Tony Ventrella is such a cool name...
It's a weekend full of soccer, and I'm not going to lie. If you're in Seattle, it's going to be hard to split yourself between the Champions League final, between the team without Ribery and Real Madrid's next manager, and the home clash between the Sounders and San Jose Earthquakes (4-2-1) at Qwest Field, at 12PM.
The national broadcast of the Champions League final will be half an hour before the Sounders kickoff on FOX. So you can bet there will be a larger proportion of pregamed and excited Sounders fans in the stadium. I'll likely be at home, trying to catch both, at the same time! Not because I love soccer, but because I am broke.
Short and sweet, this weekend is plain and simple. Newark was supposed to be a continuation of training exercises. We didn't necessarily expect the win, but we'll be delighted to take it. Really, the past two weeks news and activities have led up to this next home match. Road tallies are nice, but we need to cement the home form.
Last week, we were able to get a feel for how to shut down the opposition offense. And with Fredy motivated to make his moment count, he did. So we should be looking to carry these two key points over tomorrow to give us back our consistent home form. Hopefully the strikers have been doing the extra minutes in finishing drills this week, we're going to need them sharp as knives.
Former Reading man Bobby Convey will be the biggest threat. His experience, pace, and determination drive the game around him, when he's on that is. But he doesn't need much to find his slot. Give him one look, and he'll leave you sleeping with ninja-like swiftness.
Another man who is hard to knock off is the brick wall that is San Jose keeper Joe Cannon. The man has made some inspired saves so far, and is a wild raging beast when he's on form. Unlike outfield players, goalies get better with more shots on goal. In other words, we can't be wasteful with half effort shots that bounce around or go straight at him tomorrow. Ideally, we need to test him from the first minute, and mix it up with all sorts of nonsense, anything to keep the keeper out of rhythm. San Jose has let in a few so far (7 compared to Seattle's 12), so it's not like it will be impossible.
Fingers crossed, we'll get a look at Jeff Parke. He's as dependable as an American fullback gets. Also, it'd be nice to mix up the wings, but still keep the hot sauce in it. Nyassi and Zak worked well last week, with so much pace that they scorched the sidelines, but Montano... the boys got to grow up eventually. Hold on... everything is hazy... I am seeing the future... possible start tomorrow over Evans... maybe. Wait, I was daydreaming. Nevermind.
Players to Step Up: Fredy, Freddie, and Sigi's latest late game substitute
Players to Watch Out For (And Throw Off Early): Joe Cannon, Bobby Convey, and Chris WondoLOLski