Friday, August 8, 2014

Pinch This

photo by BrentDPaynevia PhotoRee

Ed is back, and even Pep Guardiola can not escape his withering glare:
WTF with Pep avoiding the Timbers coach after the MLS All-Star game on Wednesday night and refusing to shake his hand?  The coach isn’t out there tackling people, the players are.  And is it a surprise that MLS players after being summarily rejected by their European counterparts have a bit of an inferiority complex and want to come out strong against Bayern?  I always thought Pep was the good guy in the Bizarro World run-ins with the Special One (the face pinching incident is particularly repulsive and mind-blowing reminder of how European soccer coaches can behave) but now I’m beginning to wonder.  Especially after his “we will prepare more next year” comments, as is the MLS all-stars have been sequestered at a compound reviewing tapes and preparing sets for the All Star Game.  What it does scream, in no uncertain terms, is “Sour Grapes!”  Here’s the deal, Pep:  you lost 2 - 1 against a team that was better than you yesterday – partly because they were in full season form, partly because they gave more of a damn about the game, partly because some of those guys are good**, and partly because neither Ribery nor Robben were playing. 
Plus, losing this game might actually be a good thing for you to do.  Remember Pep, America is an ATM for clubs like yours as many of the GM’s in Europe have attested to.  But can you really be surprised or outraged at two tough tackles?  When your club took the substantial jingle to come here it did so with the knowledge that it would have to play a competitive soccer game, too – see the last ten or so years of this game – and that it wouldn’t be a mere roll-over for your players to waive their hands and walk away with a 5-0 victory.  Playing the part of the petulant child who turns his back to an MLS coach doesn’t go over well in the GDUS of A.  If you want to get into it with the other coach, we expect you to go all Jim Harbaugh on him, not to just present your back or pinch the assistant coaches face.  We are honestly so shocked at that kind of wimpy adolescent behavior that we usually respond with bewilderment rather than anger.  Losing sucks, we all know that, but you ought to get used to it because the USA is starting to wake up to soccer in the same way it did for the Olympics, and I think you know what happened there.

**Dempsey and Martins are dangerous against anyone it seems; that finish from Lewandowski was terrific, the one from Wright-Phillips was better; Donovan scored again, begging the question once again as to why he wasn’t on the USA national team; DeAndre Yedlin was again dangerous down the right side of the field; MLS all stars are not as good as European all-star teams like Bayern – even their second team featured all-stars from around the world -- but they are clearly as good as the teams in the middle of the table in those leagues.

This is farlieonfootie for August 8.

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