Friday, March 16, 2012

Friday Footnotes

Baltimore United... not just yet

Orlando City's nearest MLS rival, DC United, may not be moving further north to Baltimore after all. For the record, DC is 880 miles from Orlando as the crow flies, so an extra 40 miles to Baltimore wouldn't make that much of a difference. The Washington Post's "Soccer Insider" Steven Goff reported earlier this week that DCU and Events DC were close to agreeing on a new two year lease of RFK Stadium with more favorable financials for the team. To put it in perspective it is kind of like telling your landlord that unless he gets rid of the rats, fixes the plumbing, and repairs the walls, you're moving out. He turns around and reduces the rent and although you are living in a dump, you choose to stay because it is what you know and your options are limited. Events DC didn't bend over backwards to make this work, they simply did enough to keep the team in DC for a little while longer. The same article from Goff also noted talk of a new stadium plan at Buzzard Point adjacent to the Washington Nationals new stadium. Although both items are a step in the right direction, my money is still on a move to Baltimore in the next few years. DC doesn't have the pockets or stomach to build another new sports stadium on the tax-payer's dime.

March Madness

As America focuses on the NCAA Men's Basketball tourney for the next three weeks, the rest of the world is trying to wrap their heads around the other March Madness of the various national and confederation tournaments drawing to a close. Take UEFA Champions League for example, the countries with just one team in the quarterfinals include England, France, Italy, Germany, Portugal, and Cyprus. Hold up, Cyprus? As we highlighted in our article last week, "How about them APOELs", that little team from the Mediterranean island nation of Cyprus had made it to the "elite eight". A crazy as that sounds, the team left from England is Chelsea, the same team that fired their manager just over a week ago. Next take a look at Europa League where both Manchester United and City were knocked out of the tourney yesterday in the Round of 16. Then of course there was the blood bath in Laguna, or what Seattle Sounders fans are calling their worst defeat in team history. The Sounders, even on goal differential in their quarterfinal CONCACAF Champions League went down to Mexico and were destroyed by Santos 6-1. It's hard to described the importance of the confederation tournaments; if your on the losing side you say your focus is on your domestic league title. But ironically enough, the whole reason doing well in your league is to earn a spot in your confederation's club tournament.

The Passing of a Legend

Soccer Legend, John Souza
Couresy of NESN.com
When a sports legend passes away you can typically expect the news networks to pause during their nightly broadcasts or do a segment on the cable news networks to reflect on his or her accomplishments. Last Sunday perhaps the greatest players in American soccer history passed away (not Landon Donovan you bed-wetting dope) and he was recognized as much then as he was in his hay day. John "Clarkie" Souza had one of the most impressive amateur and professional soccer resumes of any domestic player. 3 straight National Amateur Cups, 1 US Open Cup, 2 Olympic Teams, dozens of domestic awards. Arguably his greatest accomplishment was starting in all three matches for the 1950 USMNT in the World Cup including the "greatest upset in soccer history" in the 1-0 win over England. In that tournament he was named to the first team/all-star team, something that has only happened one other time for an American. He grew up in Fall River, Massachusetts and played for the Fall River Ponta Delgada (formerly the Fall River Marksmen) which was one of the top teams in America. But for all of his accomplishments on the field, he was most proud of serving in the Navy during World War II, celebrating his Portuguese heritage, and having a steady factory job to provide for his family. We take a moment to reflect on one of the original torchbearers for the sport in America, whether he wanted to be or not.

1 comment :

  1. Sounders...sigh. It was encouraging to see them put the Laguna thwomping behind them and get the job done against Toronto on Saturday. Onward and (scarves) up(ward).

    ReplyDelete

 
Copyright © The Scoring Third
Design by FThemes | Blogger Theme by Lasantha - PBT | NewBloggerThemes.com