Monday, November 17, 2014

MLS v. US Soccer - Round 1

Jurgen Klinsmann firm on young player advice as MLS frustration grows

On Oct. 15, Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber took issue with U.S. national team manager Jurgen Klinsmann for comments that were deemed "detrimental" to MLS.

Garber objected to Klinsmann saying it would be "very difficult" for U.S. internationals Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey to maintain their best form after the duo returned to play in MLS after extended spells in Europe.

Now it appears there was more to Garber's ire than met the eye. Seattle Sounders minority owner Adrian Hanauer, Philadelphia Union CEO and operating partner Nick Sakiewicz, and several other sources have told ESPN FC that there is growing frustration within the league over the advice Klinsmann and U.S. soccer staff are giving to youth national team and MLS academy players. ...

See the whole story here, courtesy of ESPN.

Kicking Back Comments:

Now when this matter first came up publicly abound mid-October seemed kind bad ... but honestly after thinking abut it from the larger perspective it is great for US players and still bad for US referees.

On the player side, why shouldn't a player who is good enough, and having a coach who has the connections, look at a chance to play in Europe? I would think the relative test is what is in the best interest of the player, right? 

I hate to say it, but European soccer is better than MLS and if the commish is looking to strong-arm the US Soccer coaching staff in not recommending looking abroad, same on MLS. Now, if that same staff is ONLY recommending playing abroad, that is another matter entirely. There seems to be no outward indication of this however.

For referees, the news remains bleak. Although there is an exchange program that is going on now within MLS (and has been for some time - remember 1997 when Japanese referee Toru Kamikawa officiated numerous MLS matches and American referee Tim Weyland officiated J-League matches?) I will be a believer when one of these guys comes over here for MLS, and one of these guys does a match on the other side of the pond.

Until then, or when the league gains more international acclaim (I think it has some now) referees in this country will continue to be discriminated against without regard to being very, very skilled in the art as Mark Geiger showed the world earlier this year.

Friday, November 14, 2014

FIFA: Hell to host 2026 World Cup

Breaking news: Fifa say Hell will host 2026 World Cup

Fifa dismiss concerns over soaring temperatures and lack of football culture in Hell as bid leader Lucifer pays tribute to 'role model' Sepp Blatter

Hell will host the 2026 football World Cup after a Fifa report found “no reason” to overturn the controversial underworld destination’s successful bid.

A 666-page report seen by The Telegraph concluded that Fifa had acted ethically in awarding its showpiece tournament, and suggested Lucifer be compensated with “a really nice wristwatch, one with diamonds and everything” for having been put through an “unnecessary and upsetting” grilling. ...

See the whole "damned" story here, courtesy of The Telegraph.

Kicking Back Comments: ROTF LMAO!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Here comes Orlando ...

Purple huh (see them here) ...

Not a color I would have expected at all. In fact the only jersey I could find that was purple was the Man City 3rd jersey.

What was wrong with white with a nice yellow streak (a la the previous Miami Fusion). If you wanted to get crazy, how about "gator" green?

Maybe even some red and yellow ... uh hang on, that may have ticked off another Orlando resident ...

Image courtesy of Walt Disney Studios

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Monday, November 10, 2014

MLS Referee Arrested and Suspended

MLS referee suspended after workers' compensation fraud arrest

Jose Carlos Rivero will not work his scheduled MLS assignment this weekend after the Professional Referees Organization suspended him on Thursday for his recent arrest on two felony counts related to workers' compensation fraud.

Rivero, 33, was arrested by the New York State Police on Oct. 6 and released after being charged with offering a false instrument for filing and insurance fraud. He is alleged to have collected $14,000 in unlawful benefits through the New York State Workers' Compensation Board while gainfully employed, according to a release from the New York State Police earlier this month.

See the whole story here, from Fox Sports.

Kicking Back Comments: I am a huge fan of innocent until proven otherwise ... but ... when you are a public figure who is responsible for holding up the integrity of a public office, school, or sport (among other things), when you are legitimately accused of fraud, you need to go.

If I were running PRO, I would do the same thing here in suspending him immediately. Then when the proceedings are over, sever the relationship regardless of the disposition.

Seems horribly unjust you say? Maybe. But for a person in a trust position like a referee who is arrested and (likely) tried for multiple felony counts, I am not sure how you can get that trust back to remain effective in the position. We are not talking about a he-said she-said, we are talking about a multiple count felony indictment. Type and magnitude of the crime are material here. 

Recall that the authority from a referee is not from the LOTG, or the league, or some other 3rd source ... it is from the integrity of the referee themselves. I contend the source of ones' ability to manage a match inside the field is self generated and if you are not honest with yourself, you will have difficulty being honest in managing others.

Anyone every heard of Tim Donaghy? While the crime Donaghy was convicted and served time for is slightly askew from the crime Rivero is charged with, the damage to the integrity of referees and The Game is the same.

I wish Mr. Rivero good health and all the best in his next (non-refereeing) career because he should never see a MLS match again as an official.

By the way ... this whole soccer personality getting arrested reminds me of someone else I've been following in US Soccer circles. I Hope you stick around for that one.