Sunday, December 25, 2011


I spend way too much time in my personal life complaining about the poor quality of the Washington Post's sports section; whining that is patently hypocritical insofar as I constantly read the Washington Post's sports page.

(In contrast, I've never bothered to read a single word of Steve Rosenbloom's writing and tend to only glance at David Haugh's ruminations when a competent commentator -- this week, the Chicago Tribune's own Dan Pompei -- ably demonstrates the limitations of the faculties waking the news).

So, I register here another opinion of no consequence: Paul Tenorio is very good at his job. He covers a non-glamorous beat -- prep sports -- with a minimum of snark and a high level of enthusiasm and ability.

And he doesn't miss opportunities to tell meaningful stories.

Tenorio's Christmas gift to soccer fans this week was a neat little profile of Manassas's Junior Flores and the quandary of national representation for the country's elite soccer players that happen also to be the sons of recent immigrants.

The question of whom to represent often gets twisted into a proxy on national pride, when, for players, the response to the question seems eminently practical: who will give me the opportunity to play at the highest level of international competitions?

One example left out of Mr. Tenorio's story is Maryland's own Rodney Wallace. For whatever reason, Wallace continues to be under-appreciated in his home country. But that's probably not going to be a problem for him in Costa Rica: the former Terp netted again for the Ticos on Thursday, this time in Venezuela.

In terms of University of Maryland soccer, however, Mr. Wallace's international achievement was unfairly overshadowed by Jurgen Klinsmann's invites for this year's January camp featuring three former Terps: Graham Zusi; A.J. DeLaGarza; and Omar Gonzalez.

Wallace, Zusi, DeLaGarza, and Gonzalez. 36% of the starting lineup from Maryland's last championship game in 2008.


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