When I returned home from Tuesday evening's US Open Cup match, my advance copy of Grant Wahl's new book The Beckham Experiment was waiting for me. I was really excited to read the book, especially after reading the excerpt that was released on SI.com last week.
If you are looking for insight into Beckham himself, you'll be disappointed. If you want real insight into the inner workings of an MLS team, find out the big reason why Ruud Gullit was just another foreign coach to not work out in MLS, and to what lengths players like Alan Gordon will go to get a new contract, then this book is for you.
If you want to hear what Landon Donovan, Chris Klein, Greg Vanney, Alexi Lalas, and others within the LA Galaxy felt during the first two years of Beckham being a member of the club, this book is for you.
If you want to read humorous stories about how unglamorous MLS road trips are, this book is for you.
Honestly, if you are an American soccer fan, this book is for you.
And if you want the biggest takeaway from the book, it's that it should be all about the soccer. And, unfortunately, that hasn't been the case with Beckham in LA.
News & Notes:
- If you want to make the Rhinos bus trip to Maryland for the US Open Cup semifinal next Tuesday, here is the form to fill out.
- Devo started quite the debate with this Reverse Blog. This has been an age old debate amongst Rhinos fans. I remember a town hall meeting at then PAETEC Park where the fans in attendance were split almost 50-50 on the music topic. Personally, it should be all about the soccer. If the team wins, and the players create a connection with the fans, then nothing else will matter.
- In case you didn't know, tonight's Rhinos-Islanders game is the FSC Game of the Week. Thanks to the CONCACAF Gold Cup, Puerto Rico will be missing a few players. Devo has things covered in today's paper and on his blog.
- USL Soccer.com has a nice piece on the Rhinos returning to the USOC Semis.
- John Ball, Johnny Menyongar, and Warren Ukah all made the USL-1 Team of the Week for last week.
- Speaking of Menyongar, he has to sit out the DC game due to picking up his 3rd yellow card in Open Cup play against Wilmington.
- I want free Jones Soda!
- I still have yet to see Xango on a store shelf. But, I like the look of RSL's 2010 jersey!
- Greg Lalas has upgraded the US's chances of getting a top seed in WC2010 from nil to slim. I wonder what they would have been had they held on versus Brazil?
- I guess Mexico is mad about the cold weather game in Columbus in February and they are looking to bake the US.
- After beating Honduras 2-0 on Wednesday night, the US will close out Gold Cup group play versus Haiti tomorrow in Foxboro. Santino Quaranta is the feel good story after the Honduras game and Freddy Adu has bid the US team good bye and is headed to pre-season with Benfica.
- Grant Wahl has his top 10 thrill list of soccer players. Messi at 6 and he's only 22!
- I like Jeff Bradley's latest First XI at MLSNet.com about the elements of a stylish team.That should be printed out by every owner, GM, and coach in North American pro soccer!
- Charles Gbeke and Wesley Charles are back for Vancouver. And they made it through their 4-0 win without killing each other!
- TIAS.com has a great article up about player development in the US. That is definitely one of the limiting factors in USMNT success, IMO. Another big one is the overall quality of play within MLS.
- Has it really been 10 years already?
The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author, and not necessarily those of the Rochester Rhinos or SoccerSam.com. Feel free to send any comments or complaints to firstname.lastname@example.org. James promises to read (but not to respond) to all of them.