Fortune smiled on Seattle Sounders fans during the bye week as weather topped 70 and a few results went Seattle's way. If you were like a lot of people and decided to enjoy the sunshine here's a recap of Major League Soccer action, with a few other soccer stories thrown in because, well, you deserve it.
Friday Night - While the rest of the League was preparing for a busy Saturday, Thurston Howell V & Pain Machine played a little poker. That damned dog took the pot, but somehow playing with a "no Rose City Red chips" strategy your SaH founder managed to collect 4 of the 7 bounties and finish in second. Throws money indeed.
Saturday Morning - Bright, sunny and not yet warm. Thousands of Americans were focused on the match between Arsenal and Chelsea. The two London clubs are struggling to get into Champions League action this year, drawing 0-0 helps the Arse maintain a slight lead over Newcastle, Tottenham and Chelsea. Reseeding my lawn was probably a great idea, even if it mean hand turning some dead spots.
Saturday Midday - Arlo on NBC Sports Net called a match that was reportedly an end to end game. With the sun and warmth I was busy planting peppers and herbs, but took a late lunch break just in time to see Toronto FC score a goal and then another to capture their first lead of the season. And then give that up when the Chicago Fire scored their second. Later on the Fire would score a third, but I saw the only 5 minutes that mattered. The "Fire Aron Winter" talk is picking up as the Reds' miserable season continues. Defense that at best can be called poor is to blame. In Chicago they'll take their goals and charge into a perceived playoff position. Oh, and they just re-acquired second leading Fire scorer of all time in Chris Rolfe. Happy times for Seattle's next opponent.
The Columbus Crew and Houston Dynamo drew 2-2. Somebody watched the game. It was sunny. My dog wanted a walk. David Beckham played in Colorado as the Rapids fell to the LA Galaxy. Bruce Arena's defense only gave up one goal, and his offense scored two. That's what people expected from the Hollywood club. They are now giving up only 1.67 Goals per Match. Still on a walk.
If the people of Vancouver BC were focused on not-soccer Saturday no one would be surprised. Their hockey team was busy blowing their status as Western Conference favorites. After an exciting start to the season the Vancouver Whitecaps are struggling to score and were gifted a start by Sounder-for-about-a-day Chris Seitz as Kevin Hartman was unable to go for FC Dallas. The 'Caps scratched out a goal, ended their winless streak and shut out the Toros. My neighbor was washing his car. I did the neighborly thing and chatted with him while sharing beer. That might have been more exciting than watching Martin Rennie settle for a 1-0 win.
The Philadelphia Union went to LA and won 1-0 over Chivas. This is not the story. The Union will win a handful of games. The story is that Peter Nowak rushed the pitch and two Union players decided that they didn't want to play a full 90 and got themselves carded. Gabriel Farfan may even get more punishment later. If you have questions about leadership, maturity and coaching over in the City of Brotherly Love, their two game win streak does nothing to answer it. At this point we'd started a major garage reorganization project as "Operation Be More Than Soccer For The Wife" continued.
At any rate, the match finished 1-0 to Portland, which means that Sporting have failed to win for the first time in eight matches this season. It's a great result for the Timbers, if a middling performance. As for the game itself, it was pretty bad, but it was also pretty funny, and that's what counts, if you're me. Your mileage may vary.
This will replay on Root Sports about a dozen times. Avoid each and every one of those.
I actually wanted to watch San Jose against Salt Lake. Both are pretty good teams this year. It would have been a fun match. Shopping for appliances, not as much fun, but a lot more fun than being a Real Salt Lake fan, supporter or employee, as mystifying calls changed the game. We all may get to see the first Red Card appeal in the new system. The Earthquakes won 3-1 over a 9-man RSL side, but that isn't the story. Seriously, they were bad calls, and not just according to RSL fans.
Sunday - Do you think the New York Red Bulls defense is bad? You'd be part of a group that pays attention to Major League Soccer. Now, I didn't on this nationally televised game, but neither did Hans Backe who thinks his defenders are just fine. D.C. United crushed their biggest rivals 4-1 powered by Chris Pontius. I was grilling burgers with bacon, artichoke, jalapeno and avocado which means I had a better day than the Red Bull fans that watched their team. Don't look now, but United might be good.
After the weekend of dog walks, grilling, gardening, appliance shopping and beer drinking I'm kind of sad I didn't watch much soccer. My wife though is very happy. Sometimes that's important.
Somehow in cruising the Internet I found one of the worst teams of the 2011-12 season - FC Ranger's. No, not the Glasgow club, a team from a tiny town in Andorra that spent the season getting outscored by 4 goals a game. FC Ranger's did manage to get a 5-5 draw in their final match of the relegation playoff group, but ended that group phase with 5 matches played and a -23 goal differential. If you are against modern football, are you supporting this club? By the way, they don't just have a kit sponsor, their very name is sponsored.
Say goodbye to the bye week.