Hope everyone is Ok....
Well, well, well, what a few weeks its been since I last wrote here. Its been as busy as ever as per usual. I obviously got my hair cut (finally) and it seems as thought I may have finally found myself an apartment! During the week after the New York game, we prepped for our recording of 'Off the Pitch' with the stallion that is Josh Whisenhunt. I must say, I do enjoy working with Josh on the odd occasions we do, its obvious that soccer is his passion and i'm sure we could talk for hours if the directors/producers let us!
So, our 2nd weekend off was really good. After my very first 'first friday' and sharing a few beers with a couple of fans and finally meeting the guy who sorted out my visa, Leon, I called it an early night due to not feeling very well. Saturday was a beautiful day in Kansas City and Spence and I went down to 'the plaza' (my first real time down there) to take a look around. Instantly I fell in love with the place and after a bit of shopping we felt it only right that we should man up. So, we picked up Dan (who was struggling from the night before) and proceeded to drink 'a bit' of beer. Firstly going down to Cameron's house (one of our colleagues at Sporting KC and the place I was staying for a few days) and met up with a few people from the front office and quite a few random people that we didn't know. Then we took to the plaza and once again had 'a bit' of beer and enjoyed the evening. Sunday I helped Cameron move out of his house, it hurt.
Monday, I had a meeting with a few people about expanding Sporting's coverage within the sports media world, can't say anything at the moment, but will let you know very soon. Tuesday was another scorcher, a beautiful day and a perfect day to head down to Swope Park training facility and watch the players train as well as grab a few interviews with Jake ahead of the game in LA. The rest of the week was spent researching LA Galaxy and providing voice overs for the broadcast as well as attending the press conference before flying on the friday.
So, we got to LA and were in the same hotel we'd stopped at for our previous visit when we played Chivas USA. Really nice hotel, just a shame there isn't a lot around other then a few restaurants. So came the day of the broadcast. During the day I spoke with Lauren and my Mom and Dad via Skype. It was really good to speak to them all again. Lauren comes out in a little over 2 weeks to live here with me and I can't wait to get her over here. Mom and Dad are coming over in August and should get to see the Wednesday night game against Portland Timbers, which I know they are both looking forward to. I'm one of these guys who loves what I do, but the 1 thing I want to do more then anything is make my Mom and Dad proud, so i'm extremely excited about them coming over and watching me host the TV show. Also, my Dad is a big EPL fan and despite me taking him to a few games outside the EPL during my time with the BBC, he still remains firmly stubborn about the EPL and i'm looking forward to showing him the MLS. I must admit, everyone at home seems to be paying attention to the MLS since I got here, so hopefully Mom and Dad will enjoy their break here and embrace soccer in the USA.
Anyway, i've gone thoroughly off subject there. To the broadcast we go. I have to say I think it was probably the best broadcast we've done so far. I really enjoyed working with Warren Barton. It has nothing to do with the fact that he's english, I just felt a lot more comfortable knowing that he knows the game inside out and knowing that he's comfortable in front of the camera due to his work with FOX Soccer. He was a top lad to be fair. He told me many stories of his time in the EPL and several stories of ex players whilst we were off camera. The one thing which made me smile as well was the fact that he actually took an interest in me and how I ended up in the USA and more importantly, he took a real interest in the broadcast and I know he enjoyed his experience.
Now, as I mentioned on twitter yesterday, i'm now going to break the rules of my blog. When I first started this blog I made it clear to myself and you lot that I wouldn't talk about my feeling and thoughts on the team and this would be a blog about my personal feelings and adapting to life in the USA. However, I think there are a few things I need to say. I just need to stress, these are not the views of Sporting Kansas City or anyone else associated with the club.
Here it goes -
I think its obvious that its not been the start to the season that everyone wanted, in fact, it couldn't have started any worse really could it. However, I think people need to remember this is a long road trip and having so many games on the road on a consistent basis is going to take its tole. Its obvious there have been a few problems at the back, maybe its fair enough to say individual errors have cost us more then anything. I think the one thing that i've noticed and I may have pointed out on the broadcast before; there is a massive gap in midfield between the holding role and the back line which is being exposed SO much this year already. A prime example, though it didn't lead to a goal on Saturday was Beckham playing a ball over to Donavan from the center of midfield. Beckham had so much time on the ball it was ridiculous and I really do think another player is needed in that department. As for people calling for Pete Vermes to be sacked, I understand that people are annoyed that we've only won once this season, but we've been on the road for a very very long time. I think Pete knows he's got some tactical decisions wrong this season and he'd be the first to admit it, but as a coach there is only so much you can do until you have to look at the players. Even if you were to sack Pete, who could you possibly bring in at this stage of the season that knows the players and club as well as he does, especially now the transfer market is closed. The only reason I would get rid of the current coaching staff is if you know for a fact you have someone lined up to replace them who is a much better coach. I don't think that coach is out there right now. You can tell in training that these players are desperate for a win and I think we are only 1 win away from regaining confidence and climbing up the table.
Patience is needed i'm afraid guys
Let me know your thoughts either on here or via twitter. See you in Seattle!