June 5, 2007
So apparently Mayor Duffy is disappointed with the lack of development in the area around PAETEC Park.
My big question is why would he have expected any development to have happened?
Suburban fans obviously don't want to venture into in the neighborhood in large numbers on game nights. So, why would anyone think that businesses would flock to the area when they would need much more than merely the overflow business from PAETEC Park events to survive?
Heck, businesses are having a hard enough time surviving in the Frontier Field area and that's proven to be an area that is a lot more attractive to suburban fans. If the High Falls area can't support the various restaurant and entertainment venues that have come and gone over the past ten years, then why would anyone expect that PAETEC Park would be able to transform a largely residential and industrial neighborhood into this thriving commercial center is beyond me.
I hope Mayor Duffy has a meeting with David Gantt soon and tries to figure out what he was thinking when he strong armed PAETEC Park into it's current location. The issues with PAETEC Park are a lot larger than merely what goes on inside the venue and what the Rhinos can control themselves.
Big time European & MLS rumors flying around
Is David Beckham having second thoughts about coming to MLS?
Is Chelsea midfielder Claude Makelele really considering a move stateside?
Ives Galarcep has his take on the Makelele rumor (Hurdle #1 - Will any MLS team pay DP money to a defensive midfielder?) .
Personally, I view a Makelele type move, sort of like a Kasey Keller potential signing. If a team thinks that the player will win games for them, then make the move. I know the standard thinking is that a Designated Player needs to proivide offense to move the needle enough to warrant the huge salary.
I think the bigger issue is winning on the field as that is ultimately what American sports fans want. Yes, they want to be entertained. However, they'll much sooner buy into a winner than an entertaining loser.
So, if a team feels like Makelele can be a Shalrie Joseph type difference making defensive midfielder, then make the move.
The tough part there, along with the Kasey Keller talks, is that the US is pretty good at developing defensive midfielders and goalkeepers. So, team likely think that they can get away with home grown (aka cheaper) alternatives in those spots while they try and spend the big bucks on the attacking maestros and finishers that the US has had a harder time developing over the years.
Now that is a line of thinking that I can buy into as long as the team can find a solid, cheaper alternative.
US Soccer building up to Thursday's Gold Cup opener
Apparently Abby Wambach is taking tonight's XBox 360 match up for charity versus Drew Carey very seriously.
I wonder if Drew will make sure that she can't use Lionel Messi as Abby scored on a bicycle kick with Messi in "training" for their match up?
Also, Oguchi Onyewu talks at Yanks Abroad about how he was impressed by USMNT first timers such as Charlie Davies, Lee Nguyen, and Kamani Hill.
The first year of a World Cup cycle is usually used to inject new blood into the national team mix. And you have to like the job that Bob Bradley has done on that front to this point whether it's brining in youngsters like Davies, Klejstan, Feilhaber, Michael Bradley, and the like getting their first caps, or guys that have been plying their trade in Europe for a while, like Frankie Simek and Jay Demerit, who are getting their first real looks as well.
I know I can't wait until Thursday night!
Jack Bell - NY Times
This is a fascinating interview that gets to some of the issues of soccer not getting enough respect when it comes to sports editors in the US.
Jack Bell of the NY Times had to pay his own way to Barcelona to do an interview with Ronaldinho. The kicker is that he also got to do the interview at Ronaldinho's Barca home and the Times didn't run some of Jack's pictures from inside Ronnie's mansion.
Thankfully, TIAS.com ran the pics. Personally, I loved the "trophy case" shot.
The interview also talks about the transition from Arena to Bradley, covering the Cosmos, MLS eventually going to a European schedule, and a bunch of other really interesting topics.
This is a top notch read.
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.