Sebastian Giovinco. Fanendo Adi. Two strikers on designated player wages, with great expectations heaped high upon their shoulders, yet they could not be more different. One is mobile, agile, skillful, able to read to play, a natural goal scorer; the other is Fanendo Adi. Continue reading
Y’ever have one of those days? You leave the house having patted your pockets and checked the dresser and looked everywhere to make sure you didn’t forget anything and halfway to work realize your cell phone is on the charger by the microwave? You drive slowly and carefully through your neighborhood stopping at every uncontrolled intersection and a block from your house get t-boned by some moron speeding HUA through the stop sign? Pour over your tax return endlessly to be hit with a thousand-dollar penalty? Walk slowly across the room only to trip on something too small to see?
Then you probably know what the Thorns and Coach Riley feel like today.
The Thorns played 90+ minutes of what would normally have been outstanding soccer – match-winning soccer – against the visiting Houston Dash. Everything I’ve complained about the last two matches? Fixed, by and large. Solid defending – no real derps or individual gaffes. Terrific attack – when you outshoot your opponent 18-4, put 11 of those shots on goal, earn 11 corners to three, you’re gonna paste those poor wenches all over the Park, right?
I just wanted to get that out right from the start. I know the Timbers are an average team. It’s taken me a while to accept this, but I have now. Do I like it? No. I wish the Timbers were dominant, not scuffling. Am I willing to root for them anyway? Yes. When I root, I root for the Timbers, whether they’re the best team, the worst team, or somewhere in the middle.
Gee…it seems like just last week we were here talking about the second part of the three-part NWSL season, and I seem to recall I said something like…something…hmmm…what was that again? Oh, yes. This.
“If the Portland defense can avoid the mental vacations that shipped four goals in Chicago and against Washington and the Long-Shim Axis can keep producing this should be three points on the road.”
And what were we talking about? Oh, yeah. This.
The away match at Boston this past weekend? The one Thorns FC lost because the defense that had kept Boston out of the goal for 92+ minutes had a horrendous Moment of Utter Defensive Derpitude in the 93rd and gifted Kristie Mewis a soft goal?
When your team craps the bed like the Timbers crapped it Saturday, you kind of want to forget it. You want to avoid the highlights, ignore the recaps. You don’t want to think about it and you sure as hell don’t want to write about it. But that’s where I am right now; writing about a game I’d much rather just forget. So let’s make this as quick and painless as possible, eh?
In the previous post I mentioned that we’re now entering into the “second” part of the three-part 2015 NWSL season, the part where all the allocated players are raptured to Canada and the league continues with those Left Behind and a band of plucky amateurs called up to fill in the ranks. This middle phase of the campaign looks to be an exciting but dangerous time, when reconfigured teams and the odd gap-filled schedule might produce anything from confused disasters to unexpected benefits. Whatever the effects, certainly the prospects are worth discussing. So…lets!
First; which teams are likely to get hurt the worst by the World Cup Interregnum?
I can’t think of an image that does better work defining last Saturday’s 2-2 home draw with the Washington Spirit than this one; Allie Long lying on the Portland turf with her head in her hands, wondering how in hell she gets stoned by Spirit ‘keeper Kelsie Wys on a ludicrously poor spot-kick off a ridiculously soft PK at 66′ that might have gifted all three points for the then-league-leaders.
The entire match was as easily as frustrating as Long’s easily-saved spot kick. Needing a win to stay top of the table, how could Portland find a way to get no better than a single point, at home, against a team that has proven to be highly beatable?
This new player we just got? This Valeri kid? I’ve got a good feeling about him. I think he’s got a chance to make varsity.