Friday Funblast: February 19th
By Chief War Pig
PITY WATCH CONTINUES (MR. T HAS ENTERED THE CHAT)
Radio silence from FC Cincinnati and the rumor mill since the wild night two Thursdays ago that saw the confirmation of Brenner and the “confirmation” of Pity Martinez coming to Cincinnati. If this were a TV series, we’d be in the run of bottle episodes until they get to the good stuff they spent all the money on later in the season, I guess? Who the fuck knows, at this point. Maybe no one at Austin FC has been able to charge their phones (more on this later) to take any further calls about the Allocation Order. Or maybe the Saudis decided that Pity wasn’t leaving the country. For those unfamiliar with the geopolitical realities in that part of the world – getting out of the Middle East is famously more difficult than getting in (google “World Cup Stadium Construction in Qatar” for further soul-poisoning reading, or read literally anything about the Bush Administration circa 2003).
The good news is, as has been stated numerous times before: There is a TON of fucking time to get this deal done. Hell, Brenner isn’t even in Cincinnati yet – as was apparent the second footage of him getting off an airplane in shorts emerged (whatever you think of our FO, you’d imagine they’d warn him to “wear pants” if he was showing up at CVG in this weather). And, if they can’t this deal done, the persistent rumor of Acosta to Cincinnati seems to indicate there are other irons in the proverbial fire here. One, or both (but probably not both) of these deals could break / wrap up at any minute and we’d be well on our way to having a decent roster for the first time since #CrushedThisLeague.
Speaking of #CrushedThisLeague…
Cincinnati Soccer Talk broke the news yesterday that Kings Hammer was/is set to announce that the USL is returning to Cincinnati.
For everyone who hasn’t kept up with the goings-on in our former league home, the USL you know and tolerated has now split into several different leagues. The league formerly known as just “The United Soccer League” is now the “USL Championship,” with two leagues underneath it, appropriately named: USL League One and USL League Two. Several teams you might recall fondly hosting matches at empty stadiums (looking your way, Richmond Kickers) have been shuffled down the charts into these lower leagues. At the bottom of this charmingly low-stakes pyramid is USL League Two, formerly known as the Professional Development League and home to such incredible and storied sides as FC Motown (from New Jersey, obviously) and Project 510, which I can only assume is a CIA Covert Op masquerading as a soccer club.
I get that some people have some bizarre love affair with incredibly small / super obscure soccer clubs, so if that’s you’re thing you’re going to fucking love following this new side as it travels around the Midwest playing in glorified high school stadiums against guys who are possibly still getting picked up by mom in the old Honda Odyssey after practice. If you’ve ever wondered to yourself “Self, what would an away days in Toledo, Ohio look like?” then I’d smash that “follow” button on whatever the twitter account is and start dreaming of those delicious Tony Packo’s Hot Dogs (because of course the most famous food in Toledo is a fucking hot dog). I expect tickets to these games will be priced somewhere between “pocket change” and “free,” so for everyone bitching about the price hikes at the new West End Stadium: Here ya go.
Otherwise, I’m struggling to understand why the hell this exists. I guess more soccer is always more gooder, but when the rumor surfaced I had simply assumed this was going to be an actual FCC2 (which would forever be referred to as “The Deuce,” in honor of ESPN’s worst branding choice of all time). A reserve side for FCC would kinda make sense, given that they’ve got an academy up and running that will be churning out players eventually. Plus, it seems like most of the successful MLS franchises (your Portlands, Seattles, NYRBs, etc.) have “2” teams that play in these various leagues. With the connection to FC Cincinnati, this team would’ve *maybe* attracted some attention from the “come to see the future stars of FCC!” hype (though, given the attendance at some of those TFC2 matches, played on high school fields with lacrosse lines still down, maybe not), but absent that? How is this any different than any of the other upstart super minor league teams that have just collectively toiled in obscurity. Maybe they’re hoping, long term, FCC buys the team from them? The inclusion of FCC team-employee Kevin McCloskey would seem to suggest there’s some tacit approval from the O and B on this one.
FIFA-CALANDER HARDOS TAKE THE L
If there’s one debate that should’ve been settled for all time this week, it’s that the United States / Major League Soccer / USSF are absolutely correct to keep the country on its current summer-schedule.
There’s a small (but, as with all things in American Soccer Hardos™, incredibly loud) portion of the US Soccer fanbase that incessantly cries for the US to switch to the traditional FIFA schedule, which would have the MLS season begin in August and run through the heart of cold weather to end in May. The primary reason for this complaint seems to center mainly around the idea that everything done in European Soccer is incredible and to be emulated exactly – which is primarily why you see grown men wearing fucking winter scarves in 90+ degree weather at MLS matches (divorced from their true purpose in Europe of keeping your goddamn neck warm at a December match). The ASH-holes who loudly repeat this take are, generally speaking, impervious to facts about climate, the North Atlantic Current, the existence of the National Football League, and generally anything that might lead a rational person to conclude that the way we do business in America isn’t all that bad.
I know it won’t make a difference to these morons, but a quick look at a fucking weather map this week should tell you that playing soccer in February is a bad idea no matter where the hell you are in America. Something like 2/3 of the country was covered in snow this week and entire states ground to a halt, including multiple MLS cities like Dallas and Austin. The And, in the places where people do own things like winter coats and snow shovels (yet, somehow, are no better at actually predicting winter weather), it was still miserable to be outside. Here in Cincinnati, it hasn’t been above freezing at any point this week. It’s so goddamn cold, I’m considering flying to Cancun to drop my family off on vacation and I don’t even have any kids. If there was a match tonight, you’d have half the Bailey with their hands stuck to the railings before kick like it was the fucking Christmas Story. And there are actual, living human beings who think that *we’re* the assholes for not wanting to adhere to the same calendar as Spain.
Having said all of this, I assure you that I’ll be back bitching about how stupid we are for playing in July at some point this summer.
Alright, slow news week and I’ve spent enough time shoveling snow to make me want to burn all the fucking fossil fuel and warm this planet up to Tatooine-levels. Hopefully more news and less winter weather to talk about soon. Until then, see you motherfuckers in the Thunderdome.