Yeah, we fell down a hole over the Thanksgiving Day weekend. A combination of Pinot noir and tryptophan made us a little groggy, and we never saw it.
But we’ve climbed out, and we’re ready to play catch-up.
For our take on the busy first week of the MLS offseason, including the Expansion Draft, the multiple trades, and the massive occasion coming up on Thursday, check out our column at the league website, right here.
(It was up on the site Monday morning as usual but, like we said, we were in a predicament like this the past few days.)
We’re happy to announce that we’ll continue writing over there through the offseason, so please keep checking it, maybe Facebook-liking it, etc., etc.
All right, let’s jump back in, starting with a side trip out of our jurisdiction: Barcelona’s 5-0 demolition of mighty Real Madrid yesterday.
It’s probably not a stretch to say that this was a display of historic proportions. Barcelona scored their first goal after stringing more than 30 consecutive passes together, and their second following a 21-pass sequence. Against Real Madrid, the most expensive team in the world—not Malaga or Getafe, or Seattle Sounders FC. (No offense to those three, but…you get the point.)
Here are the highlights, but isolated replays—like words—do not do this game justice. You had to see the way Barcelona knocked it around for those stunningly long stretches to really appreciate this one. The phrase The Beautiful Game was coined for displays like yesterday’s:
There was another five-goal outburst produced in the past few days, by a single player—Manchester United’s Dimitar Berbatov.
The lanky Bulgarian joined Alan Shearer, Andy Cole, and Jermain Defoe as the only players ever to score five in a Premier League game, pulling off the feat in the Red Devils’s 7-1 romp over Blackburn on Saturday.
He struck his first just 72 seconds into the game, and found the net again in the 27th, 47th, 61st, and 69th minutes. He would’ve added a sixth if not for a great save by Blackburn keeper Paul Robinson.
The win put Man U in first place for the first time all season as Chelsea tied Newcastle 1-1 to fall off the pace, and continue a recent dip in form.
Arsenal thumped Brad Friedel and Aston Villa 4-2 to pull even with the Blues, two points behind Man U.
Back in MLS, DC United stripped the ‘interim’ tag from Ben Olsen’s job title, and made him the youngest head coach in league history at 33. The former Black and Red midfielder hopes to turn around the team with the worst record in the league in 2010.
Finally, former President Bill Clinton, the Honorary Chairman for the U.S. 2022 World Cup bid, lays out the case for bringing the tournament back to the States. Click here to read.
The 2018 and 2022 World Cup hosting duties will be awarded on Thursday morning (Fox Soccer Channel, 9:30, EST).