From Kasey Keller struggling to stay awake on the job to a Brazilian import of a quality the MetroStars have always waited for, here's a glance at what is going on in our little footie world.
THE NEWS: The Yanks ride an early Brian McBride goal to beat Trinidad & Tobago 1-0 in Connecticut.
TCS SAYS: So even if the United States got blown out in all their remaining games, they would still qualify for a playoff against some team in Asia - I think the winner between Dubuque State and the Rockford under-17 girls team.
Tough night for Kasey Keller, huh? Zero saves. Guy was needed about as much as Jennifer Love Hewitt's acting coach.
By the way, this just in: John O'Brien got hurt again.
THE NEWS: Jason Kreis hits a wonder-goal to grab his century.
TCS SAYS: The Ian Wright-Wright-Wright of MLS just keeps banging in goals and proving people wrong, despite never getting a real taste of national team ball. Amazing.
THE NEWS: The Fire have five MLS matches in a row on the road, a span of 56 days between home league games at Soldier Field.
TCS SAYS: I don't blame 'em ... who the heck would want to be in Chicago anyway? By the way, love my small market Twins sweeping away the ChiSox this week (although my boys will be watching the Pale Hose in the playoffs, so I better zip my yap).
THE NEWS: Dema shows some flashes of brilliance on the field.
TCS SAYS: That's the worst thing about Dema Kovalenko: the guy can actually play soccer a little bit. If he would stop with all the Todd Bertuzzi bonehead stuff and just play ball, well, I guess I wouldn't ever write about him again. Good point. OK Dema, you may now return to your butchering and blading.
THE NEWS: Best coaching rumor I read this week?
TCS SAYS: Ridge Mahoney in Soccer America brought up a good point: Frank Yallop being reunited with Alexi Lalas as head coach of the Mutts. Makes sense.
THE NEWS: Fox Soccer Channel inked a new deal to start carrying a couple of Serie A matches every week.
TCS SAYS: Love it. Now if they can just get their talent on MLS games and highlight shows to learn the names of all the players. Doesn't matter how good you are as a game broadcaster or highlight host, if you can't pronounce names of MLS starters or identify players correctly, your credibility is absolutely shot.
THE NEWS: A group of Metro players will be featured with Brazilian über-babe Gisele Bundchen in the September 2005 issue of Vogue magazine.
TCS SAYS: Unlike most of the Metro senior internationals over the years, finally a Metro foreigner I wouldn't mind seeing washed up.
GRAB A COLD BUD (OR AQUAFINA) AND PUT YER FEET UP:
WHAT I'LL BE WATCHING:
Saturday - FC DALLAS at CREW (4 p.m. ET on The Deuce): The halftime show will feature Robert Warzycha firing soccer balls at Frankie HEY!DUCK!, who will only be allowed to defend himself with a surfboard.
Saturday - GALAXY at UNITED (7:30 p.m. ET on Fox Soccer Channel): The Galaxy taking the field for a road game must feel as hopeless as Greg Lalas strolling into a pick-up bar. It really is sad the Galaxy have become a punch line.
Sunday - CHELSEA vs. ARSENAL (11 a.m. ET on PPV): Round up the lads and get down to the pub, we've got ourselves an early-season beauty.
Congrats to Greg Andrulis on his new gig as head coach at George Mason University. Crew fans, please keep your comments to yourself.
Sirius radio just started airing BBC1. Very cool.
Did you by any chance catch the roast of Pam Anderson on Comedy Central? I'm ashamed to say I did, and I'm even more ashamed to say there were more than a few laugh-out-loud moments. The show stealer: former Jeff Bradley love interest Bea Arthur. Worth a look if you can find it.
Every World Cup game from Schnitzeland is going to be in HD. So I have between now and then to get a real job and save up for all the fancy apparatus. If you've seen footie in HD, you know what I'm talking about. If you haven't ... unlucky ... and get it sorted by next summer.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org