Okay, first thought out of the gate. Screw you all for making me take a night, I’m suppose to write a paper to try and be the one guy with common sense. Take the idea of “American clubs need to start beating Mexico team, now!” mantra and through it out the window. Don’t lob it out the window, I want you to hurl that mother as hard you can. And for good measure go ahead and take a whiz on it too. Unzip and golden flow that baby like you were R.Kelly.
The Sounders did–and let me put it in bold, lest someone misconstrue my thoughts later–get a very good result tonight.
Was it what we wanted, a draw? Of course not. Don’t be stupid. Does that mean the result that they achieved wasn’t spectacular? Again, of course not.
Second thought: right now as we speak(errr… type?) I’m watching the Houston Astros, beat the piss out of Brandon Maurer. Maurer is a great young arm and he just doesn’t have his stuff tonight. It’s happened before to a good many young hurlers. Their curve isn’t breaking the way they want, or they aren’t hitting their locations, maybe they are a little excited and their mechanics aren’t flowing the way the know them too. It could be a thousand different things. Whatever.
Tonight, the Sounders were the embodiment of Brandon Maurer and despite that, despite not having their first squad at their disposal or even their best performance from those out on the pitch, they managed to earn a draw.
Really, had the defense not given up on the Quintero free-kick–when Herculez “I’m going to rape the city of Seattle” Gomez followed it up and headed the ball past Gspurning–we could be talking about a Sounders victory… but I digress. This is about what may have been and it’s not about what they didn’t do. It’s about what happen and it’s about what they did.
Djimi Traore was, once again, marvellous in rave green.
Zach Scott was, again, surprising in moments–especially playing with a yellow through 70 minutes. His physical play really seemed to frustrate Peralta. Which I enjoyed.
DeAndre Yedlin is simply the surprise of the season. We knew he was going to be a lot of fun to watch but I don’t think anyone thought he’d be nearly this productive or valuable at this point in the season.
Shalrie Joseph continues to impress me. His one-two combo with Ozzie Alonso is magnificent and a real treat. Though, I was a bit disappointed about his ability to supplement the attack inside the final third. He helped keep things flowing, which is good, and he kept possession but he didn’t do much for the attack outside of that.
I keep pressing on how good the back line because I feel that as long as they can limit goals and scoring opportunities, regardless of the problems up top, the Sounders are going to have a lot of chances to pick up ground on previous lost points and maybe still an extra one or two.
The goals will come. Having guys like Zakuani, Eddie Johnson, Obafemi Martins and Mario Martinez is going to create some goals for your club. The key is getting them out on the pitch and getting them comfortable with those that are going to be helping to create those opportunities.
Tonight was big because they held up against an incredibly talent club on the road. One, that they won’t face again this year.They just went up against a vastly superior team. One with more resources, better training facilities and, partially because of the whole resources things, a deeper club all the way around. One that can absorb the impact of losing or two starts.
Unfortunately the Sounders aren’t so lucky.They have restraints and they limitations that are created by this league. That doesn’t preclude them from beating a team in Mexico and it doesn’t limit them from being the better squad. But it does put them at a disadvantage and that showed in this two-leg series.
As was said many different places, to include Fox Soccer Channel half time show, the Galaxy were the better squad last week and yet lost due to a few lapses at the end. The better team doesn’t always win and we see that week in and week out in MLS.
MLS clubs can and will beat Liga MX clubs. People that are still using a yardstick are just obsessed at this moment with trying to prove to the rest of the world that our league is valid. You know what? Screw ‘em. Let them underrated our league and the players that we develop. It’s clear that in the past five years that you can no longer sit your regulars during the week, because we’ll beat you. Don’t believe me, call Tigres. I think they can speak to this point.
There comes a certain point where it’s not about the nation and where the soccer program as a whole is at and just admit that a club, with the current issue of finding the net, continued to have that issues against one of the better teams in North America. The Sounders had plenty of chances tonight and they just didn’t get them to go. It’s not the end of the world that an MLS Club lost tonight, it just sucks that it was the Sounders.
This isn’t about learning a lesson or about having some better experience for the next time we’re here or someone else is here. This is about just coming up short in a do or die game and they lost out.
I want like everyone else for a US club to finally with the Champions League. That would be an awesome step forward for the league in general. But tonight was about trying to reclaim pride and the Sounders did that. Sure, again, it was less than the result that we desired but what they did was fight for 90 minutes without their best stuff, and some how, managed to pull a draw out of this thing.
Anyone that tries to tell you that’s not good is an idiot or just being short sited. This is a step forward for a club that has had continually problems with injuries and getting the right people on the field. Take this bow out of the Champions League with some grace Sounder fans. Don’t be pretentious little Madonnas. Thank your club for a hearty performance and a gutsy attempt to win this thing late in the game on the road and do something no one else in the short history of the tournament has done. Come from losing the first leg to winning the second.
Tonight was special, just not in the way we wanted and certainly not in the way we think.