The Clean Sheet: Poetic injustice

As we close the curtain on the year 2004, we look ahead to a 2005 that should be packed with plenty of column fodder for your old pal Tino. I mean just off the top of my head, how about:

  • CD Chivas USA and Real Salt Lake joining MLS for Season 10
  • The Yanks attempting to qualify for Germany '06 (it says here the real players will be there in February)
  • UEFA Champions League (have you seen the round of 16 matchups? Wow!)
  • The long-awaited return of uber-babe Jennifer Garner in "Alias"
  • Crystal Palace rallying from the relegation zone to qualify for Europe
  • And of course, the fourth season of The Clean Sheet

    But before we get to the New Year, I see that Dec. 25 has arrived. Uh-oh. It's Christmas time again. Yes, TCS fans, that means one thing. One very unfortunate, un-funny, poorly-rhymed thing.

    It is that time of year where I give you the annual TCS version of "Twas the night before the MLS season."

    As is always the case this time of year, my sincerest apologies for the few minutes of your life you will not be able to get back if you choose to continue reading:


    Twas the night before the MLS season
    And all through the league
    We wait for the tenth year
    With excitement and intrigue.

    If my FC Dallas don't improve
    I'm gonna jump in the ocean with no flippers.
    Because if they miss the playoffs again
    MLS is going to rename them the Clippers.

    Here's an idea for the regular season
    That'll make the lads play harder with pleasure:
    Award everyone on the team with the best record
    A date with the blond girl from "National Treasure."

    The Quakes fans are very hopeful
    Alexi can solve their problems with his smart dome
    But SSV should be holding rallies for Bianca
    And convince her to make Landon come back home.

    Will the Krafts buy into Liverpool this summer?
    That will be an interesting call.
    No point in paying attention to the Revs until then
    Since they always struggle 'til fall!

    With a ring on his teenage finger,
    Little Freddy enters his second year.
    Will he feel a weight lifted off his shoulders?
    Or try to turn the league on its ear?

    Will this finally be the year
    That Santa brings Metro a new ground?
    Bob Bradley just hopes that in his stocking
    A defense and a 'keeper will be found.

    So the national team players strike
    Could put qualifying in a rut. Hmmm ...
    On Connolly! On Bradley! On Lalas!
    We deserve a bigger cut!

    Santa came early to the Andrulis home
    A new contract was the perfect gift.
    But what's he gonna do with that front line
    As Martino in for Cunningham gave them quite the lift.

    And out in worried Kansas City
    I know an old local guy with some money.
    So Wizards fans should start calling on Preki
    'Cuz wouldn't the first owner-midfielder be kinda funny?

    Clavijo's first task in Denver
    Will be to find some scoring.
    But you can be sure compared to years past
    The 2005 Rapids won't be boring!

    Señor Vergara is gonna be my favorite owner
    Even if Chivas USA stinks.
    Because lots of his new ideas are about women
    So I like the way this guy thinks!

    Can Steve Sampson finally lift
    That World Cup 1998 fog?
    He gets to rebuild his own Galaxy
    But he still should've kept Andy Herzog.

    Real Salt Lake should be full of surprises
    But for me one will be the most clear:
    Has anyone told my main man Cleetus
    About the deal in Utah with the beer?

    So the year 2005 promises to bring
    A great season that goes down to the wire
    Because we know MLS is fully loaded
    With 11 entertaining teams ... and the Fire.

    The Clean Sheet runs each Thursday on Send any questions and comments to 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.