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ProSoccerTalk’s weekly Panic Quotient

May 30, 2012, 6:00 PM EST

Keep calm

ProSoccerTalk’s weekly soccer Panic Quotient (®) expands its reach this week, now taking the temperature of stress and distress in the streets of Major League Soccer and along the boulevards of U.S. Soccer.

Los  Angeles Galaxy: Every time you think the champs have banged their head on the gravel at rock bottom, those doggone fellows slip and crack their noggin in a new place. I cannot see that Bruce Arena’s job is really in danger – but that’s what I said about Bob Bradley about this time last year, too. None of this can be good at all for David Beckham’s chances at a Team Great Britain post.

The Galaxy allowed 28 goals all of last year. They’ve already parted the back line seas for 21 this year. At this rate, they’ll round the 28-goal pole by mid-July, with three months of the season still to play.

And how about this for an open palm strike on the bridge of the nose: they went crashing out of the U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday night. Seriously, how long before the players pass “panic” and get to the point where they just want to push this season’s head under the water and get it over with?

Panic quotient: Ever been water boarded? That’s gotta be some serious panic.

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Major League Soccer: I do not buy the notion that the league suffers in any meaningful way in the soccer marketplace with the latest, notorious setback, be it a bombing out in CONCAFAC Champions League or a whitewash of upsets in U.S. Open Cup play like last night’s. These things never amount to some financial Waterloo or some grand PR moment of truth. MLS fans feel bad for a moment, and then we go back to arguing whether Landon Donovan is best out wide or running the inside channels on the national team.

On the other hand, MLS clubs cannot collectively feel good about seeing losses to lower tier teams in seven of 14 Open Cup matches last night. It does drive home the point that rosters still fall off the cliff, depth wise, once past the top 12-14 names. In reflective moments, the power suits at MLS will get a little indigestion over this one.

Panic quotient: You’re dog tired, hung over, wearing a mustard-stained t-shirt and generally look like you just got dragged a few blocks behind a garbage truck. And that’s about when you see your ex, looking fit and awesome, waving happily and about to come over to say howdy.

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Robbie Rogers, Sacha Kljestan, Benny Feilhaber, Edson Buddle, Teal Bunbury: The U.S train has left the station. The party is raging as the express motors down the tracks – and these five lads are stuck in traffic, still trying to get to the station. Bunbury and Rogers are young enough to climb aboard at some future stop on the tracks. Maybe. It’s a little tougher for Kljestan and Feilhaber, although they are just a hair older. Given the rise of Terrence Boyd and pressure being applied by others strikers who are actually striking, Buddle’s international days may be numbered.

Panic quotient: IRS letter in the mail. One of them thick ones.

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Me: I had to fill out my MLS All-Star ballot yesterday. (An early ballot to help arrange the broader ballot.) Panic much, me? Pretty much, yeah. We were assigned to select six players from all 19 MLS clubs.

So here’s the thing, most teams fell neatly into one of two categories. 1) Find six worthy All-Star nominations from this bunch of mutts? I can’t find two – much less six! 2) What do you mean I can only pick six? I can’t borrow a couple from Toronto, pretty please? I’m sure they won’t mind.

Yeah, not easy.

Panic quotient: Ever have that dream where you’re suddenly back in college, you haven’t been around to study but you’ve got a ginormous exam coming up, with absolutely zero chance of getting things figured out in time? I still do. And I wake  up in a foggy funk of panic every time.

  1. dreadpirate82 - May 30, 2012 at 6:35 PM

    Since I support Sporting KC, here’s my best guess at your 6:

    Kamara
    Sapong
    Zusi
    Collin
    Besler
    Espinoza

    Actually, that’s a bit more cut and dry than I expected. Myers and Sinovic are key to the team, but the other 6 really stand out as the most important. Nielsen hasn’t been tested enough to merit a selection.

  2. Steve Davis - May 30, 2012 at 7:19 PM

    I have to get clarification on how much I’m supposed / not supposed to say about the process, but I will allow this: I certainly respect your good opinion, but you and I differ greatly on our opinions of your right back. He’s WAY up there in my book.

    • dreadpirate82 - May 31, 2012 at 10:42 AM

      I’m with you on Myers, but I don’t think he’s been quite as good this year as last. Doesn’t seem like he’s causing quite as much danger coming forward, and his crosses haven’t been quite as crisp. I still think he should at least be in the conversation for the USMNT, though probably on the outside looking in.

      As good as Collin has been, his performance in the US Open Cup match the other night was disconcerting. He looked like the reckless Aurelien of last year. Hoping that doesn’t bring old habits back.

  3. sir1389 - May 30, 2012 at 9:01 PM

    Lower tier teams beating MLS teams is no big deal in my opinion. We need to stop pretending like the difference between our top and bottom tier teams are the same as the difference between European top and bottom tier leagues. Ours are much closer in skill than say the English leagues. This also lends creditably to the fact that the US should have one league table and promotion/relegation. The prospect of relegation would make many teams play better and owners want to spend more money on players in order to avoid relegation and the loss of revenue that would accompany it.

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