Monday, October 27, 2008


So lost in all of the hoopla this weekend—the quarter-season title tilt in the EPL, Ramos out at Spurs, and a nutty Atlético Madrid league match for the third straight week—was the fact that MLS' regular season ended yesterday.

What's not as interesting as who finished first (congrats to Sigi and the Crew) is who finished last. Yes, it was the LA Galaxy. Or at least the rest of the legitimate soccer-loving world thinks so. Here's the MLS table from the Guardian. Notice the Galaxy in last place with the fewest points and the worst goal difference.

Compare that with MLS' own official table. See, the Galaxy aren't the worst team in the league. They still suck and are missing the playoffs again, but at least they are looking down on someone.

MLS is actually right. Go figure that the league would get their own standings correct. The tie-breakers can be found here; and sure enough in this cockamamie league, the first tie-breaker isn't goal difference, but head-to-head results. The Galaxy beat San Jose 2 of 3, so they get the pwnage. "Woo! We're only thirteenth." Congrats.

The funny part (to me anyway) isn't that the Guardian is wrong, but that it doesn't even occur to them that MLS would use something beside goal difference as the first tie breaker (it actually doesn't occur to them that they would use anything besides a single table either). But the Guardian isn't alone. On Fox Soccer Report last night (October 26), when they put up the Western Conference standings, they too had the Galaxy in DFL. On 33 points. Behind San Jose on goal difference.

Two more things. The man who was going to bring soccer to the American masses? His regular season finale wasn't even broadcast in the native tongue. No, not Algonquin or Cherokee or any of the like but the only outlet showing the match yesterday was Telefutura (on my non-HD TV anyway, I don't know if HDNET was running it). That's doubly embarrassing when you think it might be Becks' last game with the Galaxy.

There is the rumored loan to AC Milan. There is also the rumor that Milan would be cool with making that loan permanent. Now the latter seems very unlikely as the former is seemingly slightly less likely than it did just last Friday. But, it's not out of the realm of possibility.

Just a thought: Why? Clearly, Milan would do it to sell a boatload of Beckham jerseys. And Beckham wants to do it to stay on Capello's radar for England's national team as things creep toward South Africa in 2010 and he creeps toward Bobby Moore and Peter Shilton. But Kaka, Gattuso, Flamini (dead to me), Ronaldinho, Pirlo... shit, Becks is in the running with Seedorf and Ambrosini to see who's the sixth best midfielder on that squad.

And it's not like they can sub him in and out for dead ball situations (sub in sure, but that means he really only valuable late in matches when Milan is trailing).

So Becks continually reaffirms his commitment to the Galaxy but if he didn't come back, would it really surprise anyone? The Galaxy have already made their money back in spades (probably... remember the $50M a year figure was based on his cut of contingent revenues and his straight salary was $5.5 in base), and might be better served by getting on with rebuilding the team. And Beckham might be better served getting on with his self-serving national team ambitions. He's not the player he was. If Milan truly want him, then why wouldn't the Galaxy say "Arrivederci"?

[Update: Ha ha Soccernet, too]


Mike Georger said...

i dont wish ill will upon the galaxy but the prospect of beckham and irish folk sensation donovan bailing ship is hilarious. when beckham came it was supposed to make them the shit, and now theyre just, in the words of doctor bentley, a bit shit

Ian said...

Honestly Georger, if both of them go I'm laying big money down on the Galaxy making the playoffs next year. Just think, they could afford to pay starting defenders more than $17 k per year!