Sunday, February 19, 2006

(Maybe) Final Thoughts for the evening on DC, (and Bonus US national team thoughts!!!)

In the posting below I started talking about the whole DC United controversy. So, shortly before I left to see the new Woody Allen film, Match Point (review on that later this week) news came out of DC in response to the Nowak situation, in an email from DC United's VP of Communication...The email can be viewed on the first page, HERE. The highlight of which for me must be...In an angry response directed at the referee following the third reckless and dangerous tackle by a Real Salt Lake player, Peter did shout that the player needed to be 'sent back to hospital. If anyone has any idea what that is supposed to mean let me know. Back to the hospital? The hospital where he was born? Did he just leave the hospital? It seems like a bizzare comment to incluse in a press release and actually the press release maybe woulda made more sense without it. It seems ridiculous to me. A few thoughts after chewing on this all afternoon...

1. IF Nowak did say that a player should be "sent back to Africa" it is an inherently racist comment and Nowak should lose his job. Period. In addition to it being the rigt thing to do, DC would be crazy not to fire him, especially considering what they have on the line in regards to funding for a stadium.

2. The DC United press release to me seems like stonewalling and leaves numerous questions still to be answered. Why would Ellinger say what he said? Did DC contact Ellinger after the game in regards to the misunderanding? Did they contact him before the press release which in effect calls him a liar?

3. DC played their card in defense of their coach and obvioulsy hopes this goes away, and quick. But, Ellinger, in the interview, said that players from his squad and from DC were bothered by the comments. Will one of them step up and say something or will this die out.

4. If Nowak remains as coach of DC this season, it is with a heavy cloud over him. The news is out there that there was at least an allegation of racism against him. He will not have an easy season dealing with opposing fans, or the press, and perhaps even his own team. He'll be walking a very thin line, should he stay.


Onto better news, the US national teams 4-0 victory over Guatemala today.

1. Frankie Hejduk is one of the best things to happen to US soccer ever. He steps up his game every 4 years for the World Cup. His passion in playing for his country is inspiring. His demeanor with the fans is great. If you had any doubts about his desire, watch the halftime feature again when he is the last player alive in the "beep test." The man is fit and always giving his all. He is also much more talented than his critics would like to admit.

2. Eddie Johnson is extremely talented. He's also a very insecure, very selfish player. Do you ever think you'd see a player the caliber of McBride, Reyna, Wolff, or any of the other veterans point at their name after the goal like Johnson. You represent the country when you put on that jersey, Eddie. Not your club, and definately not yourself. Grow up.

3. Love, LOVE seeing Chris Klein have a good game. IU kid, coming back from injuries. Great goal. I really think he's a player who is overlooked and can contribute if given the chance.

4. Dave O'Brien is a decent commentator with an appreciation for the game.

5. It's good to see something positive socerwise after the discourging news this am.


nico said...

Hedjuk is the only Crew player (besides McBride) in recent memory whose existence I tolerate. He does bust his ass to an insane degree and that is something I hope he imparts to the younger players.

Regarding the EJ goal celebration. After the game he said he was pointing to his back to say "I'm back." I don't find EJ childish or selfish at all. You Crew fans are still hacked off about his comments to fans that were cussing him in front of children at the all-star game.

...and to put Wolff at McBride or Reyna level is laughable.

scot said...

I agree talent wise that Wolff is nowhere near McBride or reyna. i am saying he shows the same respect for the National Team as those guys. Wolff broke in at the same time as Mathis, and with arguably less talent, and he's still around.

As for EJ I wasn't at the game you speak of, i only heard about it. I just see EJ as the type who may flame out rather than the type who may stick around for years almost wholly on desire. Remember, there were questions of his attitude long before that game you speak of.

But, at least we agree on Hejduk. :)

Sing it!!! Goals, Goals, Goals, for the Red white and Blue!

nico said...

Oh yeah, and I really like Jon Busch (however you spell it.)

That guy's insano mad for it in a good way.

scot said...

I acn actually say that I hugged Busch on the field after the Open Cup final victory. Him and Dunseth. Busch is a God.

nico said...

If you'd come down to that qualifier against Guatemala in B'ham, you could've taken a few shots on him. Some of our group ran into them on the practice field behind their hotel and Busch let them fire a few shots.

scot said...

That guy is great. He will never play in a World Cup, or be recognized as MLS's best, but I just love the guy.

Jim said...

I have to say that Johnson's goal celebration rubbed me the wrong way as well, his explanation nothwithstanding. We'll see how he does in the remaining World Cup tune-up matches.

On Nowak -- perhaps my status as a Fire fan clouds my judgment, but I have the utmost respect for the man and would be surprised if he actually made the comment attributed to him. How this all shakes out remains to be seen, and I do have to say that the comment that he says he made is quite odd for the context. I just can't believe that Peter is racist, especially considering that he mentored young African-American players (e.g., the Beasley brothers) during his days as a Fire player.

scot said...

Well, as for Nowak, now you have Jamil Walker coming out in his defense and no buddy else saying they heard anything otherwise. It's a shame that the defense is that he actually said, "send him to the hospital" but at the end of the day, thats probably said more often than we realize it on the field anyway. I think it's pretty much an issue thats gonna die out, at least in the press. I just hope for DC's sake it does. I enjoy road trips to see teams in their own stadiums. and i would hate for this to have exploded to the point they wouldn't get their own place.

but fans will place a stigma on nowak whether right or wrong for this incident, regardles of the final outcome.

nico said...

Johnson: I guess Dempsey's celebrations rub people the wrong way too? He's just as "flashy" as EJ, maybe more...but I haven't really heard criticism of him.

Nowak: You're right about the black cloud that will forever hang over him. That's one of the things that currently sucks about this country. The tiniest suggestion that someone's racist, even if totally unfounded is enough to haunt you for life.

scot said...

Has Dempsey been over the top in his national team celebrations, or just at the club level.

Regardless, i don't really like him either. Great player, definately deserves a spot. He just rubs me the wrong way.