'Tis the season...to try something new at The Goat Parade, and so on this merriest of days, we're introducing our first mailbag! Hope you enjoy reading, and if you want to submit a question for a future mailbag column (I'd like to start doing this on a regular basis, if it catches on), don't hesitate to ask, either in the comments section, on Twitter, or on Facebook!
Of course, thanks to everyone who submitted a question for the inaugural edition!
1. Do you feel an obligation to support Cubo? - Richard Farley (@richardfarley)
I should mention that Richard's question including a second part, that if he ended up with the Galaxy would I still support Erick Torres? Of course, we've since learned that Cubo will be heading to the Houston Dynamo (at some point in 2015) and not the LA Galaxy, so this question in many respects becomes a hypothetical rather than something to really confront.
At the most basic level, of course I'm going to keep supporting Cubo. He was a great player for Chivas USA, and unlike most situations in sports, he literally could not have stayed with CUSA under any circumstances. We can't complain about only supporting laundry because that laundry is now a collector's item and will no longer be playing real games.
Does it mean my MLS allegiances will transfer to Houston now that Cubo's there? No. I want him to do well -- if Houston do well too, that's cool. If he does well but they do badly, it's no skin off my back. The point is, I want Cubo to do well, in large part because I want him to end up getting a shot in Europe, and the better he plays in MLS, the better his chances are of moving across to a bigger league.
All that said, let's suppose Cubo had ended up with the Galaxy. I spoke about this situation with a couple of Chivas USA fans a few weeks back, and we all came to the same conclusion: it wasn't Cubo's fault Chivas USA went out of business, and who could blame the guy if he got to play for a more successful team without having to move? I admit, it would have been difficult to watch Cubo rack up game winners for the Galaxy, and I may have been a bit more equivocal in supporting him if he was playing for the rivals. But again, even if he went to the Galaxy, I still would have supported him, but probably a bit more quietly than I will with him playing for any other MLS team.
2. How well do you think Cubo will fit in in Houston? - Dynamo Theory (@DynamoTheory)
If he did well with a team that provided him almost no service, I have to expect he'll do well with the Dynamo. Especially given the fact that Brad Davis will be providing him balls from dead ball situations and Houston's flank players have shown some aptitude for getting balls into the box over the years, Cubo will get more chances than he got with Chivas USA and he's less likely to be stuck on an island and given the full burden of scoring alone.
I'd say that if he spent all of 2015 with Houston, he'll easily beat the 15 goals he scored in 2014, but considering he'll miss half the season, I think he ought to chip in 10-12 goals, assuming he is healthy all year.
3. What would you do to stop them from naming the new team LAFC (if it'd work)? - Chris Howard (@supersounder)
I take it you aren't a fan of the placeholder name? My inclination is that it's pretty likely LAFC will ultimately be the name of the new MLS team in LA, but the owners have promised fans will have a say in deciding the name. I assume it will come down to three names or so and there will be a popular vote to help sanction the final choice.
It seems obvious that the new team will have "LA" and/or "Los Angeles" in its name in some capacity, considering the lack of a local connection to Chivas USA being one of the fundamental flaws with that brand. Supposing the team doesn't end up in Los Angeles proper, I guess there's a chance that they could make it more broad -- using California instead of LA, for instance. But it seems like practically a lock that LA will be in the name.
Now, beyond that, I'm not any genius at making brands, so my question would be -- what would a better name be? I admit, LAFC is pretty basic, but this club is most likely going to have a pretty generic/general name in the end. Could we see something copying off brand names elsewhere? "Atletico," "CSKA," "Steaua," and "Maccabi" are probably too specific, and "Sporting," "Dynamo," and "United" are all taken in MLS already. "Inter" is a rumored option for the theoretical Miami team.
"Athletic" is one possible brand that might work for LAFC, since it connects to a soccer brand but isn't simply "[Place name] FC/SC." And unlike Atletico, it's in English and would therefore avoid the Spanish legacy of Chivas USA, which may make some fans angry but will probably be a consideration for the new club, Spanish/Mexican legacy of Los Angeles or not.
As for what I would do to stop the team from naming the club LAFC, I guess I'll see what their options are when the vote comes, and stump for the choice I like best. No dramatically throwing myself across the metaphorical train tracks over this particular issue, I'm afraid.
4. How have your interactions with the LAFC ownership group/FO been so far? - Troy Dashiell (@TDashiell)
So far, so good. For the flak they took on Twitter for some of their tweets about soccer that weren't really about MLS or LA or LAFC some weeks back, they appear to be working hard to establish the groundwork for a new club behind the scenes. And if they are as responsive to fans and media moving forward as they've been so far that I've experienced, I think fans of the new team and of MLS more broadly have a lot to be excited about, honestly.
5. In your perfect world who would be the best signing an LA club could sign? - Stephen Brandt (@yellowcardSCB)
Cristiano Ronaldo. I think it's more likely he could potentially end up in MLS than Lionel Messi, and Ronaldo has the brash persona to go with his good looks, his celebrity, and oh yeah, his soccer skills. Bringing him to LA would likely take some kind of David Beckhamesque unique contract to make happen, but he's the only player in the world right now who could draw fans to MLS games like Beckham once did. And as long as he didn't wait 10 years to come to MLS, he would have a bigger impact on games than any player in league history, too, and assuming he did not have trouble with major or persistent injuries, would make his team an immediate contender, regardless of the pieces around him.
6. Can Alicia move to Seattle? - Dave Clark (@bedirthan)
She could...but she's got an entourage now. *Flashes horribly bratty money hands celebration*
7. Please rank the following tacos: carne asada, al pastor, barbacoa, chicken. - Ryan Rosenblatt (@RyanRosenblatt)
The question does not specify what marinade will be on the chicken, which makes all the difference. But supposing it's the homemade orange juice-hint of teriyaki concoction I like, here we go:
- Al pastor: This is controversial, because bad pastor tacos are very bad. But good pastor tacos are the best. Want another #HotTake? I don't care if tacos al pastor have pineapple in them or not -- they're both good.
- Chicken: With the proper marinade and with the right cut, chicken tacos are more refreshing and less heart attack-inducing than carne asada.
- Carne asada: The safe choice for when you aren't sure about the quality of the other options. But just because it is safe doesn't mean it's the best most of the time.
- Barbacoa: I've had too many bad barbacoa tacos in my life, man.