Photo by ISIphotos.com
How wild was last night?
If you watched Mexico-Panama last night hoping to get some insight into the U.S. national team's biggest rival you were treated to a night filled with ugliness, absurdity and unintentional comedy. It was okay to laugh, but also okay to be angry.
Why angry when it was Mexico, and its fans, who were left looking silly? Anytime fan violence takes place at soccer games in this country it just adds more ammo to the soccer haters who love any chance they get to ridicule the sport. As much as you may have wanted to laugh at the mayhem at Reliant Stadium, that amusement came at the cost of some respectability for the sport of soccer.
What did I think of Aguirre's Rockette impression? I think it was foolish but not vicious or really intentional. I know U.S. fans want to pile on but I think Aguirre was just guilty of a clumsy late challenge that even Pablo Mastroeni would have considered poor (okay, so not everyone got this joke. Listen, Aguirre thought the ball was dead and put his leg in, Phillips ran into him and that's pretty much it. Aguirre was dumb for being so close to the field and the referee was dumber for giving Ricardo Phillips a red card).
So what else is going on? Here are some other news tidbits, observations and notes to consider as we get through Friday:
The Charlie Davies transfer saga is finally over (we think). First, L'Equipe reported the deal was done, then Davies denied that it was done via Twitter, but now Sochaux has announced that the transfer is done pending a physical. If it is done this time, then that's good news, although it could mean the end of Davies' Gold Cup participation.
Red Bulls fans can't be happy about hearing that the club wants to sign hot-shot U.S. Under-20 prospect Dilly Duka but were rejected by MLS. The New York Post reported on Thursday that the club tried to sign him but were denied by MLS. So what's the story? The word I've gotten is that the Red Bulls have been denied Duka because he wasn't an official academy player before attending Rutgers (he is now a member of the Red Bulls Under-20 team). Teams must have contact The rule is in place to keep MLS teams from raiding area colleges of young talent and claiming them through their youth systems. So basically, even though the Red Bulls are ready to sign Duka, and he sounds very interested in signing with the Red Bulls, it won't happen.
Let's keep it on the subject on Generation adidas. If you're hoping for your team to sign one of its youth academy players to a Generation adidas contract you may have to wait a while. I'm hearing that the funds used to pay for Generation adidas players are tightand MLS isn't going to approve any new players unless it is a truly special player. Is the lack of funding recession-related, or just a case of MLS having already signed its share of players to Generation adidas contract? Who knows, but it is becoming more and more absurd how many obstacles stand in the way of MLS teams landing quality young talent.
My ESPN story on the U.S. team's first two Gold Cup matches should be up later today so keep an eye out for that. Among the topics is Freddy Adu, who had a disappointing Gold Cup to say the least. As much as he deserves criticism, he also shouldn't be written off. He's 20 and is still a very skillful player. He just needs games and without games his form will continue to diminish. I said it months ago, and say it again, Adu needs to consider a league like Denmark or Belgium, where he could potentially find a starting role. It isn't as glamorous as France or Portugal, but he needs the experience. You need only look at Benny Feilhaber as someone who benefited from a move to a smaller European league.
That's all for now. Feel free to share your thoughts on any of these subjects in the comments section below.