Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Soccer Miscellany

A seven-game losing streak broken only by a 0-0 tie with the worst team in the league (ah, hell, maybe we're the worst team in the league), the Toronto Lynx. Let's face it: we're awful. All the same, I'll be at PGE Park on Friday night to watch the Timbers take on the Minnesota Thunder (also pretty awful this year, so perhaps there's hope yet) in the first of six home games, and the last six of the season. I'm not hoping for a playoff spot or anything so ambitious--just that we salvage some shreds of our dignity at this point, although I'd even settle for just seeing us score one goal that doesn't come off a penalty kick before the season ends.

In news from farther afield, Iraq's national soccer coach quits after death threats directed at him and his family, Alfio Basile leaves Boca Juniors to accept a position as the new Argentine national coach, and the cheaters in the Italian match-fixing scandal continue to go more or less scot-free, as AC Milan is slated to participate in this year's Champions League. Can someone explain to me why anyone would be deterred from further match-fixing in Italy? Even mastermind Moggi received what seems to me a mere slap on the wrist, a five-year suspension from the game when he clearly shouldn't be allowed anywhere near a player, pitch, or referee again, ever.

FC Dallas Roma stayed out past midnight and turned into a pumpkin, as their fantastic fairy tale run in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup came to an end last night against the charisma-challenged LA Galaxy.

And finally, in news that makes at least two-thirds of a pretty move very happy indeed, Mlada Boleslav, previously known only for its manufacture of Skoda automobiles (a digression: if you ever have the opportunity to tour the Skoda factory--and who wouldn't leap at a chance like that?--just know that inside its walls you will find a potentially lethal combination of vending machines that dispense inexpensive 500 ml bottles of beer for workers to consume on their breaks and forklifts and other equipment traditionally thought of in our silly Puritan American minds as "heavy machinery not to be operated under the influence of even, say, cough syrup" ), is one step closer to a UEFA title as they advance to the third round of Champions League qualifying following a tie away game against Norway's Valerenga, resulting in a 4-2 aggregate. Onwards, Mlada Boleslav! They'll be partying in the panelaks tonight!


Zach Dundas said...

Doesn't Skoda make Portland's streetcars?

Lynda said...

Indeed they do! Although I think they're actually manufactured at the main plant in Pilsen. Other fun Skoda trivia: they were actually bought out by the Germans (Volkswagen) in the early 90s, much to the Czechs' chagrin. Also, the Skoda factory in Mlada Boleslav was bombed at the very end of WWII but no one knows which side was responsible. They are still pretty peeved about that, too.