by Peter Marus

OK, so this weekend is full of soccer and racing for me. Today was all soccer, with the CONCACAF Gold Cup going on, and the US participating in it. I actually think of CONCACAF (the sanctioning body of soccer in the North, Central, and Carribian region) should be called CONCACRAP for the half-assed way they run things. They piggy-back on the US and Mexican teams for their revenue, and the policies and decisions are dictated by small countries who can't even live up to the standards FIFA gives for countries to participate in FIFA-sanctioned events. Anyway the US is favored to win the tournament as usual, and today they won their second group game, qualifying for the knockout round. After this tournament, the US and Mexico are going to participate in the Copa America as guests, the Copa America is the South American championship, and is the third biggest international tournament (behind the World Cup and the European Championships).

All this tournament play is great for the US , since they need to get into more international games that matter, not just the exhibitions they usually plan. It also is good in that the younger players can showcase their skills in big matchs and possibly get opportunities with the big European clubs, which could lead to even more and better development, and better players. The US youth team is also in action this summer, playing in the Under-17 Worl championship in Canada. It's always a good tournament for the US, they made have qualified for it every time it has been held, and the US has always had strong teams in it, falling usually to the eventual winners. Youth soccer is tricky, since most of the young players that stand out usually either fizzle out or end up just average. But the US has always has good youth players, and its not uncommon for a European team or two to sign a few of the players. MLS has also helped with the development of the players as well. It's a good time to be a soccer fan in the US.

Sunday is racing day. The 24 hours of LeMans starts off next week, and that's always a fun race to watch. Also the Formula 1 race in Canada is tomorrow, another great time watching these artworks of cars perfom almost flawlessly. Then there's the NASCAR race in the Poconos. This is always my favorite race to watch since I used to live by the track and as crowded it got up in the area, it was always cool to see all the NASCAR related events in the area.

On another note, I decided to try to get the week of Aug. 13 or 20 off. I fele like I should take a week off and find something fun to do. Maybe I”ll just stay home all week and sleep, who knows.