(I think it was Mike at GoSounders who, after the first 0-0 scrimmage of the preseason, said, "Good news! We're already in mid-season form!" Oh, how I wish it had been me.)
First the good about yesterday's game:
The day was gorgeous, and we saw thirty bald eagles. And we've found the perfect hotel for when Vancouver becomes an MLS club. And the ECS and other supporters were louder and more numerous than the Vancouver supporters. And our defenders looked pretty good. And...uh... I think there's probably something about "gaining match fitness" in here...
And...um...yeah. That's about it.
Outside of that? Team couldn't score. Again. One of our guys would make a gorgeous cross with nobody waiting to receive it, or there would be two or three guys in the box but the ball would fly harmlessly toward three defenders instead. Or a midfielder or defender would make a gorgeous tackle to take possession, and then that same guy or the next would cough up the ball for no reason half a second later.
Or our guy would be called offside. Again. And Again. And again. (Six times first half.) I think it was an assistant referee thing, since the same thing happened second half to Vancouver a couple of times. The AR on the (um...directionally challenged here...north side, maybe?) was incredibly fond of holding his flag erect.
And I'm working very hard to not go to go the cheap, easy humor route. So I'm done with this topic now.
Vancouver was a much beefier, brawnier side, and they physically manhandled our itty-bitty offensive players quite a bit -- particularly Freddie and Fredy. At one point I saw one of the Whitecaps literally wrap his arms around Fredy and lift him off the ground to keep him from the ball. (Ref didn't see it -- no call.)
And Freddie got quite irate about being physically held back, over and over, to the point where my son, wise kid that he is, said, "Red cards in friendlies don't carry over, right? Maybe he should just get it all out of his system now."
The troubling part is that we started with essentially all of our starters. The only positions that are still questionable, at least relative to last year, are the wide mids (Zakuani started on the left and Nyassi on the right) and the other, non-Alonso central midfield position where Nathan Sturgis started yesterday. With our top guys on the field, I kept waiting and waiting, expecting something to happen. And nothing did.
On the plus side, a lot of the players got some experience. (Subs were Zach Scott, Jeff Parke, Tyson Wahl, David Estrada, Pete Vagenas, Stephen King, Mike Fucito, Kevin Souter and Mike Seamon.) And Sigi and Adrian probably have a better feel for who will still be around in a few weeks. And the trip was great fun, and my family's gald we went...
But this felt Chapter 2 of Summer 2009. And I would sure like to see some goals.
Maybe they're saving it all up for Portland on Thursday?