ProSoccerTalk’s weekly soccer Panic Quotient (®) takes the temperature of stress and distress in the streets of Major League Soccer and along the boulevards of the global game, and since I’ve kicked Steve off this beat for a week, we’re making this a Southern California inspired PQ in honor of my visit for tonight’s LA Galaxy-Real Madrid friendly:
Real Salt Lake: Jason Kreis and company talked big ahead of their trip to Costa Rica. CONCACAF Champions League was a priority. Two days and 3,500 miles later, RSL flew home with no points. Slows starts, lack of possession, red cards – it happens – but with four group stage games instead of six in this year’s tournament, you can’t afford multiple slips. RSL used their pass in game one.
Panic quotient = pretty low, along the lines of: Alarm goes off for dawn patrol, you decide to sleep in and deal with being dogged by your friends when you meet them for breakfast burritos.
Shalrie Joseph: Speaking of wake up calls, there’s nothing like a cold handshake and a plane ticket cross country to tell you we weren’t getting the job done. When you’re 34 years old, the subtext of that message is a challenge: Can you still get it done? At least one team says no, and who knows. They might be right.
New team, new city, new life – Shalrie’s going to get a chance to prove them wrong. It may also be his last stop in the league.
Panic quotient = moderate-to-high, along the lines of: You’re in Santa Monica, your flight takes off in 90 minutes, and you forgot there’s construction on Lincoln as you go through Marina del Rey.
How do you know so much about Marina del Rey?
Most Eastern Conference teams: Most of the year, there’s been a nice convivial attitude at the top of the conference. Kansas City, D.C. United, New York have all had their turns. Houston’s been allowed to lurk. Then Erik Soler convinces Vancouver that the Seba Le Toux era has run its course. And then he adds Tim Cahill. The rest of the East has to love this.
Teams usually espouse a “you’ve got to beat the best” attitude about these types of things. Not-so-deep down? Nobody outside of Harrison can be thrilled about a stacked New York.
Panic quotient = high, along the lines of: You’re stuck on the 405, nothing’s moving, you smell something from the engine and notice your temperature gauge is trying to find a letter to the right of H. And your cell died 10 minutes ago.