We all talk about New Year’s resolutions. You know what I say about them: view ‘em as "guidelines" more than "rules" and you’ll live a far more guilt-free year. So that’s that.
But I’d like to start out 2012 with another kind of "resolution." As in, I’d love to see some quick resolutions to vexing issues in the domestic game. Here are five potential "resolutions," also known as "issues or problems that deserve some closure."
1. David Beckham’s future. Look, the Galaxy need to move on. Or they need to build their team around Beckham. But let’s get this done already! I write more about this one in a piece for SI.com, where I look at the Top 10 places in domestic soccer where news will come from this year. (Hint: the longer this thing drags out, the better the chances that Becks will remain L.A. Galaxy property.)
2. Thierry Henry’s potential loan. One day it’s done. The next day it’s as dead as the Miami Fusion. So which one is it? … Today we hear Red Bulls manager Hans Backe put the chances of a two-month loan deal to Arsenal at "zero." But would it surprise anyone to see it happen this week despite Backe’s insistence of such long odds? Because when it comes to the Beckhams, Henrys, etc., this stuff is done at a higher level, with Uber Agents and handlers who may not always consult the coaches. Personally, I’d love to see it. One way or the other, I’d mostly just like to see it resolved.
3. The second bite of the Big Apple for MLS. Everyone thinks it will be the Cosmos. Only problem, the Cosmos don’t really exist beyond a logo, a concept and a bunch of memories. If Major League Soccer could get a second franchise going in the New York area (which would be No. 20 for the league), we could finally move past the whole Cosmos dalliance once and for all. Personally, I don’t care to see a self-important franchise in MLS that would immediately and consistently want (or possibly demand) what’s best for the club, not what’s best for the collective. And you’d better believe that would be the case with the Cosmos.
4. Stuart Holden. What we need here more than a resolution, per se, is a just a run of better luck. The kid simply hasn’t been able to get on the field for Bolton since last spring – not for any extended period, at least. Let’s hope Holden, now training again at the Reebok, can get back in his side soon and then get into Jurgen Klinsmann’s side. How great would it be if he could play in the match against Italy in two months that’s quickly turning into U.S. Soccer’s worst kept secret. (It hasn’t been announced, but it’s probably going to happen.)
5. Red Bulls situation: Going back to New York, they need to get that thing sorted out. Like now. Highly respected colleague Brian Straus said it best when he tagged coach Hans Backe and general manager Erik Soler as "Worst Management" in his recap of the worst of 2011 in domestic soccer. Personally, I put more of the blame on Soler, who never has seemed to get a grip on things in MLS. Foremost is the Rafa Marquez mess, which super-duper deserves resolution. The latest chatter has him headed perhaps to Mexico. Five words: It can’t happen fast enough.