FOOTBALLS ARE ROUND!

Soccer – The Most Important of Life’s Unimportant Things


June 13, 2005

STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS: CHICAGO v FC DALLAS


by @ 10:32 pm.
Filed under Uncategorized

The Football Club are wearing the silver road kits, and Brian Haynes is in the booth with Brad Sham. Both these things are pretty cool, in my book. Dave Dir, Brad’s usual partner, is in Holland helping Sigi Schmid with the U20 National Team, who got off to a grand start, beating Argentina 1-0 in their first match.

The folks in Section 8 sound great, giving the match a very European feel. Loud chanting, drumming; very nice. I hope they get quieted down without delay, but I still like to hear it at any MLS match. All partisanship aside, this is a wonderful group of fans.

This is the last scheduled Brimstone match this season, although if things work out, we conceivably could meet the Fire again in both the US Open Cup, and, dare I say it, the MLS Cup. Either or both would be fine with me. So even with a win today, we couldn’t quite say the Cup was decided.

Five minutes haven’t gone by and Scott Garlick has already made a terrific save off the header by . . . someone. That was not by any means a garden variety save. Diving to the left, getting a hand on the ball, and getting enough on it to keep it from Ivan Guerrero, who was standing on the doorstep.

Ronnie just tried to to chip Zach Thornton from about 40 yards, and did. Only the left goalpost kept him from a GOTY candidate. Or, I should say, another GOTY candidate.

Owwwwwwwwww! Carlos Ruiz, who already had a sore ankle, just came down on Gonzalo Segares’ foot and twisted his right ankle horribly. It made me cringe just watching it. If you’ve ever had one of those really severe ankle sprains (and I’ve had a few), you know how bad that is.
Even if he comes back in the game, that had to hurt terribly. I couldn’t even watch the replay; I literally turned my head away from the screen. Suffice to say he came down so that his foot pointed on an angle that God never intended.

He’s not coming back. Abe Thompson comes on for El Pescadito.

[expletive deleted]

Well . . . hasn’t this been an eventful first 10 minutes? Excuse me while I go to the fridge for an adult beverage . . .

Okay, I’m back. I have a lot of confidence in Abe Thompson, and for that matter in every player on the bench, but this still isn’t good. When the story of this season is written, it may well revolve around the strength of Colin Clarke’s bench.

Roberto Mina gets a yellow card for shoving Justin Mapp to the ground. Mapp should get a yellow for bad acting.
Well . . . now they’re saying Mapp did indeed get the yellow card.
Heh heh heh.

Bobby Rhine is sporting the GBFHAC this week (Great Big Frankie Hejduk Arm Cast, for you kids not in the know). Frankie’s been wearing his so long I’m starting to think he’s just decided it’s cool having a blunt instrument attached to his arm.

Nate Jaqua scores at the 20 minute mark. He manages to head in a looping, deflected ball from Justin Mapp, even though he was surrounded by both Gbandi and Gvanney. There really wasn’t much Scotty could do; he also sees his road shutout streak come to an end, adding insult to injury.

The redoubtable Brad Sham tells us the Fire are 6-1 this season when scoring first.

[expletive deleted]
[again]

Chicago’s Samuel Caballero does a Steve Lyon impersonation and drops trou on the sidelines. He suffered a wardrobe malfunction of some sort and had to change shorts on the fly. So to speak.
Michael Powell, call your office.

Simo Valakari gets a yellow card for dropping Segares. This is not a cause for alarm, but rather a sign that the universe is unfolding as it should.

Brian Haynes is dong a great job as an analyst, by the way. Stellar.

There are thunderstorms in the area around the Steam Of Consciousness world headquarters here in central Oklahoma, and I’m experiencing, once again, one of the few drawbacks of Satellite TV. The picture is going in and out. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

I can’t complain too much, because I live in a truly wonderful time of televised soccer. Even with weather related interruptions, it is miraculous, really, when you consider the advances in technology in our lifetime, as well as the history of soccer in this country. What the folks did during the days of the Land Run without DirecTV and air-conditioning, I’ll never know.

Go ahead, click the link, learn some history; this is a full-service column and we like to educate as well as entertain and inform.

But I digress.

Aaron Pitchkolan takes a shot at chipping Thornton. It doesn’t work, but I like the awareness he showed in taking it. I’m a bit concerned that chipping the keeper is about all the offense we’ve mustered in the first half, but I’m not yet worried.

Yet.

Vanney almost scores on a corner, but his header drops to his own feet and he can’t pop it in from that angle.

We’re a playing a bit more on our heels than I’m used to seeing in the last few weeks. But then again, the Fire are on a good run of form lately. They hung five goals on Chivas last week. Jaqua had a hat trick; this being one of the few times that particular combination of words has ever been written in the history of the internet, I’m sure.

I’ll be happy to get to halftime only a goal down. We need some coaching magic from Coach Colin to get us on track. In other years, being a goal behind, at the half, on the road, would cause me great consternation and trepidation. This season is different however. We’re in this. I shan’t say we’ve got them right where we want them, but we’re in this thing, no doubt.

Ronnie gets a yellow card for a foul, but Jesse Marsch gets no card for retaliating. Mr. Jones, the referee, is calling only his second MLS match. The kid’s gotta learn sometime, I suppose, but that was a bit of a dodgy call.

So it is indeed 1-0 at the half, in favor of the Fire. No sweat. It’s the way a half of soccer goes sometimes. I’m sure Coach will have some words of wisdom at the half (high-volume though they be), and we’ll come out swinging after the break.

I hate to see Carlos injured though. He’s been so good lately.
I can’t tell you how much my respect for this man has increased since he came to Dallas. Not just because I’m an insufferable homer, either (though I clearly am).

He’s grown as a player; he’s become more of a leader and less of a diver. It’s been great to watch. When he goes to ground this season, he does so because he’s earned it with a hard foul, and he doesn’t make a meal of it.

I loves that Little Fish (as always, in a very manly, soccer-specific manner).

I just watched the replay of Ronnie’s off-the-post chip of Thornton. Zach’s body language showed total and complete surprise. It was entertaining to see. Moreover, the ball came fairly close to rebounding off his body and into the goal. That would have been oh-so-good to see. I like Zach Thornton, mind you, but he is with the Fire, after all.

Game on for the second half. The very creditable box of California Merlot (sorry Miles) is kicking in. It is soothing my nerves and making me feel like the guy in the old UB40 song (red red wine you make me feel so fine, you keep me rockin’ all of the time).

Life, for all its problems, is good when you can sit around in a free country, drinking wine, watching futbol on the satellite, tapping away on the laptop, and rooting for your favorite team.

Again, though, I digress.

Thompson gets an early chance, and just misses by inches. Good job by Thornton making himself big(ger).

I love the way Brian Haynes continually rags the Fire players for staying on the ground a bit too long when they’ve been (ostensibly) fouled. I like Dave Dir, but Haynes is really quite enjoyable in the on-air analyst role. He’s also an exceptional assistant coach, so I doubt he’ll be changing jobs anytime soon. Speaking of which, if you missed the recent Sports Illustrated article on Eddie Johnson, go check it out. It speaks very highly of both Eddie and Brian.

Abe Thompson pressures Thornton on a back-pass and very nearly causes Zach to give up the goods. I’m liking Abe more and more every minute.

Whoa. Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than to be good. In the 68th minute, Rhine gets beat around the corner by Mapp, who gets the ball to Chris Rolfe, who taps it in for a goal. Nearly. But in an incredibly good call by Assistant Referee, the whistle blows; the ball just barely got over the end line as Mapp made the pass; the score remains the same.
Give that man a raise, MLS.

The picture is breaking up again, as the thunderstorms get worse here in God’s own country. Either that or I’ve had too much wine.

Nope, it’s definitely not the wine. To be sure, I went to the front door; it’s raining and thundering to beat the band. It’s clearly the satellite.

Now I’ve lost the feed completely.

Well, this is unprecedented. I can’t watch the end of the match.
Hmmm…..

Let us go to MLSnet.com and hope to get the video there.

This, of course, is a very tricky proposition, because one must click on the link, avoid seeing the headlines (by very cleverly covering most of the screen with the right hand), and find one’s way to the ’sights and sounds’ link.

Then one must find the link for the appropriate match, click it, and hope the completed game is online. This will take both patience, and a willingness to ignore the reality of the space/time continuum as one watches the remainder of the game, ex post facto.

I don’t think that will be too much of a challenge, however, as I am a Tivo user, and was probably a bit behind the live action anyway, what with replays, and trips to the refrigerator, and such.

But still, I can’t bear the thought of watching the rest of the game while already knowing the result. It’s like . . . like . . . well, I can’t think of what it’s like, but it’s terribly unsatisfying.
Not to mention the fact that such a thing is clearly against the whole “Steam Of Consciousness” ethos.

Well, let’s see what we can get . . .

As it turns out, nothing. I couldn’t catch the end of the match on either video or audio, try as I might.

I learn from MLSnet.com (good for results, but not for aforementioned video or audio), that we lost 2-nil. The second goal coming from Lubos Whoeverimov.

Well, you can’t win EVERY game on a road trip, now, can you?

I’m far too tired to wait for the video to show up on MLSnet.com, and I’m far too unworried about this result to fret about it.

Besides, I have bigger worries on my horizon, as I must report at 8:00 am tomorrow morning for jury duty.
I should get some sleep. I mean, the last time this happened, I ended up on a TWO MONTH LONG murder trial. I can’t begin to tell you how awful that was.

Although, with the mood I’m in right this second, I doubt any lawyer would accept me, prosecution or defense, as I plan on going into the courtroom feigning insanity; drooling, chewing on my fingers, and chanting “Chicago rules, Chicago rules, guilty, guilty, guilty, die, die, die !”

What attorney worth their salt wouldn’t dismiss me for insanity right then and there?

See you next week for the Dirty Dirty Galaxy game; unless I’m sequestered, that is.

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