The Clean Sheet: As the Planet turns

and that anything else just won't be tolerated.

Hmm, does this mean the Galaxy would rather lose beautifully than win ugly? And they wear yellow and green uniforms? Ladies and gentleman, I give you Brazil.

Real Salt Lake (or whatever they're going to be called): Why? Seems to me a fantastic coaching candidate has fallen into their laps. As has happened with coaches such as Rick Carlisle and Tony Dungy in the past, sometimes very successful coaches just become available. Enter Sigi Schmid. I know the rumor mill has John Ellinger and others in the mix, but I put Sigi at the top of that list the second he became available.

LOSERS:
Steve Sampson haters: Yeah, many U.S. Soccer fans still have about 1998 reasons to dislike Steve Sampson, but get used to seeing his mug on the American soccer scene once again. At the press conference to announce his hiring, Sampson was humble when talking about how he thinks he has grown as a coach since he took over in 1995. Also to his credit, he was very willing to answer questions about how U.S. fans perceive him, just basically saying he hopes to let results do his talking.

But worry not, Sampson haters, he still brought plenty of his trademark, uh, confidence to the proceedings.

Fans of the other nine teams: I would just hope that your clubs' brass show a Galaxy-style refusal to settle for mediocrity - or less. Obviously that has not been the case with certain clubs around the league. I'm not saying everyone should go sack their coaches, but I absolutely love the sense that mediocrity and just being in first place in a parity-filled league is not a good enough product.

Anyone who believes Chivas USA had nothing to do with this move: This just in: of course this was absolutely part of this decision. There is going to be a new team in the Home Depot Center next season, and the Galaxy knows it has to not only be a winner, but also provide an exciting product now that there will be competition in the marketplace.

* * *

Some very quick thoughts for y'all on the US-Jamaica game Wednesday night:

  • No big surprise in this one, it was basically an untidy 0-0 game, with two silly defensive breakdowns. Good start for the Yanks, CONCACAF away matches are seldom pretty and this was no exception. Bruce and the lads did a job and continue to show what it takes to earn results when they matter.

  • I know he scored the game winner, but Brian Ching did a lot more than that in a great performance in relief of an ineffective Brian McBride.

  • That said, glad the Hawaiian Superman did score, or he may not have slept for a week after missing that wide-open header earlier.

  • Is there a better stadium nickname - or TV show for that matter - than "The Office?"

  • I love The Bruce's keys to the game on the broadcast. This time they were to have a fast start, control the game, and be in a position to win. I'm not saying he doesn't exactly take those seriously when ESPN asks, but you do get the feeling next game he may actually say he hopes the U.S. scores more goals than the other team. They should be the keys to the game, brought to you by Crash Davis.

  • Chris Klein, who probably would have started this game before he did his knee, was missed.

  • Regarding the broadcast, let's dump the "FIFA World Cup Qual" under the score in the upper-left graphic. Bring it in every 15 minutes to remind us if you want, but it just is too much clutter on the already cluttered screen.

  • Before Ching saved the day, was anyone else thinking it ironic that the United States was going to lose a World Cup game on the same day that Steve Sampson re-entered the U.S. soccer scene?

    FOR RECREATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY:

    I know a guy, who knows a guy, who knows a guy ... so every week TCS is gonna put a little action on the action, if you know what I'm talkin' about. Each week in this space we'll track how last week went and what's on the books, so to speak, for the upcoming week.

    LAST WEEK: Back in the junk after K.C. and San Jose didn't so much draw, L.A. didn't so much beat the Crew and the Burn didn't so much draw with Metro (they beat 'em ... go on boys!).
    CURRENT BANK: -150
    THIS WEEK: Let's go 100 on Sampson debuting in style and 100 on the Quakes beating our Burn.

    GRAB A COLD BUD (OR AQUAFINA) AND PUT YER FEET UP:

    WHAT I'LL BE WATCHING:

    Saturday - FIRE AT GALAXY (12 midnight ET Sunday on The Deuce): Sampson's debut is a game the Galaxy should win handily, period. If not, will he get the sack? Oh, I kid because I care ...

    Saturday - WIZARDS AT REVS (7:30 p.m. ET on Fox Sports World): Kansas City has hit a bit of a rough patch, and the Revs are no pushover.

    FLICK-ONS:

    I'm just sick and tired of all of this parity. Sorry fellow Burn faithful, but I wouldn't mind that much if San Jose stepped up laid a whuppin' on us this weekend. The Quakes should be among the league's elite ... you know, if there were a league's elite. Time for some teams to step up ... please.

    Can't decide who I cheered against more last weekend: Tiger Woods or the USA hoops team.

    Think Kyle Martino likes his new role?

    It took a second for it to register after Becks set up Michael Owen for an England goal on Wednesday that they both now play for Real Madrid. Strange ...

    Did you see the goals by Mile High Club's Mark Chung and Matt Crawford last weekend in Chicago? Apparently, the league's lowest-scoring side is going for quality over quantity.

    The Clean Sheet runs each Thursday on MLSnet. Views and opinions expressed in this column views and opinions are the author's, and not necessarily those of Major League Soccer or MLSnet.com. Send any questions and comments to tcsresponses@yahoo.com


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