December 15, 2013
MY TWO CENTS
All I want for Christmas
Will Smith is a long-time soccer fan from Brooklyn, N.Y.
"The opinions reflected in the My Two Cents columns do not express the views of the editors or management of BigAppleSoccer. com"
By Will Smith
Special to BigAppleSoccer.com
Hi. How are you? I'm ok. Actually, I've been very good this year, apart from some shortcomings you already know about because, after all, you know when I'm sleeping and you know when I'm awake (which, frankly, makes me think I'd call the cops on you if you weren't Santa).
Anyway, I'm deep in the throes of my Christmas shopping (the whole "better to give than receive" bit, you know) and I'm not really in need of much of anything personally. So, I've decided to ask you for things that I can't seem to find on my own which also happen to benefit others. Please note that they are all soccer related. Here goes:
1) Let's get the U.S. through the first round at the World Cup
Listen, I'm a realist. I don't expect the U.S. to win the World Cup next year or even in my lifetime. However, I do want to see them advance to the group of eight ... which would be entirely possible if they weren't drawn into the Group of Death with Germany, Portugal and Ghana. So, I ask for your help. How about sending Ghana and Portugal home? Let's be honest - many people worldwide will be filled with joy watching Cristiano Ronaldo cry pretty boy tears on the Portugal bench subsequent to a sound thrashing and an early departure. Joy to the world indeed!
2) An MLS Cup for the Red Bulls
Yes, I know I ask for this every year and I really, really do appreciate the Supporters Shield you brought me last year, but, boy, it would be nice to see Thierry Henry lift an MLS Cup in his last season, wouldn't it?
3) Some stadium news for NYC FC
I'll be honest. I don't like these guys. I'm a Red Bulls fan and a Mets fan. There's no way I'm rooting for a team even partly owned by the Yankees. Nonetheless, I realize that the best thing for MLS, and thus U.S. Soccer, is for this team to be successful both on and off the field and to have an intense rivalry with the Red Bulls. This can only happen if they field a competitive team and have a home of their own, whichever borough it is in, that is a real showcase for the world's greatest game in the world's greatest city.
4) Cosmos win the double
It would be wonderful if the Cosmos won both the North American Soccer League title and the Lamar Hunt/U.S. Open Cup. First, an overwhelming run to the NASL crown would teach humility to all the NASL fans who whined about the Cosmos skipping the spring season in 2013. Secondly, it would really shake things up in MLS if the second division Cosmos took home the Cup. Imagine the Don's face when the elephant in the room lifts the Cup! The laughter it would bring across the soccer world really would be in keeping with the Christmas spirit.
5) A legitimate working agreement between the NASL and MLS
Really, Santa, let's spread the cheer. Let's have a world where the NASL champion gets promoted to MLS and the worst MLS side gets dropped into the NASL. Is there anyone alive who truly feels that D.C., Toronto are Chivas are more deserving of a place in the first division than the Cosmos? We could even have the NASL and MLS finals in the same city on the same day, perhaps the day after Thanksgiving and turn it into a national soccer holiday.
6) Let all those fans who buy tickets to those international friendlies each summer buys just as many tickets to see their local MLS or NASL side
Sure, it's fun to marvel at Messi, idolize Ibra and watch Cristiano Ronaldo pout, preen, primp and pose at Met Life Stadium each summer, but ultimately they're meaningless games designed to separate you from your cash.
I guess that pretty much covers it, Santa. I know I haven't been perfect, but I've tried my hardest, honest I have, and I'll be even better next year.
Please send my best to Mrs. Claus, the reindeer and the elves.
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