FOOTBALLS ARE ROUND!

Soccer – The Most Important of Life’s Unimportant Things


August 1, 2007

STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS: SUPERLIGA MATCHDAY 3


by @ 10:32 pm.
Filed under FC Dallas, Stream Of Consciousness

I don’t even know where to begin with this game.

I’m not 100% sure there actually was a game.

I think it very well could have been a hallucination, dream, LSD flashback, or perhaps some sort of alternate universe cause by Wesley doing experiments in the Holodeck.

But whatever it was, it wasn’t a regular soccer game.

I actually would have been at the game, except for some lady who called my office last Friday, wanting to make an appointment for legal consultation. In a moment of pure unthinking stupidity, I told her 2:00 Tuesday would be fine, not remembering I was planning to be halfway to Frisco by then. Even more stupidly, I didn’t get her phone number to reschedule. So I’m waiting around the office Tuesday, wishing I was on the way to the game, and guess what?

She doesn’t show up.

At the time, I was perturbed. Now, I think it may have been for the best. It was tough enough watching that mess on television; I’m not sure I would have survived seeing it in person. My only real regret is that I didn’t get to hold up my “POSH WANTS ME” sign.

The game started at 7:00, but I didn’t start watching until about 8:00 (Hey, Cindy likes the Reba show, what can I say?).

Uncharacteristically (because I’m normally a Black Belt in Tivo) I goofed up and started watching in the middle of the first half instead of the beginning, so I did what any grown man would do in that situation: I shielded my eyes, I started yelling “Lalalalalalalala I Can’t Hear the Game Lalalalalalal” While Cindy rewound it to the beginning.

My youngest daughter, not hip to the whole protocol involved in pre-recorded games (she’s just a wee lass, and not yet wise to the ways of the world), chimes in and says, “The score is zero to four”. I give her a brief lecture on how we never, EVER tell Daddy the score of a game that’s been Tivo’d, but I laugh it off, because I know, as surely as I know anything, that the score can’t be 4-zip in the middle of the first half.

Yeah.

After watching about 15 minutes, it occurs to me that Youngest Daughter may have been right, so, in a panic, I start to fast forward. This is where the whole thing gets kinda Alfred Hitchcock-y. Two goals . . . three . . . .FOUR? Four @#$%&$ goals in 20 minutes? How can this possibly be?

Says the lovely Cid: “I saw the score too, but I didn’t want to upset you . . .”

As I feel reality, objectivity, and the very fabric of the space-time continuum start to melt around me, I see Arturo Alvarez Pull one back right before halftime.

“Okay”, I say to myself, “We pulled back three against United, we can pull back four against these losers.”

The rest of the game is really a blur, with only a few things sticking in my conscousness.

The first thing that I remember is that no matter how bad the referees were for the first two Superliga games, those two clowns, combined, can’t be worse than Kevin Stott. Unless he takes to calling games blindfolded and hopping on one leg, he’ll never have a worse game than this one.

But, given that we gave up six goals, one can hardly, in good conscience, blame Kevin for the loss.

The second thing I remember is that Landon Donovan had the gall to make a throat-slashing gesture at the crowd. First of all, it’s classless and pathetic. Second of all, most of the people there paid to see a guy on HIS TEAM. Idiot.

He may as well go play for Mexico if he’s going to be act like that. Though I doubt they’d have him.

Landon is now #1 on the all time MLS punk list, having overtaken Kyle Beckerman and Hunter Freeman in one fell swoop. I can’t even imagine rooting for Landon when he wears the Red, White, and Blue anymore. Even Cobi Jones got my love when he put on the colors, as much as I enjoyed hating him in league games.

I also seem to recall that Joe Cannon, sometime over the course of the evening, grew to be about eight feet tall and somehow gained the ability to move faster than the speed of light. It seems counterintuitive to say this about a guy who gave up 5 goals, but, I swear by Lev Yashin’s ghost the man was incredible. Unbelievable. He made saves that were absolutely not possible to make. I mean if you did the math, the equation wouldn’t come out even. If they made a movie of his performance, it would be under “Fiction” at Blockbusters.

He’s a god amongst men, that Joe Cannon. Or at least a demiurge.

And that, I think leads me to the conclusion of this strange, strange evening, which is just as screwed up and nonsensical as everything else that happened: Despite spotting the Galaxy a four-goal lead, despite getting robbed by Kevin Stott, despite that punk Donovan being so frustratingly good, despite ALL that . . .

If Joe Cannon wasn’t some sort of superhuman mutant magic uber-keeper, we would have won that game.

That’s almost too much for me to contemplate, while simultaneously holding on to my increasingly tenuous grasp on reality.

So I’ll see you Saturday, for the Dick’s Sporting Goods Rapids.

(Oh yeah, Mom, I was just kidding in the third paragraph, I never did LSD. And Wesly hasn’t been allowed in the Holodeck in several hundred Parsecs).

July 29, 2007

STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS: SUPERLIGA MATCHDAY 2


by @ 8:17 pm.
Filed under FC Dallas, Major League Soccer, Stream Of Consciousness

First off, I think it’s very brave of Pachuca’s keeper to be playing so soon after Chemo.

What?

Clarence Goodson nearly scores in the second minute off of a wicked header. Calero makes a good save and doesn’t even muss up his doo-rag.

The lovely Cid chimes in with “Oh, look, it’s a halloween team”. This totally negates any smart comments I was going to make about Pachuca’s horrid orange and black uniforms. I know when I’ve been bested.

Dario is back in the lineup, and Bobby Rhine is in for Drew Moor, who forgot the whole “It’s the second guy that always gets tossed” rule, and got himself bounced from the Chivas match. I sincerely hope Dario isn’t rushing himself back too soon. With the way RayJ played the other night, he doesn’t need to take chances. On the other hand, our guy Dario is a gamer of the highest degree, so I don’t really expect he’d be willing to play it safe.

Which is one of the reasons we all love him so dearly.

TeleFutura is showing the Inferno a lot on tonight’s broadcast. Which is only proper.

Once again we’re holding our own, if not playing much better than, a top team of the MFL. Richardinho is dangerous at every turn. He’s another player we’re going to have to struggle to hold on to after a season or two. And the kid is only 19. What an upside, if we could keep Toja and Lil’ Ricky. I’d hate to have to get used to being perpetual contenders, but I could probably swing it.

Unfreakinbelievable save by Dario in the 38th minute. Just a little bit of fingertip on a hard shot gets it to hit the post and ricochet across the face of the goal. Fortunately no one from Pachuca was poaching, because it would have been a tap-in from there.

Really poor attendance tonight. Horribly poor. Of course, the Superliga games, inexplicably, are not a part of the season ticket package, and the advertising for the matches hasn’t been what you would call “saturation marketing” either. But, this is the first SuperLiga, so you can’t expect miracles.

Did you know the first Super Bowl wasn’t a sellout either? It’s true. You could look it up.

Clarence gets absolutely ROBBED of a goal right at the stroke of 45:00, by a bush league offside call. He hit his second great header of the evening, beat Calero clean, but couldn’t beat the Assistant Referee. Apparently the $1,000,000.00 prize prevented the organizers from budgeting for professional officiating.

I’ll bet they used professional refs in Super Bowl I.

This is really getting out of hand. Clarence Goodson gets a yellow card for a push on the man he is marking just outside the area, while the offensive player, who blatantly reached out and played the ball with his arm, gets a free kick for his trouble. I’ve seen some really questionable officiating in the years I’ve been watching MLS (which is to say, all of them), but this is really starting to top all of that. It’s surrealist bad. It’s like having Hieronymus Bosch call a game with Dali and Max Ernst running the sides.

Apart from horrendous calls, though, there’s not been much to write about in this half. At least with Chivas in town you can bitch about what obnoxious thugs they are. Pachuca just play good hard-nosed football. Which is good for the game, but the kiss of death for a hack writer trying to find stuff to be smart-assed about.

I may have to start bagging on Chivas again, just to fill out the column.

On the other hand, that’s kind of like picking on the kids who ride the short bus. Except the kids on the short bus aren’t reprehensible punks.

Dominic Oduro in for Ricardinho with 20 minutes to go. This will liven things up. I wish I had Hi-Def, so I could see the look on the Pachuca defenders faces when they see the fastest cat they ever saw rush past them in a blur.

But I don’t have Hi-Def. Annnnnd probably won’t for the foreseeable future.

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A handy little cross by Bobby from the right side gets to Oduro and Calero at the same time. Oduro either gets a toe on it, or gets in Calero’s way and causes him to spill it. In any event the ball rolls through to El Capitan Ruiz, who pops the ball in from five yards out. Two goals in two games for the Lil’ Fish. Our boy is back.

That’s not good: Dario is down on the turf holding his left knee. The official word was that he had strained his MCL and had some swelling, and I think he got it knocked in a collision with a Pachuca player right after the restart. Of course, Dario, since the knee is still attached to the leg, keeps on playing. ‘Cuz he’s tough like that.

Clarence just took a forearm to the face courtesy of a Pachuca attacker during a corner kick scrum. It looked bad, but since none of our guys got all up in the man’s grill, it must have been incidental.

Come Awn! PK against the good guys. Looks like Adrian Serioux clipped the heels of his mark. It was de minimis contact, but the player from Pachuca, being from Mexico, instinctively fell to the ground like he’d been lightnng struck. It has to be something they teach in the schools down there, like in kindergarten. Either that or it’s genetic. Or maybe they have a secret laboratory where they genetically mutate guys to fall down like that. Something.

Good save by Dario in extra time preserves the draw. Birdman nearly scores twice before the final whistle but his finishing isn’t quite sharp enough to get there.

Another disappointing, poorly officiated draw. Great. We’re just going to have to put the wood to the dirty dirty Galaxy next Tuesday so we can advance to the next round. Which will be fun to see anyway.

I hear Los Angeles have some new English guy who’s supposed to be pretty good. And apparently his wife used to be in Bananarama or something like that. Of course, there’s been no media coverage, so it’s hard to get details.

It might have been The Bangles, now that I think of it.

Anyway, see you Tuesday.

July 24, 2007

STREAM OF COSCIOUSNESS: SUPERLIGA EDITION


by @ 10:41 pm.
Filed under FC Dallas, Major League Soccer, Stream Of Consciousness

Holy crap! Ray Burse, Jr, startin’ in goal!

I don’t say that out of concern, just surprise.

I’ve seen Ray play, and I know the young man gots serious game. I just found out today Darío goobered up his knee, and that Shaka was having back spasms, but I was under the impression that one or the other would play.

What a huge day for Ray. I wonder if he woke up knowing he was getting his first professional start, or what. I’d have liked to have been a fly on the wall for that conversation. I’m happy for him; he’s worked hard and been patient. He’s ready. I knew that the first time I saw him play against Kansas City in the prestigious Saturn Cup in 2006.

Lil’ Ricky is in the lineup too. Why in the world would our government take so long to give Richardinho a visa? Do diminutive teenage Brazilian forwards present some sort of national security risk I’m not aware of?

Oh! Carlos Ruiz just misses scoring from 50 yards out. Ernesto Michel did well to parry it away. That would have been the goal of the year, no competition. As is typical of soccer broadcasts in the United States the director, instead of following the ball, cut to a close shot of Carlos. This added absolutely nothing to the quality of the viewing experience, and in addition, completely missed what was without a doubt the most compelling moment of the match up to that point.

I don’t go around thinking I can do other people’s jobs better than they can. Normally. I mean, I don’t go to the dentist and think, “damn, I coulda done that extraction way better!” When I fly on an airline, rarely do you hear me say “You call that a landing . . . ?” No, I stick to what I know in life (mostly being a smartass and arguing about stuff). But I’m telling you here and now I could do a better job directing and announcing soccer matches than the vast majority of those currently employed in the field. And I have no idea how to direct a television program. Still, give me 45 minutes and some sort of manual, buddy, I’m there.

Really.

Freakin’ Ray Burse has already made two huge saves. HUGE. I have nothing but confidence in this guy. He’s got the talent to be a long-term pro, and he’s under the tutelage of both Darío and Shaka, two guys who know what’s what.

Whenever I see Ray before of after a game, I usually say something along the lines of “Your time is coming Ray, be patient”. And that’s the rock solid truth. Of course, Ray probably thinks I’m some middle-aged loser with a man crush, but I like to think he is encouraged by my pearls of wisdom. Though, to be fair, Ray and I are MySpace friends, which, in the internet age, makes us nearly family, or at least bestest friends forever.

Which, let’s face it, is one of the really creepy aspects of the internet age.

The Chivas keeper just tried to act like Ricardinho gave him on a faceful of boot on a breakaway. Of course, he did no such thing, there was barely any contact, if there was actually any contact. Oh, okay, Michel got up with a tiny bit of a bloody nose. But I’m sure that’s just the blow.

(Kidding. I kid. I’m a kidder)

Of course, one of the Chivasites responded by knocking the kid down a few minutes later with a shoulder. That guy, whatever his name is, should thank his patron saint that Simo Valakari isn’t around anymore. He’d have learned the Finnish word for “deep thigh bruise” in short order.

Again, a player for Chivas falls like he’s been shot by a sniper after a no contact at all, or at best, minimal contact. Do these guys have no pride at all?

Oh, and Richetti gets a yellow out of that? This is like Bizzaro soccer.

Arturo just misses from 20 yards out. We’re taking it to these punks. This is the best I’ve seen us play all year. You know the difference? Confidence. We’re playing with confidence. Swagger almost. It’s nice to see.

For example, both times Chivas players have gone down like sissies, four or five others will gather around our guy and start talking smack (though, in my imagination, they’re saying things like “I’ll scratch your eyes out sister!“) When this happens, El Capitán Ruiz justs steps up and stands there between them, staring them down and making it clear who’s in charge.

Ray is playing like he’s been a starting professional goalkeeper for years. There’s nothing whatsoever, either in his posture or in his play, that belies nervousness.

Serioux made a mistake at midfield and gave Salazar a breakaway, but I’ll be doggone if Clarence Goodson didn’t chase that mug down and negate the chance. He’s a baaaaad man.

No score at halftime, and I think we had the better of the overall play, though Chivas clearly had the most dangerous chances (not counting Ruiz’s long bomb).

I already knew Ray was a really good shot stopper, but I had no idea he was so aggressive coming off his line. Twice he’s come way out to cut off potential breakaways. It takes speed, commitment and sound judgment to play that way. He’s got all that.

Another great save off of a point blank header. Part of me doesn’t want it to become common knowledge how good this kid is. I want him to be the goalkeeper of future, not a high-priced transfer target, ya know?

Gooooooooooooooal! Dipsy Selelowane what a goooooooooooal! Arturo Alvarez!

That, my friends, was a goal-scorers goal. AA gets the ball around the top of the box, and instead of trapping, looking, and shooting, he lets the ball run as he glances up, and when he sees the keeper in no man’s land he deftly flicks the ball with the outside of his left foot. Just ever so slightly out of the keepers reach and into the net. Arturo has made huge strides this year in both skill and professionalism. He could end up making it very difficult for Steve Morrow not to make him a lock starter.

ANOTHER great save by Ray Burse, this time on a low headed ball – one of the hardest shots to stop.

Annnnnd, we just got robbed. Olvera scores after clearly, and I mean crystal clearly, handling the ball to get it at his feet. Every single soul in Pizza Hut Park, no, every single soul in Collin County, saw Olvera touch the ball with his hand, except, ironically, Mr. Quesada of Costa Rica. Nice.

Admittedly, it was a terrific goal. But you know what? If we’re going to go ahead and stipulate that it’s okay to use your hands to set up your shot, you could get my out-of-shape pugdy behind out there to drill one into the upper corner too. This ain’t Gaelic football, people.

YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME! Reynoso throws a blatant elbow to Drew Moors face, and gets . . . wait for it . . . nothing. Drew, however, gets tossed out of the game when Reynoso falls like a baby harp seal after Drew gets up and touches him. Mind you, Reynoso’s elbow happened during the run of play, directly in front of the Assistant Referee and wasn’t seen. Drew’s contribution happened 30 yards away from the ball, and got a straight red card.

I’ll grant you, Drew screwed up on this one; you just can’t give these cabrons an opportunity to take a dive like that. But that hardly excuses this kind of Sunday-league reffing.

Bobby comes in to shore up the defense, but we’re still pressing for the winner. That’s a good compromise for Steve to make. He’s not one to play for a draw at home, even a man down. Which is why I’m so glad he’s the coach.

Final whistle. Somebody call a cop.

This will have to go down as the biggest screwjob since Shawn Michaels pinned Bret the Hitman in Montreal, back in ‘97. I was scanning the crowd there at the end to see if Vince McMahon was around.

I’m planning on road-tripping to the next Interliga match, against the Galaxy next Tuesday. If you’re watching on TV, I’ll be the guy in the Inferno section holding the sign that says “POSH WANTS ME”.

Until then, my friends.

[powered by WordPress.]

internal links:

categories:

search blog:

archives:

August 2017
S M T W T F S
« Jun    
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  

other:


Donations





Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-
Noncommercial-
Share Alike 3.0 United States License
.

Links



We Recommend:

Click here for BigSoccer!




Listed on Soccer Blogs



23 queries. 21.419 seconds