Soccer – The Most Important of Life’s Unimportant Things

May 28, 2005


by @ 9:38 pm.
Filed under Uncategorized

As he promised, Brad Sham used the phrase “The Football Club” three times during the opening segment of FSSW’s telecast. It sounded very good. Very good indeed. Brad is best known as the voice of the Dallas Cowboys (they play American football, I’m told), yet he brings a high level of professionalism to all his soccer work; attending practices, keeping current on personnel issues; he’s very much a man in the know. He does great work, and in my estimation, Brad is a soccer guy.

Brad and Dave Dir got into a discussion early on about Freddy Adu and Peter Nowak; they’ve been having problems getting along, if you believe the press (which I don’t, generally). They were discussing Brad’s 16-year-old and Dave’s U-20 team; Dir made the wry and diplomatic observation that kids that age tend to “have all the answers to life’s questions, no doubt.” Dave Dir bringin’ the funny. Gotta love it.

So, no EJ, no Vanney, no Mulrooney, no Talley. Other than that we’re in great shape (gulp). Good opportunity for the Young Guns to make their bones. Mina getting his first start, and Alvarez is in as well. Also, young Aaron Pitchkolan looking to keep his consecutive game scoring streak going. It now stands at one. Chris Gbandi needs to do a Gbang up job as well (sorry about that. It’s a disease and I can’t help myself).

Dirty dirty Dema is on the field. Unfortunately. Ronnie gave him a little elbow first time they hooked up. I hope he gives him more than that before the evening is over. Freddy gets a well deserved start as well. The way this kid has raised his game this season is very impressive.

On the subject of Freddy, everyone who doesn’t think Peter Nowak knows exactly what he’s doing with regards to that young man should get a grip on reality and shut up (IMG, I’m looking in your direction). Nowak went pro in his mid-teens. Nowak played at the highest levels. Nowak is a winner. Nowak has forgotten more about soccer than all of his critics combined. Shut up and let him run the team. Freddy couldn’t be in better hands.

There. I have spoken. The subject is closed.


As I’ve said many times before, the Screaming Eagles and Barra Brava are the best fans in the country. The sound they’re producing gives the game a European style atmosphere. And, they make the stands shake; that’s undeniably cool.

Pretty even play in the first 20 minutes. Ruiz just got hacked and the ref didn’t even give him a second look. He apparently hasn’t gotten the memo about Carlos’s new outlook on diving since getting to Dallas. The DC folks are booing him roundly. Yet they cheer Dema. Life is strange, ain’t it?

Moments later, Alvarez breathes hard in Freddy’s direction and Mr. Valenzuela gives the foul. Uh-huh, yeah … riiiiight.

Hey this ain’t journalism folks, this is commentary. Objectivity is only a secondary consideration in this space. But even when I’m subjective, I’m right. Always. Okay, most of the time. All right . . . more often than not. Happy?

Mina just misses from distance; keep taking those shots, kid; early and often. I’m okay with that, aren’t you?

Clarence Goodson gets yellowed up. I usually like Mr. Valenzuela’s work, but he’s on my bad side tonight.

FC Dallas equipment manager Marcus Owens gets thrown out of the game for giving Mr. V a bit too much stick from the bench. Marcus, if we ever meet, the beer’s on me. Memo to Greg Elliott: Give that man a raise. Or at least a bonus.

Ronnie just tracked back about fifty yards to help Bobby Rhine, who got beat by Eskandarian. I love this guy. In a very manly and soccer-type sense, I love this man.

Alvarez just got booked too. I believe he may have neglected to bow before his tackle on Freddy.

It took a forearm to Ruiz’s neck for Mr. V to finally give a yellow card to someone on the DC roster. Boswell is a bit of a dema, it looks like (hey, I invented an adjective. I amaze myself sometimes).

Nil-nil at halftime. Good, entertaining game. It’s a tossup as to who has the advantage. Certainly neither side can claim anything approaching “momentum” going into the final 90 minutes. A road win would be glorious for us. It’s achievable; definitely achievable.

DIPSY SELOLWANE!! Carlos Ruiz just scored the goal of the year just three minutes into the second half.

Beautiful little chip from Mina on the right side of the box. Carlos does a ¾ overhead volley and NAILS it into the upper right corner. Poor Nicky Rimando barely moved, then just stood there with a look on his face that said it all. That was class friends, pure class. Then Carlos ran over and gave some love to group of Guatemalan fans in the stands. Another example of class. He’s like a different guy since he came to Dallas. 1-0 to the Football Club.

Alvarez almost doubles the lead a minute later with a thumper of a shot from nearly the same spot Ruiz scored from. Rimando did well to get it over the crossbar.

OH!!! Ruiz chips Rimando then gets dumped by Namoff as he retrieves his own pass and goes for goal. PK for the good guys. Ruiz spots it up and beats Rimando to his left. Namoff, who should be off for that foul, doesn’t even get a yellow. Uh-huh . . . riiiiiight.

2-0 to the boys! Ruiz isn’t a big guy, but he’s carrying the team on his shoulders tonight.

Though, I must say, the back four for have been solid as a rock. I hope I’m not puttin’ the gris-gris on them by saying that, but they sure look good.

Another mean shot from Mina. Good save by Little Nicky.

Gbandi is having a good game on the left. Hermann Trophy winners seem to have the same type of curse that Heisman winners have. At the very least, it’s not a guarantee of a successful professional career. I’m really rooting for Chris to get a starting job, though. He seems like such a good kid and has been nothing but patient and hardworking for the team.

Ben Olsen takes a kick at Gbandi and doesn’t even get a verbal warning. Nice.

DC are pouring on the pressure with about twenty to minutes to go. We’re holding them off for now. Adu gets a free kick from the right side; makes a nice cross which gets popped back to Dema who skies his shot, landing it somewhere on the banks of the Potomac.

Moreno gets a nicely chipped ball from Gomez and makes a great shot, only to be robbed by the left post. Jaime is aging like a fine wine.

Oh, unbelievable! Gomez (I think) charges down the left baseline and shoots it directly parallel to the goal line. A breath would have put it over the line, but no one could get to it. Scott Garlick would have gotten a gray hair, except for the fact that he . . . well, never mind.

Wags comes in for Alvarez. Nice to see him healthy again, after he cracked his kneecap against the EarthQlash. I’ve never had my kneecap cracked, but just typing the words makes me hurt. I can’t imagine that not being a painful knock.

Folks it is all DC right now. Ruiz is the only one not back defending. And I mean defending desperately. This has been a great game to watch, win, lose or draw. It’s one of those games where you hope someone, somewhere, is watching his first soccer game ever. They’d be hooked. Well, maybe if they started watching after halftime, anyway.

Carlos just misses the Hat Trick with a close-in header. Ten minutes to go.

Ronnie tries to chip Rimando from distance. That would almost have been too much. Not that I wouldn’t take it, mind you.

Ruiz seems to have taken a knock and his holding his ankle. He’s coming off and Abe Thompson is getting what I believe is his first senior team appearance. Brad Sham tells us he’s the all time leading scorer at Maryland. This is not only interesting, but proves my point about Brad Sham. The guy knows everything, I’m tellin’ ya.

Jolley and Garlick save Gbandi from being responsible for a goal. Bad pass by Chris right to Carroll. Heh, you thought I was going to say “save Gbandi’s Gbacon”, didn’t you. HA!

Ohhhhhhh……. Abe Thompson just barely misses scoring his first professional goal. Nice chip shot, but it jussst scrapes the crossbar. That would have been a dream start for the kid.

Four minutes of stoppage time. Goodson almost gives up an autogol, but Garlick makes a kick save on his own man, right to DDD. Kovalenko skies another shot to somewhere near the Pentagon. Darn shame, that.

Full time, baby. 2-nil to the good guys.

What a great road win. Without a full strength squad, we shut out a good offensive team and get two goals. Awesome. Just awesome. Unbelievable work by the boys in the back. Five games unbeaten for the Football Club, with a lot of road games still to come before the opening of Frisco in August. Life is good, footballistically, my friends, life is good.

See you next week for ReAL Salt Lake.

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