The Clean Sheet: Family matters

reservations. A GM role in MLS has for the most part been made up of three major components – player personnel, selling tickets and running the front office. That’s a lot to handle – especially without any prior experience. And in a market that is already probably the most challenging in MLS, Alexi’s hiring will definitely put a new focus on the club on and off the field.

That said, and this is as important as anything right now, AEG seems to have made a public commitment that the team will not be Club America this season. Let’s be honest, the rumors were flying – and that was before Johnny Moore left. And then he did. With something like that, more often than not, where there’s smoke there’s fire.

But for now, that has been put to rest. The team will play in San Jose. They have a GM. They have a coach. These are the guys who will take the team forward. This is a market that needs some commitment and consistency from ownership, and AEG looks to have delivered on that for now. The fans deserve it and they got it.

Now it’s up to Alexi and Dominic Kinnear and the rest of the franchise to build on the momentum that Moore and Frank Yallop created, and hopefully finally realize the potential of the San Jose market. Alexi Lalas has always been a roll-up-the-sleeves-and-get-after-it kind of player, and that attitude will only help him in his new career, because he’s got quite a bit ahead of him.


Obviously I can’t close this week without mentioning the fantastic news about the Chicago Fire stadium project (although being a long-time Burn supporter, I’d rather call the Fire’s new stadium announcement “so last year” – I mean, we announced Frisco ages ago). Soldier Field is hands down the best of the football venues used for MLS, atmosphere-wise. But to me, that’s still like being the best road performance by the Galaxy last year – it’s still not good enough.

So the news is great -- that’s one more soccer stadium on the way. Metro, you are now on the clock.


Hey, wait a second, something just dawned on me about Greg Lalas. Hard C, are you seeing a pattern here? First Bradley, now Lalas. I see how it is. My brother’s not involved in the management of an MLS team. Guess I better get the old resume out.

For hire: talent-less hack who is grossly overpaid and specializes in obvious, off-color and not-so-funny jokes. Hmm, sounds like the exact ingredient to be a writer on any NBC sitcom in the last couple years. Guess it’s all gonna work out.


Now, your old pal Tino is leaving the sun of southern California for The Sun and Eng-er-land for a few days. Heck, everyone else is headed that way recently, so why not me? Actually, it’s time for my every-now-and-then comprehensive study of the bottom of the inside of pint glasses in London.

Wait, am I allowed to go over there now? This new transfer window has me all kinds of confused.

One of the plans over there is to catch a bit of the Super Bowl radio broadcast on Radio Five Live, which apparently will use one Sean Wheelock on the broadcast team.

Another is to dig up some of Beckham’s secrets about his private life (I know he lives in Spain now, thanks.). Why? Apparently, some security guards formerly assigned to Beckham are trying to sell some such secrets for just under a million bucks!


Take one second for this last item. For some reason, many of
the readers emailed me this week to ask who I would take for the Panthers-
Pats Super Bowl. I was a little offended at the thought that I would actually
lay money on sports. As I always say, all my picks are for fun only, and
the thought of actually betting money on any games or supporting such action
points to a way of life that I just do not condone.

(Okay, now just read the first word of each of the six lines of what I just said. Don’t worry, Tino will always be Tino.)

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 Send any questions and comments to