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Tuesday Kickaround

*Take a look at this David Beckham column by the Associated Press's London-based soccer columnist. This line might jump out at you: "He still has the ability to dominate games in MLS..." Huh? Dominate? Becks has had a few impressive performances in two seasons in America, but to say he dominates is over the top. In fact, you could make the argument that few players ever dominate a game anywhere in the world; it's against the nature of the sport. Clearly, the author has not watched many MLS matches.

*Veteran forward Henrik Larsson is the most prominent name on the Scandinavia-based Sweden roster for the Jan. 24 friendly against the United States in Carson. The Swedes will also play Mexico in Oakland. Sorry, no Ibrahimovic or any of the other prominent Swedes who play abroad. The game does not fall on a FIFA fixture date.

*Soccer on TV today:
Spanish Cup, Atletico Madrid-Barcelona 2 p.m. GolTV
Carling Cup semifinals, Spurs-Burnley 2:40 p.m. Setanta

*Speaking of Spurs, Ghana midfielder Stephen Appiah, who drew interest from D.C. United and Dallas last month, is training with the English Premiership club and seems likely to sign.

*In an Interliga match played in front of dozens 2,500 fans in Houston, Tecos defeats Morelia, 1-0, on a goal scored while a Morelia player was on the turf injured. Should the referee have stopped play? You decide:

By Steve Goff  |  January 6, 2009; 9:50 AM ET
Categories:  England , MLS , Mexico , TV , U.S. men's national team  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Drafting Expectations
Next: USA-Mexico Result?


No reason to not stop play there -- he wasn't trying to stop the run of play, as the ball had already gone out!

Larsson should be announcing his decision on his next loan (Marseille?) soon.

Posted by: Reignking | January 6, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Player's on the deck after getting a rocket off him and the ball's out of bounds -- you should definitely tweet the whistle and at least check.

Not a very sporting goal, but then again, you got to keep playing until you hear a whistle.

Posted by: edgeonyou | January 6, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

yes, ref should have stopped once the ball went out but he's not required to, especially if he thinks the player is time wasting/embellishing

of course the Mexican teams also have a different idea of sportsmanship

Posted by: teo_68 | January 6, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

The only argument for stopping play in this situation was that the ball went out of bounds. Unless it is life threatening, soccer has got to get away from stopping the run of play for injuries. Too many players/teams are using it for nefarious purposes. There will be less rolling around for nothing if they know play is continuing.

Posted by: timoteo1 | January 6, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

"Should the referee (MLS's Jair Marrufo) have stopped play?"

Uh, wow, yeah. Since the players lack the class to do it, the ref has to, especially since he saw the incident, and had to know it wasn't a wind up.

Posted by: JkR- | January 6, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

It looks as though the Morelia player may have caught the ball in his face, so I'd say that he should have stopped play. The ref didn't seem to pay enough mind to the downed player, but how much flopping had happened up to this point in the game?
IF it had been Blanco getting hit in the face and the opposing team was DCU I'd have thought the ref was the man...;-)
Thanks for the heads up on the Spanish Cup match, now to orchestrate nap time for a 1:55 kick off. That is if I can find a live feed...

As for the Beckham article......meh...
I'll just be thankful that I know where to find the football news I'm interested in. What a wanker!
Thank you one more time Goffsterinho for your objective reporting and thoughtful pop culture references. Some of your posters aren't half shabby as well.

Posted by: DadRyan | January 6, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

In the Beckham article, the "dominate" quote might have been a bit over the topm but unfortunately the following quote,

"Beckham will ... be passing to such teammates as Ronaldinho, Kaka, Andriy Shevchenko, Paolo Maldini, Clarence Seedorf, Andrea Pirlo, Alessandro Nesta, Pato, Filippo Inzaghi and Dida.

After three months with these stars, he will go back to the U.S. to play alongside Edson Buddle, Alan Gordon, Bryan Jordan, Michael Gavin, Mike Munoz, Troy Roberts and Steve Cronin when Major League Soccer kicks off again.

While these may be names to Galaxy fans, it's like swapping vintage champagne for luke warm beer in terms of the quality of football"

is a little closer to the mark.

Posted by: Ron16 | January 6, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Watching that video, I had DC-Cruz Azul flashbacks. If the player down is in front of the play, there is no excuse not to play the ball out. I'm indifferent about Marrufo stopping play there, but disappointed (and not terribly surprised) about Tecos's lack of class.

Posted by: mjhoya12 | January 6, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

So why does it matter if the ref stops play or not? We've complained about the Mexican teams not stopping play for an injured (usually American) opponent and now we see that they play the same way against each other. As long as both teams play by the same code of "ethics," who cares?

Why did they play in Houston? Obviously not for the large gate receipts.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | January 6, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Classless from Tecos, and Marrufo had a chance to stop play when the ball went out. Once he let them take the throw-in, though, all bets were off and Morelia has no one to blame but themselves for standing around pointing rather than defending.

It's a shame that teams play through injuries now, but the trust that your opponent is only down because he's actually hurt has been shattered.

As for that AP article, it was your typical British article about MLS. The article's premise is "MLS sucks, I assume, so Beckham will probably want to leave when he plays with guys that don't suck, since he's been destroying their league singlehandedly, I guess." Most high school papers have higher standards.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | January 6, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

I thought Interliga was another great SUM money-making venture...

Posted by: Reignking | January 6, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Player got blasted in the face. Ball was already out for a natural stoppage. Hold up play and add time. Always easier for us to say sitting here watching from afar on the replay. Muffaro sure looks a lot like Ricardo Salazar. So few USA refs in the FIFA ranks it's easy for even the great Goffer to get them confused. :)

Posted by: postgolb | January 6, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Hey Goff,

Did you forget to mention the guy who scored was ex red bulls Diego Jimenez?

Does anyone remember if this guy ever came up like he was for them for the Red Bulls offensively?

Posted by: BolivianDCFan | January 6, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Any word on whether DC has signed Bryan Namoff, or Gonzalo P, or Kirk?

Posted by: VirginiaFan | January 6, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Reignking

I thought Interliga was another great SUM money-making venture...

Considering that they drew 30,000 at the same stadium over the weekend (albeit with Chivas Classic, America, and Tigres playing) I imagine they're still doing OK. Besides IIRC, Interliga started before SUM got involved and they just bumrushed their way in to getting their pound of flesh...

Posted by: EricB1 | January 6, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Reignking

I thought Interliga was another great SUM money-making venture...

Considering that they drew 30,000 at the same stadium over the weekend (albeit with Chivas Classic, America, and Tigres playing) I imagine they're still doing OK. Besides IIRC, Interliga started before SUM got involved and they just bumrushed their way in to getting their pound of flesh...

Posted by: EricB1 | January 6, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Bolivian: Jiminez had exactly one shot for the Bulls this season.

Posted by: joshuaostevens | January 6, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

That's an edited version of Millward's column. You can see the original at Yahoo! Sports.

In that one, what jumps out at me is the list of Galaxy teammates Beckham will return to, including ... Greg Vanney.

Vanney, we all know, is retired. Millward doesn't know this because he doesn't know MLS from anything. The European media is so wrapped up in itself, it really has no clue about the game beyond its borders.

Posted by: LAStory | January 6, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Quibbling with the guy's fact-checking really just helps to prove his larger point.

Posted by: OWNTF | January 6, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

PS -- The MLS website still shows Vanney on the LA roster, even though he retired.

Posted by: OWNTF | January 6, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

I agree with most of the comments already. When the ball went out of bounds the ref as well as the scoring team should have stopped, but they didn't. Once the ball was in play, all bets are off and you need to hustle to the whistle.

A ball to the face is a potentially very dangerous injury so I think the ref should have blown the whistle. I don't like the idea of making the players stop on their own. It should only be the ref that decides to stop play for injury.

Posted by: mbyrd28 | January 6, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

I understand the point that there may be differences in judgment in what is sporting play between Mexico and the US. I-270Exit1 put it best - you need a shared code of ethics, and each league/country develops its own.

Still, the video shows an altercation after the goal which 1) seems like it involved the goal and 2) would suggest that Morelia players didn't feel that the goal was justified, and that that Tecos should have stopped play for the injured player.

And then there's gamesmanship - playing the rules that you know could apply to your own advantage depending on the situation. Kind of like football realpolitik. We'll see more of that Feb 11th for sure.

Posted by: Modibo | January 6, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

OWNTF: Those are last season's rosters. Quibbling over fact-checking does nothing but point out the reporter's shortcomings. If you're going to write about something, do the necessary research.

Posted by: LAStory | January 6, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

The ball was already out of play. Of course, the ref should not have allowed Tecos to restart the play. If the concern was time-wasting -- there's a solution: add time at the end. There is no good excuse for not stopping play at that moment.

Posted by: fischy | January 6, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Eh, whatever. The point is that whatever Gals roster you're looking at it ain't AC Milan. You don't really need to dig too deeply for that.

Here's a more interesting question, to me anyway. What things enable the less-celebrated Huckerby to come here and have (IMO) a far more profound impact on his MLS team's fortunes than Beckham?

Posted by: OWNTF | January 6, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Under Armour is doing well in Mexico.

Posted by: Pedalada | January 6, 2009 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Nope, I think that's legit. Injury wasn't serious and Morelia just suffered from a quick restart.

By the way, former RED BULL Jimenez who scored the goal looked good.

Posted by: Eugene7 | January 6, 2009 8:32 PM | Report abuse


What is the point you are making, that a back-up CB should have more shots in a season? The guy was in NY on a developmental loan.

Posted by: Eugene7 | January 6, 2009 8:36 PM | Report abuse

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