Friday, March 16

Stories Of the Day: Head Games

Sometimes it is all in your head. That may not just be a saying anymore. My top stories from today…

Angel Newest Concussion Concern?: Although Scott French reports that Juan Pablo Angel was not diagnosed with a concussion and the star striker says he is recovering from concussion-like symptoms, one has to worry that he is the latest in the line of MLS players that have seen their careers ended with head injuries. Taylor Twellman, Alecko Eskandarian and Jimmy Conrad, a fellow Chivas player, all recently retired in the past two years from concussion-related issues. The Goats already have enough issues pulling themselves up from the bottom – the last thing they need is to lose their star player at the start of the season.

Patience: A good story from about Toronto's Milos Kocic showing the great mental practice of patience, slowly waiting for his chance to shine. The waiting game goalkeepers go through is so often overlooked. So many netminders in this country have to either battle their way up the ladder proving themselves in the lower divisions or bide their time on the bench hoping for an injury. I don’t have the numbers, but I would venture to say the goalkeeper position is the one in MLS with the highest percentage of them having played in the second division at some point.

Patience in Politics: It can’t be easy being patient in the nation’s capital. DC United announced today a renewal of its lease at RFK stadium for the 2012 and 2013 seasons. It comes, essentially, 48 hours before their home opener. The club’s additional two-year commitment is another act of patience with the city that has continually dragged its feet in the effort to work with the club to build a new facility in the area. Personally, I have never understood why DC politicians feel RFK is so sacred and can’t be replaced. Would they rather have the monument for one of the nation’s beloved leaders continue to fall to pieces when they could build something even better and more useful in its place. For instance, why not make it a multi-use facility available for the Special Olympics, an organization founded by RFK’s sister, Eunice.  

Fear: Another good feature from MLSsoccer checks in on the NASR’s MLS Player of the Week honoree Kalif Alhassan. The story discusses Alhassan’s hard work during the offseason and the depth of competition on the squad in the midfield, placing him in a situation where he would have to show that the hard work was worth all of the effort and made a difference.

Focus: A great piece from Michael C. Lewis of The Salt Lake Tribune details the veteran response to a whirlwind first week by a rookie, noting that RSL’s Sebastian Velasquez has not changed from when he came to Sandy, UT right out of junior college despite a first week in which he… “started his first professional game against the star-studded Los Angeles Galaxy. Took the shot that turned into the rally-igniting equalizer. Swapped jerseys with Landon Donovan — his mother’s favorite player — and drew favorable comparisons to the legendary David Beckham in at least one British newspaper.” 

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