FOOTBALLS ARE ROUND!

Soccer – The Most Important of Life’s Unimportant Things


June 4, 2005

STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS: ReAL SALT LAKE v FC DALLAS


by @ 11:34 pm.
Filed under Uncategorized

Jason Kreis almost puts one in before two minutes are gone. I had to physically stop myself in mid “YES!” after I remembered he’s not our guy anymore.

Well, in a sense, Jason will always be “our guy”; just not tonight.

Another good chance in the 4th minute for RSL. What do they think this is? We’re FC DALLAS! You can’t . . . it’s just . . . I . . . you . . .

Never mind. It is a home game for them, after all.

This is another week where the new guys have to step up and fill in gaps caused by injury and national team duty. Mina is in, Aaron Pitchkolan, Abe Thompson, and Arturo Alvarez also getting a chance to shine. Mina has a résumé in the game already, of course, but is still a bit of an unknown quantity here in MLS. The others are primed to make a name for themselves in this rare, and hopefully brief, window.

Good run and shot by Alvarez in the 18th. That’s just about the first trouble we’ve caused D.J. Countess tonight. I’m glad to see D.J. doing well. I liked the kid when he was here, and like him even better now. I read an article about him this week, and it seems he’s pouring thousands of dollars of his own money into a charitable foundation he himself started.

WOOOOHOOO! Speaking of young whippersnappers, Ronnie O’Brien makes it 1-nil.

“Ronnie, a whippersnapper?” I hear you cry. But wait, I didn’t tell you that Alvarez set the goal up by making a beauty of a pass to Abe, who scorched a shot that DJ saved but couldn’t keep from rebounding. All Ronnie had to do was be there. I love these kids.

I forgot to mention it earlier, but the USA’s loss is our gain tonight. Greg Vanney was in camp with the Nats this week but didn’t make the game day roster. Therefore we have him for tonight’s game. I mention this now because he just made a great hustling save off the line to keep RSL off the scoreboard. As it turned out, the USA did just fine without Greg today, puttin’ the wood to Costa Rica, 3-0. Heh heh heh.

Arturo Alvarez was left off the National Team that is in Holland for the U20 World Cup. Maybe he’ll find a little extra drive from that. It’s gotta hurt.

Alvarez nearly scores on a breakaway in the 43rd. A rank homer would claim he was fouled on the play, but I’ll defer to the referee this time. It was close though.

On the ensuing corner, Abe Thompson thumps one off the crossbar. It may still be vibrating. That’s twice he’s been close to scoring tonight; he came close last week in his debut against DCU as well. This kids going to be the real thing, methinks.

One-zip at halftime for the Football Club. The Young Guns look very, very good. I read a few commentators this week who said that newfound depth, caused by the creation of the Reserve League, has really intensified FCD practices, as more players fight for playing time.

Not to compare FCD to Manchester United, but it is exactly that kind of dog-eat-dog, Sir Alex Ferguson-esque competition, where you never know if you’ve performed well enough to keep your spot, which breeds quality and consistency. And further, it’s being done in Dallas without causing dissension and strife. The word is that this is the most unified Dallas team in a few years.

Not much going on here in the second half. RSL are pressing, but they don’t seem to on the same page in the attack. I wonder if Jason is wishing he had offered to take a salary cut to stay in Dallas. Just a thought.

Brian Dunseth has robbed Alvarez of two clear scoring opportunities tonight. Robbed.

2-NIL!!!!

This goal was a photographic negative of the first. On this one, it is Ronnie who breaks through, and drills a beauty of a shot. DJ saves it nicely, as before, only to give up a rebound that goes to none other than Abe Thompson who places it very neatly in the far corner and in the net. He was also the one who set up Ronnie for the initial shot with a lovely give-and-go combination. Very fine work on that goal. Primo.

You just couldn’t possibly ask for more out of these young kids. It’s incredible how they are responding. Someone pinch me; this can’t be true. It’s just too good.

I feel for D.J. He’s played well but losing. That’s never fun.

I know there’s 30 minutes left, and I hate to jinx things, but RSL do not look like they have a goal in them tonight. At. All.

Abe goes off for another of the Young Guns, Drew Moor. This is a defensive substitution. Which is fine at this point. But I still think we have another goal in us tonight.

Ronnie goes off in the 89th for Steve Jolley. He looks distressed (Ronnie, not Steve), as if he’s taken a knock or isn’t feeling well. I’m going to go into full denial mode now and forget that I saw that, or even typed in into this column. Some things just shouldn’t be contemplated.
Three minutes of stoppage time. No worries. That’s not a phrase I’ve been accustomed to typing during injury time in days of yore. But tonight, truly, no worries.

What a good day this has been. 3-0 for the Nats, 2-0 for the Hoops. Oh, and did I mention I’m on vacation? If I had a personal life that wasn’t like a Shakespearean comedy, things would be pretty sweet. Or maybe it’s a Shakespearean tragedy . . . no, comedy, definitely. Aren’t they the ones with happy endings?

Peace to all the cats. I’m out like corduroy jeans.

See you next week for some BRIMSTOOOOOONE!

Yes, we’re heading north to the City of Big Shoulders for the season’s second Brimstone Cup match against the Fire (who, by the way, put FIVE on Chivas today). Should be a blast. Anybody driving from Dallas for the game is welcome to pick me up in Edmond and take me along. I’m an excellent traveling companion, being the raconteur and wordsmith that I am, and will gladly split gas costs as long as you’re willing to take a check that is postdated to 2007.

Goodnight everybody, tip your waitstaff and drive safely!

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