Sunday, July 02, 2006

France's Secret Weapon...

I knew it had to be some magical potion or incantation that caused France to succeed once again over the odds-on favorite Brazil with all it big stars and talent. In the second half, I saw the reason. The camera flashed to the stands and there with Caroline Duret, the protocol manager for Platini during the FIFA World Cup France 1998, was Youri Djorkaeff, the 38 year old veteran French Midfielder who was a big part of the successful World Cup winning team 8 years ago over the same Brazilian finalist in the Stade de France, St. Denis.

Youri now plays for the Red Bulls in New York, and he left the team prior to its road trip to New England where the Red Bulls lost Saturday to the Revolution 2-3 citing personal family reasons. Djorkaeff is the one legitimate talent on an otherwise very ordinary MLS team in the League's highest profile market. They just fired their coach Mo Johnston and gave the interim position to Richie Williams. They might well have considered a better choice. The mature Djorkaeff, with enormous international experience could well have been considered the logical first choice.

I don't know what provoked Youri's trip. Maybe it was just his loyalty to his old teammates? Maybe a message for the Red Bulls that their view of the future is not the same as his? What I do know is that during a very dismal period of this team's history, the one producer the Bulls had was Youri Djorkaeff. I am glad that he was able to be in Frankfurt with his football family. I consider him my friend and am happy that he could be united in Frankfurt on this occasion.

My message to the Red Bulls: Get over it. Find the best way to use the asset you have been blessed with and turn your attention back to how to build a viable winning team in America's most important market.

To Youri, and your support of your friends, colleagues and nation... Vive le France!!!


Anonymous said...

unfortunate that the general secretary for CONCACAF has so litle respect for the MLS.

Sean Tipton
Takoma Park, MD

On the Road said...

Was written as a suffering New Yorker who has been very unhappy with the history of teams playing in Giants Stadium. Has nothing to do with my respect for the League, but everything to do with a call for a change and that while new ownership has stepped in, the focus on players and coaching needs to be demonstrable. Hopefully it will. Even the GS can complain about his local team. I am.

The article was tongue in cheek about his helping the french, but rather a criticism of the situation in New York. I am glad it has been read in that light.