The Clean Sheet: Young love
whatever that means -- and you will see a section that has a back-and-forth between Freddy and his long-time crush. Then let the joy and laughter begin.
Start by reading the transcript of their little back-and-forth. My fave is when Freddy tells her he has been checking her out since the days he watched "Lizzie McGuire" when he was 13.
Ladies and gentlemen, your new American soccer hero was watching Lizzie bleeping McGuire two years ago. Freddy, tell me you've stopped? Please?
When you are ready for the real fun, click through a few photos -- which would be wallpapering the kid's locker and car for the rest of the season if I played for United.
Then, it is time for the best part -- kids, there is video. In some sort of cheesy, blind-date kinda thing, check out the video of our man and Hilary hanging out and posing for a photo shoot -- words just won't do it justice.
Now, I fully expect the upcoming 10th season of Major League Soccer to be one of its finest -- packed with riveting games and memorable moments. But boy is Freddy's "Hook-Up" gonna be tough to top on the old entertainment scale.
THE NEWS: Becks has a new instructional two-DVD set coming out next month, entitled "Really Bend It Like Beckham."
TCS SAYS: While my man Rich in NYC is psyched for this on a whole different level, this thing actually sounds kinda cool, if only for the fact it was shot in HD with a Matrix-style 360-degree camera set up. I have absolutely no idea what that means, but I'd rather see cool effects of Becks teaching soccer than Keanu Reeves teaching us how not to be an actor. Only buzz-kill is despite that title there apparently is no Keira Knightley sighting. Now those two would be a good-looking couple, can you imagine what their kids would look like? Oh, who cares, Becks would just name 'em something stupid anyway ...
THE NEWS: The U.S. national team, a.k.a. an MLS all-star team, lays a 7-0 whuppin' on Club Deportivo Chivas USA.
TCS SAYS: This was apparently a closed-door deal, so I don't have any more details than what has been written -- including the fact that Mexican scout Jorge Campos was denied entry ... outstanding. My one take-away is that I gotta get used to this whole Chivas USA thing, I think. When I first saw the result, I immediately loved that the Yanks put a touchdown up on a Mexican team, a nice precursor to the March 27 showdown south of the 2-0 border.
Then I caught myself and realized this is not really a Mexican team. You see, I am pretty excited by this whole Chivas USA idea, by the fact that this team could realistically be the best side in MLS or the worst. I've said before I want Señor Vergara to be the league's George Steinbrenner and can't wait to see the four derbies here on Planet LA.
Not that a blowout loss when the Chivas USA team has been together for about three days means anything whatsoever, but I did find myself kind of pulling for them when I thought about it. Yeah, I've got some issues to work through on this thing ...
THE NEWS: The annual Hottest Online Soccer Writer contest just got a ringer.
TCS SAYS: Apparently Hard C's streak is going to come to an end, as uber-hottie Heather Mitts looks like she'll be contributing somewhat regularly to ESPN.com. Note to the editors: her articles need more photos. Not of what she is writing about -- we could care less what she writes about -- just of her.
GRAB A COLD BUD (OR AQUAFINA) AND PUT YER FEET UP:
WHAT I'LL BE WATCHING:
Saturday - CRYSTAL PALACE-MANCHESTER UNITED (10 a.m. ET on PPV): While you are watching Tim Howard try and stave off the onslaught of England's most underrated side, see if you can spot any United supporters wearing Eric Cantona masks in the crowd. Ten years ago, the fiery Frenchman karate-kicked a Palace supporter and earned himself an eight-month ban. In commemoration, United fans have dubbed Saturday "Cantona Day" and said they will wear Cantona masks. However, the mighty Palace have said they will not let in, and will eject, any fan wearing such a mask. Bet you a few quid we see at least a couple pop up during the match.
Tuesday - CHELSEA-BARCELONA (2:30 pm ET on The Deuce): From the highlights and cut-ins during the Man United-AC Milan first leg, this looked like a fascinating encounter. Chelsea seemingly has the Premier League under control, but return to Stamford Bridge needing to reverse a 2-1 loss at the Nou Camp.
Wednesday - LOST (8 p.m. ET on ABC): This one is not so much about the footie, but just about a friendly bit of advice to jump on the bandwagon of one of the best new shows on TV this season. There is a pretty good repeat next Wednesday that can get you brought up to speed for the backstretch of the show's rookie season.
Speaking of great TV, you have to find a highlight of Roberto Carlos' goal for Real Madrid midweek. After a back-pass to the 'keeper, Real gets an indirect dead ball about 12 yards in front of the goal. So the man with the left-footed cannon takes about a 95-yard running start, as a bunch of Real Betis players on the goal line close their eyes and make their peace with the man above. Sure enough, Roberto Carlos absolutely unloads and fortunately for everyone involved, the ball fires into the goal, not killing anyone along the way. When I saw the clip, I just started laughing out loud -- he absolutely murders the ball ... definitely worth tracking down a look-see.
The Clean Sheet runs each Thursday on MLSnet.com. Views and opinions expressed in this column views and opinions are the author's, and not necessarily those of Major League Soccer or its clubs. Send any questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org