18 May 2010

Tuesday Football: Two quick impressions

Not loving el Tri's chances

Thanks to the Telemundo network, I caught most of the three friendly matches Mexico played in the U.S..  Well, I'm not impressed.  If the opponents were tougher, I wouldn't be so worried.  But scores of 0-0, 1-0 and 1-0 against Ecuador, Senegal and Angola?  If the Tricolores play like that next month, they'll crash out, hard, from Group A and the knockout stages.

Henry crossing over?

I'm not sure what to make of the reports that French national team striker Thierry Henry will leave Barcelona.  (Henry is pictured below and to the right, from his prime at Arsenal.)  If they're to be believed -- and Henry's word not -- he will be playing for the New York Red Bulls after the FIFA World Cup ends in July.  In that case, the soccer media will probably register him as just the latest aging star to "retire" to Major League Soccer.

The word "retirement" may be too strong for MLS:  it suggests that stars who come to the U.S. (and, increasingly, Canadian) league are at the end of their careers.  That was probably true when MLS started play in 1996, but the experiences of David Beckham and Cuauht√©moc Blanco in the last few years indicate otherwise.  Both men were past their prime when they started play for the Los Angeles Galaxy and Chicago Fire, respectively, but neither was at his end.  Blanco will be taking the field for Mexico in South Africa next month, while Beckham lasted almost long enough to play again for England.  If that holds form, and Henry does come Stateside, I expect that he'll have a couple of very good seasons in New York.

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