Thursday, August 16, 2007

I Suddenly Became a Pachuca Fan: DCU 0-2 LAG

Beckham's first goal was a bit of magic. Everyone in that stadium read him to be kicking the classic Beckham swinger: over the wall, curving gently, just brushing the near post in it's short journey to the top corner. Not so, said Beckham, and the ball flew the other way and into the goal. Not much anyone could do about that, except prevent conceding the free kick in the first place.

Lastly: Beckham's every pass opens up the pitch. LAG is never slack when he's around, and he is around. They park him in the center and suddenly he's all over the field, scooping loose balls and feeding the lone option on the other touchline. His crosses are like clockwork. He really elevates the Galaxy to a new level.

I need to hurry through this recap for the sake of my good mood and low blood pressure. I have a good crop of notes, so I'll get right to it.

Other notes:

- Namoff is our right back. He is our man. There is nary a thing I could fault him for this match, or the last few, for that matter. Thank you, Brian.

- Fred is magical. Period. Give him the ball in a tight situation and he'll come up with something special.

- Why did Carroll get the nod over Simms this game? I didn't like it.

- Jaime is still a solid forward, but he didn't compliment our other attacking options at all this game. It seemed like once Jaime received a ball, the ball was either staying at his feet until turned over, or was immediately laid back for someone else to pass wide. In his defense, however, LAG absolutely packed the box from the 1st to the 90th. Through balls were the last thing on United's mind.

- Neither was a ball going to soar in from the wing. Every LAG defender is taller than every DCU attacker. It's almost scientific how ineffective our crosses were. Unfortunately, Ben Olsen failed to realize this and was just as ineffective once Gomez stepped onto the pitch and consigned Olsen to the right wing. Bad day, Benny. Better luck next time.

- Joe Cannon came up big nearly every time a save was asked of him. Emilio from point blank range TWICE and corkers from Gros early and later Carroll were all soundly dealt with. If Goldenballs hadn't tucked away his debut goal, Cannon would be MotM for sure.

- Kyle Martino falls like a little bitch. So does Pavon. I'd even say the same for Cobi when he clipped Gros' shinguard. Grow some cajones, f*ckers.

- Ty Harden bodychecked Moreno so Cannon could collect a loose ball. I'd call this a penalty. McTavish slid late and took out Martino's legs. If the ball didn't look like it was going out anyways, I'd call this a penalty too.

- What's so frustrating about this game is that DCU put forth every effort, every last g****mn effort, and still came up nil. I saw frustration out of Olsen, Kpene, Gomez, Fred, and just about everyone who was desperately trying to eke a goal for the visiting United. I was cussing so bad my dog came downstairs to check on me and left with his tail between his legs. Sorry, buddy. I'm alright now.

- The only thing keeping me from destroying my television were the cute girls Telemundo kept flashing across the screen. I like cute girls. There should be more cute girls during soccer broadcasts. Keeps my temper in check and my interest piqued when DC's two down to LAG.


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Where are the posts?

Hey, loyal readers. Feel like I've been lacking in posts lately? Well, I'm dealing with a little thing called "going off to college" and it's crunch time now. Sorry for being a bit absent, but some things take precedence.

Expect me to have some post-match analysis for DC's SuperLiga game at LAG tonight, but for the next couple weeks I'll be a bit less active than usual. Hope you don't mind.


Sunday, August 12, 2007

European Recap: Weekend thru 08-12-07

Short takes from the weekend's European action.

Chelsea 3-2 Birmingham

- Shaun Wright-Phillips and Florent Malouda are two crucial pieces of Chelsea's attack. They both figure to have a brilliant season with the Blues this campaign. Sidwell could also make a decisive impact this season should he make the most of his minutes coming off the bench.

- Essien keeps the long bombs coming. He's petitioning the powers that be to reconsider the timing of the African Nations Cup this January; I think he can feel the positive momentum Mourinho's building for the season. Let's hope someone sees the wisdom in holding the tournament over the summer.

- It makes me happy to see that Malouda and Pizarro not only scored on their league debuts, but turned to celebrate with the fans immediately after. Good sign of morale, that.

- Cech is still struggling to regain his status as a world-renowned keeper and I've got to think that we won't really see him back to normal until at least the midpoint of the season.

- Don't know Birmingham and don't much care to learn, but ex-Juventus midfielder Kapo is gun for putting that lefty past Cech at such an angle. No windup at all, just smacked it standing completely erect and put it on in. We'll see him later in the season, I'm sure.

Rangers 2-0 St. Mirren
- Dominant victory in which DaMarcus Beasley was a key component. He's really dangerous in the SPL, a real force to be reckoned with. And after hearing all these reports of his abuse on the pitch, I really think he'll develop as an international presence as well. This trial by fire with the Light Blues will toughen him up for the more physical matches. Italy, England, and Germany are names that immediately come to mind, but we'll cross those bridges if and when we get to them.

- It's interesting to see that with the Gers, Beasley has the freedom to work out of the center of the pitch and apparently it suits him well. Beasley could easily surpass Donovan as America's #1 midfielder if his SPL campaign finishes as it's started.

- Stepping back a bit to view the overall performance, Barry Ferguson and Danny Cousin did well to put Rangers in the lead. St. Mirren's poor keeper stood little chance against the onslaught: Both goals were scored from inside 10 yards.

- Good service from the back line and good orchestration from the midfield are evidence that the Teddy Bears (no joke, check Wikipedia) have built a quality side during the off season. Expectations are rising.

FC Bayern 3-0 Rostock
- You wouldn't expect much less from a lineup that includes Klose, Toni, Schweinsteiger, van Bommel, and Ribéry. Bayern Munich is pure class and utilized all of it to dismantle the visiting debutantes.

- I predict that Ribéry will score one of the top ten Champions League goals this season simply because he has a beautiful way with dead ball situations.

- Heath Pearce made an admirable start to his first Bundesliga season, but I think he should perform better once he's had a month to adjust. On the other hand, Rostock's offense has to learn to penetrate these Bundesliga defenses; one month could be all it takes to permanently sabotage their 07-08 top-flight campaign. Let's hope they learn their lesson sooner rather than later.

Manchester United 0-0 Reading
- This result is flattering; United were abusing the Royals' defense.

- Hahnemann won MotM for his heroics at the back to earn Reading the draw.

- Convey is still recovering from his injury.

- Rooney's foot fracture is very concerning to a good many England supporters.

Arsenal 2-1 Fulham
- Holy sh*t-- van Persie punished the net.

- Healy was gifted that goal, though props for being on top of Lehmann.

- Dempsey had 45 minutes to make an impact but couldn't. Brian McBride was ineffective all match.

- In spite of Fulham's impotent offense, Bocanegra did very well to hold van Persie down the whole match. Good to see that he's asserting himself at the top of a stacked defensive lineup that includes Paul Konchesky, Philippe Christanval, Aron Hughes, and Chris Baird. Too bad Hleb played him like a puppet for a last-gasp winner. We'll see what Lawrie Sanchez thinks of his performance when the Cottagers host Bolton on Wednesday.