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The Quakes get their man, and more

The Quakes have been searching for an Impact Player, and it’s a good bet they’ve finally found one in Darren Huckerby. Anyone who’s watched Huckerby do big work for Norwich City knows what I mean. But rather than cite some stats or quote some old teammates, I’ll leave it to him to show us he’s (still) a Premier League forward.

It’s also good to see the Quakes pick up MLS vet Scott Sealy, who should give the Quakes some more (much-needed) depth at forward. And, Francisco Lima’s still to come. Okay, Quakes. No more excuses. Time to start getting some results.

I was happy to see the return of SuperLiga, remembering several entertaining games from last year’s tournament, but my mood soured considerably when I read the MLS Players Association's recent e-mail on the subject. According to the MLSPA, it seems that only 15% of that $1 million dollar prize money actually goes to the players. That’s $150,000 to split among 28 guys (a little over $5,300 a head), and that’s only if your team wins the whole thing.

Last year, SuperLiga drew an average of 16,768 for 14 games. Add in the money from TV (SuperLiga was on Spanish language networks in both the US and Mexico) and, umm… where’s all the money going? The tournament might have been made redundant by the new CONCACAF Champions League (debuting later this year) anyway, but if it survives, the Union will have Superliga as a talking point the next time they sit down with MLS.

A quick shout out to Crystal Palace Baltimore, a USL2 club that just got knocked out of the U.S. Open Cup by New England. CPB had earlier beaten the Red Bulls 2-0, despite playing a man short for 56 minutes in that game, and took the Revolution to penalty kicks before falling.

The Open Cup brackets show that a USL1 team, either Charleston or Seattle, will make it to the Final this season (against the DC/New England winner). Love it. These are the kind of surprises that make cup tournaments so much fun.

Of course, if MLS clubs are only getting $150K for winning SuperLiga, I can’t imagine their financial incentive to win the Open Cup. Right now, that tournament is the most undervalued property in U.S. soccer.

Meanwhile, the MLSnet home page has a clock counting down to All-Star Game kickoff and… zzzzzzzzzzz. Oh, I’m sorry, did I doze off there? All-Star Games are usually a weak excuse to get an MLS “showcase” on TV, but I think the LA/DC game (ABC-TV’s opening act for the Euro 2008 Final) was as good a showcase for the league as any All-Star Game.

At least MLS has done away with the East vs. West kick-arounds that used to end 6-6, and occasionally have brought in a Name Opponent (Chelsea, Chivas) to test their All-Stars, but… West Ham? How did that happen? MLS clubs have relationships with the Arsenals and Real Madrids of this world, and… West Ham?

Somebody told me that 3 players on England’s 1966 World Cup winners played for West Ham. I told him that was 42 years ago. They do have American defender Jonathan Spector on the roster, and enough talent to beat the MLSers, but, zzzzzzzzzzz.