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Alexi Lalas: Bad GM, worse prognosticator


For the second straight playoff game, former Los Angeles Galaxy/San Jose/New York Red Bulls general manager Alexi Lalas went on ESPN and stated very confidently that the Red Bulls wouldn’t have much of a chance and would lose in the MLS playoffs, first to Houston, and then to Real Salt Lake.

He was wrong on both counts.

Several Red Bulls pointed this out on Saturday night, and some were praying he would be picking Columbus in the MLS Cup final.

Many were just hoping he would shut up.


  1. I want to say as a long time metro fan that i personally picked red bull to win, so all these people saying even the fans didnt think it would happen don’t know what they’re talking about. Another my predictions may not be as amazing as people may think because I’m a biased supporter so i always pick them to win.

  2. Fair enough. I just thought it was funny to poke fun at a guy for making picks that most MLS fans would have agreed with (myself included). I guess I wasn’t paying much attention when he was bashing them…probably worse than I remember. And even if we disagree about this one, I’m always willing to have a laugh about “sexy football.”

    I have to say, I was genuinely shocked to see him on tv. I kind of figured he was living in a cave somewhere after the Galaxy debacle. I wonder who will be stupid enough to hire him next.

  3. Mike, I never claimed that my picks were better than Alexi’s, nor was my criticism as much about Alexi being wrong as about the way he picked against the Red Bulls. He seemed to revel in what he considered their inevitable destruction.

    And it should be noted that while I did pick Houston to win that series, I didn’t make a prediction before game two, nor did I specifically pick RSL before that game either. I straddled the fence rather than making cocky proclamations on national television, which is fine for Alexi to do. That also means that he can take some stick for it.

  4. I’m not defending Lalas. I’m just saying Ives publicly picked against the Red Bulls, too. And Ives only picked 2 of the 7 playoff matchups correctly. Lalas is an idiot, but I don’t think Ives playoff picks were significantly better. I just find it pretty funny…ironic, too.

  5. Haters! What is this? Defending Lalas? Hating on Ives for his opinion? Hating on the Bulls? Wtf? It’s his blog. He’s been covering this team since forever. Where’s the confusion? This isn’t 1994, you worms. Lalas is way past his cool USMNT red-goateed defender days. He has done a terrible job as an MLS exec. This cannot be denied! So the Red Bulls never played up to their potential all season, and they came THIS close to not making the playoffs at all. Of course nobody picked them. But Lalas did it like a d*ck, on national tv. He’s supposed to be an expert, he needs to act like it. Every game has underdogs, and underdogs sometimes win. Red Bulls best in the MLS? Of course not. You want to see the best, go watch the AllStar game. But in these playoffs, they have kicked ass, and will continue to do so against a superior Columbus team. It’s not about the best, it’s about being the best THAT DAY. The team with more heart. That’s a champion. Look at the Giants of 1990 and last year. They were not the better team, but they won the Superbowl both times. Same w/ the Knicks of 94. They were the better team, but lost to Houston. It happens. So, may the best team win. GO RED BULLS!

  6. to LJ: Seriously get rid of Rob Stone? I actually like Rob Stone, and I remember him from his Worldwide Soccer days on espn2(who else used to stay up at ungodly hours to watch it?) So I’m happy he’s at where he’s at right now. Besides Phil Schoen, the only other respectable sportscaster I would want to watch in English is Andres Cantor calling the game in English!

  7. I have to say I’m also somewhat disappointed here, though not for all the same reasons. Yes, I know it is Ives’ blog, and he can do what he wants. And no, I don’t see this as Ives supporting a team in any way. Whether or not he is a Red Bulls fan doesn’t matter here; he’s simply commenting on a topic that affects a team he covers. He’s always had integrity when it comes to that, as far as I know. I’m also not too disappointed with the title, because it serves the purpose a title should, drawing in the reader and explaining what the article is about.

    What disappoints me is the content and style of the piece. The post comes off more like a personal attack on Lalas instead of a news piece, which it is not. Perhaps if there were some real content justifying the post, like some of those quotes Ives mentions (even anonymously), it might not be so controversial. Also, ending a piece with a statement like, “Many were just hoping he would shut up,” reeks of non-objective personal opinion, which is unacceptable for a journalist that prides himself on objectivity. I don’t really believe that’s what Ives meant, but that sure is how it comes off.

    Overall, I think this is just a poorly executed attempt at a piece that could have been both relevant and funny. Perhaps, from now on, Ives should just be a bit more careful about the level of professionalism in pieces like this one.

  8. Anyone else find it funny that a writer who correctly picked 2-of-7 (that’s right: 2/4 semi finalists, 0/2 finalists, and obviously 0/1 champ) is making fun of someone else for being a bad prognosticator? Not to mention, Ives, too, picked the Red Bulls to lose in the first round.

    Don’t get me wrong–my Houston-over-Columbus pick isn’t looking too good right now, and I am certainly not a fan of Lalas, but I think the pot might be calling the kettle black here…

  9. I’m going to stop commenting because 95% of my thoughts are better explained by BlueWhiteLion anyway.

    With regards to Ives feelings of being biased towards any team I would refer back to the thread about Donavan’s Honda Player of the Year award. Ives himself spells it out very clearly in the comments section. That’s what makes this article/headline confusing to some of us.

    Not that it matters. This blog rocks no matter how you slice it.

  10. I’m a Galaxy fan, so I agree entirely that Lalas was a bad GM and surely would be again if any team were stupid enough to give him the chance.

    But I agree with the people who are wondering whether Ives is endangering his journalistic credibility with a headline like “Alexi Lalas: Bad GM, Worse Prognosticator.” Sure, it’s his blog and he can say what he wants. But he’s also supposed to write objective pieces, and offering editorials about soccer figures makes that problematic. For example, this headline should probably disqualify him from writing an objective journalistic piece on Lalas as a soccer administrator if he ever does (God forbid) get another soccer job.

    There’s a reason that Katie Couric doesn’t keep a blog on which she shares all her thoughts about the news. It would be harder to take her reports on, say, foreign policy seriously if you could click over to her blog and read an entry entitled, “Condoleeza Rice: Bad Secretary of State, Worse Jazz Pianist.”

  11. Ives, as always, I love your blog and articles, and a little controversy always helps traffic.

    However, i am one of the few who are voicing that this little piece on Lalas seems to be a slight departure from objectivity. I suppose you could argue that you are just stating the facts, and maybe your are. The last statement, and the fact that this is a headline makes me wonder.

    BUT, I really don’t give a crap! It is hilarious. This is what makes blogs and pub conversations fun!

    As for me, I don’t think Lalas was a great GM, and he does have a bit of showman in him that gets him into trouble. Also, what I heard out of France, if it is to be believed, took him down a few notches in my “esteem” for him.

    Still, I LOVE him on TV soccer shows, He is funny, and he has a bright future in the MLS. Whatever part he played in bringing DB over, kudos to him for it. He needs to find the right venue for his talents and showmanship.

    Red Bulls fans, bask in the glory of your win. It has been a loooong time coming@!

  12. I have never forgotten Lalas’ behavior on the bench at the World Cup in France. I’m not saying Sampson was innocent, but he was supposed to be representing his country and instead he was just a piece of $hi+. He has consistently remained one since then and thus, I love the post.


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