The Harangue-Man’s Noose – Episode I

27 05 2014

Up until now, I haven’t really used this forum for a good rant. This felt so good that I might make it a regular feature of the blog. So… Here are a couple of soccer-related pieces about two coaches… rants that have been screaming to get out of my head!!

hackworth-john0623_7698 On Hackworth – I’m a diehard Philadelphia Union supporter, and now fully on board the “SackHack” bandwagon. At a time of the season when teams are starting to gel, it’s clear that this team is going backward. After close to twenty matches (pre and regular season), our boys suffer from a stunning lack of team cohesion, consistency and confidence on set plays. The only answer John Hackworth seems to have is a weekly turnover of the match day lineup, leaving the players and fans frustrated.

I’m sure Hack is a good soccer man. And he is probably a fantastic assistant coach. I think he did a great job bringing in new talent like Maidana, Nogueira and Edu this past off-season. So it is difficult to fathom how the performance has taken such a leap backward this year. It’s time for a coaching change, and I’m sure it is coming soon. It’s a hazard of the job, and success or failure is measured by wins and points.

But this rant is not directed at the coach, the front office or the players… it’s directed at my fellow supporters. Not all, but some.

Let’s stop with hate. If you read some of the comments on blogs and social media, you would think Hackworth was the mastermind behind the crash of Malaysia 370. Like all of us, he is a just a guy doing a job. And I’m sure he is doing the best he can. But there are no lives at stake… he is not a surgeon or a soldier. Its sports, people. Professional or not, everyone needs to relax and get some perspective.

One day in the next couple of weeks, John Hackworth is going to go home to his family and tell them he is out of work… the same family we welcomed and cheered when they came to the Sons of Ben tailgate in DC. I have been fortunate enough to meet Hack a couple of times and he seems like a great person. So I will not be joyous when the inevitable happens.

I know from experience that it sucks to lose your job, as I’m sure a lot of us do. So let’s lighten up, and stop being assholes. Coaching is a lot easier in the cheap seats.

klinsmann-blog-e1400015378410On Klinsmann– We have seen it over and over and over in sports. A management or personnel decision leads to the behavior of a petulant child. In this case, that child is our national team coach, Jurgen Klinsmann.

It’s clear to me (fat ass securely in my cheap seat) that not including Landon Donovan on this year’s World Cup team had nothing to do with a lack of form or fitness. Klinsmann made this decision a long time ago, in retribution for Donovan’s failure at Bayern Munich and for taking time off during the beginning of the qualifying cycle. He twisted the knife a little more by inviting him to the camp when he knew that Donovan was not going to be included in the final 23.

There is a logical argument against every BS reason he gave to cutting Donovan. Give credit to Donovan for being such a class act since the snub, always putting the team first. I don’t think Klinsmann expected such a backlash, so don’t be surprised if Donovan gets to Brazil because of an injury.

If he is on the team, Landon Donovan is the face of U. S. Soccer to everyone around the world. Klinsmann thinks this is his team, and he is putting his massive ego ahead of our national team.

This is our team… MY TEAM. Not yours, Jurgen. Like any coach, you’re a temp.

Soccer is one if my biggest passions. As with anything I write here, I welcome comments and spirited debate.