Tuesday, May 28, 2013

So much futbol to comment on...

I just turned off the replay of the exhibition match between Chelsea and Man City in St. Louis, one of the oldest and staunchest hotbeds of soccer in the US.   What a crazy but entertaining match for the audience of 46,000?  Did I get that number right?  Regardless it was a lot o' folks.   And Man City coming back from a three goal deficit to win 4-3 can't be dismissed as exciting.

Turn back the clock to Saturday afternoon when the Portland Timbers took on DC United in DC and came home with to notches on their gunbelts, a 2-0 win in a hardscrabble match.  Who would have imagined that this shift in outcomes was possible with so many of the same players as we've fielded in previous years.   I am so impressed with the impact that the coaching change has made.    And it's wonderful to see the players who've worked so hard and had so little to show for it in 2012 be rewarded for their efforts this year.   Makes me happy.

I am particularly happy to see Rodney Wallace explode into a ferocious and deadly scorer.  I have said in the past that I was not a fan of Wallace on the back line when he started.  And even moved to midfield,  I was nervous.  But his role in this year's team as an attacking wing is thrilling to watch.   I see hunger and determination and poise under pressure and character.   Rodney, I am glad that the Timbers have found the right role for you.  

On a different theme,  the Galaxy's butchery of the Sounders was not fun to see.  It speaks to the fact that the Galaxy are a well-oiled machine regardless of whether they have a British supastar.   I was sad that the front end of the match report was about Robbie Rogers' return and not about the match itself.  I think it's sad that Rogers and other professional athletes still have to make this the first issue people talk about instead of their performance on the field.
The Sounders seem to have lost their way,  an observation that gives me little consolation since I know they will look to claw their way back to credibility over us.   At the same time, I'd like to see the PNW Cascadia teams and San Jose--the old guard-- be the strongest and grittiest part of the MLS.    We spent decades in the stands willing various versions of our teams to hold on because one day 'the game was going to be successful'.   And here it is.  And here we are.   And the scars from getting here mean we should always aspire to live up to that legacy. 

Signing off for now!