When your team is playing like this, the world is a happier place. The Sounders can't lose, so WE can't lose! You could walk across six lanes of I-90 tomorrow without getting hit! (DO NOT DO THAT) The mental fortitude the team has put on display this season has been encouraging. But if there was one thing we learned yesterday, it was this: DO NOT. PISS. OFF. STEFAN. FREI.
Kenny Cooper brought home the bacon last night, having spent five years of his MLS career in the Dallas area. Big D Soccer remembers his prior contributions while lamenting his most recent one. This loss combined with their previous meeting of the rave green is sure to cause a sore spot. They surely also miss Mauro Diaz, expected to miss at least six more weeks recovering from surgery. That's good news compared to an earlier prognosis giving his season the kiss of death.
Brad Evans has been victimized the last two matches in funny ways. (That's funny as in strange, not as in hilarious). The own goal from last week didn't measure up to the "crap" job done by Blas Perez, and the equally...poop... job of referee Baldomero Toledo of recognizing a flop when he sees one.
The ESPN prognosticators are nearly unanimous: Brad Evans is going to Brazil.
Tangently related, but Philadelphia's Maurice Edu was mic'd up during their game against the Sounders on Saturday. It is worth watching simply for the change of perspective that the audio footage brings to the game.
Like an ex who hasn't quite gotten over her, Eddie Johnson can't stop talking about the Sounders. His most recent interesting quote, comparing his old team where he scored double digit goals to his new one, where he is still looking to open his account:
"Obviously, I feel like here we're more of a pressing, hardworking team, and we can press the ball high up the field and win balls, be good in that area and break in our attacking half. Whereas in Seattle - and no disrespect to the guys that are here - I felt like I didn't have to run as much because we had better guys that had more quality on the ball. I feel like the styles are completely different."
Two other league games were played today, but it's hard to think that anyone would consider them quite so compelling as what we witnessed. Houston Dynamo and Columbus Crew were square for a half, but Will Bruin scored mere minutes after I took him off my Fantasy Team lineup for the sole goal in Houston's 1-0 victory. That further complicated the Eastern Conference: The top of the division has a four-way tie at 14 points.
Our other game was the Colorado Rapids visiting the San Jose Earthquakes, and it went to a 0-0 draw thanks to a top-shelf Clint Irwin performance. Perhaps the bigger news is that San Jose may lose right back Andreas Gorlitz for the rest of the season.
The Canadian Championship was in action yesterday as well, as Edmonton and Toronto hosted Montreal and Vancouver respectively in the semifinal round. In each game, the home team won 2-1 and will prepare for the other end of the home-and-home equation next week. FC Edmonton's victory over the Montreal Impact was their first over an MLS side. Toronto started the game with a pair of goals from their highest-paid contributors, but a stoppage time strike from Kekutah Manneh kept a trip to the finals (and the Champions League) well within reach of the visiting Whitecaps.
An MLS team could meet the Vermont Voltage in the US Open Cup, the first team from that state to participate in the 101 year-old tournament.
History was made in France as a second division Men's team hired Helena Costa as their new head coach. This is the first time that any second division team in any of Europe's top five leagues has put their team in the hands of a female coach.
A month ago, you could have said Sunderland's last rites and put them to sleep. But after winning four straight, they'll be staying in the Premier League unlike Fulham and their relegation compatriots. Of course, Fulham got so bad because their Michael Jackson statue was taken down.
Friendly reminder: A year ago, Until 7:00PM tonight, the Sounders had six points through seven matches. They would teeter on the edge of seven through eight until Djimi Traore put Sporting KC out of their misery (again). This year is soooooo different.