Hello and welcome once again to the Filthy Casual. I’m sure all nine of you were quite distressed at my absence. Well, consider yourselves restressed, because I’m back, baby, and filthier and more casual than ever.
I’ve spent a lot of time over the last few months dishing out the worst takes imaginable about how to improve various aspects of football, both in the US and abroad. My takes have continued to fester over the last three weeks. We are now at the point where they cannot be contained by any one listicle. The only remedy is to unleash them all at once on soccer headlines from around the world. LET THE TAKENING COMMENCE.
The Taken King
- Toronto barely salvaged a draw against DC United, the worst team in the MLS, thanks to an own goal. As a result, they slipped in the power rankings. This is an immense relief to the whole United States, as it’s embarrassing enough when Canada is better than the US at hockey. If those lousy hosers were to beat the good ol’ red, white, and blue at soccer . . . well, no one would probably care.
- Real Madrid defeated Manchester United 2-1 to win the UEFA Super Cup. More importantly, I defeated myself in a drinking contest 2-1 to win the Red Solo Cup*.
- VAR made its MLS debut, and of course the league took not a single one of my recommendations. Despite their stunning lack of foresight and some controversial calls, the overall result was more positive than not. On a more tragic note, Colorado Rapids fans enraged by a missed handball stormed the Video Operation Room, dragged the offending Samsung 4k Ultra HD monitor onto the field, and dismembered it. RIP Sammy.
- Arsenal defeated Chelsea in penalties to win the Community Shield, which prompted Chelsea’s notoriously sober and level-headed fans to calmly assess the relative insignificance of the match and not panic. Arsenal’s sanguine supporters, in turn, read absolutely nothing into their victory and did not attempt to use it as a predictive measure for the rest of the season.
- LAFC acquired Carlos Vela from Real Sociedad for roughly 5 million euros. When asked for comment by the Filthy Casual, White House press secretary Sarah “I Heart” Huckabee Sanders replied: “This is exactly why our immigration system is broken. Teams are giving away unskilled jobs to immigrants who don’t speak English when there are perfectly good unskilled soccer players born right here in the US who don’t speak English.”
Minnesota Sports Misery Index
Lynx: The Lynx are the first team in the WNBA to secure a playoff berth, thanks to a .875 winning record and a +10.1 points differential. The next-best team in the league has a stellar 16-9 record and is still five and a half games back from the Lynx. Raise your hand if you can guess why the Lynx barely crack a mention even in the local sports news segments.
Vikings: As the team reflects on its first preseason match, fans consider a mixed bag of an offseason: injuries, inconsistent play, frequent training-camp scuffles between players. On the bright side, the Vikings did just commit a staggering amount of money to defensive players who have no possibility of being horribly injured.
Twins: Most teams wait until after they’ve had a championship win or at least a deep run to do a re-set and trade off assets for younger prospects. Not so with the forward-thinking Twins, who shrewdly decided to re-set partway through a sub .500 season.
Timberwolves: In my research for this week’s piece, I found that the general consensus is the T-Wolves are on the way up. This is good to hear, although when your team ended the last season at the bottom of the Marianas Trench, there aren’t too many other options.
The Minnesota Sports Misery Index is: aquamarine. Blue, like a clear summer sky that fills a Minnesotan with equal parts optimism and concern. Blue like the tears that will course down our snowburned follow when all our tepid hopes inevitably turn to ash.
Stay filthy, my friends.
*I promptly threw away the Red Solo Cup after finishing my drink.