Printer Friendly
The Free Library
22,728,960 articles and books

DIFFERENT WORLD FOR THESE STARS SOCCER: PLAYERS ACCUSTOMED TO EUROPEAN FEEL ADJUST TO APATHY EXHIBITED TOWARD SPORT IN THE UNITED STATES.



Byline: Scott Wolf Scott Richard Wolf (born June 4, 1968) is an American actor.

Born in Boston, Massachusetts to Steven Wolf and Susan Enowitch, Wolf was raised in West Orange, New Jersey. He graduated in 1986 from West Orange High School.
 

Staff Writer

When Abel Xavier Abel Luís da Silva Costa Xavier, pron. IPA: [ɐ'bɛɫ ʃɐvi'ɛɾ], (born 30 November 1972 in Nampula, Mozambique) is a professional footballer for Los Angeles Galaxy and a former international for  played in Europe, he reached the Champions League semifinals with Benfica in Portugal and the quarterfinals as a member of the Dutch team, PSV Eindhoven “PSV” redirects here. For other uses, see PSV (disambiguation).

Philips Sport Vereniging (English: Philips Sports Union), widely known either as PSV or PSV Eindhoven, is a sports club from Eindhoven, Netherlands.
.

"Any player wants to play for the best," Xavier said. "There were some great moments."

But today Xavier plays for the Galaxy of Major League Soccer, in which the ultimate silverware is the MLS Cup The MLS Cup is the final game of the Major League Soccer postseason, officially recognized as the championship of the league. The trophy is called the Alan I. Rothenberg Trophy, after the founding chairman of MLS. .

"I don't know Don't know (DK, DKed)

"Don't know the trade." A Street expression used whenever one party lacks knowledge of a trade or receives conflicting instructions from the other party.
 of any kid who goes to bed dreaming about the MLS Cup," said Steven Cohen cohen
 or kohen

(Hebrew: “priest”) Jewish priest descended from Zadok (a descendant of Aaron), priest at the First Temple of Jerusalem. The biblical priesthood was hereditary and male.
, the host of the World Soccer Daily radio show and Fox Football Fone-in Fox Football Fone-in (previously known as Fox Football Friday) is a football (soccer) call-in show that airs on Tuesday evenings on Fox Soccer Channel during the August to May English Premier League season. The show is hosted by two English Americans, Steven Cohen and Nick Webster. . "They can win the MLS Cup? Who cares?

"That is the staggering problem the MLS See multilevel security.  has. They're playing for a trophy that nobody cares about. At the end of the day, they can bring on Pele, Maradona, (David) Beckham and it doesn't make any difference. They can only win the MLS Cup."

OK, that's the first problem, but for European players like Xavier and Beckham there are a host of other obstacles coming from the best leagues in the world.

Yes, many of these players are past the prime of their careers and seeking a few more years of professional soccer (and money), but they must overcome more than the fact they no longer play the most popular sport in the country.

For Beckham, the vast size of the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area.  poses the biggest adjustment after years playing in England and Spain. The idea of flying six hours from Los Angeles Los Angeles (lôs ăn`jələs, lŏs, ăn`jəlēz'), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850.  to Washington, D.C., for a league game is unprecedented to the English native.

"For everyone else, the only time that they fly these distances is in the Champions League," Beckham said. "If you go from England to Russia, it's only four hours. The distance, the time difference and heat all come into play here."

That is the most common complaint, especially from Galaxy coach Ruud Gullit Ruud Gullit (born September 1, 1962 in Amsterdam) is a Dutch football coach and former player, who played professionally in the 1980s and 1990s. He was a member of the Netherlands national team at the Euro 88 and the 1990 World Cup. , a Dutch legend who was one of the best players of his generation.

"We play in the summer and its 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit) and it happens a lot," he said.

Those complaints are minor compared to some of the stickier issues. MLS can play more night games to avoid harsh summer heat, but what can be done about the quality of play?

"What I found is there is no format here," Xavier said. "No academies. No youth teams."

The Galaxy even pulled someone out of the marketing department earlier this season because it did not have enough players for a reserve game.

"I also see football-wise a different game," Xavier said. "Many teams' tactical awareness is a deficit. The games are open, so you can play away or home and it doesn't matter."

Xavier said MLS teams are not disciplined enough or tactically aware enough to shut down opponents on a consistent basis. That actually might be better for fans, who get higher- scoring games, but it does not impress someone like Xavier, who also played for Liverpool and AS Roma.

"You can see in the European championships most of the teams play eight men behind the ball. That says a lot," Xavier said. "I don't see a lot of ability in the MLS to do that."

A contrary view comes from Galaxy striker Landon Donovan Landon Timothy Donovan (born March 4, 1982 in Ontario, California), is an American professional soccer player on the Los Angeles Galaxy, who is the joint all-time leading scorer for the U.S. National Team (along with Eric Wynalda). , who played in Germany playing for Bayer Leverkusen.

"Tactics don't really come into play as an issue," Donovan said. "The misconception is people think if you come here it's easier. The reverse is true. If players are not as talented, it's harder to (receive) the ball."

Donovan said in Europe there is more respect for players' skills, and defenders will back off so they don't get burned.

"The sheer athleticism and speed of the players here is just as good," Donovan said.

Critics might argue that Donovan did not succeed in Europe and needed to step down a level in order to find success in the MLS. But Donovan said he was too immature to excel.

"I was young and mentally, I wasn't ready for it," Donovan said. "I'd have good days in training and bad days. I wasn't ready to compete."

There is another sore subject for European players adjusting to the MLS: the referees. Xavier was fined $500 for critical remarks a few weeks ago after his controversial foul led to a late tying goal.

"The referees are not prepared for the pace of the game to give the correct judgment," Xavier said. "Linesmen cannot follow the back four because they are not fit.

"When you consider some of the refs are college refs, then this is one of things the league must address. The refs must be professional."

Even the always diplomatic Beckham admitted his preference for home-grown officials after the Columbus game.

"I believe English referees are the best in the world," Beckham said. "I'm not biased because I'm English. I believe they are the best."

scott.wolf@dailynews.com

GALAXY

CHIVAS USA

THURSDAY

Galaxy vs. Chivas USA, 8 p.m., Home Depot The Home Depot (NYSE: HD) is an American retailer of home improvement and construction products and services.

Headquartered in Vinings, just outside Atlanta in unincorporated Cobb County, Georgia, Home Depot employs more than 355,000 people and operates 2,164 big-box
 Center.

TV: ESPN ESPN Entertainment and Sports Programming Network 2

CAPTION(S):

photo

Photo:

For the Galaxy's David Beckham, left, and Abel Xavier, playing in Major League Soccer has meant adjusting to long travel, officiating and lack of prestige.

David Boily/AFP/Getty Images
COPYRIGHT 2008 Daily News
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2008 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

 Reader Opinion

Title:

Comment:



 

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Jul 9, 2008
Words:870
Previous Article:GETTING SHIPSHAPE ON SETTING SAIL.
Next Article:WHAT'S YOUR 40? WITH THE FIRST HALF OF 2008 GIVING THE SPORTS WORLD NEWSY EDITIONS OF THE SUPER BOWL, NBA FINALS, TRIPLE CROWN, GOLF'S U.S. OPEN AND...



Related Articles
The beautiful game.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2014 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters