Friday, January 14, 2005

This Is Officially Not an Academic Exercise Anymore

The long-simmering labor dispute between the U.S. Soccer Federation and the men's national team has come to a head, as the Federation announced yesterday that it would call "replacement players" (aka "scabs") into camp to prepare for the upcoming World Cup qualifier with Trinidad & Tobago. Right now, I'm wondering exactly who these guys will be. One option would be current MLS players, but that seems unlikely. First, the MLS players are unionized, just like the nats, and therefore are probably not likely to cross a picket line. Second, any MLS player who has not yet been capped by the national team but has hopes of one day doing so probably won't want to piss off the players currently involved in the dispute. That second problem likewise applies to younger European based players, many of whom surely have a future with the national team. Although I wonder if one of these youngsters has the balls to cross the line anyway, in essence saying "yes, I'm so good that you won't be able to keep me off the national team later." Who does that leave? A-leaguers? College kids? My local 8-a-side team? DAMNIT!

So, ironically, I'm off to watch Matewan, John Sayles's classic flick about the West Virginia mine labor unrest in the 1920s. At least I know who the good guys are in that one.

UPDATE: No, not a settlement, but a really good analysis of the situation by Ridge Mahnoey for A pox on both your houses, in essence.

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