Here’s what I know about ExtraTime Radio: they anoint kings and banish scoundrels too readily. And I’m not totally sure I miss Nick Firschau. I did like him quite a bit, but it takes a total star of a straight-man to come out of the background and Firschau was good, but not that good. We’re talkin’ Bert good, like from Bert and Ernie. (Cannot take credit for that one; totally phoned a friend.)
So, very late this week, but, as this is a place of understanding, let’s all agree to let it pass. Ohmmm….
I’m here to take a look back at Week 2 of Major League Soccer’s Best Season Ever (which is what they will all be going forward…till they fail). I really, really want to get these posted every Monday and will do better in the future, but life. Y’know? And these things will have shape…which should be pretty self-apparent.
Games I Watched This Week(end):
Portland Timbers v. Chicago Fire (already faithfully reported, March 17, 2014, Erin Go Fuck Yerself!)
New York Red Bull v. Colorado Rapids
Game The World Has Inspired Me to Watch
Pursuant to remarks noted above re: ExtraTime Radio, Seattle Sounders v. Toronto FC. Such was their admiration for Michael Bradley’s performance that whatever one calls the male equivalent of the vapors went around the podcast studio like an ebola outbreak. I want to see whether that was really down to Bradley’s wiles or Seattle being in something like disarray (because, that back pass on Goal 2, really?).
Thoughts on This Week’s “Other” Game: Red Bull New York 1-1 Colorado Rapids
Two things stood out here: 1) I couldn’t completely wrap my head around how Colorado set up; and 2) whatever it was, they had the better of the play. And on the road. On Colorado, here’s what I thought I saw: Dillon Powers deployed surprisingly high, almost in Dershorn Brown’s back pocket, while it appeared first-time head coach Pablo Mastroeni charged Nick LaBrocca with covering the back four. I’m not totally clear on where Jose Mari fit in, but the whole set looked pretty narrow with the back providing the width NOTE: wrong). New York’s formation wasn’t nearly as interesting as the fact that playing at home didn’t seem to inspire them a whole lot. Ditto for Thierry Henry. Sure he got the goal (eh, more of a falling header than a diving one, no matter how well-executed), but Colorado just felt more energetic and inspired. And I’m with everyone who considered Henry’s goal celebration original, yet sub-par. Yeah, the penalty was soft, but still, the highlights on this one generally match my dodgy memory: Colorado deserved at least that goal. After that, Dillon Serna was useful, but not totally effective, Nick LaBrocca had the shot of the game and, going the other way, Luis Robles is one helluva a ‘keeper in my book. Still not sold on Lloyd Sam…and not just because he has his surname and first name are all crossed-up. All in all, Colorado represented for the Western Conference pretty well (unlike Portland (see above) for two weeks running now).
Quick Snippets Sniffed from the Highlight Reels*
(* And, one day, reactions from all over…just, look, life. It killed me this week.)
Seattle 1-2 Toronto (more later)
This is without watching the full game, but, judging by the stilted celebration, Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins aren’t even on first-name terms. Brothers gotta HUG! Especially after a goal. Fans want to the see the love. And the rest of us find it vaguely uncomfortable.
Houston Dynamo 1-0 Montreal L’Impact
First, I’m late to the party, but I don’t think I’ve ever really looked at the outside of BBVA. I’m lukewarm at best on that modernist chain-link B.S. OK, the important stuff: someone on the ExtraTime Radio team (David Gass?) rated Houston the biggest pleasant surprise (my words, not his) of the early season. Yeah, I was impressed when they kicked just about every ass on New England, but in the grand scheme, Houston hasn’t accomplished much more than beating two weak-ish Eastern Conference rivals at home. Sounds like I’ll have to take in Houston’s game next week…well, shit, I can’t. Anyway, I’ll withhold judgment barring more results. Because they mean something when one gets enough of ’em. And, no, I don’t get Andrew Driver, either.
Sporting KC 1-1 FC Dallas (The Cup for People Who Hate Euro-Affectations in MLS)
First, yes, this is probably the game I should be watching. Still, the lure of high-profile…it’s why we like celebrity. As for the game, first, good goat/savior narrative for Matt Hedges – those always make for good stories..wait, no, scratch that. Who’s Dallas’ #4, he’s the guy who lost Aurelien Collin. Ah, Andrew Jacobson. So, it’s all game on for Hedges; he saved that early opportunity from C. J. Sapong as well, so that’s a good game for Hedges and meeting expectations so far. Speaking of Collin, why does he seize, like, ALL of his junk on set-pieces? I thought covering was sufficient, if not better. I mean, the tip goes out and…never mind. The take-away here: both clubs show well in highlights, which makes a case for keeping an eye on them early. Good equalizer by Hedges; what’s more impressive is that Dallas appeared to have their share.
San Jose Earthquakes 3-3 Real Salt Lake
First, Shea Salinas seems to get more underrated as the years go by. Was his set-piece delivery always this good? Begs the question of why he has to squirm his way into the “congratulations” scrum…I mean, kind of a shit goal, scored off the thigh and all. I mean, I used to get ugly shit like that. Anyway…priceless moment of the whole thing surely had to be Mark Watson being on live TV when his team went behind (“how’s that wedgie feel?”). The big take-away, though, goddamn Goonies. Credit to San Jose, but, please stop. Joao Plata and Luis Gil combine for that beauty, that weird Mulholland kid scores something a bit clumsy, but nice, and Victor Bernarndez smuggles a couple ugly ones across the line? OK, that’s short shrift (especially for Salinas…and, OK, Bernardez), but RSL has started pretty damn strong. And it’s not too surprising when you’ve got Kyle Beckerman and Nick Rimando serving as your spine.
OK, to any present readers and future visitors, I’ve hit my limit. Again, life. And a man has to sleep some time. Next week should, or better, go smoother.