Texas Poligamist Compound? Point of pride for me: those guys were all thrown out of my state.
Okay, I am supposed to pick one player from each team that I like. Hoover Dam had some rules, which, of course I will violate once or twice.
Chicago Fire: I am supposed to pick a player I actually like from a team that includes Calen Carr and Cuauhtémoc Blanco? The Chicago players I like have moved on, Francis Okaroh, Luboš Kubik, Jerzy Podbrozny, Jim Curtin and Evan Whitfield. I even once had a grudging respect for Zach Thornton. Hmm. After yesterday, and this will tick Hoover Dam off, I’d have to say Jon Busch. The man always seems to show up.
CD Chivas USA: It was so much easier to hate this team when it started, but they have an interesting collection of players these days. Even so, my answer is easy: Brad Guzan. The first season he was supposed to be the back-up but ended up starting. I remember how much crap he took from Chivas fans who blamed him for everything. The real trouble was that he was standing behind a sieve rather than a backline, and frankly, his being American born didn’t fit in with their vision of “Guadalajara Junior.” Luckily, the coaches recognized what a talent the man actually is.
Colorado Rapids: So, if I pick a Nat but I don’t pick him because a Nat, is that okay? I choose Pablo Mastroeni because he is the only guy in the league I have played against. When he played for the Tucson Amigos, my metro league team scrimaged them.
Columbus Crew: I could say Wil Hesmer, but I’ve already picked too many ‘keepers. I’m actually growing to like this team, and I’m glad that they finally a building a record that reflects how much work they put into their game. I’ll take Eddie Gaven only because it is fun to guess how long it’s been since he’s shaved.
DC United: This is harder to do than Chicago. Over the last twelve seasons, I never liked any of these guys. If my twin brother became their new d-mid, I’d hate him too. I’d have to hate myself because he looks just like me. Hm. I’d have to say Fred. I don’t know why. I guess his nom de guerre makes me giggle.
FC Dallas: Gosh, so hard now that neither Denilson nor Carlos Ruiz are playing for them. My pick is Nigel Tufnel, I mean Juan Toja.
Houston Dynamo: This team is lousy with Nats, so it is hard to make a pick and follow the rules. Actually, my two faves on the team are both Canadian. I go with Dwayne DeRosario. I like players that are enthusiastic and seem to, gosh, actually be having a good time out there.
Kansas City Wizards: Geez, I can’t pick a Nat? That means that Hoover Dam can’t pick Jimmy Conrad either. Hmm, Nelson Pizzaro is on my all name team only because the US should start him next time we play Peru. But, I’ll go with Scott Sealy.
Los Angeles Galaxy: I have trouble with this one, not because of visceral hate like I have for DC, Chicago and Red Bulls, but more because I really don’t see anyone standing out. Yeah, there are the two obvious ones (that I have been enjoined from picking, and wouldn’t pick anyhow). This is probably a big part of the reason that LA is playing so mediocre as of late (the evidence: LA’s website this morning brags that they were able to squeeze out a tie against Real Salt Lake. Real Salt Lake!). I probably should pick Alan Gordon, who has come into his own and is a fellow Arizonan. He was the guy that got subbed out for David Beckham when he premiered for the team, which makes him either the Wally Pipp or Jim Delsing of the league. I don’t know which. Actually, I probably should go for Greg Vanney, who has always impressed me and is also a fellow Arizonan.
New York Red Bulls: Geez. The guy I like on this team is actually mentioned by Hoover Dam as precisely the guy I am not supposed to mention. I’ll go with Dane Richards, who is pretty fun to watch.
Real Salt Lake: Did I ever mention to y’all that there was a rumor of a secret plan to move this team to Tucson when Dave Checketts was frustrated with the stadium situation? It would have been good to have the team somewhere where the word “real” actually gets pronounced “ray-al” once in a while. Anyway, my pick: Kyle Beckerman. He’s a good player, and as an added bonus there is the background drama about his trade from Colorado.
San Jose Earthquakes: There are actually quite a bit to pick from. These were all bubble players who I wanted to do well when they played for their old teams. I like Preston Burpo because he seems like a badass, but I doubt the guy will ever get a start. Yeah, I’ll pick him.
Toronto FC: Amado Guevara. Just kidding. I’ll go with Marvell Wynne. I think he’s made the lists of players who haven’t lived up to their advanced billing, but he hasn’t been on a decent team yet.