Thursday, March 29, 2007

What's gotten into Landon? And other late thoughts...

I couldn't put a finger on why the blue pinstripes bothered me on Sunday. That is until I read Kali's post over at and it became very clear. It's no secret that the USSF is headquartered in the Windy City, and now it's no secret which of Chicago's two baseball teams they endorse - at least subliminally. As a Missouri-born Red Bird fan, that obviously doesn't sit well with me.

Needless to say, I won't be slapping down the plastic for that US kit any sooner than never.

Being without any kind of useful TV reception in my home made it impossible to catch the US-Ecuador match live, and thus had to download it - thank goodness for torrents and the people who share them. That will explain why it's Thursday I'm commenting on Sunday's match when the US played again last night, also a match I did not see live. I just wanted to weigh in on the Landon discussion.

I realize there may be several factors as to why the kid has decided to play like the LD of yore - namely heading into a new season with his club having his old friend Frank Yallop as head coach in LA. Yallop, by the way, seems to be doing his best at reconstructing key pieces of the old San Jose squad that won two titles in three seasons (2001 and 2003). The source of Donovan's fire comes from the LA camp, but it's something that has not yet arrived.

Let me by asking a few questions. What does Landon Donovan want more than anything? More than all the glory and experience he could gain elsewhere, Landon wants more than anything to play at home in Los Angeles. Nothing seemed to be threatening that way of life until his club landed the biggest (largest sum of $$ involved) signing in American soccer history. Insert Mr. Beckham and suddenly there are questions of how the Galaxy could hold on to two high paid assets and stay kosher with the league "salary cap." Whisperings spoke of the possibility of trading Donovan after next year to make cap room, to which his response was, "they better not trade me."

What we're seeing is Landon now with the prospect of a little competition at his club. I think that fire that roared in Tampa on Sunday was only getting started. Landon is out to prove that he's worth keeping in LA - who would have to entice another team to let go of their Designated Player spot to keep the US #10 in Carson. Everyone has their own carrots they strive for and the Gals may have found the secret of unleashing Landon.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Anti-Stadium Movement Has No Legs

Scanning through the headlines over at RSLFM this morning I found an interview with Brad Swedlund who is the organizer of the anti-stadium petition that you may have seen on the local news recently. Normally, I've kept my distance from any of the news regarding RSL and their quest for a stadium, but I wanted to share something in this interview that stuck with.

Before this point I knew very little about Swedlund and his motives for trying to hinder the progress of Stadium Real. I was hoping that he would have some solid evidence or facts on which to base is opposing view. But, Swedlund disappointed. From the interview:

"Do you feel any sense of hypocrisy about working for a company which is so heavily associated with the state-funded USTAR program?

Well, first, I started in on this as a citizen with the responsibility - please note - THE RESPONSIBILITY - to voice my opinion. I did so as the legislature was in session and it wasn't heard. The only recourse that seems reasonable is the referendum process. I believe that every time government gets involved in private enterprise, the situation needs to be taken seriously. It should also be taken case by case. Many companies supported by public funds as start ups have started as University/Private partnerships. They provide opportunities to take the best ideas from University research and develop private business.

Without state intervention it would be both legally and logistically difficult for these companies to start up. Often these companies provide high tech jobs that keep well educated Utahns in Utah. Some of these companies are already thriving companies and some of them have potential to become huge nationally. I did say "potential" and some of them might not make it in the long run. I have seen a number come and go including the old Cold Fusion group. I'm sure that many see the "potential" for soccer in Utah. Yes, there is potential but it seems unusual to equate the potential for major entertainment to the potential for major medical or technical breakthroughs. Apples and oranges I think," (

Swedlund's problem has little to do with the state getting involved in private industry, and more to do with his beef with the entertainment industry in general. Later in the in the interview when asked if he had ever been to an RSL match he said, "Plain and simple I can't justify the ticket price...I can't even justify the price of most movie tickets."

Up to this point I wondered whether his movement had legs. Now I'm not so worried.

A full-transcript of the interview can be found here:

Friday, March 02, 2007

Utah Based Player Update: Sergio Flores to Crystal Palace USA

If you are at all familiar with Desert Crown, you know that I do what I can to keep people informed on the whereabouts of Smithfield native Sergio Flores. Pretty much because he is the only professional player I run into on a regular bases.

To provide some history, last year rumors seeped out of Portland that the recently departed RSLer was joining former RSL assistant coach Chris Agnello and former RSL team mate Luke Kreamalmeyer at the Portland Timbers of USL-1. After seeing Sergio at the gym, after the USL season had already started, it was discovered that the rumor was unfounded.

Flores returned to the Bolivian league, where he played before taking a shot with RSL in 2005. That was last year. This year the Utahn is going to stay stateside. He told me that he had a tryout with Crystal Palace USA of the USL-2. The team is located in Baltimore and is run by English Championship (Second Division) side Crystal Palace.

Sergio reports to camp next week, March 7, and looks to make a great impact with his new club.