Sunday, August 7, 2011

United 3, Toronto 3

As predicted, a good time was had, as was predictable, United gave up a one goal lead twice at home, and fuck that.

First, read this guy and this guy. As for Hamid's red card, upon seeing the replay, I don't think it was a goal-denying foul, but it was remarkably stupid and reckless; perhaps it should have been a yellow, I have no problem with the red. Who's going to be Cronin's back-up in goal next week? As for St Benny's red, sure it was justified and well-earned. I'm sure he'll be rewarded by MLS with a fine and a scolding while the referee, who was no better or worse than any other shitty MLS referee, will be rewarded with another assignment.

Olsen: “I don’t have to explain it. You guys know exactly what happened. Everybody knows what happened. You’ll see [the goal] and you’ll know exactly what happened. I don’t want to talk about the referees because I don’t want them to be the story.”

De Guzman: “Any moment you can get like that, you take advantage of it. Many of the best teams in the world -- how should I put it? -- cheat when they have the chance to do something. It was a good opportunity for myself to find open space.

But fuck that: this team's defensive inadequacies, especially at home, especially with a lead, are maddening: as Fullback notes, if Pontius was half as good on defense as he is on offense he'd be in the USMNT player pool, and on the other flank Najar (usually) and Quaranta (last night) are hardly better. Left back is a gaping hole named Woolard. In central defense, Jakovic is good for at least one spectacular brain fart a game, and once Hamid was carded there was zero communication between Cronin, Jakovic, and McDonald. And I must beat this drum again: thank you, Clyde Simms, for your years of service, your transmission is blown, you can't get out of first gear. And while it's fair to assign primary blame for all three Toronto goals to Cronin (who didn't give up a fourth that went through his hands only because he was so ridiculously off his line and out of position that he was able to recover), there is still an OMFG! disorganized panic in defense that is inexcusable two-thirds of the way through a season. (As is the inability to build through the midfield, but I'll save that for next week when they tie at home versus the Vancouver Soehns.)

Standard disclaimer of perspective re: improvement over last year/reasonable expectations for this year/yadda this season is about building towards next season, etc. True but old. Older than Josh Wolff.


  1. I can't seriously argue. But serious argument is totally not what I'm about, so...nah, just kidding. I think the defense was less disorganized than usual last night, but Cronin's (nearly understandable) cluelessness made it look worse than it was. I think Hamid only would've gotten beaten on one of those. But then again, those wouldn't have happened and we'd have seen some other confluence of weird shit.

    Uhm...Clyde wasn't all that awful last night, though as you say, there needs to be another option, at least. And my choice of "all that awful" begs defense...

    I have no prediction for next week other than that we'll mock that fucking mongoloid Tommy Soehn without mercy or conscience.

  2. I'm sure you'll end up happier than Redskins fans.

  3. Keep on losing to shittier-than-thou teams at home and you just might replace the Capitals as the local clusterfuck. (The Redskins are, of course, in a realm of their own design).

    MLS should replace the Designated Player with the Designated Ref. I'm sure a few lower-tier drunks with whistles from the Midlands or Croatia or Estonia can't be any worse and they'd appreciate the extra scratch.

  4. Umm, I think that your ire at Simms is a bit misplaced. IMO, the most useless player on the field - by far - last night was Wolff. Such a wondrous disappearing act that it makes me wonder if St. Benny woulda been better advised to bring off Wolff instead of Cronin when Hamid redcarded himself out of the game (and let's be honest, it coulda been a yellow or it coulda been a red but either call was entirely defensible).

    But, let's not kid ourselves. DeRo was the only reason why this game was at all watchable. Without the DeRo for NoDax trade, we're totally up the creek without a paddle once Hamid got himself thrown out of a game. And, credit the guys - they showed a lot of fight for 83 minutes (plus 8 minutes of stoppage time) when we went down 11 to 10.

    Beers on me next weekend if you can figure out who I am.

  5. It's not ire; I'm not angry at Clyde, I'm saddened by his decline. Those gaps in front of the central defenders happening way to often is Clyde not getting back like he used to. United's offense's inability to build from the back through the middle is partially Clyde's addiction to the back pass. In Clyde's defense, part of this is likely both Benny's system and formation, but Clyde's got a boatload of years of his tires.

    And you're right - without De Rossario on the field, that was United 2010.

    Walk up the aisle between 232 and 231 right at halftime this Saturday. I'll pick you out.

  6. No need for the walkup, Steve. You're the tall loud usually funny guy who often stands behind us and to our left, in row 11 or 12.

    Or you're the large African American guy who...often stands behind us and to our left, in row 11 or 12. Actually, if I had to bet money...this is where I'd put it.

    Or you're the guy in the ManU hat in the seats immediately to our left.

    But you're not the guy I smoke with at halftime, because he quit drinking.

  7. "to bring off Wolff instead of Cronin" - My bad. That's what I get for speed-typing on my girlfriend's laptop, I suppose. The point remains - would King have been any less effective than Wolff? Scary thought, isn't it?

    I don't disagree at all about Clyde. I've always liked him as a player but, of course, all players do have their very own "sell by" date. Too bad their "sell by" date can't be stamped on their foreheads like the "sell by" dates on foodstuffs.

    I suppose Kitchen would have been tried out in the defensive midfield already if the need hadn't been so great on the defensive line. I figure he'll be tried out as a D-Mid next year and Clyde will be allowed a few more years as a sub before slipping into a graceful retirement.

    What a truly madcap game. Last Saturday night, went home feeling kind of confused and annoyed and upset. As I have been thinking it over, last weekend's game might have been the very most interesting MLS game I've ever witnessed in person. Think about it, that United-TFC covered almost the entire range of MLS possibilities from the insanely great (DeRo), to the insanely error-prone (our goalkeepers) to the insanely incomprehensible (the ref mistake on the second TFC goal) to the insanely admirable (our guys' grit and fight for a little over 90 minutes, including stoppage, after going down 10-11).

    Maybe, you're expecting too much. Logic? Competence? Technical awareness? Capable Refs? Unfortunately, is what it is. At times, MLS truly reminds me of the great Paul Newman movie, Slap Shot - and last Saturday night's game certainly was a game that was worthy of the Charleston Chiefs.

    And, in spite of everything, we only lost that game because of our goalkeepers' mistakes. Go figure . . .