Hearing Max Bretos and Christopher Sullivan's drivel on FSC was enough to make Beckham's re-entry less painful. I could not decide between the two for a long time till I heard Sullivan's summation of Beckham's performance after he struggled to put two passes together in 70 minutes as "simple, smart, and intelligent."
Everything clicked then. These two are the most clueless commentators in the game at present anywhere in the world. I wonder what planet Sullivan was living on. Beckham could not have been more useless if he were an insensate drunk laying on the pitch with an old man prodding his gonads with his cane. In the hour and more his name was called probably a half dozen times and when it was, it was because of a series of pointless crosses and cheap giveaways. Sullivan of course called it "subtleties." At that very point Beckham gave the ball away to Nick Zimmerman and the midfielder schooled the absentee with very subtle ball skills.
The problem with all this droning and prescriptive patter, " they should do this and that" and "Miglioranzi is not going anywhere no matter who comes in" and "I know Leandro Cuffre and he is no mama's boy" is that it has no bearing on the game. What you saw was a Red Bulls team that actually maintained throughout the match, a marked edge in midfield superiority, sadly undone by three superlative strikes. But in Bretos and Sullivan's mind Donovan, Miglioranzi, and Beckham took over the field like a cheap suit. It reveals a quintessential US trope towards winning, the team that wins also dominates. Even if the game shows otherwise. When the Red Bulls went on a long spell of ball control in the second half, Sullivan after 10 minutes of it said LA was playing to plan and maintaining possession.
Chris Birchall who subbed Beckham looked much sharper and so did Mike Magee. But these two clowns would only call them luxuries that Arena could afford off the bench with Beckham as the starter. Magee has been very good and with Beckham short of match practice how about challenging that conventional wisdom? But these jokers can't get away from the voices in their heads.
Bretos was priceless when he said, "Beckham made a seamless transition". The camera panned over to a slowly exiting Beckham with a decidedly grim and disgruntled look on his face. He then sat on the bench grimacing with ice packs around his ankle. It was anything but a seamless transition. At some point of time after the Galaxy had put the result beyond doubt he called the match " a great launching pad" which got me wondering what their three prior wins were. A damp squib? Bruce Arena was called " a mad genius". Arena wears a beard and a smock with his right ear cut off and mutters to himself as he wields a paintbrush under the hot Arles sun. And yes, Don McLean wrote "Starry Starry Night" with Bruce Arena in mind.
The way the game played out brings us back to the bottom line. Do the Galaxy need Beckham to make the playoffs? None of the goals that were scored even came close to a whiff of his foot. The closest was Donovan's second goal because of Berhalter's great hustle following a New York clearance of a Beckham corner. The Galaxy are doing it with good, solid defense and stout goal keeping. On the attacking end Donovan, Lewis, and Buddle are keeping things humming.
You can share more Bretos bon mots at this FB group. Did anyone think that Todd Grisham cut a lonely figure at halftime? Where were the analysts for this big game? They could have gone for Bobby McMahon and Keith Costigan.