I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
So I love you because I know no other way
than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.
Excerpt - Love Sonnet XVII - Pablo Neruda
Well that was an interesting game on Saturday night between the San Jose Earthquakes and Seattle Sounders. Seattle was winning from the 8th minute on after the wündergoal from Obafemi Martins, and it didn't look like San Jose posed a serious threat the entire match. But for some reason the sense of unease grew as Seattle was stymied time and time again, unable to put away their second goal and subsequently the match.
Once I heard the lineup San Jose would be trotting out, bereft of players whose names I'd heard of, I felt relatively confident that Saturday would bring tacos and haircuts. Curious, has anybody tried to redeem both rewards at the same time? Would the stylists at Great Clips mind if you ate your Jack in the Box tacos throughout the haircut? Is anybody brave enough to find out?
But we didn't get our free haircuts. We got tacos though; tacos for the first time since week one against Sporting Kansas City. And while it'd be nice to proclaim that the defense is back, Saturday's defense is not indicative of what we've seen in the previous 11 games, but it might be what we see moving forward so long as our trio of USMNT gentlemen are away performing their national duties.
Next up is a stiff test against Vancouver at BC Place, where the Whitecaps are 3-1-1 this season, scoring 12 goals in those 5 matches. Let's hope that defense of ours remains stout. But that's next week. This article isn't about looking forward, it's about looking back!
All Aboard the Mystical Bullets of Yesteryear
- Okay that goal by Oba was reDQlous. To anybody who might claim the spurned Nigerian didn't mean for that to be a shot, well allow me to call you a liar. There wasn't another Sounder anywhere close to the far post when Oba made that chip. He knew Jon Busch was tight on that near post, leaving a wide open rest of the goal. At what stage do you give the players the benefit of the doubt? If Ronaldo or Messi score that, yeah, sure, of course they meant to. If Sammy Ochoa scores that, well, that was a fortuitous shot-cross, or "shross". So where does Oba fall on that spectrum? Given his body of evidence regarding his technical ability, to me it was intended as a shot, without a doubt.
Here's Oba's goal: https://t.co/PDEVTBeO7L— Sounder At Heart (@sounderatheart) May 18, 2014
- And due to that shot, it spawned one of the best reactions I've ever witnessed live. Jon Busch had a hell of a game, being in the right place at the right time to keep this game from being the blowout it could've been. Whether it was both of Lamar Neagle's wicked shots or Alonso's late game tap-in, it was going to take something special to beat him, which, well, it totally did.
- Saturday's game in Seattle drew 49,746. It's funny to look at that and be like, "Man, we couldn't even draw 50k?" and be slightly disappointed. To put it in perspective, only three EPL teams averaged greater than 49.7k: Man U (75.2k), Arsenal (60.0k), and Newcastle (50.4k). Seven Bundesliga teams average greater than 49.7k: Dortmund, Bayern Munich, Schalke, Mönchengladbach, Hamburg, Hertha Berlin, and Stuttgart. In La Liga, only Real Madrid and Barcelona average more. No teams in Italy or France average more. That's 12 teams. All that is to say that drawing 49,746 people for a mid-season match against San Jose is nothing to sneeze at. The way Seattle has embraced the Sounders is incredible, and I'm so grateful to be a part of it. Ross Fletcher then expanded upon that and threw out a factoid stating that Seattle is one of the top 25 supported teams in the world (according to attendance), which is amazing. Then he said that Seattle is doing this despite not even being 6 years old, which is false, and sacrilege given its the 40th anniversary season.
- I have to give credit to San Jose, who played a lot more positively than I anticipated. And for the first time I can remember, they played a game where they weren't cheap or dirty. I expected the biggest of buses to be parked the entire game, but they had a few moments in the attack, punctuated by the occasional horrible shot. Also, welcome back to Seattle, Cordell Cato and Mike Fucito. I'd like to see those two get regular minutes for San Jose, because I'd rather have their non-Gordon-Lenhart antics on the pitch for the Earthquakes. Ironically enough, the first action for Fucito in the game was to drag down Alonso in a literal "clinging to the past" moment.
How about an Oba-Chip hold the Flip to take us home
- In the 39th minute, Zach Scott outran Cato to a ball, then proceeded to make a great tackle.
- The Scott and Chad Marshall combo is very potent in the air defensively. I suspect this is not the last time we see this pairing this year.
- San Jose only had two shots from inside the 18, compared to Seattle's nine.
- Seattle is now 3-1-0 when leading at half time. They're 2-0-1 when tied at half, and 3-2-0 when down at half.
- Arlo White has the velvety tongue of a Greek god.
- Chad Barrett had a Jekyll and Hyde moment where he dribbled around and beat Busch but had his plant leg accidentally hit the ball enough to make his shot whiff.
- During the Dylan Remick substitution in the 87th minute, the 4th official held up a blank substitution board. How did Marco Pappa know he was getting subbed out?
Life is like a bunch of GIFs, you never know what you're gonna get
Game time! I'm ready. Are you?
It always feels like playing with fire against San Jose.
WHAT JUST HAPPENED?!
How does that even work?!
What even was that thing?
I just, I don't even.
Hold on, I need a moment.
NO BUT SERIOUSLY WTF?!
I'm just so excited.
That was just so slick.
Stick around, San Jose, you might learn something.
Wait, is that the best your offense can do, Earthquakes?
God, Busch, stop making good saves!
You are not taking these points from us, San Jose!
Told you! These points are ours.
Another game, another win.
Tacos for everyone!