Sunday, June 26, 2011

MLS - Fire versus Red Bulls

Wow, in HD one can really see the sun damage on John Harkes's face. Need more make-up, John.

I love Toyota Park by the way. Great stadium. Nice views everywhere, and the brickwork is sweet.

Bretos, A. Lalas and Twellman discussing the USA loss. Twellman has an excellent point about the youth of the USA team not matching Mexico's talent with young players. Duh. I could have said that back in 2005, when Mexico won the U17 World Cup.

1 - Dane Richards on an early run. Fire snuff it out.

3 - What a joke. Commentators talking about how the Fire miss Brian McBride. McBride was fine, but who the Fire really miss is Cuauhtemoc Blanco. Blanco made the team go.

5 - I nominate Eric Wynalda for the Fire coaching vacancy, by the way.

6 - Does anyone else hate Henry's beard as much as I do? I hate it like I hated Ronaldo's horrible 2002 haircut. Ugh.

7 - Richards helps the Bulls get a corner. It's taken well, but no one from NY is able to connect.

12 - Commentators snark slightly on Charlie Davies' goal total. Also, notice how all the studio hosts believe Bradley is staying in charge of the USA team. .

14 Cuesta gets a yellow for tackle on Joel Lindpere. DeRosario takes a crappy freekick.

15 - Oduro gets in deep, Keel cuts off his cross.

17 - Barouch misses from the top of the box for the Fire. Too high.

19 Fire getting more of the ball than New York, who don't look like the top team in the East at present. I know, technically, the Union are tops in the East, too.

21 - Johnson with a nice save on Richards. Gives up the corner, but the Fire eventually clear.

23 - Can anyone in the booth give Harkes a crippling blow to his voicebox? Twellman or Lalas would have better insight. Harkes is the master of the painfully obvious. Plus, he's not funny. At all.

24 - FAIL - FAIL! The All-Spanish commentary on the Gold Cup trophy ceremony is a fallacy. There was English spoken. Howard was wrong, just as wrong as he was four times in the USA v Mexico game. The MLS announcers should make the truth clear. Be honest, Harkes. I know it's hard.

26 - Johnson with another nice save, this one low.

27 - Fire on the counter, but Oduro blows it with a lame pass and promptly chastises himself like a four-year old, pounding his fists on the grass of the field.

30 - Blah, blah, the announcers have forgotten about the game going on in front of them and are wondering on -air if John Rooney will room with his brother. Please.

31 - Those concerned about the match, I'm here for you. Red Bulls passing the ball aimlessly in their half of the field.

32 - Barouch with a header to the corner - missed it, but not by much. Kid's got talent.

34 - Richards with a great wing run and a wasted cross right to Johnson. If Richards could ever learn to cross, he'd be a beast. He'd be in Europe, not MLS. But right now, every cross is a roll of the die. So he's in MLS.

37 - Stone doesn't want to claim credit for coining "Bouna-time"? Can't blame him.

38 - Cuesta, already on a yellow, is tempting fate by getting another foul.

39 - Now the announcers are telling the story of Mike Magee playing the majority of the Galaxy match as a goalkeeper. Highlights or it didn't happen.

40 - GOAL! Cuesta with a horrible clearance - right into Lindpere, who catches up to the ball and hits a nice angle to the corner. Not only does Cuesta gift Lindpere the ball, but in shock, he doesn't close down in time, allowing the shot. 1-0 Red Bulls.

42 - Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good, but Lindpere is also persistent and opportunistic. Good qualities in MLS, where shaky moments happen.

45 - Fire pout their way to halftime. You can always tell a young team - they act like more possession and chances should count for something in soccer. It's all about the finishing and the scoreboard, boys.

Halftime - Lalas thinks Bob's USA coaching is fine. Twellman finds more criticism with the move for Bornstein after Cherundolo's injury. Then they segue, really awkwardly, to the Women's World Cup.

Considering he let four goals in last night - the AllState commercials with Tim Howard are really annoying. I want to yell at the screen, "Forget about being cool! Watch for Barrera! You should have had that shot!"

Hm, Hope Solo goes from being ostracized in 2007 to being the main feature in the ESPN halftime report. Meanwhile, where is former USA women's coach Greg Ryan?

46 - Announcers discuss whether Henry is disinterested in this match. It's the beard, I think. It makes him look like he's given up on life and caring about anything.

49 -
Bogus call. Nyarko wasn't faking, he just stepped on the NY player's leg. Of course he went down. He lost his footing.

53 - The Fire go close with a freekick.

55 - De Rosario tries to defy the law of physics and put a shot on goal from an impossible angle.

57 - GOAL! Pappa is the Pappa! Marco with an outside shot beats Coundoul. Coundoul misjudged the pace of the ball and didn't so much punch as barely nudged the ball, and it continued on its merry path to the back of the net. 1-1 All square.

58 - Bouna Time! for a bad flub, that is.

60 - Hi to all the folks who got here because Dodger writer Dylan Hernandez got bored at the airport and mentioned my blog on his Twitter. How 'bout them Dodgers this year? Who hates McCourt like I hate Henry's beard?

64 - Magee needs to make a triumphant return to the Red Bulls as their new goalkeeper.

66 - Pappa is injured. This is not good for the Fire.

68 - Pappa's fine now. Just overshot a cross.

69 - Pappa test Coundoul with a shot, but Bouna has this one. The Red Bulls look tired. This game is ripe for the Fire.

70 - Corben Bone is on for Baggio Husidic. Mendes, a Red Bull lifer, goes to ground trying to make something happen in the box. Nothing doing.

72 - Keel is clearly trying to make Henry feel better about that horrible beard by sporting really bad hair and an atrocious headband.

75 - Ballouchy, Henry and Lindpere work together to earn a corner and Keel gets a free header. The bad hair probably contributed to his bad miss.

77 - The Fire supporters still sounding energetic. If the players look tired - well, have you ever played in Chicago in the summer? Brutal. Life-sapping humidity.

78 - Teemu Tainio with a yellow card foul on Pappa.

80 - Hans Backe has fallen asleep. Or at least, that's the best reason I can come up with for New York not having a single sub yet.

81 - Nice save by Coundoul. Now he's down on the ground though. He didn't land well from that dive.

83 - Meanwhile, Chicago has just made its third sub. Pappa comes out, probably because he played Gold Cup and is still fatigued.

85 - Bouna Time - aka craziness - in the box as he clears the ball off a Fire player, but it doesn't result in a goal.

87 - Fire pressing late for the win, but one can't tell as the announcers gab about random Gold Cup and points in the table.

88 - Chaves is a mini-Pappa, but nowhere near as effective. You need to believe, Diego!

90+ Fire closing in as time runs down.

Mike Jones makes his MLS debut for New York. Oduro tries to be the hero, ignores Chaves and goes over the bar.

Fulltime - It's a draw. Tired match from both sides. Not MLS at its best by far. Plus, we never got Magee in goal highlights. I feel cheated.

1 comment:

john said...

I agree with your criticims on the TV commentating generally speaking (not watching/listening to this one). It seems like the US soccer broadcasters have made the decision to try to spice up the commentating with a lot of sidebar chatter, kind of like what baseball does. It works in baseball because there are so many dead times in the game. Totally wrong in soccer. The constant intense action is what is so great, and it's nuances that the average viewer might not see should be enhanced by the commentating, not sidebar awayed from.

Harkes strikes me as a being full of himself. In his defense though, all US commentaters have been dull non-offensive types. It must be instructed into them by the producers, to be as non-offensive as can be, and try to put a positive spin on everything. To what end, who knows.

Alot of people, me included, watch the spanish channel versions when given the choice over espn/abc/fox american broadcasts, eventhough I don't understand everything they say. Still better, and the goal calls are great.