The Clean Sheet: Get in line

from what I hear, Will Ferrell, Alyssa Milano, Robert Duvall and Drew Carey were all wedged into the packed house. In addition, Anthony LaPaglia turned up for a guest stint on "MLS Wrap."

TCS SAYS: See how easy it is, MLS? Like everyone is calling for - all you gotta do is make sure D.C. United starts Joshua Gros - and look what happens!

THE NEWS: Is it me, or does it seem like a lot of the talk early this season is focusing on players like Freddy Adu, Alecko Eskandarian (right), and Michael Bradley?

TCS SAYS: I'm not saying young players are the story in MLS this season, but apparently there is now going to be a Sadie Hawkins dance for the players the night before the All-Star Game.

Speaking of Freddy (and I get fined if I don't), here's hoping if he ends up being big-time, he's more like Phil Mickelson than Tiger Woods off the field. How could you not have been cheering for Lefty down the stretch last weekend? He just seems like one of us, yeah?

THE NEWS: In 180 minutes of Chicago Fire soccer this season, the teams have combined for a grand total of zero goals.

TCS SAYS: Funny enough, that's about as long as I waited for my food last week when I tried to go to the Cheesecake Factory in posh Brentwood, Calif. What a disaster. Not that I hold a grudge or anything.

Speaking of restaurants here in Planet L.A. - kudos this week to the Queen of the Palace, who told two of the Wayans brothers to get back in line when they jokingly tried to jump in front of her in a valet line after dinner in Hollywood. Next thing I knew they were all having a laugh and the Wayans actually paid our valet fee for us when our cars turned up.

They obviously had no idea how lucrative an column is.

THE NEWS: Pretty taxing week for the Fire, having to play three games in a week, including the first leg of Brimstone '04.

TCS SAYS: Could be worse - according to Reuters, the manager of Colombian first division Quindio quit because he said several of his first-team players could not afford to eat. "It's not easy to play Sunday-Wednesday-Sunday without eating," he said. Good point.

THE NEWS: After saying recently he would consider playing for England if his native Brazil kept overlooking him, Arsenal's Edu was called in this week for Brazil's upcoming friendly with Hungary.

TCS SAYS: Is that all it takes to get what you want these days? Ok, here goes: Hey Jennifer Garner - I am going to consider dating Jessica Simpson if you keep overlooking me.

Time to go wait by the phone.

THE NEWS: So no one went to my Burn's home opener.

TCS SAYS: Why do I mention it? Because I loved the very honest explanation Burn GM Greg Elliott gave Tobias Xavier Lopez in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram: "It's about what we expected coming off a catastrophic season where we darn near fell off the radar screen," he said. "It's going to take time to prove we're a team worth watching again. It might take several matches before people realize the type of team we've assembled and we're getting results and displaying a product they can be proud of."

No spin there, just the truth. Gotta love when a team exec just tells it like it is.


Saturday: UNITED-METRO (4 p.m. ET on ESPN2): They say the hearing is the first to go and that was confirmed last week when I wrote that Eric Wynalda used a word on last week's broadcast that he simply didn't. Luckily JP took time out of the NHL playoffs to sort me out (seen him on the Bruins-Habs series? He calls a good game, like the great Al Shaver for my North Stars growing up). Anyway - my bad, Waldo.

Saturday: EARTHQUAKES-REVS (7:30 p.m. ET on Fox Sports World): How about this one: In both 'Quakes games this season, a 'Quakes player has been ejected within two minutes of Brian Ching coming on as a sub. Nice line from head coach Dominic Kinnear in the San Jose Mercury News: "I told him I'm afraid to start him. I don't want to play 88 minutes with 10 men."

Sunday: "THE SOPRANOS" (9 p.m. ET on HBO): If you haven't been watching this season, start now. It has been fantastic. Plus I gotta see what's gonna happen to that principal.


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: Had the West Coast teams, both were involved in draws, so we kiss off $100 to drop into the dark side of the moon.


THIS WEEK: Five picks, $50 each, here we go: Bradley over Nowak, New Eng-er-land over the 'Quakes, K.C. over the Crew and I'm backing L.A. to actually win on the road. Here we go again. And finally, it's Brimstone Chapter One, and this kills me to say - I think my Burn just aren't ready yet, so I'm going with the bad guys. Don't worry, we know who'll be standing at the end of the season. COLUMNIST LOCKS OF THE WEEK

Okay, you guys asked for it, so now you're getting it -- every week the columnists are going to pick one lock of the week and we'll keep a running tally to see who actually knows what they are talking about. Late word is that The Commish was nice enough to offer a brand new Honda to the winner.

LAST WEEK: Jeff Bradley had L.A., the rest of us had the 'Quakes. All draws again. Two weeks, eight picks, nary a one correct. Oh yeah, we're good.

Bradley 0-2
Connolly 0-2
Lalas 0-2
Palace 0-2

Bradley: Chicago over Dallas
Hard C: Chicago over Dallas
Tino: KC over Columbus
Lalas: KC over Columbus


Reports out of Beantown have the Revs looking at a Trinidad & Tobago international with the last name of John! Sorry Revs fans, it's not Stern. It's actually former Boston Bulldog Avery John. Hey, could be worse - rather than Avery John, it could be former XFL running back John Avery.

Seen the Brazil-Portugal spot yet? Wonderful. has it if you haven't seen it.

A belated congrats to uber-agent Richard Motzkin and family on the birth of twins Eli and Sam late last month. No videos of The Wiggles or Baby Mozart in the Motzkin household from what I understand, just a looped tape of "Jerry Maguire."

Been reading rumors that Lisa Guerrero may be on the hot seat at Monday Night Football. Lorrie Fair, get to work!

The Clean Sheet runs each Thursday on Views and opinions expressed in this column are strictly those the author and not necessarily those of Major League Soccer or Send any questions and comments to