Well, with the final regular season match (pronounced "mohtch" if you wanna sound like a European football snob) upon us this Saturday, and with the Revs poised for playoff action, the anticipation for me is at an all-time high. Now granted, the thought of attending an upcoming Revs game is always something that keeps me going during the mundaneness of office politics, reruns of "Two a Days" on MTV (my latest addiction), and turkey sandwiches, but this week is different.
This week presents itself as the big gift under the Christmas tree with my name on it. It's got the silver wrapping paper, indicating its distinction and uniqueness among the other red, green, and blue-colored gift wrappings. The Revs are playing top-notch soccer (even though COX 3 FAILED to televise Saturday's DC match live, and then FAILED AGAIN to televise it on tape-delay the following day) as of late, and at no better time than down the stretch.
Perhaps the only quandry for our beloved manager Steve Nicol is whether to rest the starters for the playoffs, or to play full on, must-win soccer in order to ensure a 2nd place finish over Chicago. My thanks to Jim Dow of Revsnet for eliciting the answer from Revs assistant coach Paul Mariner:
JIM: Having clinched, do the final two games become a kind of tune up for the next two games, in that the first round of the playoffs is really a 180-minute game, plus potential overtime as opposed to two ninety-minute matches?
PAUL: (There's a temptation to) rest a couple of players but I talked with Laurie Calloway (coach of the Rochester Raging Rhinos), who is in the final of the USL championship tomorrow. Last year they gave the players a break in between the semi-final and the final and they played horribly, so (this year) he wants to keep the players active, to keep them game fresh and I think that is what we'll do. We'll ask people to carry little niggly injuries (and) unless there is a yellow card scenario that comes into play, which I don't think does when it comes to the playoffs, then we'll just keep training the team and keep playing.
Another reason the anticipation for this match is so great is that it's "Fan Appreciation Night", with the looming possibility of scoring a game-worn Revs jersey. The Revs will be giving away these jerseys "right off the backs of the players", as well as '07 season tix, and other prizes. Here's to me being a lucky-enough bastard Saturday night and power-walking through the crowd to my car after the game (to avoid traffic, naturally) with a newly-acquired, sweat-filled, grass-stained, opponent-tugged Revolution jersey in tow.
A recent article on boston.com tells of a kid named Danny Karbassiyoon, a 22 year-old defender who last played for Burnley in the Champions League. After sustaining considerable knee injuries, the club and Karbassiyoon mutually agreed to terminate his contract. Karbassiyoon, who is familiar with Revs assistant coach Paul Mariner, is looking to transfer to an MLS club, specifically, the Revs, if given the choice. However, in order to come back to the States, he must declare himself eligible for the MLS SuperDraft, and his fate would then lie in the hands of all 12 clubs rather than one club. Moreover, Karbassiyoon would then have to settle for the league minimum $24,000 salary, which would dwarf the money he earned in England. Another showing of how MLS wields all the power when a player goes abroad rather than first signing with an MLS club.
To end on a very serious note, my prayers go to the family of US MNT assistant coach Glenn "Mooch" Myernick, who passed away on Monday after suffering a heart attack late last week. He was 51. Mr. Myernick is survived by his wife, Nancy, and two children, Travis and Kelly. May God rest his soul.