My "Second XI": One Jeff Answers Another

This week's edition of Jeff Bradley's Starting XI, which he called "The First Day of School," contained some great talking points from Major League Soccer's (MLS) opening weekend. They aren't all winners, but what fun would it be if they were. Today being a slow news day, it seems a good one for making a (one-way) conversation out of Bradley's list.

Read Bradley's side of the points and, below, I'll excerpt Bradley's talking points (with all respect) and offer considered replies. Play along if you like:

11) Parity is real: Over time, especially the last two years? Definitely. Based on opening weekend? Mmmm. As much as I'm tempted to argue the point, Kevin McGeehan's piece on roster depth across MLS (great read, by the way) makes me think Bradley has it right, even if he didn't mention the reason. Put another way, this seems more a function of roster-size than parity; the league's starting elevens are not created equal, but it's nearly impossible to keep that group together. Tough one. Good start.

OK. Ten to go...

10) Cunningham underrated: True, though this is what happens when one kisses giant photos of himself. Me, I think Cunningham is fantastic and that he should be marketed relentlessly, but that's a personal thing.

9) Gaven's age: Bradley points out it's 20 - don't suppose that can be disputed. But the "work-in-progress" argument adds up. He's progressing better than Kyle Martino.

8) Chicago's loud fans: Maybe; I've never seen it live. 8,000 fans each made noise enough for two in last year's U.S. Open Cup final - and that came through the TV.

7) Guzan "on his way": Yep. I liked him from the get-go, even through the "Burpo hiatus." He'll get better.

6) Rapids' Cooke best crosser: He's awful damn good, but best crosser? Mmmm....OK.

5) Revs "might" need change: "Might?" They need health, depth, money, star-power...change is only the beginning.

4) RBNY needs striker: They have Cleetus! (who, by his own admission, doesn't see himself in that role).

3) Announcers slip/suck: He refers to missing a goal during a game as inexcusable. Yep. You wouldn't take friends like that to a game if you gave a shit about it. And that's what announcers are, right? Temporary friends to help you feel like less of a douche bag for sitting by yourself on the couch on Saturday.

2) Toronto will be competitive: FINALLY! I can outright disagree! I think they're going to suck. Maybe not Chivas-USA-2005 bad, but they may as well unroll that pee-stained futon in the cellar. It's just a feeling I've got.

1) is krunk: Oh, it better be. It better be.

Hm. General agreement on, let's see, all of them but #2. Damn. Should have titled this "One Jeff Echoes Another." Honestly, it read bolder before...maybe we're all sheep?

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