First, finally found some official video. Not sure how long this one will stay up on YouTube, so watch fast.
The best part of the game for me didn't happen on the field. It came from the girl behind me, who was maybe fifteen. Every time one of the guys would get in a tight spot, she'd be screaming things like, "Man on! Man on!" and "Switch it! Switch it!"
I hear this all the time from guys of all ages. Rarely ever from girls/women. Yes, we have a higher proportion of female fans relative to a lot of leagues in the world, but the ones who are both knowledgeable and passionate are few and far between. Hearing her made this female fan insanely happy.
Almost as good was the little kid, maybe nine, standing in front of me on his seat after the Keller ejection, screaming, "YOU SUCK, REF! YOU'RE FIRED! YOU SUCK, REF! YOU'RE FIRED!" I'm not sure I should have laughed as hard as I did, given that he seemed to be there with a party and I'm guessing his parents probably wouldn't want us encouraging this kind of behavior, but...damn. It was funny.
Speaking of fans, what did you guys think of the post-match booing? I know it was for the result and not the team, but it still made me uncomfortable. Am I the only one?
(This could just be my fan-of-French-football baggage, given that in France, teams are routinely booed off the field after underperforming.) Curious what you guys think.
The more I think about this game, the more I want good things for Ben Dragavon. What kind of guts did it take to even be out there in that situation? And he was inches from saving that shot, too.
On the flip side, I just read somewhere that Chris Eylander may be available this weekend. I would love to see him back between the pipes, if he's 100%. (Not a reflection on Dragavon, just general Eylander love.)
And while we're on the topic of goalkeepers, there's an interesting discussion over at the GoalSeattle forums on Kasey Keller and his mindset going into the game, and how it may (or may not) have influenced his decisions.
And how much did it hurt that Sebastien Le Toux was the one subbed off to bring in Dragavon? My first thought: NOOOOOO! Not Le Toux!!!! Then rationality hits and I think, "Well, who else?" You're not going to mess with the backline, given that you've just lost your starting keeper. Ditto for Alonso. This leaves Seba, Ljungberg, Evans, Jaqua and Montero, and he's not going to take out Ljungberg or Montero. And Evans is Sigi's man, so he'll stay in. Which leaves Jaqua or Le Toux. I understand why it was Le Toux.
Still, though, losing Seba felt almost as bad as losing Keller, especially since he's been so strong defensively in past games. Wonder if the result would have been different if he'd taken out Jaqua instead?
And still speaking of Keller, I've been trying to think of an apt description for how I felt after the red card. The closest I've gotten so far: I felt like somebody drilled holes in my feet to allow all of my blood and guts and innards to run out through the bottoms.
You don't have to worry, though. If this whole blood-and-guts thing were to actually happen at Qwest, the gore would soon be washed away by all the guys spitting onto the concrete at their feet. (Ick, gentlemen. Just...ick.)
I was mildly pleased to see that Herculez Gomez has abandoned that unfortunate blond thing he was doing with his hair when he was here in 2007 with the Rapids. Now, instead of thinking of him as "that bloody diver with ridiculous hair," I can leave off that last part.
The team is still amazing. And I don't even feel a need to add, "for an expansion team." And would you believe I'm actually hoping to watch this game again, if MLSnet ever gets its act together and puts up the video?
Be sure to check out the Man of the Match poll over at Prost Amerika. You can vote for any player who took the field during the match. I voted for Hurtado today, mainly because centerbacks never get any MotM love, and they hardly ever even get noticed except when they screw up. He's not as dramatic a player as Alonso, but he is really solid in what he does.
At the time I was there, no one had yet voted for Keller.