The trouble with what we were doing with this blog and actually going to the games is that we can’t stream the game in our fashion similar to the espn live commentaries (if you are at a work computer while any high profile match is going on, you know what i am talking about). We kind of miss it, and that was usually how we would recap our games without needing post game commentary. So 4 days after the cow slaughter, and here we are.
It’s lonely at the top… I shouldn’t say that just yet for fear of jynxing. We are number 1 in the East after 4 games – 9 points out of 4 games in our second year is more than we could have asked for (realistically), especially with only 1 GA and a 2 GD. Statistically, we are a powerhouse… until you look at possession time and successful passing rate, shots on goal… you get the idea.
As someone from the Pink Cows (i like mine medium rare mind you) said in a post game interview, it is difficult to score against a team that moves everyone back defensively. It must be said, our defense bent like no other on Saturday, and were doing shockingly well with not letting the bulls get decent chances (minus the two off the crossbar, but who’s paying attention to that). The fact that, sans the cross bar shots, we practically muted a team with the talent of an up-and-comer USMNT of Agudelo, Marquez, the weather tested (and hand battered) experience of Henry, and the steal of DeRosario should say SOMETHING about this team… But all I hear are complaints about how a team could control the entire game (I don’t know what game they were watching, but I was there and it looked as if it was a constant midfield battle) and not just get no result but lose. How about you stop downing on the young team and start realizing – if LA struggled to get a goal (minus one mental slip up) and Houston and Vancouver both had control of the game and couldn’t get a result from it, look at the team they can’t get a result from. Start taking notes on us instead of the other team.
But a win is a win – we just have to distribute more tissues to the away supporters. Our defense looked superb again with Harvey and Califf making header clears like no other. Keon Daniel was a pleasant suprise on the field as a starter, and his touch later in the game showed why he is worth starting (seriously, he schooled Solli on two occasions) – and I agree with the choice of benching Naka, even though he was showing plenty of signs of improvement, but for this game you want skill and not hope for someone who’s still in the making (suprisingly enough it looked like Keon is a veteran). I would like Keon to start again against Seattle.
Carroll likely made the best game decision of his life by subbing himself out of the game in the 7th minute for a hammy. He said it hurt like hell, hopefully it will heal up in time for Saturday, but fear not, we have Amobi to take his place… or Migs’ place since he was just spotlighted last week in one of those Union PR articles (as every Union feel good article so far has shown signs of someone being benched or being cut from the team… doubt me? Ask Jacobson and just recently Naka). Okugo must have played well… Considering I am saying must have because I don’t remember noticing him too much, which for a defensive midfielder that usually means you are doing something right. Migs on the other hand, while defensively skillfull, still has no touch for the ball or sight for any of his passes. Don’t be suprised if you don’t see him starting in the next couple of weeks.
Mapp, was basic Mapp. Being out of the game for a couple weeks due to injury, this was his first game back. To be honest, he seemed completely lost to me. First he didn’t give Sheanon the ball to throw in when he was within 20 yards of goal… which by now everyone SHOULD know that is the equivalent of a free kick outside the box – queue image of Sheanon reaching out for the ball looking at him going “WTF mate” when he weak tossed it to the teammate behind him. All else, Mapp looked lost, created chances off of his favored foot, and used hardly any of his other foot. I enjoyed Mapp last year, but this year he’s starting to become fairly stale in an already stale midfield.
Le Toux is showing signs of promise as his workrate is like no other… the only problem is his touch is off, and he is hesitating. He often passed the ball to a defender after hesitating instead of making the quick through ball to the advancing attacker to his side. He almost had an accidental goal from a cross to Keon in the 2nd half that the Pink cows imbecile of a keeper blocked and almost put in his own net (i say imbecile, not just cause he’s on NJPC but for his dive to try to get le toux carded late in the game). Ruiz, as I’m sure he knows he doesn’t have the speed anymore, is trying to prove to defenses (and maybe us) that he is still a threat by making those 2 remarkable long shots at goal in the 1st half – 1 clearing the post by a foot (got us on our feet I must say) and another deadly strike to the bottom corner of the net that if the keeper wasn’t ready, was a sure goal. I’m starting to like Ruiz, and once he’s able to find some open space and get into the box and click with the rest of the team, he’s going to be a lethal weapon.
Mwanga and Torres – my favorite 63 minute time frame subs. Mwanga tallied the assist, and Torres (who i was still cheering him coming on the field during the time) put it in the net. By far the most favorite players next to Le Toux on this team, and rightfully so. I’m glad Torres finally got his dues.
A better looking game than the previous 3, and an even better result (or bitter if you’re from NJ..i mean NY). Now we look onto the team that is the proverbial soup bowl of the USA.
Date- April 16th
Where – PPL Park
Time – 4 pm (just before the Flyers hockey game, not early enough)
TV – who knows due to flyers
Weather – Seattle-like
This is the battle of the fake coaches (@fakesigi vs @fakepeternowak).
Now, if it wasn’t for their record right now, WTL 1-2-2, I would say this would be a test similar to that of LA… but something is definitely off with this team so I would hope the result would be a win with at least 2 goals on our end (we’re due for that). Their first WIN was this past weekend against Chicago, which if you look at it they always beat them.
Montero is still uncertain for the Sounders as of this writing due to his wrist injury, but he was cleared for training. In my opinion, Keller is overrated, but that’s just my opinion. For this season, I haven’t been able to catch a match with Seattle, but they are known to be a dangerous team, and the fact that Montero is (should be) sidelined should help us. I think if Nowak keeps doing what he’s doing with a slight offensive tweak down one of the sides, and Mondragon keeps our D secure, we should have no problem with this game. I predict another midfield battle (this seems to be a running theme) and it will definitely be a closer game than usual.
But I have been proven wrong before.
So bring your poncho on Saturday.
PS – Union Dues got a new writer known as Poor Spoertsman. I think it’s worth a look.