Whew, buddy, it’s a slick and miserable evening up here in Anchorage at the Two Daft Yanks Polar Studios. Messy, freezing rain. Slick roads. Accidents and road closings all make for a tough drive time commute. Whew! In the cold conditions, it’s good weather for gumbo, so here’s some soccer gumbo for you on this Friday evening. Git you some!
Much I managed to navigate the tough and testing Alaskan weather conditions this evening much like a back-to-Golden Generation Mexico navigated their World Cup playoff qualifier with New Rugbyland this past international break, qualifying for Brazil with a 9-3 aggregate win. El Tri certainly didn’t cover themselves in glory during their qualifying campaign and it’ll still be interesting to see what happens with the team chemistry when the European-based players come back into the fold seeing as the team’s performances during the Hexagonal were extremely underwhelming.
Does newly installed Mexican coach, Miguel Herrera, continue on with his Club America-based squad that did so well in the playoff, albeit against an overmatched New Zealand, or does he risk (re)integrating the European based players which includes star, Javier Chamakharito? Or perhaps Miguel Herrera will defer all decisions to Señor Mexico, Graham Zusi, henceforth?
“Señor Mexico, he say I am to continue with the poor form, amigos.”
“¡Ay Caramba, Chamakharito. Que mala suerte para ti!”
ESPN, Qatar’s Lapdogs?
A writer for ESPN, Phil Ball, was recently invited on an all expenses paid trip to Qatar (paid by Qatar) to see firsthand the issues that are drawing ever more scrutiny and controversy to the 2022 World Cup due to be held in the Middle Eastern nation. An all expenses paid trip to a country that is itching for good press and a sports journalist comes out and writes a glowing piece on the issues in Qatar? Label me shocked!
ESPN certainly wasn’t ready for the apparent backlash or the cavalier dismissal of dozens of Nepalese immigrant workers’ deaths and accusations of slavery-like conditions as “workers’ rights issues.” Yeah, weird how that works, ESPN. When “workers” are claiming slave-like treatment, they’re not exactly workers at that point are they? The self-anointed “World Wide Leader in Sports” apparently were so embarrassed by the article, it was removed this morning but a copy of the original article can be found here at Business Insider. Take the time to read it, if you will. Definitely reads as a fluff piece that dismisses the criticisms of the Qatari World Cup too easy for me.
It’s quite a naïve and callous, especially after going on a trip that is tantamount to a bribe and writing an article that is tantamount to propaganda, for Phil Ball to dismiss legitimate criticisms of working conditions and the safety of said workers as merely complains from “Western journalists who have never stepped foot in the country.” Organizations such as the European Union and Human Rights Watch, for all I would likely disagree with most of their political beliefs personally, are not journalistic organizations and both have recently come out with resolutions and statements, respectively, drawing increasing criticism on the Persian Gulf state.
With accusations such as the Qataris landing their bid through means of bribery of FIFA, at the moment seemingly outlandish stadium technological designs to combat the searing summer heat, possibly shifting the World Cup to the winter which would upset major leagues around the world, the aforementioned workers’ rights and safety concerns, etc. I only hope that Israel somehow qualifies for this 2022 World Cup in Qatar just to add to the political chaos that is seemingly due to consume the Qatari World Cup at some point and force it to be moved to another nation.
Orlando Wants to Take The MLS… Globally?
The newly awarded MLS franchise, Orlando City SC, apparently has a bunch of fans already in Brazil. Like 220,000+ likes on their Brazilian Facebook page level a bunch. No, really. You see, Orlando City has a Brazilian owner, Flávio Augusto da Silva, and he has made it a stated goal to advertise and market Orlando City SC heavily in Brazil. He has said that he doesn’t want to make Orlando City SC a Brazilian MLS club but does want to make it the best known MLS club in Brazil.
Either way, I hope they are more successful than what I predict will be a joke of a franchise down in Miami and it all adds up to a Florida derby with the also new as of yet unofficially named Miami FC (I suggest, Plastic FC Miami) that will be invested in and at least part-owned by David Beckham and LeBron James.
So, have a bit of that gumbo and as I’m getting hungry myself, I’ll head off to eat and count down the hours until the EPL gets fired up again tomorrow following the international break. Is it just me or do they seem to get longer each time? I know they don’t actually get longer, they just feel longer. Oh well, here’s a few more tidbits for you as I sign off:
Tell us something we don’t know, man.
Ehrmagehrd what will Juan Agudelo do now?!
Relax, it’s just training and fitness.
It wasn’t really Mike Riley, Maureenho. It was the Jerky Boys pranking Steve Clarke.
And oh yeah… MLS playoffs resume this weekend too.
Now get the heck out of here and drink a few beers and maybe play some FIFA or Football Manager!