March 6, 2010

AnnouncerGate, Lando, & other assorted tales

Being sick for most of the week gives you time to think about stuff. I'll spare you my thoughts on faulty sinuses, the joys of Kleenex with lotion, and the horrors of minestrone soup. Here's a few things that crossed my mind...
  • ESPN announced 4 Brits to call play-by-play during the World Cup. Why is this such a big deal? Many of the people who are railing against it, demanding that an American voice call the game in America, are the same ones who don't follow MLS as much as the Premiership. Why aren't you demanding that MLS get as much attention as the Premiership? It's not as good, you say? Maybe that's how ESPN felt in choosing their announcers.
  • Look, the game is global at this point. I think most American soccer fans are used to watching games from elsewhere with announcers from different countries. Even casual fans are starting to get into watching Champions League and the Premiership. An announcer with an accent is no longer that big of a deal. I just want announcers who are of a high quality. If they do a crappy job, then let's complain.
  • Landon Donovan has become everybody's favorite American player at this point, huh? Well, at least the EPL snobs. He was still LandyCakes when he left, but he plays well in the Premiership and becomes beloved. It's sad that most of those people who endlessly criticized him didn't give him credit for his amazing play in MLS and with the USMNT. Yes, it didn't work out for him in Germany. Tons of high profile players have made moves that didn't work out, it happens. Donovan is the best player America has ever produced. He was before he went to Everton. The people saying that MLS needs to let him stay are ridiculous. MLS has a business to run and the Galaxy need their best player back to begin the season.
  • Very disappointing game in the Netherlands this week. I didn't think the Dutch looked spectacular. They were far more physical than I expected, and they rarely looked dangerous. However, the USMNT were even worse. Far too many giveaways and tentative play killed the team. For every ball that Bradley did well to win in the midfield, he gave away nearly as many with horrible distribution. Robbie Findley made good runs off the ball, but then looked like he wet his pants every time he touched the ball. We had very little meaningful possession throughout the match. The final 5 minutes, after the Dutch had taken a couple of their most influential players off, do not make up for the whole match. Let's hope a few players get hot for their clubs in the last part of the season and can continue that form into the World Cup.

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