The Reserve Squad Briefs: January 25, 2010

Stuart Holden appears set to officially move to Bolton, ending his criminally-underpaid tenure with the Houston Dynamo. In the wake of this news, Houston has signed former Toronto FC midfielder Kevin Harmse. Said one team official: “We’re confident with the way things have turned out. Sure, Kevin may not have Stuart’s skill on the ball, or his speed… or his youth… or… fuck.”

The United States’ men’s national team dropped a 3-1 decision to Honduras over the weekend. The game was played on American soil, but the stands were heavily saturated with Honduran fans; meanwhile, on the pitch, the American side found themselves at the receiving end of some dubious officiating by Mexican referee Benito Archundia. Said one American supporter: “Christ, with all of this shit going on, it’s like we’re the Canadian team or something… well, except we tend to qualify for the World Cup.”

Canada’s team at the CONCACAF U20 Women’s Championship has advanced to the semifinals after three straight victories in the preliminary round. A win there would guarantee the team a spot in the next FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup. Observers are cautiously optimistic that this development could be the story that finally pushes soccer into the mainstream in North America.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has expressed concern over the massive debts being incurred by professional football clubs, and says clubs “should look very seriously at their responsibilities.” When reached by videoconference for a response to Brown’s statements, Manchester United owner Malcolm Glazer began and ended the conference by blowing his nose into a Union Jack flag.

A new study suggests soccer players suffer sleeplessness after big games, rather than before. The study contradicts the conventional wisdom that players would be too nervous to sleep prior to a significant match. The full text of the study has not yet been released, but one source claims the phrase “all-night hooker-and-coke parties” makes several appearances throughout.

Former US national team and current LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena has been inducted into the US Soccer Hall of Fame. In a vote held over the weekend, Arena captured the honour after being named on 78% of ballots. Sources say the other 22% of voters cast their ballots for Mark McGwire.

Leeds United continued their surprising run in the FA Cup, snatching an injury-time 2-2 draw against Tottenham and forcing a replay of the fourth-round tie, to determine who’ll meet Bolton in the fifth round. The last-minute collapse caused much consternation amongst supporters of Spurs, who currently sit fourth in the Premiership table and are launching a serious challenge for a Champions League spot. Said one fan: “If only we could have held on, we’d be one step closer to the FA Cup, which would make this a dream season.” The fan then began laughing uproariously and gave a one-finger salute to no one in particular.

In other FA Cup news, Arsenal was bounced from the tournament by Stoke City. The Gunners will… ah, you know what, it was just going to be the same joke as the last one. Big clubs don’t care about the FA Cup. Hilarious!

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