Columbus Crew v Seattle Sounders

Lessons, character building no longer enough for MLS


There is a lot of talk about character and learning lessons today coming out of the Seattle Sounders camp. Fair enough.

Lessons were surely learned. Character was surely built. Battles were surely battled.

But the bottom line is unchanged for the Sounders after last night’s 1-1 draw with Santos in Torreon, Mexico. And not everyone is OK with this ongoing marching parade of lessons and character building. (Nor should they be.)


He has a point. There are plenty of soccer fans out there, many who support a Liga MX team, who would bury their superiority complex over MLS if the LA Galaxy, the Sounders, Real Salt Lake and all their league brethren could get into a few more CONCACAF Champions League finals, at very least. A place in the FIFA Club World Cup would go a long ways to establishing greater credibility, too.

Here’s what Sounders manager Sigi Schmid said about Wednesday’s match in Torreon, the latest exercise in MLS character-building and lesson-learning.

Obviously we learned from last year, and that’s an important thing. You have to continue to learn and improve. We put ourselves in a position to advance, which was also very good. I think the character that we showed tonight and that we played with, being down at halftime 1-0 was no different than our situation was against Tigres. We knew we needed to score just two goals to advance, not three, and the guys battled. We put ourselves in a position where we could have advanced and won it. Our finishing needed to be better, but I’m proud of our quality and the effort we put in tonight.”

Ferguson still being asked about Moyes: “We chose a good football man”

David Moyes Alex Ferguson
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In some ways absence makes the heart grow fonder, but it seems Sir Alex Ferguson‘s life after Manchester United has been filled with second guessing.

Whether the sales of Paul Pogba and Gerard Pique or the appointment of David Moyes, “Fergie” apparently can’t rest on his title-winning laurels.

[ MORE: Tax evasion charges dropped against Messi, but not his father ]

One thing that seems to bug him more than anything, though, is the idea that he hand-picked David Moyes to be his successor, and should be responsible for his failings.

In a new documentary, Ferguson both defends the appointment of Moyes and explains the process behind his choice.

From the BBC:

“I don’t think we made a mistake at all. I think we chose a good football man,” Ferguson says. “Unfortunately it didn’t work for David.

“Jose Mourinho was going back to Chelsea, Carlo Ancelotti was going to Real Madrid, Jurgen Klopp had signed a contract with Dortmund, Louis Van Gaal was staying with Holland for the World Cup.”

The article also makes another key point, according to Ferguson: the manager claims he only gave United a few months notice that he’d be stepping down. That certainly didn’t provide a lot of lead time to secure a big boss.

What do you make it of it? If your answer is, “When can we stop talking about Moyes and United?” I tend to be with you, but it’s a talking point.

Tax evasion charges against Messi dropped; Case vs father continues

FILE - In this Sept. 27, 2013 file photo, Barcelona F.C. star Lionel Messi, left, arrives at a court to answer questions in a tax fraud case in Gava, near Barcelona, Spain. Barcelona prosecutors are calling for the arrest of Messi's father in a tax fraud case. Prosecutors have cleared Messi of wrongdoing but are seeking an 18-month prison sentence for his father, Jorge Horacio Messi, for allegedly defrauding Spain's tax office of 4 million euros ($4.5 million) in unpaid taxes from 2007-09. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti, File)
AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti
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Lionel Messi will not face charges that he and his father defrauded the government in millions of unpaid taxes, though his father is not so lucky.

Messi’s father, Jorge, could face 18 months in jail and an approximate $2.25 million fine despite a voluntary payment of $5.5 million in 2013 to “correct” the missed taxes.

[ WATCH: Hilarious spoof pegs Messi, Ronaldo as “Friends” ]

The Barcleona star had plead ignorance to the charges, something that failed to impress prosecutors. But, it apparently worked out in his favor on Tuesday.

From the BBC:

Prosecutors allege that Jorge avoiding paying tax on his son’s earnings by using offshore companies in Belize and Uruguay between 2007 and 2009.

Messi’s lawyers argued that the player had “never devoted a minute of his life to reading, studying or analysing” the contracts, El Pais newspaper reported.