With all aspects of the Ross County season now over I have no choice to turn my focus to the New England Revolution for the next six weeks or so. The Revs have 16 points through their first 13 matches, which puts them 13 points behind first place Toronto, and three points outside of a playoff spot. The Revolution roster remains one of the most talented rosters in MLS (the attack can be frightening at times), and yet from the beginning of the 2012 through last weekend the club is 69-72-42 and that’s just not good enough. Oh, and there’s still no new stadium on the horizon.
On the positive side (sort of, because it makes the club’s mediocrity even harder to fathom), Diego Fagundez is having his best season ever (he plays defense now!), Xavier Kouassi may not be the club’s savior yet, or even worth his DP money, but as he gets healthier each week he’s coming closer on both accounts, and Antonio Delamea has been so good he’s received his second call-up from Slovenia. On the negative side, there’s no logical reason Teal Bunbury should still be with the club and Je-Vaughn Watson remains a red card waiting to happen every time he takes the field.
Liam Boyce- the leading goal scorer in the Scottish Premiership this season!!- has be recalled to the Northern Ireland squad for a friendly against New Zealand and then a World Cup qualifying match against Azerbaijan- can’t wait for him to get his first goal for his country!
There are press reports out today suggesting that Dundee F.C. are looking at St. Mirren manager Jack Ross and Ross County manager Jim McIntyre to replace Neil McCann (who replaced Paul Hartley on an interim basis at the end of the season) as their manager. I am surprisingly ambivalent about this. I guess McIntyre might see this as an upgrade- Dundee are historically a “bigger club” than County- but Dundee have only finished above County once since the beginning of the Premiership and they spent the first season of the Premiership…in the Championship. I guess we’ll have to see what happens- McIntyre has at least a year left on his contract, I believe- but I’m comfortable with young Mr. Kettlewell taking over if McIntyre does decide to depart.
Two items of note regarding the summer at Victoria Park. County will play a preseason match against Elgin City F.C. at Borough Briggs and spend a week training at the La Manga Football Center in Murcia, Spain with the hope of playing two friendly matches there as well. Whether this trip to Spain is in place of a trip to Hungary or in addition to one remains to be seen.
Good article in The Guardian yesterday about what can happen when Major League Soccer tries to create rivalries between clubs that either don’t exist or when those clubs already have rivalries with other, more natural opponents. Just one more sign that the growing pains aren’t yet over in MLS.
Francesco Totti has retired after 25 seasons (all in Serie A) with AS Roma. During this time he played over 800 senior matches for Roma and Italy, scored over 300 goals, setting every record one could imagine with his club and winning more trophies- both individually and with Roma and Italy- than I could possibly list here. More than that, however, after 25 club seasons and an international career that lasted for 18 years, you would be hard-pressed to find a single person- including Inter supporters!- with an unkind word to say about him. He is everything you want a footballer to be on, and off, the field. Complimenti, Il Capitano!