Monday, July 16, 2007

Could have done without that...

Dejected and empty Tommy sank onto the end of a public bench as the crowds of cars and people mercilessly pressed by.

"I thought they were on my side," Tommy lamented to his co-worker, Richard.

"They had a lot to gain if the factory was sold," answered Richard.

"Boy, did I screw up!"

"My so-called family deserted me. Michelle's mad at me. I lost the factory, the town's going under, and I'm out of a job."

Just as Tommy's venting ceased the bench his large frame was resting on gave way, sending Tommy to the pavement.

"Could have done with out that," he said.

This scene from Tommy Boy came to mind when I read the news that shook my inbox tonight. In the case you are unaware, Real Salt Lake have sent Mehdi Ballouchy to Colorado for non-other than Kyle Beckerman. That feels so lopsided to write.

After so many disappointing and results and weird trades, this one feels as though the team has taken the legs right out from underneath their supporters. Now we're left on our cans thinking, "could have done without that."

To be fair, I'm not sure that the trade is really as earth shattering as it feels at the moment. The reality is that RSL is a painful team to watch and support. Over the past 2.5 seasons supporting the team has been a form of self-torture for Salt Lake supporters. And what's even worse, is that I've discovered that I can't not care. No matter how many justifications I throw in the way, the team's current form affects me.

I think that's why I took to Mehdi so quickly. He made me happy. He played with such a different attitude and confidence that isn't found in MLS. He was exciting, flamboyant, and always seemed to be able to make those clever passes that brought you out of your seat. But, that was all in the past.

I'll be the first to admit that Ballouchy has not been having a wonderful year, but neither has any other player on the roster. The whole team seems to be bogged down in frustration. In a search for a remedy it seems that RSL would rather trade away any chance at creativity for slam-bam soccer. Could it produce wins? Anything is possible. But, right now I'm starting to wonder if there is a forest or if these trees are just a hoax.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

An Open Letter to 'Soccer Dad'

I would like to take a moment and pass on a message that should be shared with anyone involved with youth soccer - but especially the parents of youth players. Jim Paglia hits the nail on the head in his article on

My only child has barely started to figure out that feet are for walking, let alone for kicking a ball. But I think we could all work on being a little more like Paglia suggests, and be a meaningful version of a Soccer Parent.