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

Direct Kickin' Again - the 47th round edition


"Here's Justin Mapp, opening up his legs again."

Thank you, New England PbP Guy, for inspiring me to shut off the TV and do something with my Sunday.

More Direct Kickin' - the 10:56er


From the "huh - who woulda thought" files:

"Niemi twice denied Trevor Sinclair and also Claudio Reyna, although David James was hardly idle in the City goal. The impressive Simon Elliott brought an excellent fingertip save from the England keeper, although Cottagers skipper Luis Boa Morte should have done far better than glance a close-range header wide seven minutes before the break." (

"9 - Clint Mathis" (
Note the conspicuous absence of a little red arrow and "70" afterwards. Wow.

So, who was in charge of Taylor Graham's uniform tonight? 5 demerits for forgetting about the "Red Bulls" on the back (alternatively, well done on that one, now try to "forget" about the other 10 next time), and 3 off for affixing the Adidas logo somewhere around "epaulet on an army tunic" level.

Speaking of, I want to like Graham. Really, I do. A lot of Metrofanatics were skeptical of an A-League defender with his pedigree amounting to much, but I saw the possibility of another Mendes, or even Zavagnin story. So far, the skeptics have been right and I've been wrong. He's scaring the bejesus out of me back there. Come on Taylor, find your feet already.

So, if you'd written a script for "Metro: The Movie", you couldn't NOT write this part of the script; it's been a shitty start to the season, but finally the team looks half focused, like maybe they'll find a way to scratch out a desperately needed away result. It's neck and neck, and the first goal could make all the difference in the world; that's when the key to the offense pulls up lame 60 yards from where he SHOULD be. And where is our second best option on offense on this most crucial of nights? In a pink cumberbund, doing the Electric Slide at the Villa Maria Banquet & Catering Hall in Hasbrouck Heights.

Direct Kickin' - 8:24 edition


Notes and gripes:

Could John Harkes possibly employ more words to less effect than he does now on the DC telecast? After Greg Vanney cleaned Freddy Adu out a little roughly from behind, Harksie indulged us in a typical 10 second stream-of-consciousness tangent that somewhere, somehow, may pass for "commentary" - but to the rest of us just sounds stupid and pointless. It went a little something like this; "well, that's Vanney, with all his experience, playing in Europe, in France for a few years, and he was with the LA Galaxy before that, and then he came back here to MLS to play for Dallas." Well thank you, John, for the nonlinear career capsule, but w.t.f.? Combine him with the guy who yelps "It's in the net! It's in the net!" - still the clear winner for most shockingly awful trademark goal call around - and you have a broadcast team that gives me a migraine. These guys could make Brazil '70 vs. Team Cloned-Ronaldinho an unwatchable drag.

Don't look now, but Ben Olsen has struck again in his insidious one-man plot to sabotage the 2006 US World Cup effort by making the team. Yep - following that weak dribbler against Jamaica that my seven year old cousin would have palmed away imperiously, the former American Taliban-alike cued another one off the end of the bat and through the infield for a seeing-eye base-goal tonight. Nedved and Essien are now furiously saying novenas for him to complete the hat trick in the second half and nip that last spot in the US midfield.

That Freddy Adu - besides being kinda fast, and having a nice stepover or two, is having a blinder tonight. As in, I think he's crossing with his eyes closed or something. Nightmare.

Nice strike by Ronnie O'Brien to tie things up, certainly aided by Troy Perkins going after it with all the alacrity of a slapstick fat man chasing a bunch of papers around in a stiff wind.



Quick predictions, more later.

RSL 2 Galaxy 4
DC 2 FC Dallas 0
Columbus 1 KC 0
Colorado 2 Houston 3
Chivas 2 Metro 1
New England 3 Chicago 0

Season record: 11-11 (2)

Caution: rehabilitation of Diego entering "cute phase"


If Maradona suffers nightmares of playing for Brazil after a little too much Guarana Antarctica, what the hell kind of bad soccer dreams was he having back when he was neck-deep in the charlie?

"Something involving Exit 16W, synthetic turf, and a smiling, moustachioed Italian-American man," he answered, all too cynically.

One glorious afternoon in the Swamp


If you were at the Meadowlands on Saturday afternoon, you couldn't help but feel astonished at what you saw. You hoped - no, you expected it might be something like that. But that good? Really? Never mind the previous forms of the two teams - a story of two sides going in opposite directions quickly. This is an ongoing blood feud, and those rarely yield laughers.

So it seemed this one would be a nailbiter, too. What started off as a close contest changed dramatically about halfway in. All too inevitably, the more organized, more discipline, more spirited, all around better side seized the game by the scruff of the neck and took it away. It was decided early in the second stanza by a irresistible flurry of goals, but the piece de resistance, for me anyway, came in the latter stages of the tilt; a broken play, a swift turnover, and then in one delectable move, our forward controlled, stepped, and casually back-heeled over to a wide-open teammate for an easy goal. Stylish. Astonishing.

Yes, for a Devils fan like me, beating the living hell out of the Rangers was like a two and a half hour orgasm.

And oh, the Reds played at the same time across the parking lot? So they did. "Played," if you're being charitable. I'm only being charitable out of pity, pity for the players and coaching staff, who have been thrust into an untenable situation and are doing what they can. I don't believe that the talent gap between this team and the rest of MLS is that wide - there are good players on this Metro side. Nor is Mo Johnston necessarily a coaching charlatan. But given all that's gone on - not just in the past week, but since the takeover itself, Saturday's result shouldn't have surprised anyone. I didn't make it through the entire match - too busy watching the Devils-Rangers game in the company of an agonizing Blueshirt buddy to bother with it, to be honest - but I saw enough. Right now, this team's got nothin'. But we knew that, didn't we? The parts aren't there, and what parts are there, aren't working right. What was most startling Saturday was the sense that those rumors we've been hearing about Youri - those saying that he detests the whole Red Bull takeover, that he came over to have some fun playing and win a championship here, and is inclined to eye the exit now - is being reflected a little in his play, a little more in rumors that he and Amado are on the outs (if they were ever on the ins).

The only semi-interesting thing about this game would be the admittedly "dumb" post-goal celebration by Helmet Boy. Was it classless? Funny? Clever? Disrespectful? Worthy of a card? Or should everyone just shut up about it already? Over on the winning side of things, DCenters tries to equate it with Clint Dempsey's rococo celebrations, like his home run swing at the home of the Washington Nationals last season.
Well, that's not quite right, D. As much as both kinds of celebration are premeditated (like a lot of goal celebrations, of course), there is a significant degree of difference - a more caustic brand of salt for the wound - when you start adding props into the mix. Nor was this prop the self-glorifying, look-at-me kind, like Joe Horn and his hidden cellphone. The spirit of this was pure show-them-up, in-their-face, and in their house.

Thing is, why should we care? On one level, I don't. Make fun of Red Bull, for all I care. It's a stupid product, with a stupid name, and a stupid image which I've got no affinity for. The problem is, its stupid identity is now firmly tied to the identity of this team, leaving it wide open to dopey, contrived shit like Special Alecko's stunt. Funny funny, ha ha.
However, if you're a team in crisis (and this team clearly is), on the edge of coming apart at the seams (as I believe this team is), you have to do something there to show you still have a pulse. That you're not just going to be trod over and made to look like a gutless laughingstock in front of the few fans left caring.

There were 18 minutes between Eskandarian's second goal - the de facto end of the contest, given the toothlessness of the Metro Red attack - and his substitution out of the game; that was ample time for someone in Red to attempt to seat Alecko in the stands for 6-to-52 weeks. And it's an indictment (as well as a damn shame) that not one player on this shambling, disconnected bunch of individual runners wearing a meaningless shirt had the ability, the will, or the nuts to try it. Medieval, brutal and rashly unsportsmanlike? Yes, of course; it's also quite likely what would happen if this was a team in anything other than name, something more than a simulacrum of a soccer club. Ask Mo or Youri about the probable results, if someone pulled that playground crap in a league they played in. It wouldn't likely be pretty, and the odds on that team ending up with a Fair Play award would lengthen considerably, but so be it. Is it too much to ask, for someone to Roy-Keane-on-Alf-Inge-Haaland him? Go finish the job Matt Reis started, for God's sake. Try and do something in response.
Look, it was damned apparent to anyone with a pair of eyes that this team was not getting back into the game, so "score a bunch of goals" isn't really the answer. Yet you have to do something, anything. Eric Wynalda actually observed something valuable (yeah, shocked me too) when he noted how the team's reaction to Youri's goal, well, sucked. This team is anything but right now, and with more change imminent, it's going to get a lot worse before it gets better.

Well, at least we've got the Devils.

More on them, and other stuff, later



Another dud week for Metrologist predictions saw me go 2-4, bringing me up to 9-9 for the season. On the bright side, I did nail one of the correct scores (my first of the season). Unfortunately for Metro fans like me, the one I got was the gasping, grasping 1-1 road draw to a wilted RSL.

For those of you keeping track (and surely, the only one doing so is me), my 9-9 puts me 2 behind Marc Connelly, 2 ahead of Jeff Bradley, and well ahead of Ives Galarcep, who went 1-5 in his first week of picks.

Week 4

DC 3 Reds 1 (I hate to think this'll be the game in which we break. Prove me wrong, guys. Please.)
Houston 2 RSL 1
LA 2 Columbus 0
FCD 2 KC 2

MLS's Worst Kept Secret No Longer Secret

0 comments (and Univision TV in New York, according to online observers) is reporting what we all already knew: Alexi Goes To Hollywood.

Well, at least he was upfront about the situation up to this point.

Let the fireworks begin.

Matchups, predictions, and a thought on capped Reds



Kin of Fish has your Red-RSL breakdown here. He's calling them "must-have points," which I semi-sorta agree with, but he imagines we'll end up having them in the end. I don't see it. Hate to be the pessimist, but this game absolutely stinks of draw to me. 1-1 is my prediction.

I've been shadowing the Bradley-Connelly Derby going on over at Marc's blog; after a hot 5-1 start, last week wasn't nearly so good to me. 2-4 in week 2 puts me at 7-5 (0 correct scores) which knots up the Battle of Connecticut (Connelly's a fellow CT-er, in case ya didn't know.)
Here's my list for week 3.

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

Watching Tony Meola get his 100th cap against Jamaica on Tuesday got me wondering; if that's the last time he gets called up by Bruce (and all things being equal, I'll wager that it is) how long will it be before we see another Red called up for the US? Sometime in 2007? With no one else in the present group of 35, and very few of them even knocking on the door, it's very possible isn't it? Perhaps another question should be, who's going to be the next Metro to get called up to the national team? Buddle? Wynne? Arvizu or Altidore? It could be quite a while before a Red is wearing red white and blue again.

Worth reading


Here's an provocative piece on Red Bull marketing and obscure extreme sport events like kiteboarding to Cuba, which you might be interested in. It's a bit of an eye-opener for those out there who think Red Bull = standard, intuitive marketing in any way shape or form, and sheds some light on what RB's "marketing genius" is really based upon. Question is, does so-called "murketing" sell soccer in the U.S.? Call me very, very skeptical.

A few choice snippets.

"You don't drink this stuff for the flavor — it's been described, accurately, as tasting like liquid Sweetarts — but for the effect. It’s supposed to give you a boost — it "vitalizes body and mind," as the can puts it. Presumably this explains why Red Bull associates itself with fringe athletics. Marinkovic joined me by my umbrella. I asked him about the drink, and he stared at the Red Bull can in his hand. But he didn’t say anything about the various promises printed on the back ("Increases endurance," "Stimulates the metabolism," and so on). "It makes a good mixer with Vodka," he said. "And it’s kind of a hangover cure."


Maybe it was the Red Bull, but the beach scene struck me as odd. It wasn't the apparent incongruity of a drink postures as an aid to sporting achievement but is also widely used as a party potion. Nor was it the maddening uncooperativeness of Red Bull's PR flacks, which I'd experienced from the moment I first contacted the company. (I'd originally been invited to ride in one of the boats escorting the kiteboarders to Cuba. Then I was disinvited. Then the trip was postponed and I was invited again. But it was postponed again; from there I entered an information-free loop of shifting dates and contingencies. I finally compromised and decided I would accompany the crew only as far as Key West.)

No, what seemed weird was that this was a marketing event no one knew about. There was no advance press release. There was no Red Bull tent set up to attract local news crews to cover this zany enterprise, or hand out free samples to curious onlookers. For that matter there were no curious onlookers.


"Usually the wizards of branding want to be extremely clear about what their product is for and who's supposed to buy it. Red Bull does just the opposite. Everything about the company and its sole product is intentionally vague, even evasive. While the drink appears to be targeted specifically at someone — extreme athletes, ravers, cosmopolitan students — the brand identity is actually pretty nebulous."


Mateschitz avoids such nagging issues by almost never being interviewed, and my requests to speak with him were turned down flat.

"He doesn't like the media," offered Emmy Cortes, Red Bull's U.S. spokeswoman. But she assured me he is "a very charismatic gentleman" in his "midfifties," single, and "kind of a playboy." Here she added an impish laugh, which seemed a little practiced. "Not even that many people in the company have met — or even seen a picture of — Dietrich. He's almost like a myth within the company." Again with the laugh. Cortes also told me I would not be able to speak with Red Bull’s marketing and strategic planning chiefs for North America, where the drink first appeared in 1997. This coyness, she explained, was of a piece with "the mystique of the brand."
(Hmm, that's just what I want in a guy running my team. Didn't we already have one of those guys?)


"Red Bull has supposedly crafted a strong identity for a specific target audience; the truth is that its identity is purposefully indistinct. Reticence, you see, is the first rule of murketing: Stay silent about what it is that makes you different, and eventually someone else will supply the answers."
(Again, does this strike you as a winning formula to market soccer?)

(Be sure to read through to the end, and note the difference between what happened between Florida and Cuba, and what Red Bull said happened...)
"All of which brings us to the final lesson of murketing, which is: Never let the truth get in the way of your brand’s message."

Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

A Vote For Giorgio Is A Vote For Fun


A few days ago on Metrofanatic, I speculated that by the end of the week, both protagonists in the offseason Amado-Alexi sideshow might be out of the organization. Denials are flying out of the O'Brien camp (which doesn't mean a whole lot to me), but things are still heating up on the Lalas-to-LA front. I really don't doubt that Big Red and Red Bull will very soon be parted; it only makes sense that Lalas hung around to see the home opener out, and with that done spent yesterday's day off packing his beach clothes. Board rumors of a FO shakeout make this scenario seem that much more likely. The real heavy lifting, or at least enough of it, is done. If RB plans on bringing in its own crew this season, now's the time to do it.

What next for us, then?
The Metrologist can't even begin to fathom the words "Nick" "Sakiewicz" and "return." Please, make yourself a drink or something while I go rinse my brain.

Do we have other names?
As it turns out, we do. One that's striking the fear of God in the hearts of Metro fans, pro- and anti- Red Bull alike.

Gli mics sono delizioso.

We all need a little perspective.
The worst of all possible choices isn't Chinaglia, you see. Sure, he's an insufferable, deluded blowhard, dismissive of the organization and the league in general, who will kill this Red Bull experiment stone-dead. And with it, NYC-area pro soccer for another generation. But at least it will be a spectacular fiasco, the soccer-world manifestation of an elephant dosed up on a bucket of roofies, forced to pedal a dynamite-laden bicycle across a highwire four stories over a fireworks truck, while Our Sisters of Immaculate Agony perform an interpretive dance upon its back. If you've got to see it all go poof!, don't you want to see it go like that? Finally, finally MLS will have a certifiable-lunatic chairman/president figure of its own, something American soccer (and American sports in general, wretched province of so many "rational"- spit! - men) has long lacked. I'm not just talking eclectic, harmless, mid-table cute crazy, a la Dimitry Piterman. No no, there is a whole 'nother level to aspire to, a tinpot despot plane you only reach by exhibiting that special blend of swagger, malevolence, detachment from reality, spite, volatility, megalomania and just-plain-nutsiness that guys like Eurico Miranda and the late Jesus Gil y Gil had leaching out their pores.
Now, I'm not saying Giorgio Chinaglia is up to that standard just yet, people. But he's young, he's a comer, and he's got it. We need to grab him while we can, and allow him to develop it.

You're damn right he'll make them run on time.

Yes, under the guy who helped coax organizations like the Cosmos, Lazio and Champions World into crippling and/or unrecoverable nosedives, Metro area soccer will be dead within five years, and we'll all be heartbroken, emotionally shattered and pissed-off. But oh, what a ride, right into the mantle of the Earth!

What you really have to fear, what I really do fear, is the appointment of some comparatively colorless Mitteleuropean tactico-crat retread (perhaps one with a nice record to show for himself) who expects to build Metro and run Metro as if this were the Old World, the many idiosyncrasies and challenges of MLS and American soccer be damned.

We've been there.

We've been there again.

And that sucked. We know it just doesn't work. But does RB? Not if rumblings are to be believed. If they really are thinking of either of these options - and there's reason to think they very much are - it's the road to perdition for us anyway. So ask yourself; if you've got to watch the team actually shrivel up and perish, how do you want it to be - like Wile E Coyote, throwing an anvil off a cliff without ever paying attention to the rope looped around his leg, or like a pitiable, pallid, depressive salaryman, choking down a bottle full of Value-Rite sleeping pills and a fifth of Korski in a dank-smelling motel by the freeway?

So, that half-baked experiment in live-blogging Saturday's game ended right around the instant Time Warner finally picked up the phone (was it only an hour's worth of the "Seedy Cinemax Soft Porn Sax Grooves" CD I heard?) and activated Direct Kick for me. TV and computer are rooms apart here at Metrologist World Headquarters, and I wasn't up to running back and forth for yous, when I could be sprawled on the couch with something greasy and fattening. Wouldn't have been such a problem if MLS HQ types weren't so predictably asleep at the switch, or should I say, half-soused on gratis RB & vodkas in the swamp Stadium Club, safe in the knowledge that some short-straw-drawing sophomore intern was ready for any contingency. But it's just as well. Some things - and Matchtracker is right at the top of that list, as we were finding out - just don't lend themselves to the cheap snarkiness that is the strength of the mode. While other things - ex-player color commentators on regional sports networks, fat kids in crowd shots, Joey Franchino, Sigi Schmid, and Jack Edwards - positively cry out for it.

I wasn't there for this first home opener under the new regime, so my willingness to deliver uninformed comment aside, I can't say much about how it all came off. A success? A disappointment? Something in between? A little of each, I'm imagining. Talked to two friends and long-time supporters later in the evening, and they said somewhat different things; in two nutshells:
"There were thousands of people there for Shakira/the hoopla, who couldn't have cared less/known less about the team and the game."
Contrast with:
"I came in expecting the worst, but none of the outside spectacle effected my experience at all...I didn't care about it, but it was easy for me to ignore."
So there you have it. More game recap comments on the usual boards, running the gamut.


"The idea of the eternal return is a mysterious one, and Nietzsche has often perplexed other philosophers with it: to think that everything recurs as we once experienced it, and that the recurrence itself recurs ad infinitum! What does this mad myth signify?" - Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

We wonder, Milan. We also wonder: will a 0-0 draw marked only by quasi-medieval brutality in the midfield inspire many of those 35,000 tire-kickers to come back sometime? Well, if nothing else, it probably wasn't the downer a 1-0 loss on a slapstick own-goal would have been. Which is something, I suppose. You know what I was thinking around the 70th minute, because you were thinking it too; it can only be a matter of time now.
It can only be a matter of time.
The expectant first-night crowd inaugurating another bright new age of NYC soccer, the same opponents from up the was all set up to be so grotesquely, yet symmetrically perfect.
This doomed fatalism is the most reliable part of the Metro fan mentality, if not the Metro fan mentality itself. If you weren't making mental bets on which one of our guys was slipping on the Nicola Caricola mask around minute 87, you just aren't a Metro fan. Knowing it would have brightened your evening about as much as the dog vomiting on the sofa, didn't you almost want to see it happen?

Live - Metro Reds vs. New England


Coming up on the end of the first half; 0 Metro shots on goal (granted, Edson hit the post, sez Matchtracker) to 3 for the Revs. 10 fouls as well. Arisrules at MF says Buddle's been strong, Graham pathetic, Wynne showing fast but raw, and everything a state of relative disarray.

Superclub, huh?


Almost a half hour in, and it looks like the live stream is not going to happen. Actually, one senses that what will happen is even worse - the stream will pop up right around the 81st minute, when we're down 3-1. Count on it.

I'm not a specialist in remote viewing by matchtracker, but it looks like we're getting worked. Amado, in particular, seems to be itching for a yellow for persistent infringement. Joe Franchino has more shots on goal than our side. Maybe we don't want to be seeing this one.


Fifteen minutes gone. We're all still scoreless and sightless. 5-0 Metro advantage in the fouls department, so at least we're on top in something. Same lineup as that in DC last weekend, in case you were wondering.

Ok, now we're not even getting the blank screen...that's not a good sign at all.


We're a minute twenty eight in, and O'Rourke and Guevara have already been whistled for scything down New England midfielders. Awesome.

Whoops - that's three, as notorious hard man Chris Henderson upends Clint Dempsey. Can we go 4 for 4 inside of three minutes? Stay tuned...or....trackered.

And....we're live blogging! And writing up assignments for class on Monday! And working off the last bits of the hangover from last night. And....staring at the dreaded black screen of death. Did someone at MLS HQ forget to pay InDemand? Or is the weather playing hav-ock ((c) Ty Keough) with the starting time?

Nope - it's underway. But we're stuck with a Matchtracker for now.

Breaking RBNYNN News Alert: Motocross and flyover cancelled due to inclement weather. Sadly, you'll just have to put up with watching soccer.

Reds v. Revs and more


Whoever's got the RBNY account at Peter Pan Bus Lines has been cleaning up over the past couple weeks, no? A week after the Metro Army rolled down to RFK on the corporate dime, Big Taurine is subsidizing the visit of a few hundred New England fans for today's tilt. I haven't spent much time this week calculating just how many are going to be in the stadium tonight, amidst a maelstrom of rumors and "I heard from my ticket guy that..." type hearsay. I don't think there's any chance of getting the 60-80k numbers that have been bandied about over the past few weeks, Cosmos tribute/Challenger the Eagle/BMX superstars/Crazy Legs Colon/frenetic papering-of-the-house be damned. But the crowd should be big (live is another story), and if you're a longtime Metro fan, you know what that means. Chances are good we're coming out flatter than flat. Kin Of Fish breaks down the matchups, so I don't have to. Which is good, because I largely suck at such position-by-position analysis, and I'm not a big believer in it meaning anything anyway.

Prognosticating is nothing terribly new, but just let Marc Connelly go heads-up with Jeff Bradley on his blog, and suddenly everyone's a Carnac - myself included.
A belated look back at last week's predictions shows that hey, I did pretty damn good. 5-1 isn't a bad way to start the season, but unfortunately there's (almost) nowhere to go but down from here.

Metrologist Picks, week 2:

DC 3 Chivas 1
Metro 3 Revs 2
Houston 1 Kansas City 1
Colorado 1 Columbus 2
LA 1 Chicago 0

Metro Myspace (and Fakespace) Fun


Myspace is one way to kill a couple hours of a stagnant Thursday night. Question is, how many Metros are on - or are faked on - Myspace?

As it turns out, quite a few. Let's start with the ones worth disclosing.

You might still be ruing that state of disarray we seemed to be in through the preseason. Fangueiro? Swiorczew...the hell with it....who WERE those guys? Was the front office doing any work to improve this team between November and February? Or was it backburnered because Alexi was too busy getting his Myspace Music page up and running? Seriously - started the site on 1/16/06? That's five days before the draft, fer chrissakes.

Former Metro or not, Eddie Gaven always seemed like the quiet type. Or the type to get fakespaced by some adoring kid out in the suburbs, a la Freddy Adu and his small army of Fakespacers. Or the considerable number of Landon fake-artists. I'm betting on the latter.

But they're not all fake, and there's where my niggling sense of ethics and privacy rears its ugly head. I could put names and links here for a laugh - and in fact was about to do so. But then, just about all these guys are around my age, and (as you can imagine) are doing the same stupid, silly or just plain fun things there that the rest of us do there. So let them, I say; they're not getting paid enough to give all that up just yet. It's not like they're inviting fans to friend up with them.*
In Page Six style, I'll just ask... which Metro simply says he's "living and working in NYC....and help as a soccer coach to young kids around the area." Well, that's putting it mildly, isn't it? Nice bit of humility there from one of our starters (for the moment, anyway). Maybe that easygoing nature is why he's got so many more lovely ladies on his than I have on mine. Speaking of lovely ladies, a certain Metro midfielder proudly proclaims that he's "found her!!!" Good for you - now get to producing this season if you want to build that special someone a love nest. Click here, click'll find a couple former Metros with something in who seems to have shambled out of the league, another just working his way up overseas. If you're halfway adept, you'll run upon another overseas-based star - I mean a guy you'll be seeing in Germany this summer. Never saw him as the Quagmire type, really. Root around a little bit more, and you might just discover our very own Metro Red Kyle Orton situation. You'll know when you see home..r. Crotch grabs for Metro!

Proof positive that MLS players are just as attuned to the power of social networking, mediated self-expression and identity construction as the rest of us. Or, they too get off on creeping to 17 year olds posing in their boyshorts on those long pregame nights in suburban KC hotels. Either or.

*This whole "allow them a little private space" thing doesn't apply when we're talking about a guy who scored against us last weekend. "Listening to a lot of James Blunt"??? You freaking wuss. Even a Jersey shirt won't redeem you from that.

Metro 2 DC 2: Instant impressions


Meola looks lean, mean and controlled his box.
Parke looks like he's back. Strong game. But man, you coulda had the glory there on that volley.
Mendes is an MLS defender, but gives me agida as an outside defender. When are we gonna trade a bag of cap space to Chivas for Orlando Perez, so they can pick up O'Brien?
Graham is big and will play in this league, but appeared nervy.
Wynne looks funny when he runs. A little bit of crazy legs. But his speed had the right side of the DC attack three-quarters locked up already, and once he's gained some real experience and skill on the ball, you might as well just not come down his side of the field.
O'Rourke takes the smart foul. But I miss Michael Bradley.
Amado was maybe half the presence he has been in seasons past. Not "half as good", just "half as prominent in the course of play". That's not entirely bad, nor good. I'd settle at 75%.
Youri's still magnificent.
If Buddle stays hungry and healthy, we'll forever think fondly about Eddie Gaven - but won't miss him. Did you see him run through the entire DC defense? "Scintillating" is the term, I believe.
At times, some very, very good team defending (something this team has never been good at.) At other times...not.

Those RBNY jerseys....very nice. For a rec league team. 14DelTablon tells Metrofanaticos all about the intense creative process that led to those beauties you saw on the field today. Anyone wanna start a pool on how many iron-on letters/numbers get totally yanked off over the course of the season?

DC banner: "Our Love Don't Cost A Thing". Don't you f'ing hate it when the scum are right? It makes my skin crawl to say it, but I do. It sure would've been nice to see so many fans flaunt their Metro passion when it costed a couple shekels.

Metro vs. DC


I started this blog in the depths of the offseason with a sketchy idea - to write about Metro, from the point of view of a Metro supporter, with one guiding principle: what needs to be done, to make the Metrostars the top team in the US, and a legitimate top team in the region, and eventually in the world of soccer?
(Obviously, I thought it would take a little while)

As I write, there's less than two hours now till the new Metro era gets underway. Strange feeling I get as I say that; I'm feeling a mix of the anticipation that comes at the start of every season, and a real unsettledness that's hard to put a finger on. That's new - I've never felt quite like we were on the cusp of losing this team in the way I feel now. An odd day to say such a thing, I know. Is it true that some good has come of the Red Bull takeover? Undoubtedly. That's been chronicled, and assuming that the 700-strong Metrofan Armada doesn't break apart on the shores of the Delaware this afternoon, there will be a lot more accolades for RB tomorrow. That's fine. But the quease-inducing, ire-raising name change aside, and the Red Bull honeymoon period aside, there is still a shoe that very, very few are watching. At some point - I don't know when or how - it is going to drop.

I had been planning on spending time this afternoon writing a proper season preview, but there are just so many questions around this team, long-term and short-term, that I'd rather let the string play out a little first before commenting. How many certainties does this team have right right now? You got me. As far as starting lineup goes, Ives seems to be throwing names at the wall, even if they're guys that saw limited action in preseason (Canero, Henderson, Wynne). Edson looks ready to go, as well as Youri and Amado - Honduran fender-bender aside.

Final score?

It's a complete shot in the dark, but I'm going to say DC 1, Metro Reds 1. Boswell and Guevara.

Week 1 predictions


Let's see if I can even come close to .500 this year.

The Metrologist's Stone Cold Lock Predictions, v.1

Chicago 1 Dallas 2 (yeah, I know the game is going on already; you'll just have to trust that I figured these predictions out this morning, and have been out doing things all day.)

KC 2 Columbus 1

Los Angeles 2 New England 2

DC 1 Metro Reds 1

Chivas USA 2 RSL 0

Houston 1 Colorado 0

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