So, if you’re Alexi Lalas and you are desperately trying to save your job, what do you do now? Your team just lost to the lowly Reds, and they didn’t just lose, they gave up three goals to MLS’s most anemic offense. (sans SJE, who are so bad, if you’ve noticed, they are the only team without its own category @ STO!)
I’ll tell you what I would do. I would throw guys like Michael Gavin, Brandon McDonald and Julian Valentin into the starting lineup for golden oldies like Chris Klein, Abel Xavier and Greg Vanney. Sure, they lack the veterans’ experience, but experience doesn’t help if you have lost the physical stamina to prevent deplorable TFC offense from scoring a trio of ugly goals. I’ll say this for the youngsters: they won’t lose because of lack of desire. And they won’t tire as quickly.
Lalas’ method differs from mine though. He likes the old guys. I think he has some sort of geriatric fetish. If he thought Marcelo Balboa still had anything left in the tank, MB would be hanging with Becks @ the HDC right now.
So, it should come as no surprise that Lalas yesterday demoted youngster Michael Gavin to the developmental squad to make room for a new acquisition from NER… No, not Sharlie Joseph, Taylor Twellman, Michael Parkhurst or one of those scary fast Gambians… but Joe Franchino.
Now, Franchino, who is about to turn 32, has never really been a contributor on offense. In over 225 MLS games, Joey has scored only 5 times. That’s an average of one goal every 45 appearances. He played some sturdy defense back at the turn of the millenium, but then again, so did Lalas.
Why, when your offense is already being dragged down by a 35 year old (Xavier) and a 33 year old (Vanney), would you go out and give up a second round pick to bring in a 32 year old to complete your backline? If the Gals make the playoffs, their defense will be a cumulative 102 years old. And that’s if they play a 3-5-2… The Revs starters in the back would likely be younger even if they opted to use 4 guys.
Here’s what I know about Joey (it’s not alot):
- He once got his ass kicked by Clint Dempsey,
- He’s rumored to be a drunk or former drunk.
Only one of those is funny, and it’s not the one that involves a debilitating addiction.
There’s nothing funny at all actually about alcoholism. It’s actually quite scary. What is also scary is that Lalas would give up a high pick for a guy who left his team only one year ago to attend to “personal matters”. If those matters weren’t resolved, and if Franchino succumbs to whatever demons he’s fighting off like a raging Clint Dempsey, Lalas will have dealt a second round pick to the Revs for basically nothing.
Alexi, in all seriousness, I do not exist simply to criticize your every waking decision, but sometimes I feel like I end up playing that role because you just can’t stop trying to turn the Galaxy locker room into some kind of retirement home for aged MLS defenders. I know you played with all these guys, but shouldn’t that fact alone tell you something about their age and fitness?