Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Who We're Buying a Beer For...

Poor David Beckham. He worked so hard to get back into Fabio Capello's England side. He abandoned his Major League Soccer side, twice, to join European club AC Milan to prove he could still play at the international level. Here’s a consolation beer for you. While most of the American Soccer public loathes Mr. Posh Spice for bailing on the LA Galaxy twice now. However, his drive and determination for his singular goal of making it to the pinnacle of his sport for a fourth time (which I don’t believe many others have done) has to be admired. For his chance at the 2010 World Cup to be taken from him by a freak injury in the dying minutes of a league game makes even the most cynical of us feel some empathy towards him.

Let’s raise a glass in hopes that your ownership stint isn’t as lackluster and Three Lions driven as your MLS playing career. Feel free to take the beer along with you to South Africa as Coach Capello has offered you a seat on the plane.

Side Note: When you Google Image "David Beckham" in the entire first page of images not one of them shows him playing soccer. I think that's very telling....

A consolation beer for MLS and the Los Angeles Galaxy as well. The loss of Beckham was tempered by the return of Landon Donovan, but there's still a huge hole in your 2010 marketing strategy. League rule changes and Galaxy owner's AEG's money brought a right-sided midfielder to your league and your team; however, you mismanaged the marketing of it leading the American public to believe that this would be the second coming of Pele.

The spectacular goals didn’t come, the injuries took away playing time, and his singular devotion to the Three Lions stole one half season from you and this devotion lead to an injury that may have now robbed him of the rest of his career. Hopefully the contract wasn’t guaranteed.

However, the "Beckham experiment" (copyright Grant Wahl) is not an utter failure. Rumor has it that Thierry Henry is on his way to NY after the World Cup, and possibly Raul. Two goal scoring world soccer stars, though they don’t have the same clout outside of the sporting world as Mr. Posh, that could be for MLS what Becks could not. These rumors wouldn’t even be possible if Beckham hadn’t come here first. Here’s a beer for enduring the hardships that have come with the world’s biggest soccer star being a part of your fold.

Lastly we're stopping by the headquarters of the Turkish Football Federation next time we're in their neighborhood and dropping a case off for them. Why buy a beer for our May 29th World Cup warm up opponents? Let's just say that they have an inflated sense of how big soccer is in the United States. At least that was the original thought through a series of Internet rumors.

Confused? Us, too.

Last week the US soccer Internet-blogo-sphere world was all atwitter about rumors that Turkey was cancelling its match against the USMNT because of a recent resolution from the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee condemning the European nation's actions against the Armenian people back around the time of World War I. Additionally, Turkey also re-called its ambassador to the U.S.; the ultimate diplomatic bitch-slap. Most historians agree that the Turkish government committed acts of genocide against the Armenians.

The FBM likes to stay out of international squabbles and accusations of "who killed who", but what it does find incredibly fascinating is the perceived impact that the cancelling of a friendly soccer game in the U.S. would have on relations between Turkey and our nation.

Did Turkey really think that pulling out of a soccer match would generate outrage among the larger American public? Maybe they thought that, President Barack Obama, a confessed West Ham, World Cup bid supporter, and soccer fan, would throw his weight around on the issue? Maybe Turkey thought the Congressional Soccer Caucus would stage a walk-out on the House floor during the vote?

While the rumors ended up being false we do appreciate that Turkey took the time to at least drop the hint that they thought American soccer was influential enough to make some waves in the diplomatic community. While the whole situation is mildly humorous (with the exception of the whole genocide-against-a-people-thing) we'd hate to make light of the growing influence of soccer on America.

We're sure that if Turkey was dealing with another nation on this issue this would have been a much stronger hand to play. Despite that it certainly was nice of them to think of us soccer fans in this whole "we didn't killing millions of Armenians back in the day" dust up last week.

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"Anyone who tells me soccer is boring, I'm going to punch them in the face."
- Former Dallas Burn (aka FC Dallas) coach Dave Dir

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