2005/06 Soccer Thread


Yes, so there's only like three of us here that really enjoy the sport, but i've been spending so much time really trying to learn the game recently, that you'll have to excuse me from time to time from posting something in here.

First and foremost, the U.S. National Team (the men, mind you) won their third Gold Cup this summer, beating Panama on Penalty Kicks. For those of you who don't know, the Gold Cup is competition for national teams in CONCACAF (Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football). The win bumped the U.S. National team up to 6th in the FIFA World Rankings, which is, of course, ludicrous, but FIFA's insane to begin with so there's no surprise there.

More than anything, the win helps underline the good crop of talent we've got this generation. Oguchi Oneywu has turned out to be a good defender, and Santino Quaranta seems to be thinking about maybe living up to his potential, which would be good. However, it's a bit surprising that the Landon Donovan in Europe experiment has failed the way it has. The man only seems to be competent in the MLS, or internationally. Which is sad.

Speaking of the MLS, if you haven't watched because you didn't like the soccer they played (not because you didn't like the sport whatsoever), give it a try now. In the 10 years they've been going, the play has seen a marked improvement. It's not Serie A yet, but they're not half bad.

NOTE: If you check out the US Soccer Federation webpage, they've got some interesting Podcast interviews with Eddie Lewis, Bobbey Convey (Currently playing for Reading in England) and more.

As for Europe itself, my focus has generally been on England (easiest to follow) and the ongoing saga there has hit real levels of silliness.

First off, there's the continuing turmoil over the whole Glazer-situation. While I think it's undoubtable that a significant amount of good old America-hate plays into this, the debts that Glazer has incurred taking on this team (apparently to the tune of $1.1 Billion, with another $157M in interest) are shocking, at best. European Soccer hasn't been a money-making venture for a lot of teams (see the sordid sad stories of Borussia Dortmund or Parma) so one really does begin to wonder if Glazer is really into Manchester United only for the advertising brand, and whether he'll kill the club. Given that the man's never even been to Old Trafford, i'm left a bit perplexed.

Chelsea, as they have been in the Abramovic Era, are rich. They were easily the best in England last year, and are shaping up to be the elite again this year, bringing back estranged stiker Hernan Crespo, who shined for Italian outfit AC Milan last year, and snatching Asier Del Horno from Bilbao in Spain. They also grabbed Shaun-Wright Phillips from Manchester City, adding to their glut of midfield riches.

But all the tabloids are going agog over the on-off-on-off saga of Chelsea trying to buy Michael Essien. The Ghanan was a star for Lyon last year, driving them to a surrpising Quarter-Finals finish in the Champions League last year. They already lost their star coach (Paul Le Guen) and losing their star player would kill the team. Of course, signing Gerard Houllier as your coach will do that too.

"What about Italy?", some of you are surely saying. Well fret not, the unique brand of silliness and corruption that is the Serie A is still there. This year's scandal? The country's oldest club, Genoa, has been demoted to Serie C for Match-Fixing. Really, really dumb match-fixing. ESPN Soccernet has a good article detailing the whole idiotic situation.

I think I can better show the situation in Spain recently by using a bit of Baseball. The biggest team there (or anywhere, for that matter), Real Madrid, has spent the past few years with a "Zidanes y Pavons" policy that does not border on idiocy, but breaks right through the wall and charges into f*cktarded. The Yankees have taken this same policy, although without the "Pavons" part, suffice to say, both teams love buying big-name players for way too much money, and then wondering why they're not winning. Both teams also have a chairman who blusters and huff-bluffs whenever the team loses, although, I assure you, it's much funnier in Spain.

Long story short, Madrid bought English striker Michael Owen last year from Liverpool. They then rarely used Owen, although whenever he popped up off the bench, he generally scored. But, he isn't one of the favored few in Madrid, so the team went out and grabbed Robinho, a young Brazilian striker labled the "next Pele", like every single Brazilian striker with a lick of skill. This has placed Michael Owen on the outs at Madrid, probably headed back to England, rumor is, to Manchester or Newcastle.

Michael Owen's leaving Liverpool is probably a grand example of Bill Simmons' Ewing Theory in effect. Before leaving, Owen was the team talisman, the man the team revolved around. He leaves, all of a sudden they win the Champions Cup. Perhaps if Steven Gerrard had opted to leave for Chelsea, Liverpool might've won everything they competed in this year.

As the season goes on i'll keep this updated with links to good articles and stories, and my own opinions.

MLS has been fun this season. I know that Chivas was going to suck, but I could not have predicted how much they would suck. Kansas City should have been better too.

I wish I could afford Fox Sports World, Pred, so that I could more intelligently discuss the Premiership with you. All I know is what I get from the blurbs on the Beeb website. Drop the science though, I'll read it.

As an MLS season ticket holder since 1996 (Go Galaxy), I love this thread topic. MLS is improving. The MLS refereeing is improving (which is necessary for the preceding sentence). But much still remains to be done. We need to (a) stop/suspend the MLS season during major national team commitments (e.g., Gold Cup, WC qualifying, WC, etc.), (b) we need to stop -- absolutely curtail -- the dissent after almost every whistle, and (c) we need to educate each team's broadcast teams (every time one of them criticizes a referee's call -- and they do this often, in stern language, and usually erroneously -- they damage the prestige of the league).

I am not as familiar with the european leagues (despite having a subscription to Fox Soccer Channel (formerly, Fox Sports World)).

You're not alone their Sanj, I can't afford the Digital Cable deal either, but you make do with what you've got. Also, Fox Sports World has been changed to Fox Soccer Channel, much to my utter happiness, so if you can ever get it, it's 24 hours of Soccer, all day long.

The FSC Webpage

I don't know if you'll be able to benefit from it, but I know here on the East Coast, MSG (Madison Square Garden) channel and occasionally Fox Sports New York will put on a weekly EPL highlights show, generally on Sunday Nights around 10:00. Check your local listings, see if you get lucky. Both also put on a few games every now and then.

If you want a dose of European Soccer and can't afford the big Digital TV deal to get it, I whole-heartedly reccomend signing up for the UEFA.com Matchpass. It gives you Audio and Video coverage of every single match from the Group Stage of the Champions League onwards, and it's pretty well priced. I think i'm paying like $14.99 monthly for it, and there's a yearly deal too. I don't think I could live without it.

Two Radio stations you can't live without...

World Soccer Weekly
BBC Radio Five Live

Note about Five-Live. I think,until the 2006/07 season they are not allowed to put on Premiership matches for listeners outside of the UK, save for a select few (the FA Cup for example) so some will be there for you, some won't. Listening to the call-in with Spoony is immensely enjoyable however.

EDIT: Don't forget the MLS MatchCenter over at MLSNet.com. Doesn't have all the games, but it's free, which is most important.

Edgar_Newt wrote:

We need to (a) stop/suspend the MLS season during major national team commitments (e.g., Gold Cup, WC qualifying, WC, etc.), (b) we need to stop -- absolutely curtail -- the dissent after almost every whistle, and (c) we need to educate each team's broadcast teams (every time one of them criticizes a referee's call -- and they do this often, in stern language, and usually erroneously -- they damage the prestige of the league).

We also should give teams and stadiums less idiotic names.

Also, Woooooo!

EDIT EDIT: IMAGE(http://metrostars.mlsnet.com/met/imgs/metrogirls/2005/team_430.jpg)

So going to a Metrostars game.

The FIFA Poll in which the United States were recently ranked as high as 6th are sponsored by Coca-Cola and is less than a reliable indicator of where our national team should be ranked. I prefer this poll, which currently has us as #13 in the world.

Wow. Lots of great advice there, thanks guys.

MLS is getting better; it's a better level of competition than the Mexican leagues at this point, I think.

I mighn't go that far Sanj, since the Mexican First Division has a pretty healthy habit of kicking the hell of American teams in Continental competitions.

As another note, if you want to follow the game better, I whole-heartedly reccomend grabbing a copy of World Soccer Magazine. It's informative, well-written, and doesn't have the bi-monthly "HURF DURF AMERICANS ARE STUPID" article that FourFourTwo does.

The Third Qualifying Phase of the Champions League began tonight, with Everton beginning the European dream by losing 2-1 at home to Villareal. As much of a surprise as Everton was last year in the EPL, I think it'll take a miracle for them to knock out Villareal.

(For those not in the know, many European soccer competitions use the 'Two-Legged' format, meaning the teams play each other twice. Each team gets a home game. Whoever has more goals at the end, advances. If the scores are tied, whoever has scored more goals on the road (the Away Goal rule) advances. And if it's all even, then penalty kicks.)

More interestingly is the continuing and increasingly acrimonious breakup between Manchester United and ex-ManU fans. All of the Glazers save for Malcom were actually at their 3-0 beating of Debrecen.

Said Glazers.

I'm sorry, these men look like the biggest schmucks ever.

Although you'll get punched for saying it that way there, the EPL began today, and most of the European Soccer Leagues have just about kicked off, save for Spain and Italy, which will begin in September. No real surprises in this opening weekend, other than Liverpool going nil-nil with Middlesbrough and West Ham defeating Blackburn.

First off, may I say that the new and improved ESPN SoccerNet looks gawgeous. Much more accessible now. I'd reccomend their English Premiership season preview to everybody.

Second, screw MSG and Fox Sports New York, who would rather put on mother****ing Poker and the WNBA rather than the Premiership highlights show. God-damn it.

The Guardian always has some good articles on the Soccer world, and if you miss Sid Lowe and James Richardson's updates from the Primera Liga and Serie A, respectively, you're doing yourself a disservice. The linked article is about Newcastle United, a team that... well... they've had a checkered history.

Much of the fun in the EPL doesn't really kick in until around October when the table begins to shake out, but there's a ton of stuff to keep your eyes out for this year. First in my mind, particularly, is whether Arsenal will be worth anything without Patrick Viera in their midfield. While he wasn't his best last year, his absence leaves a gaping hole in the team that I don't think any of their youngsters are quite ready to fill yet, no matter how good Cesc Fabregas is.

Everton, who surprised everyone last year, went out and lost 2-0 at home to Manchester United. Factor in the fact that they're already down to Villareal... well, I think their season isn't going to get much better. If your star striker is James Beattie and your big summer signing is Phil Neville... well, you're screwed. At least, you are if your ambitions are a top-5 finish.

Aging Players Headed To Bolton! No Way!

Sam Allardyce does have a way with getting the best out of some of these has-beens though, so best of luck to Hidetoshi. Some change in the top five would be wonderful.

Where Michael Essien will fit in Chelsea's midfield is up to anyone though.

Essien was one of the stars last year, for sure. But where will he fit in an midfield that already has Claude Makelele, Frank Lampard, Damien Duff, Joe Cole, Shaun-Wright Phillips, Asier Del Horno, and Geremi? That gives Jose Mourinho nine names to slot into midfield, and nine egos to satiate. I have no idea how he plans to do it.

Did anyone see that heartbreaker of a game between Wigan and Chelsea? Wigan was so completely robbed...

Didn't see it, but heard all about it. If Wigan can keep up that level of play for 37 more matches, they'll stay up. Of course, this does nothing to change the incredibly top-heavy nature of the EPL (and European Soccer in general). If anything, that may be the only thing the MLS has on Europe. 5 or 6 teams have won the Championship since 1998. Since the Premier League was made in 1992, 4 teams have won it (Blackburn, Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United). That's kinda boring.

If you get a chance to watch the game, do. They really dominated the first half, it was amazing and pretty embarrassing to watch (if you're a Chelsea fan, anyway). You could practically see the Chelsea players with their thought bubbles over their heads: "WTF?!"


Anywho, a quick overview.

1.) The U.S.A. qualifies for the 2006 World Cup with a 2-0 win over Mexico in Columbus. Mexico's coach goes "WAH-WAH-WAH-WAH".

2.) England loses 1-0 in an World Cup Qualifier to Northern Ireland. For some perspective, imagine if a #2 seed lost in the NCAA Tournament. This should not have happened. Sven-Goran Eriksson will be out of a job if England puts on a shoddy performance in Germany.

3.) The Metrostars are firmly poised to underachieve. Again. Oy. It's a fantastic year if you're a San Jose fan.

4.) Brazil is FREAKING AWESOME. Five names. Ronaldinho, Adriano, Kaka, Ronaldo, Robinho. Learn them. You'll hear them all in Germany. Brazil may repeat.

5.) Wahey! The Champions League kicks off Wednesday! Soccernet's got a Preview Here and i'll give my own uninformed predictions once I get regular net access back.

So, the internet has finally returned to me. Updates shall be more regular now.

The Guardian's Sid Lowe has another spectacular weekly wrap-up on the Spanish Primera Liga. Read or die.

Theirry Henry, he of the lethal feet in England and crappy feet anywhere else, is down with a injured groin that will see him out for six weeks. Considering that, as of recent, Henry has provided a great deal of Arsenal's offense, what a surprise it was to see Sol Campbell, their totemic defender heading two home against Everton this weekend to secure three points. Of course, this doesn't mean Arsenal's season is great. They've got nine points through five games, and are nine points behind the ever-rolling colossus that is Chelsea, who, of course, haven't lost this season. Chelsea haven't even drawn. They've won all six of their games. One honestly begins to wonder if anything other than injuries and dumb luck could prevent them from winning every competition this season.

Once again, I must reccomend the UEFA.com matchpass to you all. It's hard enough to catch Domestic league games anywhere, but for a pretty cheap price, you can get to see the Champions League, which is better than nothing.

Also, Michael Owen scored for Newcastle. This puts one of the most ambitious clubs in England in 13th place, and still technically in the relegation race. I think there's nothing Newcastle can do properly.

More on Sunday.

My poor Magpies. On a positive note, Norby Solano is back in the squad and he's one of the reasons I started rooting for Newcastle in the first place. If they could get Robert back on the other side, I'd be content to watch them lose.

And oh, sadly, how they inevitably will. Even though they're in a unique position to usurp ManU and Arsenal, with both of those sides looking none-too-title-challenging this season. Honestly, if Newcastle ever put it together, they'd be a force to reckon with. But they never seem to. And it's only gotten worse since Keegan started blubbering on TV.

Also, the first ever FIFPro Awards ceremony was held recently, with Ronaldinho and Wayne Rooney winning player of the year and young player honors, respectively. This may have been one of the most unsurprising votes in the sport's history.

Here's a question. Where will Everton finish this year? I'm staking my place with a season mired in mid-table. Probably 13th. Oh, they'll stay up, but last year's form will not be replicated. As has been made perfectly clear I think, last year was a great year indeed, but you're not getting two such seasons like that, and James Beattie isn't the answer to the question.

And in news that matters mostly to me, Brian McBride leads Fulham in goals so far this year. Hooray!

Quick bit of Copa Sudamericana news. The second leg of DC United vs.Universidad Catolica (Chile) quarterfinal, is being shown on Fox Soccer Channel tonight at 8PM EST. The first leg was played in DC and ended in a 1-1 draw.

Hate to say it, but United is going to have their work cut out for them tonight. I was at the stadium, for the first leg, and they were lucky to get a draw. Catolica simply outplayed United for 3/4 of the game. They were intercepting United's passes all over the field. Outhustling them to the ball, and except for the lone goal, Catolica completely shut United down in the box. Of course that last part isn't too hard, if youre putting 8 men behind the 18' and United keeps trying to dribble the ball into the goal. If United could learn to take shots from outside the 18' they might be able to score a few more goals or at least create some space in the box. This style of play might be fine for MLS play, but it will never work at the international level. Still gonna be cheering my boys on though, and hope they can pull out a win, or a 2-2 draw to move on.

Also, I spotted this article on Yahoo! News and figured the fellow soccer fans would get a laugh out of it.

I swear Africa is out of its mind.

A lot of the recent hub-bub in England has been on two things. One, that the Premiership sucks (thank you Jose Mourinho) and that everything is wholly overpriced (Take a bow... everyone in the Premiership). Given that barely four teams have an honest shot at winning it all (three really, Chelsea, Manchester United [barely], and Arsenal), this top-heavy league where teams aspire to finish 8th is beginning to fall afoul of fans.

The boys at The Guardian have a few really good articles on the problems at hand and ways to solve the problems.

It is and has always been my biggest problem with Soccer. While you do get the tradition and history of a Liverpool, a Real Madrid or a AC Milan, it is entirely boring to go through as many years as the Premiership has been through with the same teams winning. Since it's introduction in 1992, four teams have won the Premiership title. Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United and Blackburn Rovers. That's it. Not that it's much better in Italy (AC Milan, Juventus, SS Lazio and AS Roma since 92). Spain can at least claim a little more turnover (Real Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Atletico Madrid and Deportivo la Coruna have all won in the same timeframe). If the NFL was like this, I wouldn't watch, frankly.

In news that Mex has probably heard about, Mexican authorities finally rescued the head coach of First Division club Cruz Azul.

Federal agents sprung Ruben Omar Romano, the Argentine coach of leading team Cruz Azul, from captivity in a house in the crime-ridden neighborhood of Iztapalapa on Wednesday night, without a shot being fired. Seven people were arrested.
Romano, who was being held for a $5 million ransom that was never paid, spent two months blindfolded in the house after being seized by men with automatic weapons near the team's training ground in the south of Mexico City.
The case raised the fear barometer even higher in Mexico, where almost everyone knows someone who has been abducted, mostly commonly in an "express kidnapping" of a few hours.
Kidnappers often turn out to be in league with corrupt cops but in the Romano release, an elite anti-kidnapping team of federal agents staged a smooth rescue operation.

This is a real problem throughout Central and South America, where (now) Real Madrid star Robinho's mother was kidnapped in Brazil, forcing him, to a certain extent, to make his move for Europe, if only because it'd be safer.

So, Chelsea are way, way, way too good. 4-1 over Liverpool good, as this weekend's demolition showed. As easy as it is to hate Mourinho and Co. (Lord is it easy) they are, without doubt one of the best teams in Europe. If they play up to their potential all year, there's no reason to believe that the Champions League Quarter-Finals will feature any other than Real Madrid, Chelsea, Barcelona, and Juventus. Those four, at least, should be locks.

Speaking of the terrible twosome, Real Madrid and Barcelona are as usual, destroying all in their path. Madrid's having an easier time of it though, as everyone's favorite Celebrity-cum-Soccer player is going through a mini-rennaissance. How good is he playing you ask? The Guardian's Richard Williams explains.

And there'll be a break in European action this weekend as qualification for Germany '06 continues. To get a rudimentary understanding of who needs to do what to get where, Soccernet has a good explanation of what it'll take.

And lastly, two domestic articles. First, the MetroStars are probably the biggest underachievers in the MLS. Their failures are constant and frustrating, and finally, Alexi Lalas has put an end to the reign of Bob Bradley, canning him.

Here's five names of U.S. players from the Under-17 squad to keep your eyes out for. And no, their names aren't "Freddy Adu"

SNNXXXXX....England 1-0 Austria.....SSSSNNNXXXXX....

But hey! Togo qualified! Bonus points for knowing where Togo is on a map. Exactly where. "In Africa" does not count. No cheating.

If you haven't been paying attention, Chelsea is steamrolling everyone in their path, while none of the other three teams look like challenging them in the slightest.

With Real Madrid resurgent in Spain, the Champions League may have already become a three or four-horse race. Thankfully, there's still a long way until the final in Paris, and, if last year taught us anything, a lot can change.

Domestically, however, the MLS Cup, or as it should be known, the MLS playoffs has begun, and, in a sad indictment of the state of the sport in the US, in the first three games played, one goal was scored. That's just not going to win anyone over. Said only goal was scored by the MetroStars in their 1-0 win over New England, which would be of note if it wasn't for the fact that the chances of the MetroStars going to Foxboro and overcoming NE is infintesimally small, even with a 1-0 lead on aggregate.

EDIT: Much as I may dislike Nike, their Soccer ads are top-notch. Their new "Don't Tread On Me" campaign for U.S. Soccer is, as much as I hate to admit it, swanky.

It's a sad time for Belgian football. Anderlecht losing their 10th CL match in a row, our national squad not making the World Cup for the first time since 1982, more than half of the players in our national league are foreigners, ...

It's hard to love the game right now *sob*

Moreover, there is no way Vincent Kompany's hanging around for more than another two years, tops.

Prederick wrote:

Moreover, there is no way Vincent Kompany's hanging around for more than another two years, tops.

There's been talk of his departure ever since he first showed his talent on the Belgian and European scene. Right now, at age 18, he earns the biggest paychecque of the club - and Anderlecht already is the wealthiest club in Belgium. Still, he's probably gonners after this season.
What's more, other talent Anthony Vandenborre is being approached by Inter Milan - and as rumours go, Newcastle and some other big club too. He would be stationed at another Serie A club for a year, and than get a shot at the Inter a-squad.

Looking at those facts, it's really painful to see how Anderlecht suffers on the international scene this season. Right now, we have a great mix of world class talent (Kompany, Vandenborre, Sehrat Akin, Proto) and experience (Goor, Zetterberg, Tihinen, Jestrovic) and still we get no results at all. Next year, the talent will be gone. And we'll be back at square one.

It could be worse. You could be a Brazilian club, where all your best players leave for Europe at 18 after their families have been kidnapped by brigands and thugs.

Quickie roundup -

Everything's gone to pot at Old Trafford.

Jose Mourinho is accusing other managers of being filthy perverts.

Barcelona is still really, really good.

AC Milan isn't over it yet.

The MLS Cup is in the Semis where it'll be Chicago v. New England and Los Angeles v. Colorado.

EDIT: Sorry Dejanzie, Anderlecht still can't grab a Champions League win. On the upside, they're two points behind Standard and it's not like anyone else was going to do well.

Well, if anything, Alex Ferguson knows how to spoil a perfectly good run. Chelsea's 40-game unbeaten streak came to an end recently at Old Trafford thanks to a header from, of all people, Darren Fletcher. If Quinton Fortune had scored, I think a number of pundits would've been found dead.

Meanwhile, if you're unfamiliar with Inter Milan, let me get you up to speed. They have one of the world's best strikers in Adriano, a fine midfield and a great goalkeeper in Francesco Toldo. And this summer they brought in Luis Figo, Walter Samuel, David Pizarro and Santiago Solari, all of whom are, reputedly, good.

But this is Inter Milan, a team that had made a name for itself by being one of the best teams in Italy, and yet, never winning a damn thing. So guess what the current situation over there is?

Phil Ball from Soccernet is always a good read. Go, read now, and begin to understand how far from insane U.S. sports are compared to European (or, god help us, South American) football.

This Saturday England will play Argentina, their fierce rivals (that whole Falklands thing) for however long now. It's free to listen to on BBC Radio Five Live but it's a friendly, so expect Sven to use some 94 subs and turn the game into a boring 1-0 affair. Against England, of course.

And lastly, rumor has it Robert Kraft is interested in Liverpool. Because what better for a billionaire to do than invest a ton of money in a sport he has no knowledge of but to rape it's marketing potential. [/GlazerRant]

We're getting a stadium here in Vancouver for our team (The Whitecaps). Glad we're finally getting one, although I don't care about soccer.

It's even worse, this weekend Anderlecht got kicked out of the cup due to the last team in SECOND division. Insane!

How many times did Inter draw last season? It was fenomenal, and really depressing for their supporters no doubt

great links btw, good read.

Danke Dejanzie. I need more but i'm still a little fuzzy on places to read good non-partisan (or as close as you can get) Soccer commentary online.

Also, by 1-0 Argentina I actually meant "3-2 England in a thriller". Of course.

Also, take a guess how much Brazil beat the UAE by. No really, guess. You're probably wrong.

Prederick wrote:

I need more but i'm still a little fuzzy on places to read good non-partisan (or as close as you can get) Soccer commentary online.

Well, round here it's very hard not to get smacked in the face with football commentary, news, live coverage and whatnot so the need for online soccer commentary is rather low.

Also, take a guess how much Brazil beat the UAE by. No really, guess. You're probably wrong.

You know, I was actually right

Long shot from the record the Aussies still uphold though:

AUSTRALIA 31 AMERICAN SAMOA 0 (all scorers Australia)
- Archie Thompson 12m, 23, 28m, 30m, 32m, 37m, 43m, 45m, 56m, 64m, 66m, 88m, 90m
- David Zrdilic 13m, 21m, 26m, 34m, 59mm, 67m, 78m, 91m
- Tony Popovic 18m, 20m
- Con Boutsianis 10m, 51m, 86m
- Aurelio Vidmar 15m, 82m
- Simon Colosimo 53m, 84m
- Fausto De Amicis 55m

Archie Thompson scored thirteen times in one international game, a record too. Belgian club Lierse (champions of 1997, cup winners 1999) decided to buy him based on that match. Thompson failed miserably

Belgium u21 failed to qualify for the EC yesterday against the Ukrain, after winning 2-3 in Kiev we lost 1-3 at home. The last Ukranian goal was scored in the very last seconds. Bummer.