Letters From Kabul

Todd Sullivan Blogs from Afghanistan

From the “Biggest Fire Fan in Kabul, Afghanistan”…take
dos!

Well, the MLS season has
effectively ended for the Fire faithful…but I believe that there is still some
good play to watch!  I find myself
pulling for the New York Red Bulls now, just because of the turn-around season
they have had compared to 2009. 

The good news that I
discovered since my last post – there is a way to catch live feeds via the
internet to watch MLS and EPL games! 
I was able to watch the final two games of the season, two important
games; McBride’s last home match against DC United and his 80th and final MLS goal in the season finale against
Chivas USA. That was a great goal…what a way to end a career…highlights like
that one will be sorely missed! 

My immediate hope, is
that Wilman Conde (or “the Beast” as my daughter refers to his defensive
skills) re-signs with the club. 
Although I am more of an offensive player myself, Conde is one of my
favorite players to watch on the field -- he is so athletic and dominating on
the ball.

So, the 2011 season –
should prove interesting getting from here to the start. First off, we lost two
icon players from the roster; it’s hard to imagine a Fire line-up without CJ
Brown. The team is definitely going to have somewhat of a leadership void with
his absence.  And, the loss of #20
will show effects as well, both in the locker room as well as the on the
attack. 

We will get to see two
clubs join the league - the Vancouver Whitecaps and the Portland Timbers.  It looks as though American defender
Jay DeMerit may become Vancouver’s first DP…however, I would have liked to have
seen him sporting “Best Buy” across his jersey next season!    

I
have thought of other high quality American players that I’d like to see come
back to our side of the ocean to play: defender Steve Cherundolo from my hometown
of Rockford, Illinois or DaMarcus Beasley, Maurice Edu (playing for my favorite
Scottish team –Rangers), Clint Dempsey (even though he plays for my favorite
English team – Fulham) or Jozy Altodire (who I thought may have been looking
for a team). 

I recently discovered that a NATO base
just down the road and within walking distance has some soccer going on…both
indoor and outdoor!  I am working
to get a group of guys together to make the trek one or two nights a week to
get some ball in…if successful, I’ll be playing “international” with a
Canadian, Brit, Slovenian and maybe a Czech!  All of these guys are around my age, hope that we don’t
always run up against the “kids” out there (I’m older than McBride!).  So, now I need to get some cleats and
maybe a pair of indoors along with that ball! 

Since my last blog, I’ve
really gotten to know some of the Afghan people; several of the senior police
officers and some of our local interpreters.  Through these interactions and friendships, I realize that
the vast majority of Afghans are glad that we Americans and coalition forces
are over here helping to build their nation back to where they once were. We
are helping to build not only institutions, but a lasting framework that will
endure after we have turned over our mission to them. 

My last thought that I
wanted to share is the story of our flagpoles.  We have a flag of every nation that is contributing to the
efforts of helping to rebuild Afghanistan on our base.  Each day that a member of any of these
nations is killed here in Afghanistan, members of that nation’s military go out
and lower their flag to half staff. 
So far, I have stopped and been a part of two of these ceremonies; one
for the French and one for the Germans. 
What a sobering way to realize that some of these fine people are giving
all. 

The best days on my base are the days when all flags are raised
full staff!

So, from Kabul, proud to
serve – and, GO FIRE!!!