Ruminations going into this week
Despite how busy we've been too write, it would really be poor form to not comment on the week that we just finished, and the final week of the regular season. Watching the team come from a goal down to score twice in the second half, reminded me of what kind of football we expect them to play, and how little of it we saw this season. That sounded a bit harsh. I think what I'm trying to say, is that we saw a glimpse of the team we expected to have the whole season - a skilled and patient attack, grit and determination, and solid, if not spectacular, defense.
I was ecstatic after they scored each goal, and more so when the camera panned to show Ben Olsen celebrating. This team certainly dug themselves a hole, and at least they're still fighting to get out of it. Honestly, who would have expected Francis Doe to pull us back from the brink with his first 2 goals of the season?
Some thoughts abou the players follows. Emilio had good chances to score, but still looks a little troubled by his injury. Quaranta, looks to me like he's feeling the need to do a lot on his own when the other "regular" starters aren't there. He's ambitious with his passes and attempts on goal, when he pulls it off its really something and credit him with the assist on the 2nd goal. More often than not, he shanks a shot or gives the ball away. Francis Doe may have earned himself more time on the roster with those two goals, enough to give him more time to develop. The injection of Moreno in the second half, and the immediate dividends it paid off, shows he's still an impact player and a vital part of the team's offense. However, we have to seriously start thinking of who's lining up to fill his shoes when he can't go a full 90 and/or decides to retire.
Looking ahead, Behind the Badge does the playoff calculus for us, because math is hard, let's go shopping. The scheduling gods have been for once, kind. The team will go into the Columbus game on Sunday knowing what result they need - or if its a meaningless game.
New York plays Chicago on Thursday, and with homefield advantage on the line, and the need to recapture some winning mojo, I don't expect Chicago to take this game lightly. Can New York count on more fluky goals to help them out? I hope not, although its a funny game.
On Saturday, Kansas City travels to New England to take on a Revolution team that is not following their usual playoff script. Like Chicago, I think NE will want to go into the playoffs with a victory in their final game, and they're jockeying with the Fire for home field advantage. If there is any justice, the Revolution should be able to beat a team who counts amongst its leading scorers Jimmy Conrad.
That leaves us United taking on Columbus to cap the weekend on Sunday. If both KC and NY win, start the drinking early, and tune in to see what should be Tom Soehns last game as head coach. If either team ties or loses, we're still in the hunt for that final wildcard spot.
To sum it up, we want both Chicago and New England to win this week. And not just win, but set new franchise records for margin of victory, in case it comes down to a tie breaker. Its gonna be a long week for United fans.
Labels: 2008 Season