NY: I’m mailing this week in. I’m employing the coin-flip technique. I don’t know how draw is going to factor in to this. F*ck it, I just won’t pick a draw then.
DK: Isn’t that what we always do? Mail it in. to make it simpler (cause of timing) I’m going to match up with your matches.
NY: Chivas USA v Chicago Fire: I guess home team is heads, road team is tails, so here goes: Damn it, I don’t even have a quarter so I’m flipping a nickel, but anyway: Tails = Chicago wins. I like this method.
DK: Even though Chicago sucks, so does Chivas. It’s going to be sad that this game is close in any aspect, but Oduro is likely going to notch a goal in this one, it’s harder to tell what Chivas will do – but east conference teams always fail miserably on the west coast. 1-1 tie.
NY: Toronto FC v DC United: Flip #2: Tails, again. That makes sense. TFC doesn’t seem to play as well in league play as they have in their inter, and intra, national tournaments.
DK: TFC still can’t buy a point, and DC is on a tear, DC 2-0.
NY: Vancouver Whitecaps v San Jose Earthquakes: Flippity Flippity #3: Damn it, i dropped on the floor and rolled under my desk. Re-do: Tails, AGAIN! Eh, San Jose HAS been playing well. They scored 2 in beating Union Saturday, then come out mid-week and put a 5-spot on the board to get another 3 points. Sure, why not another win?
DK: I don’t like this match up only because I’m clearly picking San Jose… they’re good, who the hell knew. 1-0
NY: LA Galaxy v New Jersey Pink Cows: Flippity Floppity Floop #4: Heads! That means that this early war-of-attrition will be won by the home side! Sure! Why not?!?!?
DK: Weirdly, I dislike LA more than RBNY, and they’ve been doing much better than LA so far (only by one game). I’ll go with a 2-2 tie. Think NY could HANDle it? No, it never gets old.
NY: Seattle Sounders v Philadelphia Union: Dare I coin flip this? Sure, it seems to be working so well… Heads! This means that Union will take their second straight defeat. I guess I can believe that. That turf is weird, it’s an odd time (1:30pm local), and Freddy Montero might be too much for the Union to deal with. If these picks are correct, I’m keeping this nickel and flipping it every week, but if these are wrong, I’m going to melt the damn thing down so it’s no longer a coin. There’s a lot at stake for this coin, isn’t there?
DK: Yes we beat Seattle last year… Yes that field is atrocious. Yes my retinas burn while watching games in Seattle. No nothing good will come from this. Last year’s team was vastly different than this year’s team, and sadly enough – only one of those variations included Stefani Miglioranzi. The only upside to this weekend for me is seeing the Avengers movie after the game, I fully expect a loss of 2-1. I hope to god though that something FINALLY f***ing clicks with this team….
Dan – 17 out of 30
Nick – 13 out of 30
DK: This week we’re going to incorporate a special guest pick set of our dear, beloved friend, Johnny “Vegas”. Let’s see if he’s as sharp as we are.
Dan – 13 out of 25
Nick – 12 out of 25
DK: There’s a reason why we’re not in Vegas.
NY: Damn right. There are better sports books for soccer in Europe anyhow.
DK: Well here we are again. I’m getting to these picks late as usual… I need to start slacking off work more often.
NY: MORE often?!?!? Is that possible?
DK: Game of the week should be KC vs RSL. 5 and 0 versus 5 and 1. Top of east verse west. KC has only allowed 1 goal in 5 games, and RSL has only allowed 4 in 6 games. RSL’s only loss so far came at the feet of Chivas, so consistency can be a question, but that was a couple weeks ago. Neither team is going to take the other lightly, and this will probably see some decent amount of scoring chances from both teams. This one can really go either way, but a tie is most certainly out of the question. I’m going to go with KC over RSL 3-2.
NY: In Seattle v Colorado, I’m going to take a one week break from my assertion that Seattle always wins at home. I’ll say 2-2 draw for this one.
DK: 2nd pick is going to be Dallas over Montreal. Hands down. I don’t think I have to go into much detail as to why, even though Montreal can take you by surprise. Dallas 2-0
NY: New England v DC United ought to be an easy one for DC, with NE’s Shalrie Joseph suspended for the match. I foresee much bad dancing from DeRo. 3-0 DC wins.
DK: 3rd pick is Toronto and Chivas. Now that Toronto can focus on the MLS regular season, will they go back to their normal level of suck that we’re accustomed to seeing? Not likely. I’ll put my money on Toronto finally getting their first points against Chivas 1-0.
NY: RBNY hosting San Jose is going to be ugly. As if it isn’t bad enough for the ‘Quakes that they have to travel cross-country for this, they’re running into the We-Play-Much-Better-Without-Luke-Rodgers NY side. Henry finds some way to net a couple more cheap goals and earn Player of the Week honors yet again. 4-1 RBNY win
DK: 4th pick is one of those gimmes that probably will slap me in the face. LA versus Portland. Bottom of the west coast (who knew that LA was at the bottom – supporters shield my ass). Whatever has befallen the Galaxy, I’m certain good ole Bruce – I look like a Bond Villain – Arena will start lighting some fire under peoples asses so that the golden child of the MLS won’t go 1-5-0. My suggestion, start with the money piled up to pay Donovan and Beckham. LA over Portland 1-0.
NY: Chicago v Houston is going to be a more competitive match than most this week. That’s because Brad Davis won’t be playing, leaving Houston with a midfielder shortage. This wouldn’t be a problem for them if Peter Nowak was their coach, because he would just play some forwards out of position there. That guy’s got the answer for everything (I wouldn’t have been able to say that line without laughing, which is where typed text works better). 2-1 Chicago Fire win.
DK: This one never gets old – and by that, it means it does. The only thing we do know is that there is one less midfielder to randomly pick who might even ride the bench, yet alone start. Hopefully Torres gets a fast and full recovery. Anyway – I would say that we get to see Garfan back in that ill-fated LB position, as Lopez is likely with his national team. Other than that… Yea. I don’t know either. What I do know is that something was starting to click in that last match against Vancouver, but unfortunately it wasn’t shots. Columbus isn’t that great either, and word on the interwebz has it that even Columbus fans don’t think this is going to be a stellar game, as both teams have went on the decline – don’t let Columbus’ 2 wins fool you, those were games they were supposed to win (Montreal, TFC). What I think? I think we’ll finally notch our first win. The shots will pour forth as if the Bearfight Brigade converted into Jersey Shore wannabes. Union 2-0.
NY: Yes, Columbus and Philly are having similar seasons right now, but Union will only go as far as Freddy Adu takes them, which will not be good enough. I just can’t see them scoring 2 goals right now without Torres involved. I’m picking this to be a 1-1 draw.
DK: KC 3-2 RSL; Dallas 2-0 Montreal; Toronto 1-0 Chivas; LA 1-0 Portland; Union 2-0 Columbus
NY: Seattle 2-2 Colorado; NE 0-3 DC; NY 4-1 SJE; Chicago 2-1 Houston; Union 1-1 Columbus
This is the weekly post where Dan and Nick square off to see whom can better predict the outcomes of 5 matches from the MLS slate. The email happened as follows:
Montreal v Toronto; Columbus v New York; SKC v LA; San Jose v Vancouver; DC v Seattle; RSL v Colorado; Portland v Chivas
DK: Not like I’ve been posting anything on the blog to begin with, but it’s still nice to not have to worry about a “pregame” post commenting about how we don’t have faith in the team (read: Management).
NY: Dan, just because Union don’t have a match doesn’t mean that you and I can’t poorly predict the outcomes of the rest of the MLS weekend slate. Let’s begin, shall we?
I’ll take Union’s 2 biggest geographic rivals, New York and DC to start. New York seems to have been buoyed by the fact that Luke Rodgers is not going to be able to return to the team due to visa problems. He seems like a jackass. New York, on the road, is going to continue their We-play-better-without-Luke run of form and defeat their hosts, Columbus, 3-1.
DK: I think NY IS better without Luke – seriously, I hate the guy… then again there aren’t many opposing strikers that I don’t hate. But NY is traveling to Columbus, who doesn’t look too awfully shabby, but they’ve only played 3 games, and one was Toronto. I’ll still give it to home field advantage and say that Columbus over takes NY, but 2-0. That, or Henrey places the ball in the net a few times (note: I didn’t say kick).
NY: DC United looked scary-good last week, and they are hosting Seattle, which should dedicate this match to the memories of Kurt Cobain and Layne Staley, both of whom died on April 5, in 1994 and 2002, respectively. Ok, so they won’t, but wouldn’t it be otherworldly awesome if Sounders donned a flannel-pattern kit for this match as a tribute? Pearl Jam and Soundgarden as a postgame concert? Might be the only way that DC would sell as many tickets as Seattle averages. Be that as it may, this will be the game of the week, with DC winning 3-2.
DK: 2nd pick is the teams from states in the middle west that fall into a whole in the map. RSL vs Colorado. RSL is at home, but they just recently played Montreal on Wednesday, and won only 1-0. You’d think they’d notch a few more goals on that one, but you can’t complain about a team with a 4 win and 1 loss start (I wish I could talk about a team with that start). This is early to call, but obvious as a possible playoff match preview and the current battle for top of the West. Note: RSL has a 6 game unbeaten street against Colorado, and I think this will continue on to 7. RSL over Colorado 2-1.
NY: Civil war! The first MLS regular season meeting between Montreal and Toronto will be a snoozer. TFC is still seeing visions of Herculez Gomez scoring goals creeping behind their centerbacks, and Montreal hasn’t found their MLS-level game yet. However, they earn a draw, 1-1, based on home field advantage.
DK: I too think that Montreal and Toronto will be a tie. It’s just how much of a level of bore and ‘potential’ do you want to witness for this match. Leave it in Canada and let us not suffer a 0-0 game.
NY: Runner-up for match-of-the-week is Sporting Kansas City hosting LA Galaxy. It’s the runner up because LA is not playing well right now, otherwise, it’s a 4-0-0 SKC hosting the defending MLS Cup Champions. I see SKC winning this one 2-1, and staking early claim to the title of early frontrunner for this year’s title. And, commence fanning the rumor flames that KC can exercise their contractual rights to Herc Gomez to bring him in on-loan once the Clausura is over, and he likely wins the title there, too.
DK: Again we’re picking the same outcome. SKC at home is similar to what LA was last year. Not only that, SKC has momentum – and talent. Right now LA only has piles of cash. Even though I doubt Gomez will come back to play for KC at any point in time, in the near future KC will easily handle what LA brings and Kamara will notch 2 goals easy. 2-1 also.
NY: And I need a relative gimmie, so I’ll close with Timbers hosting Chivas. It’s well-documented through these posts what my opinion of Chivas is. I know they didn’t follow orders 2 weeks back in beating RSL, but that was an aberration. That idiot with the chainsaw will get to celebrate a home victory, and cut into that log a few times in doing so. Portlandia 3-1.
DK: Yes Portland’s at home, and that buffoon will likely have fun celebrating a few goals (seriously, what are you compensating for with that chainsaw) – but I don’t want him celebrating with that chainsaw. I get the gimmick, I get the tradition, I just don’t like it. And in that I’m saying that he won’t be celebrating and this will end in a 0-0 tie. Don’t you like the way I make my picks?
NY: And in closing, with a bonus prediction, I’ll predict that Union don’t lose this weekend. It might be the only thing I get right.
Summary: NY: Columbus 1-3 New York, DC 3-2 Seattle, Montreal 1-1 Toronto, SKC 2-1 LA, Portland 3-1 Chivas USA
DK: Columbus 2-1 New York, RSL 2-1 Colorado, Montreal 0-0 Toronto, SKC 2-1 LA, Portland 0-0 Chivas USA
Score – Dan 7, Nick 8
DK: Well, last week was completely miserable… I didn’t get shit right.
NY: That’s because your luck has run out. I’m in front on the scoreboard, the way it should be.
DK: Hopefully not run out enough to win the lottery tonight.
DK: Since I have to right my sinking ship, I’m going to pick LA vs New England. New England squeaked one out last week at home, but now they have to play LA in LA. We all know how that works out for east coast teams. 2-0 LA just because they’re LA
NY: DC v FCD: Andy Najar is away on Honduran international duty, and Brek Shea is just back from US international duty. I think DeRo nets one, and Dallas gets one. I call a 1-1 draw, in a match that may have more people on the field than in the RFK Stadium stands.
DK: Chivas vs SKC. Chivas did the unthinkable, unimaginable, the incredible… ok I didn’t watch the game whatsoever. But they defeated RSL last week (much to the demise of our pick count) – one of the last teams you would think Chivas could defeat. Well, if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it, and Chivas is not that good of a team, and SKC is that good of a team with many attacking options (I’m still scratching my head as to why RSL didn’t score though). SKC will easily walk into LA and take a win from Chivas, and stay undefeated. 3-1
NY: Seattle v San Jose: Seattle wins at home. I know San Jose defied my prediction last week, it won’t happen again this week. Seattle at home 2-1
DK: This is the only time I’m going to pick RBNY. Still surprised at their manhandling of Vancouver, but if they did that to Vancouver at home, they should easily take apart the expansion side of Montreal in that wasteland they call home (or Harrison). New Jersey Pink Cows will get the win, while acting and looking like they are the top class of the league – when we all know they aren’t. 2-0
NY: Portland v RSL: Interesting contest, considering RSL losing last week, and having to go on the road in a difficult setting. I will pick a 1-1 draw here, as well.
DK: Toronto vs Columbus – Toronto, all though they have been playing well at BMO field, is more concerned about Santos and the Champions League than MLS right now. Columbus will come in and wipe the floor with TFC. 2-1
NY: Colorado v Chicago: A matchup of two teams that we’ve already seen play against Union. I was more impressed with Colorado, plus they’re playing at home, so I give this one to the Rapids, 2-0.
DK: We have the team. We have the players Nowak wants… now it’s just implementing the fuck out of it. We also need to score that 2nd goal. If we don’t, all is for lost. But I’m going to say this will come down to a 1-1 tie. Le Toux, if he plays, won’t be spectacular (neither will be our team).
NY: Union need to take the attitude of Gabriel Gomez on themselves. He’s fiery, determined, and skilled. If the whole team plays the way he does, they will win. I don’t expect them to, therefore, I see this ending 1-1, only because Vancouver will not have Eric Hassli. If he was in the lineup, the ‘Caps would win this outright.
LA 2-0 New England
Chivas 1-3 SKC
NY 2-0 Montreal
Toronto 1-2 Columbus
Union 1-1 Vancouver
DC 1-1 Dallas
Seattle 2-1 San Jose
Portland 1-1 RSL
Colorado 2-0 Chicago
Union 1-1 Vancouver
Stay tuned later for our match ‘pre’view
In an effort to cure boredom, and lack of content on the blog, Nick and myself are going to pick a set of 5 games weekly. Naturally, being a degenerate gambler, I had to make sure that something was in it for the victor. So – the one dollar wager is on!
The rules are simple – 4 games a week are free to choose, and the 5th pick of the week will be that week’s Union game (if there is no Union game, we pick a different game). Only the final outcome of the match will matter, not any predicted score. So if we say Union win 5-1, but only win 1-0, the point is still ours. Scores will only be used for a possible tie-breaker. Whoever has the most points at the end of the season will have bragging rights – which won’t matter because Nick will still say (rightfully) he has more knowledge than I do.
DK: Vancouver vs Montreal – Impact, what impact. Montreal is new. Vancouver has a team set, and with the prime addition of Le toux will likely come out on top in this match. I don’t think Montreal is ready enough as a team, and won’t be so until mid season (prove me wrong). Vancouver 2-0
NY: Vancouver vs Montreal??? What is this, the National Hockey League? Beat it with this two-teams-from-north-of-the-border nonsense. This is the only game that I chose to look at different than yours. I’m looking at RBNY @ FC Dallas. This game is about the late-season charging Pink Cows against Brek Shea and company. I see this one ending in a draw. Henry will be in form after a surprisingly successful return run with Arsenal, and Brek Shea will want to produce for his club team before he gets shipped off to try to win his country a medal.
DK: I don’t need your damn hassle.
DK: DC vs KC – What can’t you say about KC? They’re going to look to try to match and even top last season’s success – and they are road tested from last year (albeit to a fault). It’s the season opener, and getting the first win on the road will set them apart from the rest of the eastern conference quickly – as that often became the downside for East coast teams (with the new format though, expect this to change). Unless DC can get De Rosario to break out with multiple goals, KC is looking like the victor. 2-1 KC.
NY: Sporting were very impressive once they actually got to play games in a consistent venue. The question is: did KC benefit from playing at their comfy, new home, or did they benefit from the fact that no one in their right mind would enjoy visiting Kansas City? I’m not sold either way. The only problem is that DeRo is really the only bullet in the DC gun, which I expect to be shooting blanks in this first week. SKC ftw.
DK: LA vs RSL – LA is coming off a CCL quarterfinal match on Wednesday, although being the number one team in the league – RSL is well rested and not one to take lightly. LA will have the home crowd and the start of a new season behind them, but their minds may still be on the CCL. I’ll predict RSL to take advantage of fresh legs and win 2-1
NY: Galaxy did, indeed, already play this week, but I see this as a good thing. I think it has put them in a rhythm, which I expect to carry over to this game. It’s the beginning of the season, therefore I don’t see the heavy schedule running the players down too much. It would be a big problem 2 months from now, but the team is fresh at present. I expect LA to win this game, but probably just 1-0 because RSL is no slouch defensively.
DK: Chivas vs Houston – I took an easy pick, sue me. Chivas can easily be described as a bottom feeder team. Houston’s only fault may be under-estimating them at Chivas’ home. Although, one can be a welcome mat for only so long – but I don’t expect things to change that drastically anytime soon. Houston 2-0.
NY: Shockingly, I’m going to agree with DK. This also saddens me. Any thought of Houston taking a team lightly during their season-opening match will be doused with the memory of Danny Califf netting the game’s only goal in 2011’s season-opening match. I, also, think Houston will win 2-0.
Portland vs Union
DK: 1-1 tie. Portland gave Cooper to RBNY in the offseason, and Union lost a lot of franchise stars. This will likely be an even matchup – even though the addition of attack minded players will help the Union, Nowak is obviously going to play a tight defensive strategy to counteract any plausible success. Expect the inevitable confusion between players in the lineup.
NY: I pick this as a loss for the U. Too much change among the personnel responsible for scoring goals. Freddy Adu is being depended on heavily for leadership, but he hasn’t played with this team long, and seemed, at times, to be at odds with teammates during matches. He has had the training time with his team now, but I wonder if they can gel early enough to get a win in a venue with dreaded narrow pitch. Such a field was their undoing in Houston’s Robertson Stadium, where they couldn’t find the space and couldn’t play the aerial game. They were forced to pass vertically and deep, which lead to choppy possession and not enough goals. Unfortunately, I expect more of the same in this one. I ABSOLUTELY hope both myself and DK are wrong and Union win this match 5-0, but I’m very skeptical of the moves Nowak has made during this offseason and need to be shown by the team that they know how to win.
1: Vancouver over Montreal 2-0
2: KC over DC 2-1
3: RSL over LA 2-1
4: Houston over Chivas 2-0
Union : Tie
Pick 1: RBNY / FCD Tie
Pick 2: KC over DC 2-0
Pick 3: LA over RSL 1-0
Pick 4: Houston over Chivas 2-0
It’s been just over 2 weeks since Union’s 2011 season came to an end at Robertson Stadium in Houston, TX. That doesn’t mean that I’m any less bitter about the confusing tactics by Peter Nowak that I believe are most responsible for Houston Dynamo advancing. It’s also the reason that it’s taken so long for me to write my final post of the season. Technically, it IS still the MLS season, as Houston plays LA Galaxy in the Home Depot Center for MLS (RBNY-Will-Never-Win-This) Cup. So, before the season expires officially, I figure it was time that I come to grips with Union’s season.
It started with the nromal pre-season mix of question marks and anxiety, mixed with anticipation, that accompanies each sport’s season. It’s a popular baseball saying that “hope springs eternal” as a play-on-words because their sport begins in the spring, as does soccer in the United States. In similar fashion, it felt like hope was springing eternally for this Union side. We saw their potential coming through the end of year 1, and felt like the additional time spent in training was going to make them a decidedly improved team.
But first place? Not even I saw that coming. Not that I’m the most kool-aid-drinking Union fan out there, but I felt really good about the team. I just didn’t see them taking the league by storm out of the gate, winning in a Tim-Tebow-esque manner (not looking competent, but winning nonetheless). They took advantage of teams making the same mistakes Union had the previous season. It was extremely enjoyable being able to chant things like “We’re top of the table” to opposing fans on two levels. 1) It’s a positive chant that doesn’t involve profanity so it’s great when you can be PG-rated and still make the oppositions’ fans angry, and 2) The utter shock they must have all felt that they were hearing it from fans of a 2nd year franchise that finished 3rd-to-last place in year 1.
They did come back down to earth, though. Le Toux took forever to score the way we knew he could. Nowak constantly confused us with his lineups. The rest of the league got better as the season went on. Sporting KC got to actually play home matches. All of these things contributed to Union dropping in the standings, even to the point that they were outside of playoff position. Those are the times that test the resolve of the fanbase. No one knew how this mostly young team would respond to this period of adversity, what with the defense being exposed and the offense not rounding into the form we’d hoped for. Then the captain broke a finger making a save.
The resurgence was nothing short of amazing. I didn’t give Zac MacMath a lot of credit to start out with because of our checkered history with University of Maryland goalkeepers (yes, I mean Chris Seitz). And then the first half of the New England match happened. The only silver lining I could find for Zac was that he didn’t give up any more goals after he put them in a seemingly no-win situation. Little did I know at the time that that second half would become a momentum-generating event in getting this team back into winning. They scored 3 second-half goals, and kept New England out of the net all while playing a very stretched attacking style that left massive counter attacking opportunities all over. The team grew in offensive confidence, and in confidence in their deputy ‘keeper. The defense seemed to regain their early-season form as a response to not having Faryd Mondragon’s commanding voice behind them. It was a period that righted the ship and steered it towards the postseason.
Zac Mac’s time in goal was short-lived in 2011, but the fire was lit. The Union finished strongly enough to qualify for the #3 spot in the Eastern Conference. That is a remarkable achievement for a 2nd-year franchise built on youth. A lot of the players we’ve leaned on are not used to playing this many games in a season against full-grown men; veteran professionals. They had a couple of chances to gain a better playoff position, but the draw in the home finale against Toronto FC and the loss to RBNY didn’t dampen the euphoria of making the playoffs.
They were matched with Houston Dynamo, a team that Union had not lost to in their brief history (2 wins, 2 draws). So, it SEEMED like the ideal matchup to allow Union to play loose. However, it lead to questionable starting lineups and two 1-goal losses in the 2-leg playoff round, which sent Union home for the season. I may never understand why Nowak put two starting lineups out that he had not used at any point of the regular season. I understand that you can’t use the same guys every single game, but the playoffs are not a time for a 4-4-2 team to put out a 5-3-2 and a 4-2-4. I don’t even want to type any more about it because I want to remember the Union season as being a successful one. They improved from 31 points in 2010, to 48 points in 2011. Sebastien Le Toux proved that he wasn’t a 1-season wonder. Danny Califf showed that he’s a great leader even without the Captain’s armband. And, most importantly, this group has developed a hard-working, physically-defensive style that will hopefully keep them in the playoffs for years to come.
Nick Y., the other .5 of Unholy Union (@UnholyUnionNDY)
During the recaps, of the week, they showed Buddle’s 15th goal earlier this week. Now you’re just bragging.
I have 2 cats now (it’s Dan streaming this, not nick) but they’ve been hiding all night… probably a bad sign.
46 – missed some action but come back to Mapp chasing a ball out the goal line… I can assume the rest beforehand.
46 – announcers giving credit to Moreno… yea, we do love the guy, and he’s around the ball enough (as much as he’s on the ground) but don’t give him that much credit.
47 – Some air battle, clears by LA into our end, matched by clears out, rinse, and repeat…
47 – Donovan gets the ball and crosses into the box…Harvey dive heads it back to Knighton. Crisis averted
48 – Announcers comment on how Donovan is probably tired… i think his hairline is.
49 – OOOOoo.. Ball comes to Mapp, and he drills a half cross, half shot at goal from distance and is just wide and high of the corner. Out for a goal kick.
49 – Le toux touches to mapp who is forced to pass early to Le toux which is intercepted.
50 – Mwanga to mapp who plays into the middle and tries to get into the box “on his favored left foot” but nothing comes of it…
50 – Le Toux signals the out of bonds by LA and it’s given, throw in PU…. results in nothing but Donovan touching it…
51 – Califf with a BEAUTIFUL standing tackle resulting in another attempt at playmaking… ball gets settled…
52 – Williams crosses it in…but FedEx’s it at Rickets, LA ball.
53 – Mapp to Le Toux, who does what he’s good at, makes signals to Mwanga and plays it to him, who plays it to Nukes who tries a long shot but gets deflected by LA D… Cleared and back to us.
54 – Mwanga is 2 goals short of most goals scored by a teenager (shit, he’s younger than me..oh yea..) which the record is held by Altidore.
54 – Why isn’t Le Toux our captain, he’s in on every play, offense or defense, he’s obviously the heart of the team.
55 – I think i saw someone i know in the river end video shot…
55 – Birchell makes a play to Franklin who makes a run..with a diversion by Donovan to draw a defender away. Franklin makes a shot but goes wide.
56 – Donovan caught offsides. He’s making sure that people realize he’s on the field and no longer in Everton.
57 – For those who don’t know, that’s a British soccer team…look it up.
57 – USWNT for soccer is in attendance at PPL…
57 – Mapp makes a cross into Mwanga in the box, but the header is weak and wide.
58 – Buddle looks like one of those statues on Easter Island………
58 – Mwanga settles it to a Mapp break down the side line…. crosses to Le toux in the box but overuns the ball and can’t keep control. LA plays damage control and clears.
59 – Mwanga tries to give Le Toux a break…but is 10 yards to far and wide…goes to our resident pot head… i mean Rickets (GK LA)
60 – Another attack gets broken down by LA. Results in a steal and a counter, which is then broken down again.
60 – Beckham has room..as in he reserved 2 suites, 1 penthouse, and the whole art museum, and runs down the sideline and crosses the Buddle, but buddle had to run backwards a bit to head it, and heads it wide.
61 – Mwanga to Mapp outside the box, holds it, plays it to eventually jacobson, and the play gets too confuddled and is cleared… throw in PU
62 – Williams low crosses and CALIFF almost has it, but gets deflected out, throw in PU.
62 – Result of long throw – nada.
62 – Result of XX – 3 bottles down…i need a 4th…
63 – Le Toux down the side, plays into the middle and tries to get it to a covered Mwanga, which then gets tapped out and Le Toux tries to recover it… gets cleared back.
63 – Williams with a run and an attempt, dribbles it way too far and runs into a defender crossing his path in front of him, no foul on either, ball goes out for a goal kick.
64 – Who has a dime bag at PPL, send it Rickets’ way.
64 – Nukes to Mwanga, once again too far ahead.
64 – An apparent hold on Donovan by Fiscal, Donovan embellished a bit, but Fiscal gets away with it thanks to the play being like…10 seconds longer than the foul…
65 – another cross too high and far.
66 – Fred received stitches… updates of “no shits” to keep coming as more information is obtained by the announcers.
66 – Ball out for goal kick, beer out of fridge.
67 – Cross into buddle, but a little too far.. Knighton makes an early decision to play the ball and picks up the cross before any danger can happen.
68 – A cat came out from hiding…but goes to food… what does this mean?
68 – Le Toux is doing his rendition of the running man, where the ball is..here will be there. Playmaker at his best… but chasing the game doesn’t win you games.
70 – Gonzalez plays out a long through ball for PU throw in deep in LA.
70 – Donovan takes the throw in and gets cleared out by PU, LA ball….
71 – LA throw in deep by PU corner.
72 – Nukes to Jacobson down the side, back to Le Toux who drives a cross to mapp..too hard and too high, throw in LA.
72 – Cat ran away.
73 – stupid cat…
73 – Le Toux cuts it to Mwanga, to an open Jacobson who brings it into the box and plays to Le toux, who back heels it behind him… Rickets saves it, barely… Goal of the week play. PU corner.
74 – Salinas in for… ? no clue.
74 – Corner gets cleared.
74 – Salinas in for Jacobson… i like salinas being in, but Jacobson has been a decent playmaker, or at least in the combination of it..
75 – Mapp gets it to Le Toux in the box who has to fight to pass it to Salinas on the side, who side shoots it, but gets cleared out the side. Damn.
76 – No subs for LA yet…
76 – Kirovski in for Beckham. And a shot of the river end shows booing, and a middle finger.
77 – Some nice footwork and play by buddle who gives a pass to Kirovsky who drills it wide left.
78 – Donovan on a break, flag is down!!! Knighton comes out and plays and stops the shot. Phew.
78 – Stevens (LA) gets a Yellow. ( i missed it)
80 – Donovan has a break, which is again offsides.
80 – Mwanga had a break and broke through the defender picking up speed but was called out of bounds…. right…
82 – Kirovski clears the ball and gives us a corner kick. Mapp…mapp..mapp…
82 – Mapp to Califf, who heads it over the bar.
83 – Torres in for Mapp… boooo…
84 – Buddle tries to make a play against 3 defenders, gets cleared out the side, LA throw in.
84 – They’re stalling for time…. and the crowd boos..
85 – ball to Donovan who could have made a play, but Knighton comes out and breaks it up, dangerously, PU clear.
86 -Salinas cuts in outside the box and crosses… to noone.. if he was out 15 yards it would work.
86 – Jordan in for Juninho… i believe that’s all subs for union, and 2 for LA (?)
87 – Williams used to be a striker…interesting.
88 – Buddle again tring to play against 3 defenders down the sideline and gets manhandled. As he should be.
88 – How does a frenchmen survive around chester? Really?
89 – Oooooooooo… Kirovski with a dangerous challenge against migs when he was playing the ball… Cleat into shin. Draws the yellow on himself. 2 yellows on LA. None on us…things have changed.
90 – 3 minutes added.
90 – Ball into box, Rickets bobbles it and Califf tries to play, but everything accidental and a foul called on Califf… ? right…shrug.
91 – Ball to Salinas on the side who takes a chance but is high and wide on the one touch off the bounce.
92 – Magee in for Stevens, all subs are now used for LA and PU. Note to PU, go for the knees.
93 – Williams to Torres who floats it in but LA steals it… Gets it out to buddle who is trying to make another break through a body, but gets called for a foul for knocking down harvey.
93 – Torress leads to Salinas, who BARELY crosses it in before the goal line, gets played out for a corner………
93 – Corner goes in, headed out by salinas…. Game is called.
Result – LA 1 – PU – 0
27′ Edson Buddle off corner assist from David Beckham.
Starting XI for tonight’s 8:00pm match vs LA (ESPN2/ESPN Deportes): Brad Knighton; Sheanon Williams, Danny Califf, Michael Orozco Fiscal, Jordan Harvey; Justin Mapp, Andrew Jacobson, Stefani Miglioranzi, Fred; Danny Mwanga, Sebastien Le Toux
Well, one of two things came up in the lineup, Mwanga is backing up (or the 2nd striker) Le Toux. The only thing is the Salinas isn’t in the starting line up, most likely he’ll be a 2nd half substitution.
A nice chill in the air tonight as we await kickoff. Hopefully the cold air will have an effect on the LA team… even though Beckham has dealt with worse (he’s from england you know). Note: I will probably be saying bloody a lot, and random other quips of British slang… speaking of which, i quit smoking fags… take that as you will.
The game is sold out, ESPN3 is on, and my 2nd bottle of Dos Equis is opened… Stay thirsty this Thursday, my friends.
-3? – They just had a shot of about 20 teenage girls in the front row eyeing beckham…that’s fairly disheartening. And when i say teenage, I mean like 13.
-3 – Stream keeps stalling… wtf did my girlfriend do to my internet.
-2 – Beckham went to the Phillies game last night, that was pretty cool and decent of him. I guess he’s a nice guy… But who knows, he did marry a Spice girl… guy got talent, but probably not taste.
0- and we’re off
1 – Come on the U! Naturally, ok, i’ll be unbiased from here forth (til goals).
1 – Mapp throw in to Mwanga, who loses it to a clear, another throw in.
2 – Donovan to Buddle, almost had a break but a battle ensues and the ball goes out. PU throw in.
2 – Clear to Le Toux, weak clear past Mwanga back straight to Fred, through balls it to Mwanga, but goes too far ahead of him, keeper cleared.
3 – Junhinho with a hand ball… sp? Le Toux set piece.
3 – Le Toux goes for goal! He bent it like Beckham and goalie makes a nice save to a corner.
4 – Mapp corners it right to Migs foot in the middle of the crowd, Mig wasn’t ready, gets cleared and position battle ensues.
4 – Buddle almost with a break, but is offside, along with a slight knock down foul.
4 – Note- beckham got booed… fame only goes so far in this town of ours.
5 – Damn, these defenders are clearing the ball INTO union players at point blank range… This is the LA Riot Squad… trying to snipe us out.
6 – Donovan is offsides… I would be upset, but this aint a US game… I love his breaks, but I’m afraid tonight.
7 – Rickets drop kicks it from box to box, Knighton picks it up and rolls it to a defender.
7 – Announcers are saying Gonzalez seems nervous… shrug
8 – LA has some brilliant foot play, but seem a little chaotic with passing.
9 – Jacobson with another throughball to mwanga that goes too far and Mwanga is beat by a defender… we almost have a pattern down. Throw in PU.
9 – Williams long throw, gets headed out poorly for a corner.
10 – Mapp corner gets weirdly hit into goal, out for a throw in PU.
10 – Long throw in but goes into keepers hands.
11 – An attack cross that gets deflected into Knighton’s hands.
12 – Ball goes too far for Le Toux, who contacts the goalies shins with a karate kick…. hurts Rickets.
12 – THERE WILL BE BLOOD! Fred has a gash… Need to wait for a replay, seems like head to head. Seems like Juninho is the culprit…
OUCH! Right elbow as Juninho won the head battle, because of that… Gash over Fred’s left eye… Off the field for now.
13 – Le Toux tries to play man of the match and loses the ball mid LA field.
14 – Fred’s moving to the lockerroom… seems like he’s done for the day…. And sounds like Nakazawa will be the sub.
14 – While writing all that, nothing has happened… except for Fred leaving. Now there’s a sub… Fred is not happy though.
15 – Nakazawi. We have 2 great set kickers now, and Le Toux (good at set piece, not at corners)
15 – Le Toux almost played his way through the defenders but again loses the build up of the play.
16 – Jacobson with some great footwork and draws a foul about 30 yards out. Nakazawa free kick.
16 – Low kick, gets cleared back to Union defenders, played back to Knighton.
17 – At this point I’m afraid LA is just trying to tire us out…
17 – Le Toux to Mwanga, who almost loses it, gets the ball back but then again, LA clears it against Mwanga and gets a throw in.
18 – Fiscal to Harvey, to Mig, to Mapp, to Califf, to Harvey….
18 – Jacobson to Le Toux, Le Toux to Mwanga in the BOX POINT BLANK!!!….high and wide? Deflected off LA. Throw in.
20 – Lot of possession play going on, some build ups resorting to nothing much.
20 – Ball finally gets into the Union box as a threat and settles in the middle but is quickly cleared before Beckham or Donovan or Buddle can get near the ball.
21 – I do believe i heard clear as day an F bomb from a player.
21 – Williams down the sideline and plays a low cross that gets stopped dead. Seriously, what is with our team and low crosses…use your heads!
22 – Jacobson sends it into threat area again, too far and too soon as is the norm and Rickets clears the ball easy.
23 – Rickets came out FAR outside the box to clear the ball out of the sideline.. We can’t capitalize on the time for him to get back to goal, we play possession set up.
23 – Nakazawa plays the ball to Migs, but goes out too far ahead. Nice break down the sideline too, but LA throw in.
24 – I’m gonna call nakazawa “Nukes” from now on for a short name… quicker to type.
24 – Nukes to mapp, to nukes, to williams, who draws the foul…barely? Set piece!
25 – Mapp mapp mapp mapp mapp… free kick. Lines up with Nukes… who takes it but gets cleared by LA. Goes straight back to williams who crosses it too far ahead… Ends up PU throw in.
26 – Nothing…
26 – Some more throw ins for LA in our half of the pitch.
27 – Birchell gets a break down the line and low crosses it in front of goal, but gets cleared out for a corner..Beckham to take.
27 – Buddle…off Beckham… goal… naturally… His 16th… congrats (unenthusiastic “yaaaaaay”) Happened so fast and unenthusiastic from the crowd it’s like it didn’t happen… And Knighton didn’t move… really like it didn’t happen. Did anyone move? At all? On either side?
28 – Offsides called on Union break..on mwanga. Damn.
28 – That unbiasedness i talked about…
29 – Califf is making friends with Buddle apparently… not in the nice way.
30 – Birchell crosses wildly to noone and crosses the field out of bounds.
31 – Another bloody LA throw in.
31 – Now Williams is making friends with Buddle. The ref mediates. Makes them share toys.
31 – cross deflected out for an LA corner… Beckham, again, to take. And the boos rain down.
32 – Cleared out not far enough, tapped back in but cleared to midfield… and now it’s keep the ball in the air time. Beckham settles it near the corner and weirdly crosses it into the box, gets cleared out (thank god).
33 – Union play out from the momentum, and LA is playing rough with us…2 blatant fouls, 1 off the ball, and the other a possible challenge… neither are called?
33 – Buddle is offsides, which gives a nice stop to the momentum and anxiety that built up in the past 2 minutes.
34 – Rickets is Jamaican… Eh Mon!
35 – Really, the most exciting thing about this game is that you can hear the SOB’s clear as day on ESPN broadcast.
36 – Union ball played in behind the LA D… to noone.. as the announcers are commenting on how either Mwanga or Le Toux need to stay up top and be patient. Don’t be the playmakers… be the day makers.
36 – Break that Mwanga FINALLY gets to, but is still neck and neck with an LA defender in the box.. Gonzalez clears out for a corner.
37 – 3rd corner… mapp..mapp.. Cleared out.
37 – From playing Fifa games, i can see about 10 different breaks during this play that the Union could utilize and break through the LA defense while passing.. that’s sad.
38 – Nukes called for a foul (? ) LA ball.
38 – I dont know what just happened……. but LA should have had a goal, and there was an argue for hand ball. Nice save by Knighton, and nice clear too (about 3 rebounds)…. Birchell is dangerous with low crosses… I will say it now, scary-good.
40 – Unioin should only give and go pass, when someone is actually “going”.
40 – Everyone gets a touch on the Philadelphia Union… now enough of that..goal time…
43 – I’ve seen Donovan twice in close up, and only heard his name twice… not much of an impact player this game…
44 – Migs breaks away and gets the ball out for Le Toux to chase…. but there’s an offsides flag. time to regroup.
44 – Stevens gets the ball into the box, but LA mishandles and Knightong scoops it up.
45 – Third time hearing Donovan, knocks down Fiscal and gets a foul and verbal warning.
45 – 1 minute added… i hate MLS…
45 + – and nothing happens… whistle is blown.
Buddle, Birchell, and Beckham…. alliteration is key. Their the players for the first half of the game. Mwanga, Le Toux, Mapp, and Migs (close…) for our side, but really not as effective. I’m impressed at our ball control and attempts against the Galaxy, but as is the norm from earlier in the season saddened at the lack of effeciency we have. Let’s see how the 2nd half comes, especially since we wasted an early sub.