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Hello, I Must Be Going

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Dear Readers,

It looks like this will be my last column for Center Line Soccer for a while, as the demands of the day job and night school have proven to be too much of a burden to fit another 600 words a week onto my schedule. It’s a shame really, as the season just keeps getting better and better, and I could fill be big chunk of cyberspace on:

• The U.S. men's national team's run, the beauty of their current defensive scoreless streak, the shock horror of so many empty seats at Toyota Park last Wednesday night, and a plea for the inclusion of Adu and Altidore in the squad going forward.

• Francisco Lima, the quiet one of the Quakes Fab Four who’ve sparked the club into playoff contention. Watch how he sits in the middle of the field, starting another offensive surge by spraying the ball out wide to Huckerby or O’Brien. He doesn’t get on the score sheet much, but he’s the kind of player that shows how statistics don’t tell the whole story in this game.

• MLS’ struggles to fit in national team duties with their regular season. The situation in Toronto, where they were signing anyone available to one week contracts just to have enough bodies on hand, was/is laughable for a “major” league. And as I’ve said before, the scheduling conflicts here in the US are pathetic, and show a complete lack of communication between US Soccer and MLS. This is not a problem that’s going to go away — unless the commissioner steps up.

• MLS’ struggles to put together rosters capable of competing in the league, the Open Cup, and the CONCACAF Champions League. Of course, the quick answer there is money – something MLS keep saying they don’t have, as they cash yet another major sponsor’s check.

• The continued rise of the San Jose Earthquakes, where Frank Yallop is building a team that should be fun to watch for years to come. The only thing keeping the Quakes from stepping up into the Big Time here in the Bay Area is the lack of a major league stadium, and that’s coming.

So, it’s a bad time to be saying good-bye, though I won’t be going too far away. I’ll still be at Buck Shaw, doing match reports for MLSnet.com, and (maybe) contributing the same for CLS as well. But outside of the two hours of game time each week, my days are so overloaded lately I have to schedule time to sneeze.

I may not be writing much for CLS, but I’ll sure be reading. The CLS crew is first rate, and I’m grateful to Jay Hipps for giving me the opportunity to be on the team.

Thanks to all of you who’ve scrolled to the bottom of the page to see whatever I’ve had to say.

I'll see you at the games. Go Quakes!