Thursday, March 16, 2006

The Mo & Alexi Show

Over 50 current, former, and new members of the ESC gathered last night at Stout Pub in New York City for the Annual “Meet the GM/Coach” event, and those in attendance were treated to a friendly exchange with Mo Johnston and Alexi Lalas in a great setting. The downstairs room of the pub should prove to be a great new location for viewing away RBNY matches and will offer a lot more room than the former Nathan Hale’s space for US matches this summer. Thanks to Corey & team for pulling together another great event.

Here are some frantically scribbled highlights:

Mo Johnston:
-Has been to Poland, Czech Republic, Scotland and England looking for players
-There still “some cash left” for another player, and with Guevara’s green card a formality at this point, it’s fair to expect a foreign signing
-The biggest hole in the current lineup is up front
-Plans on playing 3 or 4 in the back – RBNY will be versatile enough to play a 3-4-3, a 3-5-2, or 4-4-2
-The starting lineup is not yet set… don’t put too much into pre-season results
-On Josie Altidore: “a tremendous goal scorer"
-On David Arvizu: “at first, he wanted to return to LA, but we’re not doing [Chivas or LAG] any favors in terms of giving him up… he was the most important player on the U-17s, and he’s liking it more here every day"
-On Blake Camp: “Gives us a lot of depth”
-On Mike Magee: He “grew up a lot during the offseason”
-On Eddie Gaven: “I told him we wanted to trade him”
-On Ante Razov: “We had to trade him to save some $$”
-On Abbie Ibrahim: “He’s still in Togo. We’ve been on the phone in the middle of the night with the embassy in order to get him back. Hope to have him in Charleston.”
-On Amado Guevara: “He wants to play in NY… he’ll play hard every game this year… but if guys aren’t pulling their weight, they’ll be changes made… if [anyone] wants to sulk, they can do it by themselves"
-On Chris Henderson: “He’ll play all over the field… on the wings, behind the forwards… etc."
-On Mark Lisi: “He’s a little in between… he’s been on the bench for some games"
Jeff Parke and Seth Stammler have "stood out in preseason”

Alexi Lalas:
-Led off with a classy toast to Doug Hamilton
-The club sale “will make a tremendous long-term impact” to the league
-“We [management] have a responsibility to prove to fans that the sale will be a positive”
-Red Bull Park “will be different and better than the stadiums currently in place in MLS”
-On the club name flap: “The hypocrisy of the NJ politicians is astounding”
-Apparently, a lone fan (not in attendance) has taken up Alexi’s offer to tell the RBNY players that he won’t be supporting the team in light of the name change. Said fan will be visiting the practice bubble today to share his reasoning with the team.
-Offered no specifics on marketing, but noted that efforts “will be different” than in the past.
-Bus trip for DC is a go & signups will be available on the official site today
-Trying to get all games on TV
-Trying for English-language radio for the first time ever
-Has “no plans to leave” and “it’s up to RB to decide how long” he’ll stay

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