Monthly Archives: May 2011
So everybody is talking about the refs this week. Obviously they did a terrible job in this past game. In my personal opinion neither Harvey’s Red Card nor Okugo’s PK should have been called, although I was more ok with the PK because I believe very strongly in the idea that it’s ok for a ref to bad because he can never be perfect, but if you’re gonna be bad at least be balanced and he was. I don’t really want to talk about the refs though. Everybody else is talking about how his first goal will really light a fire of confidence under Seba; I don’t quite see it. First off I can’t see one goal lighting off a huge fire of confidence in any pro-player. Don’t let me make you think its not a good thing; I’d be glad to see Seba score and I hope he continues doing so. The thing is it was only a penalty, not in game, not in game, a penalty. (Sorry for the way-back Iverson reference.) I can’t imagine scoring a penalty does as much for his confidence as a goal in the run of play. If he had scored during the run of play I could see all these things coming in to play, maybe he found a good spot. Maybe his first touch has settled down. Maybe he gets some real confidence from something like that, but not a PK. What I really want to praise the Union for is their possession, particularly after losing Jordan Harvey. It’s always odd to see a team really perk up after losing a player. I’ve heard many explanations for it, maybe it’s the pressure, maybe its the extra open space, maybe its the change in form. Whatever it is I’d love to see the possession stats on it. If the Union play like that for the rest of the year, they can definitely keep this record up.
On that topic, I’m still not sure this team is for real. They seem to make a lot of mistakes for a team so high on the table, but they went through the section I picked out before the season as hardest pretty successfully (LA-Seattle) and they look like they can play with top teams. The defense was obviously a huge flaw last year and we all said that with an average keeper we would be a playoff team, but I guess I didn’t realize how big an effect a keeper can really have. That said the offense is nothing like it was last year. Mwanga and Le Toux have yet to get involved, although Ruiz has been doing pretty well. He hasn’t quite been in his previous superstar form, but he’s still better then I expected, hopefully Mwanga and Le Toux step up and take advantage of teams needing to spread a bit thinner with the three of them.
Another thing I was very happy to see was Roger Torres get his first start, the red card took him out and we didn’t get to see how he lasts for 90 minutes but hopefully hes in Nowak’s plans. He adds a lot and he may just be what it takes to get that top line kicking. Parallel to that is one of the other subs who came in, Michael (I believe, I will confuse them as long as they are with the team) Farfan. Farfan played wonderfully and really kickstarted Keon Daniel too. His passing was great, his movement was great and his defending was more than acceptable. If we could keep our defensive form with more attacking fullbacks I will never have a problem with it. This was one of my biggest fears for the season, that we don’t have a real fifth defender on the roster. I have seen others play there and they haven’t done terribly but Farfan played the best I’ve seen. Having him in next week for Harvey is something I’m totally comfortable with.
Clint Dempsey broke Fullham’s all-time scoring record beating out Brian McBride with 33 goals, including 2 this weekend. Dempsey has really begun to blossom into a very good international player. I would venture to say that if he were on a bigger team he would be noted as one of the best American players in history, and he deserves it. Those who really pay attention almost always cite Clint over Lando as the most important field player on the team (Tim Howard deserves his own arguments.)
Also of interest to USA fans is that Hans Backe has said he doesn’t expect Dwayne de Rosario to play for Canada in the upcoming Gold Cup. It’s not exactly a huge revelation, but it’s a bit of reassurance. DeRo hasn’t played with the Canadian team in some time and is one of the better players from the Great White North, so not having to worry about him makes the Gold Cup a much easier task for the US.
That’s all I’ve got this week. If you’ve got anything else or want to get in touch with me about something put it in the comments or send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.