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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Sounders 2:0 Galaxy

First of all, let me just say, HOLY CRAP WHAT A GOAL.
There aren't a lot of better ways to get off the snide than that. It's a goal that's going to be seen around the world through the weekend, perhaps even up for a spot in ESPN's "Play of the Year" awards (much like Hassli's shot last year, not that I give two blanks about what ESPN likes).
  • We only won 2-0, but I am struggling to remember a match in which the Sounders felt so flipping dominant. Seattle supposedly lost the possession battle 48%-52%, but I heard that it was more like 60%-40% at half. 
  • I'm unable and unwilling to name a man of the match in this one. Everyone had their best games of the season, from a back line that seemed impenetrable to a free-flowing midfield and a consistently dangerous forward attack. Everyone had a signature moment. Everyone touched the match in a big way. And it was brilliantly entertaining. If this were the Seahawks, they'd have to cut the ball up into 11 equally sized pieces. Not sure who on the team is the best mathematician, but I suspect it's Levesque. Something about that beard suggests there's a professor underneath. But it's times like this that you miss the Harvard grad Mike Fucito. 
  • LA's lineup today was the flipside of Arena's strategy to spend the entire team's salary cap on frontline starters, leaving little for the Galaxy's second line. The only major injury they sustained last year in their MLS cup run was to Donovan Ricketts, and it was the one position they had depth at. This year, they've already sustained a major injury in Omar Gonzalez, and tonight the drop between Buddle, Keane, Beckham, Magee, and Saunders to their backups was great. Healthy, they were the best team in the league. Not healthy, they're trying to start rookies at key positions and fall apart in the process. 
  • On the other hand, Seattle has used a more rounded strategy to roster creation, making sure they have great depth (which has been a hallmark of the rave green in their short MLS existence). It has paid off so far, with only Alonso playing every MLS minute so far and even Michael "Cerberus" Gspurning having to leave today with what sounds like a tight hip. Bryan Meredith stepped in for Gspurning unexpectedly at halftime, and while the back line kept him clean, the second year player looked confident and comfortable, playing balls with authority. With the way Seattle's back line has played so far in 2012, I'd feel relatively comfortable with our backup keeper in goal, and that's not something I'm sure I could have said in past years. 
  • Landon Donovan was by far the highest-paid player on the field tonight, but you wouldn't know it by watching him. He created perhaps a single legitimate chance in goal, didn't make good possession decisions, and was stymied by the Honey Badger all day. Donovan wasn't Donovan this week. I think even Donovan would tell you that Donovan didn't have his A-game. He'd probably say it just like that too, in first person and everything. "Donovan doesn't think Donovan had a good game today. Donovan will plan on being better with his touches in the next game, try to involve Donovan's teammates more." He probably doesn't talk in first person, but I'm just asking questions here. 
  • Alonso took a shot to a sensitive area in the first half. As a friend so aptly said later, clearly "The Honey Badger DOES care". Wonder what a conversation between Alonso and Adrian Beltre would sound like these days. "So, contused testicle huh? I know a thing or two about that". 
  • Here's me, or anyone else, after taking the shot that the Honey Badger took:

  • The postgame team on the radio threw out a stat near the end of their show tonight. It was a stat that I found interesting. The Sounders have lost once in the last 19 matches Brad Evans has started. It's an obscure stat, and one that is hard to draw much meaning from (considering the Sounders don't lose many games in the first place) but it's definitely interesting. I've been unnecessarily harsh on Evans in the past, especially before I really started "seeing" the game. If you're reading, Brad, consider this something of an apology. Keep up the good work.
  • I also owe an apology to Leonardo Gonzalez. Coming into the year, I was panicking at the thought of Gonzo as our starting Left back, and I felt legitimized in that thought after the Santos disaster. Since then, he has started the majority of Sounders matches and been a key piece of the best defense in MLS. You still make me darn nervous sometimes, but I'm going to attempt to be man enough to admit I was wrong. 
  • I just found out Penny Arcade Expo 3-day passes sold out in a matter of hours.

This has little to do with soccer, but it's upsetting nonetheless. After all, if I hadn't played Fifa 12 at last year's show, I probably never would have bought the game.

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