Escape from New York
AN UNLIKELY APPRECIATION
Before my hands rebel forcing someone to lop them off at the wrist and replace them with a chainsaw, let me type this out: Alexi Lalas was doing a good job at New York. Not a perfect job, but a pretty good one, one that was getting better and better as the weeks went on. His departure from the Red Bulls to LA is certainly a blessing for DC fans, as I honestly believe that he was in the process of building a decent New York team, which is a headache none of us want.
Let's talk about some of the good decisions Lalas made while in New York. Yes, he feuded with Amado Guevara, but Amado Guevara feuds with marshmellow peeps if he's feeling ornery enough. He fired the winningest coach in MLS history when the winningest coach couldn't win, and Mo Johnston did enough to get the team to the playoffs. He executed a decent deal to land #1 draft pick Wynne in New York. He refused to sign Galvan Rey despite people screaming "what about scoring?" Goals are fine and good, but SGR's production for the price required was a fool's deal that only the most desperate GM would make. Lalas refused to mortgage more of the New York future on stupidity, a refreshing change.
Sure, he never really wanted Coach Mo, but he had the integrity to stay with him after Mo got results. When Red Bull came in, Lalas was a company soldier, and never squeeked out of tune. He did a great deal right in New York, a great deal that he should get credit for. Sure, he resigned to go to LA, but every rumor had always indicated that this is the same sort of resignation that a Presidential Cabinet appointee makes. Red Bull wants their team, and Lalas isn't a part of it. As a DC fan, all I can say is thank goodness. I'd hate to think that Lalas might have gotten that team together.