EL BARRIO, EL FALLS – Happy Monday and Belated Happy Fathers Day! Also Happy Juneteenth – aka Emancipation Day, aka Black Independence Day! Do I want to talk about what Juneneenth is? Not really! Should I? Maybe. Would you be better served using your Google-fu skills and finding out, absolutely. With that, let’s focus on today’s topics: Weekly Mets Update and US Men’s Soccer New Coach.
Weekly Mets Update
The New York Mets are pretty much where we left them last week. Actually, last week they were 4 games under .500… this week there are 5 under. The problems, IMHO, lie within the bullpen and in team hitting. The on-base percentage and runners in scoring position suck.
The starters haven’t been lights out but they’ve been decent. It’s just when they turn it over to the bullpen that’s when a crucial mistake is made that the Mets cannot bounce back from. It’s not like the defense has been bad and even committing a lot of silly errors. It’s just beyond not getting hits, it’s getting a hit when no one’s on base but then when there are two runners on, striking out. I mean I understand pitchers throw different pitches and situations change but if there’s any time to try and make good contact and get ahead in the count, it’s with runners on. This goes for all the hitters especially with big bopper Peter Lonzo out. But guys like Jeff McNeil have gone cold along with Sterling Marte and Mark Canha. Eduardo Escobar is not a guy you pick for hits, Daniel Vogelbach is like 1-18 last time I looked and Tommy Pham is doing better but still not what you expect out of a guy signed for his bat. Guys just are not making contact and then big money, Francisco Lindor is looking like a big flop right now. Until those guys get warmed up, I don’t see how this is a playoff team.
US Men’s Soccer New Coach
I have been repeatedly reminded that soccer talk often lands with a thud. So I have ignored Lionel Messi coming to the MLS and Manchester City winning soccer’s version of the Triple Crown. However, the latest news from US Soccer, left me no other choice. US Soccer has a new coach and shockingly, its the old coach. Now the reason, I’m posting about it is because I’ve been yelling online with other soccer fans and randos at just how insane this is. I’m going to try and do my best to fill you guys in on all of the drama.
After the World Cup ended in December, US Soccer’s contract with Gregg Berhalter ended and an assistant coach was appointed in the interim. Then three months later that assistant coach left and the assistant coach to that assistant coach, an inteirm interim manager, if you will was named. So basically two guys who used to be assists for Gregg were used while the National Org, announced that they had begun a detailed process to look for a fulltime coach. Very weird but US Soccer did this after the US failed to qualify in 2018 and it lasted until 2019 before Berhalter was named. In the meantime, Berhalter was embroiled in a scandal of daytime soap proportions.
During the World Cup, Berhalter did not play the son of his former college and national teammate and good friend, Claudio Reyna’s son, Giovanni “Gio” Reyna. Gio is a talented player who for attitude and behavior during the World Cup, didn’t get as much time as many thought he should. As a result, Claudio and his wife decided to leak a story about the time Berhalter hit his then girlfriend, now wife (and mother of his children) when they were in college. The future Berhalters had a big fight back when they were in college, where she slapped them and scratched him across his face which led him to push her down and kick her twice before stranger grabbed him, broke it up and called the cops. Nothing came of it. No criminal charge and lots of therapy and obviously the couple got over it.
The incident was investigated by US Soccer and their legal team and they were legally cleared to hire Berhalter, if they chose, months ago, but they didn’t do that; Well immediately anyway. They apparently had hired a sports administration recruiting firm, Sportsology, to help find a new Director of Soccer to help all of the national teams. They signed him and then announced that they are using the same firm and the new director to oversee the process to find a coach. Then somehow 5 weeks later, just 5 weeks!!!, They announced that they’re going back to Berhalter, as the agency results point to.
It is at this point that us fans are upset! We are upset, because we don’t understand how a headhunting firm tells you to keep the same guy!? This simply doesn’t happen in the professional world. What was this worldwide search? They claim they considered a lot of people but of course we’ll never know who was considered? So it just seems like a long run around to end up with the guy that they wanted in the first place? This wasn’t a search for a coach, this was me typing, where sports meets funny in Bing and it bringing me back to MTM. They get a mediocre guy who qualified 3rd out of the region for the WC and then got them out WC pool play and into the round of 16 before losing and they want to continue with him instead of ambitiously looking for someone who can go further. It just seems like they had this press conference where they’re saying no money was spared but then they’re also saying they had to be sensible about what was available and where they want to go. Once again the search for a coach doesn’t leave the US Soccer parking lot or national team alumni email list and it will be something that holds USA back in the future.
Thanks for reading and feel free to comment below. Check out Ben Whitney, who will give us his thoughts on The Stankees.