The Clean Sheet: Turkey roundup

and all footie for that matter -- than anyone really should. So I decided to take his temperature on the new hire.

Turns out Jose is a big backer of the move to hire Bradley. Doesn't care that he's a gringo. Says Bradley has worked with Bruce Arena and won some MLS titles, and that is what The Goats need, someone who knows the league. Says he's glad Hugo Sanchez didn't end up here, as he should go to Europe and suffer through long winters.

So there you have it. Good enough for me.

The move is a smart one for Jorge Vergara, Antonio Cue and company, but kind of brings to an end any misconceptions (or hopes in my case) anyone had about the swashbuckling Vergara coming in and rewriting the book on how to win in MLS. Instead, this move brings in a defensive-minded gaffer with a strong MLS pedigree. The first incarnation of Chivas USA bombed, so now they will tear it up and start over.

As for Bradley, the move lets him start fresh after his time in The Swamp, which has to be written off as a failure, whether it is by his fault or not. Let's be honest, since Metros struggled under his watch, many began to question Bradley's place as the heir apparent to The Bruce. But now he has a chance to restore his name, and he should thrive with some money to spend and a different work environment.

Good luck, Bob. Jose and I will be watching.

* * *

As I sit on an airplane flying back to Planet LA from beautiful Honolulu, it is not hard to think about everything I am thankful for. Even though the movie was a chick-flick called "Must Have Dogs" which I inevitably enjoyed -- a fact I should never admit to anyone -- I do find myself in a pretty thankful mood.

So without further ado (hey, I've never heard that play on words before), here is your old pal Tino's fourth annual list of things I am thankful for:

I am thankful for the many opportunities I have had to attend MLS games in San Jose. As it looks like I may have seen my last contest at Spartan Stadium, the small-but-rabid fan base in San Jose deserves kudos for their passion and creativity.

I am thankful Lamar Hunt has done (and continues to do) so much to keep the Wizards in Kansas City.

I am thankful that on a recent flight the guy next to me who after take-off immediately ordered two vodkas with two vodka chasers didn't get frisky.

I will be especially thankful if RSL doesn't let new acquisition Douglas Sequeira put his first name on the back of his jersey. I would be even more thankful if MLS would kill that silly practice.

I am thankful I am not an MLS coach whose GM wants to take a risk on Cleetus.

I am not thankful for the guy who e-mailed in last week to say that the only time my column is funny is when I quote Queen of the Palace. Great, something else she can tell me I am no good at.

I am thankful I am happily married, because the get-up I sported in Hawaii with a worn-out Leon (of Mexico) jersey and the cheesy tourist floppy hat ensured I would sleep alone every night anyway.

I am thankful for Diane Lane. I was especially thankful for her in "Unfaithful."

I am not thankful I have yet to get my hands on the 77-page "Code of Conduct" that now governs the Minnesota Vikings football team. Must be a whole chapter on water sports.

I am thankful we got the chance to see Roy Keane play his entire Manchester United career. I am also thankful I have never ticked him off, because I am thankful none of my bones are broken right now and my family is healthy.

I am thankful the World Series is getting closer every day, so we can get rid of the gawd-awful phrase, "World Series champion White Sox."

I am not thankful that AEG forgot to invite me to the get together with Chelski big-wigs Roman Abramovich and Peter Kenyon here on Planet LA recently. I just moved to a new casa, so I assume the invite got lost in the forwarding. I'll be thankful, though, when I get their invite to see the Premiership juggernaut play here next year.

I am thankful I don't have to impress the Chicago Tribune. Here is what they wrote about the U.S. national team regarding the World Cup: "Led by DaMarcus Beasley and Landon Donovan, this could be the year the United States finally takes the next step." The next step? They made the quarterfinals last year and battled Germany admirably. What next step? That wasn't good enough? This just in: the World Cup is not a constant ascension for anyone. Get used to it -- at some point soon, we might not even qualify. Happens to everyone.

I am thankful I am not the one in charge of deciding whether to go ahead with the so-called "David Beckham rule," where MLS teams could buy one big-name player on their own dime outside of the salary cap. While MLS desperately needs more players casual soccer fans would pay to see, that opens up quite the Pandora's Box, doesn't it?

I am thankful for another year as a Crystal Palace supporter, a year in which I have gotten to see them get relegated once again and take their rightful place in mid-table obscurity in the Coca-Cola Championship, or whatever it's called this week.

I am thankful for another year as an FC Dallas supporter, a year in which I got to see the club put together what looked to be a championship-winning side in a year they opened a beautiful new venue that would host the championship game. Yeah, how'd that turn out?

I am thankful for the laugh my mom gave me in Hawaii. When my brother flashed the Hawaiian "hang loose" sign with thumb and pinky extended, she looked down at his hand and asked why he was flashing that "gang sign." Phenomenal. And you thought John Madden was the most entertaining person ever to come out of Austin, Minn.

I am thankful I missed the Socceroos' post-game locker room celebration, which reportedly included a sing-along led by John Travolta. Don't ask.

I am thankful the Germans will put on a great World Cup next year. How do I know? Just look at the talent assembled for the Dec. 9 draw. Two words: Heidi. Klum.

I am thankful MLSnet.com is going to ask me to cover New Eng-er-land's preseason trip to Bermuda. Right guys?

And finally, I would be thankful for any advice, as if all goes well, this February, Queen of the Palace will give birth to our first, and the starting striker for the U.S. in either the 2024 Women's World Cup or 2026 World Cup.

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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