Way to quit, Claudio
July 17, 2008
Thomassoulo: You win, George. We've had it. If you leave right now, Play Now will give you six months pay. That's half of your entire contract. Please... just go.
George: You see, if I stay the whole year, I get it all.
Way to quit, Claudio. You out-costanzed Costanza. Not only did you quit, you quit on your own terms, and you quit with your entire salary being paid out. Hard to ask for anything more than that.
So when we look back at Claudio Reyna's career, what will we remember? The failure of the 1998 World Cup? The triumph four years later, when he was named to the All-Star team of Korea/Japan? The mistake in 2006 in Germany, which doomed the US against Ghana? His versatility on the field? His constant, constant injuries? His years of top level play in Europe? His year-and-a-half of average play for Metro?
With Claudio's career ending with that year-and-a-half, it's easy to forget the previous two decades. The previous two decades when he did much more than the little things, when he led the US national team to a resurgence. When he made his name in Germany, Scotland, and England. When he was the first American to captain a European club. Four World Cup teams. Two Olympics. One game of a lifetime against Mexico in 2002.
Yes, it's easy to dwell on his time with Metro. It's easy to joke of the little things he supposedly did, and laugh at his "square peg in a round hole" comment, and compare Claudio to George Costanza, and here we go, doing it all again. If we were asked for the best moment of Reyna's Metro career, we'd pause. We'd pause for a long time. We're not sure we'd ever come up with an answer.
So let's leave on this note: in 1997, a struggling Metro team was slugging to yet another home defeat. And Claudio Reyna was spotted in the tunnel. He was there to just watch the game. But if only... We started to get our hopes up, if only Claudio was there not just as an observer! Alas, it was not to be. We had to wait ten years for him to come to Metro as more than just a spectator.
Alas. At least he went out on his own terms.