Major league soccer in Minnesota may not be a sure thing

You’re all jazzed up about soccer now. But a local MLS team might be a ways off. In the Strib, Jon Marthaler blogs, quoting his friend, Wes Burdine, “Major League Soccer’s expansion strategy has followed three principles. Their top priority is working toward better TV deals, and so they have targeted top TV markets such as Atlanta, and a New York City team in one of the five boroughs. They have also looked to fill out their geographic profile, specifically the glaring gap in the American Southeast. Finally, they are looking for teams in cities that will develop unique and passionate soccer cultures.”

Next… the roof. WCCO-TV says, “Getting in and around the Minnesota Capitol will become a bit harder next week. The Minnesota Department of Administration cautioned Thursday that the ongoing renovation project will kick up a notch after the holiday weekend. There won’t be any access to the Rotunda, the building’s east wing and two floors in the west wing.”

It’s like surrendering to Genghis Khan and the Mongol horde. Erik Burgess of the Forum News Service says, “With zebra mussels discovered in Lake Melissa just south of here last week, officials say boat inspections across lakes country will be stepped up this summer. But for some who live and work here, there’s a certain feeling of resignation, like the battle against the pesky mollusk is already lost.”

At MPR, Dan Gunderson has a piece on researchers continuing to monitor the decline of the frog population. “Analyzing the memory cards [from remote monitors] can tell scientists when frogs are first active in the spring, and when mating season peaks. They can also gauge frog populations. Data collected from 34 sites across North America allowed researchers to quantify the decline in frog populations for the first time. They found that between 2002 and 2011 all frog populations were down nearly four percent. Populations of species considered at risk fell nearly 12 percent.”

On the long road back… The Mankato Free Press reports, “Isaac Kolstad, the former Minnesota State University football player injured in a downtown assault, is now walking up to 200 feet a day during his recovery at an inpatient rehabilitation program in the Twin Cities. … He snapped his fingers and made a ‘come here’ motion with his hand. He also managed to complete small tasks by himself, such as removing his own socks. He struggled with similar actions only a few weeks ago.”

The case of the ex-cop who allegedly killed two women and stuffed their bodies in suitcases only gets more sordid. M.L. Johnson of the AP says, “A former police officer charged with dumping two bodies hidden in suitcases along a rural Wisconsin highway said he killed the women during separate meetings at hotels to have rough sex, a detective testified Thursday. … Zelich’s public defender Travis Schwantes said Thursday in court that the deaths were accidents that may not merit additional charges.” Hmmm… Might need a better argument.

Wabasha Police are adding a cold-case unit. John Weiss of the Rochester Post-Bulletin reports, “For many years, former Wabasha Police Chief Dave Kruger tried to find answers to the Dec. 16, 1990, disappearance of Donna Ingersoll, who was last seen leaving her Wabasha apartment. She was never found, and Kruger has retired. Now, current Police Chief Jim Warren has taken up that quest and is adding a cold-case unit, calling on several others in the police and sheriff’s departments, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and a national missing persons group to try to solve the vexing case.”

Mario Loyola at The National Review does provides a textbook example of hagiography…  “It was a precipitous ascent from the small Wisconsin farm town where [Scott] Walker was raised. His father was a Baptist preacher. His mother is fond of saying that ‘to do good in life, we must do good to others.’ (She regularly bakes cookies and cakes for the staff.) Walker tells me that his upbringing — and the presidency of Ronald Reagan — gave him a calling to public service early on. … Walker’s reforms allowed him to avert public-sector layoffs and balance the budget, even with $2 billion in tax cuts. They also allowed local governments to fix their finances.”

Meanwhile, Matthew DeFour at the Wisconsin State Journal reports, “A longtime aide to Gov. Scott Walker has a new state job that pays her 31 percent more than what her predecessor made last year. Cindy Archer was selected as the top candidate for chief information officer for the State Public Defender’s Office. In September 2011, her Madison home was raided as part of a now-closed John Doe investigation that led to six convictions of former Walker aides and associates.” I think they were just looking for cookies.

Comments (4)

  1. Submitted by Hiram Foster on 07/05/2014 - 06:57 am.

    Major league soccer

    Here is the problem, or at least one problem Soccer is really weird. In some sports, the goal is to win the league championship. In the NFL it’s the Super Bowl, in baseball, the World Series. In soccer,the goal is to win the World Cup, which represents a kind of thinking totally alienated from the way American sports fans see the world. We just don’t care about international team sports. The world baseball tournament MLB holds every once in a while goes unnoticed, and it never occurs to them to invite a foreign team to participate in the playoff system culminating in the “World” Series. They have a world hockey championship which nobody pays attention to. Basketball doesn’t even try. And really, I don’t know of anybody who has a problem with this. Our sports are just fine, and if the rest of world doesn’t pay attention to them, we are big enough to pay them the attention they need on our own. There is no gap in our sports culture soccer is needed to fill.

    But let’s go back to the World Cup. For soccer fans, of which I am one, the problem with American soccer, is that since winning the cup is the ultimate goal, American fans firmly believe that any talented American soccer player shouldn’t be playing for the local franchise, they should be playing in Europe where they can gain the skills and the toughness necessary for international competition. Inevitably what that means for us for now and the foreseeable future is an American soccer league, dominated by has beens and never will be’s, and it’s just hard to compete with our other team sports which compete at the highest level in their respective sports.

  2. Submitted by Tom Dietsche on 07/06/2014 - 04:21 am.

    soccer is for children, not adults

    Soccer is boring, that is its biggest problem. Just like hockey, another boring sport, it mainly consists of running/skating up and down without anything really happening (i.e. no scoring).

    Give me the NFL and MLB leagues any day, they feature strategy, tactics, and time between each play to plan the next one. So who cares who wins in soccer, it is a dumb “sport” that no good US citizen should care about, when we have two sports that are far better. Even the NBA is more entertaining than soccer. Although it is also about running up and down the court and has no real strategy or tactics, at least it has a lot of scoring.

  3. Submitted by Hiram Foster on 07/06/2014 - 12:08 pm.

    Soccer is boring, that is its biggest problem.

    It can be but other sportst can be boring too. Baseball is mostly just standing around. The Wall Street Journal once timed an NFL football game and found that in three and half hours of TV time there was actually something happening on the field for only eleven and a half minutes. While soccer games consist of 90 minutes of real time running, NFL games mostly consist of meetings in which various participants discuss what to do next. And I say this as an NFL fan. By the way, why do they have timeouts in American sports? The players should know what to do after practicing all week, and timeouts interfere with the flow of the game. If American football players are so smart, why don’t they know what to do on the field without their coaches telling them? If you notice the coaches at the World Cup, not a single one of them is wearing headphones.

    But I am having a little fun here. I like baseball. I like football. And I like soccer. A fondness for one sport certainly doesn’t exclude a love of others. But here is something I think is worth noting and it has nothing to do with the merits of the sport itself. In numerous ways, financial consideration that drive the way American sports are played, are simply irrelevant to soccer. The NFL is thinking about adding playoff games to enhance revenue. Soccer doesn’t have playoffs at all. NFL teams who play badly are allowed to remain in the league year after year with no penalty. Soccer teams who play badly are kicked out of the league. And my favorite as a fan, NFL games are routinely stopped for reasons that have nothing to do with football, in order for TV to run commercials. In soccer, the games are stopped twice, at half time and when the game is over. Gopher games can last over four hours, in soccer the game is over in two hours with intermission and then you can hit the pubs.

  4. Submitted by Hiram Foster on 07/06/2014 - 12:33 pm.

    Here’s another thing

    In soccer, the games just about always matter. In a recent issue of Sports Illustrated, the cover story was about how the Houston Astros would win the World Series in 2017. Soccer teams never think this way because if they aren’t good this year, they will be relegated to a lower league, quite possibly never to return. There is no phoning it in, no wait ’til next year. No equivalent of the Vikings cashing tv checks every season despite the fact that they haven’t been in a Super Bowl in 37 years, Soccer relegation, by the way, solves the problem of the incompetent owner, one that has plagued Minnesota sports fans for many years now. The Timber wolves are awful because they have dreadful ownership. In soccer the t wolves would long ago have relegate out of the top league, and if they still had Taylor at the helm, would probably be a mediocre entrant in a YMCA league.

    One last thing. Goals, and their relative scarcity. Yes, not many goals are scored in a top flight soccer game always with some notable exceptions. But when they do come, they are almost always beautiful. A home run is pretty much always a home run, and although functional, and the merits of a running the ball into the end once from the one inch line are not aesthetic. And just as the games always matter, so do the goals. As the slogan of the 2010 World Cup says, very truthfully, in the world of soccer, one goal can change everything. If you don’t believe me, check out the videos you can find of the Gerrard slip.

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