to find a reason to believe

Someone like you makes it hard to live
Without somebody else
Someone like you makes it easy to give
Never thinking of myself

If I gave you time to change my mind
I'd find a way to leave the past behind

Knowing that you lied straight faced while I cried

Still I look to find a reason to believe

So the two or three fortnights of our discontent have brought us to where schmaltzy covers of tragic folkies mean something deep...deep, man. Metro Reds fans - the very few that are left, going by the dismal non-Shakira-doubleheader home crowd and tumbleweedy message boards - are looking hard for something, anything to latch on to with this team. Can you name much of anything that qualifies, offhand? The fact that Meola is still ambulant at his advanced age and capable of keeping us (somewhat) close? The fact that Jeff Parke has rediscovered his almost-being-thought-of-as-a-possibility-for-the-fringe-of-the-US-B-team form? The fact that Marvell Wynne hasn't been eaten by a marauding wolf, or had his legs broken by a marauding Franchino? Beyond that, what? Michael Lewis reels off facts and stats that draw a picture of one of the worst starts in team and league history.

It just isn't much fun being a Metro Reds supporter right now. You can hold your cheap catcalls about "was it ever?" Yes, there have been plenty of times in the 1o years prior when a little frisson of fun did bubble up through the mediocrity. And at least things could be interesting. Right now, they're not even interesting. This is a badly built (or badly deconstructed, then hastily abandoned) team we're stuck with right now, reliable producers of the most mind-numbing matches of the week in MLS (the Chivas 0-0 draw, I thought, was a not-scintillating, not-totally-abysmal exception) and its hard not to tip over into sheer negativity when you realize this. If you're going to devote any attention to them at all.

Negativity swiftly stops being fun, too, unless it becomes your stock in trade - the bitter, poisonous fuel of those grubby crabs who follow consistent, hopeless cellar dwellers and revel in their destiny as losers. They need to lose to be who they are, gleefully wallowing in and tasting their own poison, because they'll be forced to swallow it anyway. Metro supporters may have a little of that knowing masochism and will to suffer in their makeup, but I'll be damned if I go through much more of it for the sake of a marketing project like RBNY.

Still I look to find a reason to believe.

As someone stung on multiple levels by the March changeover, I know I've been exceedingly critical and down on the whole RB thing. Negative all along. We're now 2 months into the new era, and, unfortunately, I've been more right than wrong about where and how this is going. Right that it would upend the team on and off the field in bad ways, right that Red Bull wasn't going to recast us as "more traditionally European" (people who think a sponsor on the front of the shirt = European ought to ask around for some help), right that nothing of substance was changing in the short-term (this season), right that the only thing in it for us now is the surrender of the club's identity, name and colors - the things that real supporters care about most, because these things are what we started with and are our continuity. Not because they weren't contrived or conflicted at some point, either. But we all bought into it and made it ours.

There are a whole set of assumptions some hopeful folks continue counting on - Red Bull has tons of money they're dying to spend, Red Bull won't stand for losing. I'll work on picking those apart in the next few days, because I don't think they're necessarily founded in reality. There's another assumption that I find especially troubling; the one which holds that we might just throw this transition year away, and come back strong next year when RB has all its people and players - Ronaldos and Figos, of course - in place. Then you'll see what New York soccer is all about!

What a disastrous line of thinking that is. RB already used up its honeymoon/fresh start card with the New York area public, and has been following it up with duds ever since. This organization only needs 2006 to approach the '99 level of futility, and they'll be solidly and permanently irrelevant here. Does that sound too dark? Permanently irrelevant?

Yes, permanently. I think this organization, and MLS, are uncomfortably close to losing any shot at the NYC soccer market.

Still I look to find a reason to believe.

We've been talking about must-win games for so long now that it sounds farcical to talk about today being a need-to-have. But if we can't win at home tonight, against a Chicago team that's been making abundant use of that Motel 6 league sponsor deal, then when can we? Moreover, does Mo survive if we don't? After him, the shakeout of shakeouts.

BigAppleSoccer says we'll be doing without Buddle, Graham and Magee today. So unless it's a negative number, I'd take the under. And even then, it might be worth a shot.

Ives says Steve Jolley makes his season debut in the 3-5-2, and Marvell Wynne sits. That's not going to help his march to the Rookie of the Year award.

Speaking of the BR - "Red Bulls need a shakeup"; "Red Bulls need wings" - just when will the Bergen Record headline writer exhaust his supply of broad, cutesy drink-related references?

Last week was a strong one for everyone from the Reds (hey, they didn't drop any points) to me, as I tipped back over .500: current record (as of the morning of 5/13) - 17-16 (3 correct scores).

Dallas 3 Houston 1
New England 2 Chivas 1
Metro Reds 1 Chicago 1
Columbus 2 Colorado 0
DC 2 KC 2
Galaxy 1 RSL 0

My Bye Week


Just predictions for the moment:
Last week saw my record dip below .500 for the first time in 2006. Trying to pick it up with...

New England 2 Galaxy 0
KC 1 Chicago 1
Houston 3 Dallas 1
RSL 2 Columbus 1
Colorado 1 DC 0

Eric Wynalda's World Cup predictions


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Czech Republic 1, Ditk....ah....Taylor Twellman 13
Taylor Twellman 9, Italy 2
Taylor Twellman 40, Ghana 0

I'm only joking a little.

"First stage prediction: The U.S. beats the Czechs 1-0 (on a set piece), ties Italy 1-1 and destroys Ghana 3-0 to earn a birth into the next round."

Uh huh.

Commercializing soccer: the good side


Maradona for Brazil was worth a laugh, and the new Gatorade US Soccer spot is a nice recap of where we've been in the last year and a half, but this Carlsberg ad from the UK takes the prize for the winningest soccer ad I've seen in a long time. If you've ever dragged your ass out of bed on a Saturday or Sunday morning to have a game, you'll see everything about it is just perfect. Except you didn't play for what's probably the best pub team in the world. Thanks to the Matchnight blog for the link.

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