15 June 2007

Thursday Night Soccer Thoughts

For a 1-0 game, Thursday Night Soccer was entertaining enough. ESPN's coverage was decent. The digressions for the most part did not interrupt the run of play, except for the obligatory 30 at 30 update during a corner kick and the interview with Don Garber, which was consequential enough that it warranted being shown either at half time or pregame, not during the run of play. The Eddie Pope tributes were decent, though perhaps a little thin given what he gave to this league. Stone, Wynalda, and Smyth were solid and perhaps overly subdued in the booth, but work well together. I say this knowing that Stone gets over excited anytime a player uses his back heel, he still calls a decent game. Wynalda's halftime segment could benefit from perhaps an additional minute, as it never goes beyond "Messi, handball, I don't like it. Don't do that. Yellow card." But hey, at least he didn't red card NASA for the computers failing on the international space station.

As for the game, I will say this. Mehdi Ballouchy should pay half of Freddy Adu's salary. Quite simply, Mehdi was invisible for most of this game, had a number of poor decisions and touches, but since everyone was quick to get their opinions out on Freddy, no one noticed how awful Ballouchy was for most of the game. RSL's back line isn't much better. I admire Kreis for putting out the line-up he did, and the team played well against Dallas. I mean, that defense is going to allow Rimando to get peppered even with six in the back, so why not try and get some goals since Rimando's reactions might be good enough in any given game to keep you in it. Kreis is probably the first coach who has learned how to implement tactical changes with RSL, as they came out much better in the second half than the first. They truly are snakebitten somehow, and things seem worse than they probably are. Kreis may have been ejected, but official Ricardo Salazar seemed to mentally check out of Rice-Eccles Stadium about ten minutes earlier, so perhaps that was the only way Kreis could find a way to talk to him.

Dallas did not look particularly good missing Cooper and Ruiz. Abe Thompson is a nice enough guy and a Maryland product, but simply brought nothing to the table as the loan striker. Toja is a great defensive midfielder, but as a playmaker seemed average at best. That they got three points at the death seems fortunate for that team. Especially considering that if Esky doesn't find Dario Sala's shin, I think RSL could easily have claimed their first win of the season.

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At 15 June, 2007 12:37, Blogger Bob said...

Who the heck was that RSL defender that Oduro beat? I feel bad for Rimando, because he played virtually perfect.

Otherwise, a VERY boring game - I can't believe I actually watched it all. The most exciting part was the guy hitting golf balls at halftime.

Where can I watch DCU tomorrow? BESIDES Summers!!

At 15 June, 2007 12:44, Blogger The Bird said...

Estadio RFK

At 15 June, 2007 12:50, Blogger Bob said...

That's embarrassing - I thought they were away this weekend.

At 15 June, 2007 13:32, Blogger J Fitty said...

Abe Thompson...also a WT Woodson product, along with Clarence Goodson. They won a state title there together. Go CAVS!

At 15 June, 2007 15:18, Anonymous Bill Urban said...


Is DCent permissible?

Toja is one of those rare, edge-of-your-seat players; every time he comes into possession, I pay closer attention because he's likely to try something totally unexpected.

A total player, good in the air, tackles extremely well, very athletic, skill to burn with an impressive bag of tricks, and more of a first caress rather than touch.

Absolutely the best signing for any MLS club this season...

At 15 June, 2007 15:32, Blogger D said...

Bill: Always permissible, and always encouraged. In previous games up until this point, I would have agreed with you. Perhaps it was RES, but for the first time I felt utterly underwhelmed by his performance.

You may well be right in the long run. I just felt like last night there wasn't much there, there.

At 15 June, 2007 16:41, Blogger Bob said...

If I could get you guys to sit on Toja's chest while I shave his head, THEN we can talk about whether he's good or not.

That Ricchetti guy also. WTF is going on at FCD? They obviously have the best team weight room in the league as well as the best team hair salon in the league.


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