‘Sports | DC United’ Posts
Quisque sed purus consequat, gravida velit eu, pharetra ex.
she also got a toddler-sized D.C. United jersey a couple days ago (for my birthday) and we’ve got a trip to RFK on the books for the first weekend in may … i’m not sure when the next trip to north london will be, sadly.
anyway, if today is any indication, she’ll be a good keeper — so long as she’s allowed to lick the ball after each save.
actually, i’m gunning for a solid central defender. she’s 90th percentile on height, so is already built to make opposing strikers ask permission before approaching the goal.
Turns out it was their academy squads over for a tourney hosted in association with D.C. United, but that didn’t deter the lady sparkler and I (and at least 12 other curious bystanders) from looking on as the two squads threw themselves up and down the pitch.
There wasn’t a scoreboard, but near as we can figure “Los Merengues” were up three at the break … and Blackburn would have been farther down the whole if it wasn’t for a dozen standout saves by the Rover’s keeper.
Real won handily, but both sides showed real class. It was hard to believe they were all under the age of 17, and yet still had skills that could have embarrassed a lot of professional squads in the States.
so, i don’t know about your team, but mine spent $121 million this offseason to grab nine players off the open market.
sound too “spendy” to be true? not in brave new world that is the english premier league.
as a long time footy player (mostly in goal) and footy fan (college, national teams, d.c. united), i always wanted to follow the epl … but it wasn’t until recently that state-siders had the means (via two dedicated cable channels and al gore’s birth of the interweb) to actually follow an english club.
so, for the last three seasons, i’ve been following Tottenham Hotspur, a side from North London that is probably best compared to the pre-2004 Boston Red Sox … a storied club, with a good bit of success early in their history, but lately there’s been a lot of, um, “potential.”
quick detour …
so why pick the Spurs, as oppose to one of the more successful english clubs?
well, there’s manchester united … who are the new york yankees of the league and they annoyingly win pretty much everything (well, “the yankees” back when they actually won things). there *is* a good club in liverpool, but they are, well, in liverpool.
there’s chelsea, which is funded by a vaguely scary russian oligarch who spends money as if his team were the yankees (but they aren’t, which makes the spending that much more offensive). then there is arsenal, a team staffed almost entirely by the french.
as you can see, the decision wasn’t terribly hard at all.
back to the $121 million …
as you might guess there isn’t a salary cap in the epl, but that’s okay because the money we are talking about isn’t actually the player’s salary — it’s the money that the team spends to get permission to sign another team’s player. (yes, you read that right.)
for example: some bureaucrat at Tottenham watched the European footy championships this summer, and noticed that one of the Russian players (Roman Pavlyuchenko) scored a lot of goals. well, “we like scoring goals,” mr. bureaucrat thought, so he rang up Pavlyuchenko’s team (Spartak Moscow) in Russia and gave them a lot of money ($25 million) for the right to sign Roman to a contract worth even more money (5 years, at $100,000+ a week).
now, if you made it past the made it past the “veritable orgy of money” part and noticed that we had to bring in *nine* players this off season … you may have thought that so much turnover could be good (boston celtics!) but probably isn’t (florida marlins).
right now, only eight Spurs (out of 40+ on the expanded roster) have been on the team for longer than two years. and, (oh, by the way) we are on our 6th manager in ten years.
fortunately for spurs-fans’ sanity, there are only four months out of the year when players are allowed to transfer between teams (three in the summer, one in January). the summer transfer window just closed, which should bring much needed (if temporary and obligatory) stability to the team. so, for now, no more “silly season” and we’ll have to shut up an play, for better or worse.
while we gained a bunch of good players during this window (a keeper from Brazil, midfielders from Croatia, Mexico and England, that Russian striker I mentioned) we lost two players who scored more than half of our goals last season. (ouch.)
if i was a cubs fan, i’d say “well, there’s always next year” …
… except that’s actually not always the case in the epl. as a special brand of torture for english footy fans, if your team finishes as one of the three worst teams in the league, you are “relegated” down to a lower league and have to win your way back up some later season.
imagine the washington nationals getting booted to the minor leagues, the memphis grizzlies getting demoted to the nba’s “developmental” league, or the miami dolphins playing a year of college ball next season (… yes, they’d all still lose).
so, *hopefully* there’s always next year …