Quick Hits – October 11, 2017

No World Cup for you!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again! As long as we have the current youth club soccer culture, the United States will NEVER win a world cup. Now we’re not even qualifying!

Please tell me how, on God’s bleepin’ green earth, a country of 323 million that spends billions a year on soccer to make it the most popular youth sport, can’t play to a draw with Trinidad-Tobago, a country that doesn’t quite match up to San Antonio, Texas?

Oh! They’ll blame Jurgen Klinsmann, Bruce Arena and the national program itself, but they’re only symptoms and not the disease. The real malignancy is, despite 44 years of U.S. youth soccer, we’ve only managed to develop one world-class male player – Christian Pulisic – and he just arrived on the scene.

US Out

Please don’t give me any crap about U.S. goalkeepers being world class, either, because they rely on sheer athleticism to succeed, not soccer skills. But I digress!

Boys club soccer is all about preying on parents’ dreams and winning games to the exclusion of everything else. If cheating puts you in that position, then so be it! I coached youth soccer for four long years and it has absolutely nothing to do with player development.

Zero, zip, zilch, nada, nil, bupkis, etc.

If a trainer dares to offer the kind of honest travel player assessment that might risk an angry parent or those yearly fees, they will be demoted or fired. And the volunteer coaches are supposed to placate parents at all costs to the detriment of those players who actually have some talent.

So what you end up with real head cases like Landon Donovan who have to go to a psychologist to figure out why they can’t seem to score goals.

Meanwhile, the U.S. women’s soccer team typically makes it to the World Cup finals because their youth clubs don’t put the same onus on winning. Player development is their first priority, just ask Mia Hamm.

Put mores simply, until our boys club soccer leagues start putting less emphasis on money and winning, and more emphasis on telling the truth and producing world class players, the U.S. Men’s National Team will always be an also-ran.


She gone!

After serving just 88 days, Rauner chief of staff Kristina Rasmussen is out! That’s gotta be some sort of record. Even I lasted longer at the Kane County Clerk’s office. It would seem our governor and president are embroiled in a race to see how many staffers they can fire in four short years.


But what really frosts my cookies is, his conservative enablers, who’ve cut him loose since he signed HB 40, believe they bear no blame for helping to put the wrong man there in the first place.

That means, considering that whole doomed to repeat history thing, Dan Proft and his ideologically blinded rabble will do their damndest to come up with the next overly conservative and utterly unable to govern candidate to replace him.

And then they’ll blame The Speaker for their own shortsightedness and general stupidity. The more things change in Illinois…



Capitol Fax’s Rich Miller recently wrote that Governor Rauner “needs to regain credibility.” That would imply that he actually had it at some point.


He ain’t runnin’

Governor Rauner, that is. Remember, you heard it first here on Quick Hits October 2 and, considering his administration’s inexorable self-inflicted death spiral, I’m more convinced than ever my sources were right!


But he is running

Joe McMahon, that is – for attorney general.

When folks first noticed he was floating signature sheets, I thought it was nothing more than an electoral flight of fancy. But upon further review, my sources tell me he really is gonna give it a shot.

C’mon! I stand a better chance of getting elected pope!


Though he’s not the first elected official to fall prey to this wrapped-up-in-the-choir mindset, this is exactly what happens when you surround yourself with folks who, in an effort to remain “insiders,” extoll your virtue at every turn.

You actually start believing them.

So a statewide campaign will be his first contested election? Much like the proverbial train wreck, it oughtta be a lot of fun to watch.


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