Soccer – The Most Important of Life’s Unimportant Things

May 23, 2005


by @ 9:05 am.
Filed under Uncategorized

Some combination of stress, ennui, and/or depression caused me to conk out before the game started Sunday evening; so here I am at 4:00 Monday morning, watching the Tivo, trying to clear the cobwebs out of my head. It must not be working, because I thought I just saw Aaron Pitchkolan score a goal in the first minute of the match. I gotta get a cup of coffee. That can’t be right, can it?

Yep. Unless my subconscious has instant replay, looks like it really did happen. Huh. Could’ve sworn I was having one of those early morning waking dreams.

I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen a faster FCD goal, or a more aggressive start. I’m not sure what Colin Clarke said to them, but the boys came out like sharks around blood.

Good old Martin Zuniga, much beloved veteran of the Mexican first division and usurper of Brad Guzan’s starting role, gave up the goods 42 seconds into his MLS career. I’d love to know what was going through young Brad’s mind at that moment. I was going to criticize Thomas Rongen for making the switch, but then it occurred to me: that call probably came from a little higher up in the organization *coughcoughVERGARAcoughcough*.

Bobby Rhine gives up a penalty kick in the 19th minute. Unlike the one against KC the other week, this one was pretty definite. Cuadros ties the match. All 4,000 people at the Home Depot Center go nuts. Great.

Still and all we seem to have the majority of the possession and more of the dangerous runs going for us. Pitchkolan is giving the veteran Ezra Hendrickson everything he can handle and then some. Good showing for the young man so far.

Instead of using possession, passing and dribbling to get forward, Chivas are flopping their way to the goal at this moment. Very shrewd. I love the way Clarence Goodson never fails to give a diving opponent an earful before moving on. He’ll be hoarse before this game is over.

Pescadito gets dumped in the penalty area in the 39th minute and doesn’t even get a whiff of a penalty kick. Ezra Hendrickson plain ran him over. Nada. Carlos didn’t get a chance to make a dive, even if he had wanted to. Which I’m sure he didn’t. Because he’s not that kind of player.


Christian Miles is like fingernails on a chalkboard to me. I generally like his work, but he’s such a homer when calling Chivas games that it makes me ill. Why can’t someone invent a button that leaves the crowd noise but gets rid of the commentary? I’d pay a premium for that, wouldn’t you?

Halftime. Tied at ones. Good attacking possession soccer from the boys. Chivas mostly counterattacking and picking on Bobby Rhine. We should win this game, no doubt.

Second half, and Martin Zuniga gives up the goods again, this time a mere three minutes in. Ruiz gets the ball about 20 yards out, back to goal, turns Sequeira like a 45 rpm record, and beats Martin to his near post with a roller. Zuniga looked like he was going to bust out in tears. He’ll be on the bench before Independence Day.

DIPSY SELOLWANE!!! Ronnie O’Brien with another of those long range bombs we’ve come to know and love. 30 yards out, point blank, Zuniga has no chance. The good guys with a two goal lead five minutes into the second half.

Chivas pull one back almost immediately. Romo with a nicely taken header. No chance for Scott Garlick. Weak defending on the right flank from Gbandi and Pitchkolan to give up the cross. It’s okay, though, I think we have a few more rounds in the chamber. 3-2, good guys. Entertaining game. Shame no one was there to see it live in Los Angeles. What’s up with the Galaxy outdrawing Chivas? The place was rocking Saturday for the EarthQlash match; about half as many today. Go figure.

Chivas are starting to feel some confidence. Getting possession, knocking it around a bit. Why am I not worried? I just don’t see this team beating us. It’s not like me to feel this way. I’m generally such a glass-half-empty kinda guy. Must be the coffee.

Ramon Nunez comes out of the game for Drew Moor in the 69th. Terrific game from young Ramon. He’s going to be a good one. He worked well in attack with the veterans and caused trouble all night for the Chivas defense.

OH!!!! 4-2! Lovely run up the left side by Pitchkolan, who makes a cross right down the 18 to Eddie Johnson who hits it first time and beats Zuniga like a drum. Any game where Ronnie, Pescadito, and EJ all score . . . well, we’re just not going to be able to lose one of those.

If I haven’t made myself clear heretofore, I am categorically NOT impressed with the great Martin Zuniga. At any rate, the guy is no Jorge Campos. For that matter, he’s no Brad Guzan.

Twenty minutes left, and we are in control. I’d like to see the defense buckle down and shut-out Chivas for the rest of the game. But I really don’t think it matters. Thomas Rongen is in a no-win situation with this club. In fact I think he was hired with his firing in mind. He might make it to the end of the season, but not much longer.

Roberto Mina comes in at the 75 minute mark, replacing Eddie Johnson. EJ looks to have gotten stomped on the foot, and came off limping. I refuse to even entertain the idea that it’s anything worse than a bruise. Denial actually IS just a river in Egypt; at least in my world.

The final 10 minutes are kind of anti-climatic. Chivas pushing forward, but mostly ending up offside or shooting inaccurately. Dallas countering when they can but mostly just taking their time and playing defense. Chivas tired and frustrated, but to their credit, not getting dirty.

Ronnie makes way for Arturo Alvarez with five minutes left. Ronnie elevated his game to an even higher level tonight in response to the loss of Richard Mulrooney. Who would have thought a higher level was even possible for this man?

Just to rub it in, Ruiz beats three or four defenders, gets a shot off (which Zuniga actually handles very nicely), and new guy Roberto Mina buries the rebound to make it a five goal game for our heroes. Sweet.

Full time. 5-2 for the Football Club. Good win. Some defensive issues showed themselves, but come on, for a team that got absolutely clobbered with injuries in the last 10 days, it was a great showing.

Good work from the kids; Pitchkolan, Nunez, and Goodson come to mind, and of course, the brilliance of the Big Three was just . . . well, it was brilliant. Rhine continues to pile on the pressure offensively, while continuing to learn his defensive duties. All in all, an encouraging 90 minutes in a week that saw Mulrooney go down for the season, Wags get hurt, and Talley take a knock as well.

Oh, and it was all on the road, too. The boys came from behind Wednesday to beat Colorado, and totally dominated tonight against Chivas. Did I forget to mention they laid down the grass at Frisco this week? Sweeeeeeet.

Yeah, I’ll take that. Any day. See you next Saturday for DC United and Dirty Dirty Dema.

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