View from the Cheap Seats: Back in the saddle

they all emitted similar vibes. They're like those bands that sulk through a frat house gig because they think they should be playing the local Enormodome. The thing is, nowadays a lot of these "Americans Abroad," as they've come to be known, are learning that MLS isn't such a bad option, especially if said American Abroad has become a "Benchwarmer Abroad" or his team has become "Relegated Abroad."

2) Kansas City, without Chris Klein and Preki, keeps whizzing along.

(Is it just me, or would anyone else like to see the 77-year-old Preki finally hang 'em up and start grooming the next Preki -- meaning, of course, one of his 15 grandsons, who are all rumored to use their right feet.)

K.C. is leading the Western Conference and will next week play in its first U.S. Open Cup final, against Chicago. Josh Wolff and Davy Arnaud are the league's most potent strike force, which I attribute mostly to the fact that no one can tell the two apart. I think defenders are picking up the wrong marks and statisticians are just arbitrarily giving them goals and assists.

And that's what I come home to: Kansas City and Columbus in first place heading into the backstretch? I think I hear the big honchos up at MLS HQ crushing Sierra Mist cans against their foreheads and trying to figure out how to get Ronaldo on the MetroStars and Ronaldinho on the Galaxy. Either that, or they better be lining up Janet Jackson for the MLS Cup halftime show.

I, for one, think it's great. I love the little guys. It makes the big boys work harder. Furthermore, the Crew's success means I have to eat a little crow, an experience I don't mind now and then. If you'll remember, I lambasted Columbus and coach Greg Andrulis back in May, which prompted several rather intriguing comments about my mother's anatomy. But now, hard hats off to you, Greg, the team, and the fans.

Kansas City and Columbus both next face off against their closest rivals. Sometime next week, Columbus plays the Metros, but by then who knows what might have happened. New England might be in first place. Nope. Strike that.

For relevance, tomorrow night K.C. takes on Colorado. Do you realize the 'Pids have not lost in Denver since June 9? Who knew? But guess who delivered that last home loss? Exactly. Oh, those pesky Wizards! I'm expecting a rip-roaring, Instant Classic.

Although to tell you the truth, it won't feel like true competition unless someone grabs someone else's crotch.

Greg Lalas played for the Tampa Bay Mutiny and the New England Revolution in 1996 and 1997. Send e-mail to Greg at Views and opinions expressed in this column views and opinions are the author's, and not necessarily those of Major League Soccer or

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