Tuesday’s Column: A Beggar for Good Soccer

Read it here.

And don’t forget to take the Goalkeeper of the Year poll.

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About Nick Green

South Bay-based Los Angeles News Group soccer columnist and blogger Nick Green writes at the 100 Percent Soccer blog at www.insidesocal.com/soccer and craft beer at the Beer Goggles blog at www.insidesocal.com/beer. Cheers!
  • Nick,

    I love you for wanting better futbol – or prettier futbol more precisely. Seriously. I’m not one who gets annoyed that you continually ask MLS to be a better league.

    But. (You knew that was coming, right?)

    But, I have to say that, in watching all the playoff games from last week, I was thoroughly entertained by most of them, especially the 0-0 draw in Seattle. I note that your take down of that game actually strays quite a bit from your thesis of “ugly playoff games” by taking the poor man’s cop out of “no goals = bad for futbol in America”.

    That game was quick, featuring slashing runs, crunching tackles, and great plays all over the field. It was easy to watch and stay engaged. I personally would say that it was fairly close to an objective “beautiful game” standard.

    So… Let’s take Kevin Payne’s statement regarding unwatchable games in MLS and agree with it. But then let’s point out that while the games over last week may not have been close to an objective “beautiful game” standard, they did deliver excitement and a certain “watchability” that the League often lacks during the depths of summer.

    I guess what I’m saying is that this column’s secondary thesis – that MLS ain’t pretty most of the time is therefore bordering on unwatchable – is not supported by the games used as examples. They were watchable. They were exciting. And, no, with the exception of the product on display at XBOX Pitch, they weren’t pretty. But that’s just not the same thing as not pretty = unwatchable.

    Finally… Yes. We all know MLS ain’t pretty for all the reasons you put at the top of the column. Wow. You’ve been covering MLS for how long now? You’ve uncovered a scandal! What a scoop!

    I wouldn’t be so sarcastic if you had offered anything like a “well I like some of it anyway” or a “you know, by doing these three realistic things MLS could get much more watchable quickly” in the body of the column.

    But no. Just bitching.

    Dude. You can do better. You know it and I definitely know it.

  • Wow.

    Payne was fired for *that*?

    It’s not like he said “MLS is a farce” or “The commisioner is a moron”. He merely told the truth!

  • I wrote “fired” [sic] but meant “fined” …

  • Payne wasn’t fired. He was fined (typo?) $5,000 for saying the other teams play like *ss.

  • mbar

    bitch, bitch, moan, moan.

    That’s all it takes to be a sports writer these days.

  • Studs Up

    An English journalist calling for the game to be played beautifully is not a novel idea on these shores. Poor Paul Gardner has been on that beat for a 100 years with the British and the modern game his main target.

    But congrats Nick for reviving the topic. When I ask for balanced discussion of the game here, this is what I’m hoping to read. Acknowledge the effort but rip it apart and try to analyze it. Don’t let it disappear. Confront the coaches and players and ask them to explain. The American game and the American players need to be scrutinized by a concerned press corp. Unless there is pressure on the players and coaches from a knowing public and press they will not change nor improve. The short comings of the American players and coaches should not be brushed under the rug.

    Kevin Payne’s fine should be picked up by the press for doing their job.

    Now how to fix the problem is another issue. My favorite solution is to send all the boys age 6 to Brasil and Argentina and don’t bring them back until they are 18.

    PS – I see a lot of effort in the right direction with the U17 team under Wilmer Cabrera. The English influence should be minimized in American soccer if you want to see the beautiful game develope here.

  • Joseph D’Hippolito

    Well said, Studs Up.