It is Wednesday afternoon on an extremely slow news day in the soccer world (well, except for that big game in London in a few hours) and I'm trying to come up with topics as I await some interviews here at the New York Red Bulls practice facility.
This post is a bit more blog-ish than the standard SBI news fare, which may become a new trend as we move forward. I wanted to go over some topics to discuss as everyone counts down to Chelsea-Barcelona.
Here are some topics I wanted to touch on:
How good or bad is the Los Angeles Galaxy? I personally haven't been impressed when I've watched the Galaxy play, but you can't deny that LA has been IN every game its played this year, and LA is unbeaten on the road. Does that mean LA is a good team? I won't go that far yet, but the veteran-laden team is showing something. They probably deserve more credit than I've given them and they'll have a chance to prove that vs. Real Salt Lake and Seattle.
The Anton Peterlin story created quite a buzz in American soccer circles, but it should be pointed out that Peterlin has yet to actually sign a contract with Everton. He has an offer he won't be able to accept until the summer and he still has a season to play with the Ventura County Fusion. From what I have heard, Peterlin is very much a project and anyone who thinks he's close to stepping on the field at Everton should probably slow their enthusiasm. Top European clubs make speculation signings all the time, so the 'Cap Peterlin' cheer can probably wait.
I know people want to hear my take on the Red Bulls. That will come later today. What I will say is that while there's no denying that the club is off to an awful start, the fan clamor for the dismissal of head coach Juan Carlos Osorio is a head-scratcher. Apparently helping the Red Bulls to their first MLS Cup just six months ago doesn't mean much to some Red Bulls fans these days. I have a feeling that the frustration has to do with 13 mostly-disappointing years than six terrible weeks.
The Red Bulls practiced on their grass field for the first time this year and let's just say the players are happy about training on grass. When asked how it felt to train on the real stuff, Juan Pablo Angel let out a sigh and his reaction was one of a very relieved player. Angel has been dealing with back pain all season, pain he has attributed, at least in part, to training full-time on turf.
Canadian defender Andrew Hainault is off to a good start with the Houston Dynamo, which has to leave Toronto FC fans wondering how TFC didn't snatch up the Canadian Under-23 central defender. I know Toronto has some other defenders in mind for the summer, but with Hainault looking like a pretty good player, you have to wonder whether Toronto missed the boat on that one.
Now I'm not saying Abby Wambach meant to injure Daniela, but it is definitely an interesting coincidence that Wambach injures a Brazilian national team player badly less than a year after she suffered her own broken leg against the Brazilian national team (an injury that caused her to miss the Olympics. I think it's just a coincidence and a clumsy challenge, but I can't help but wonder what the media in Brazil are saying (assuming the media in Brazil is paying WPS any mind).
The Cuauhtemoc Blanco-Jair Marrufo jersey swap story has begun to fade and one thing I can't help but notice is that for the second time in three months a Mexican was caught doing something he wasn't supposed to at Crew Stadium. Mexican national team assistant coach Paco Ramirez was caught slapping Frankie Hejduk outside the Crew locker rooms following the USA-Mexico match. So if you're Mexican, and you're at Crew Stadium, don't think you're getting away with anything.
That's all for now. Apologies for the lack of posts so far today, but I'll be back with Champions League commentary of the Chelsea-Barcelona match, as well as notes from today's Red Bulls practice session.
What do you think of the above topics? Think the Galaxy deserve more credit? Did TFC drop the ball on Hainault? Are you a fed up with the Red Bulls, or do you still have some hope?
Share your thoughts below.