Friday, May 25, 2007

What a season on the way . . .

The East is going to be a dog fight. I said if the Revs beat Houston last weekend then they'd be Supporters' Shield winners, but it's not as obvious as I once thought. While we have every possibility of being 11-1-2 very soon, we could be facing a 12-1-2 Red Bulls team immediately after that. The way JP Angel looked (and that was bored with the ease of the game, and phenomenal) and the rest of the NY attacking options fit together, the Revs certainly have a large task in front of them. Still, the easy schedule for NER coming up combined with Red Bull playing 6 of their next 7 on the road means it should be very conceivable to have at least gained some sort of a lead in the East. However, Bob Bradley is trying to take away that possibility. Here's what I see in the Gold Cup time:







This lineup assumes Avery's absence with T&T. The problem right now lies in that right midfield spot since Wells is listed as questionable for this weekend. If his injury continues to be a problem, the options aren't looking very good. So far I've come up with one . . . Noonan at RM, Khano at forward, and Franchino at left. I guess option #2 would be Riley playing on the right at mid, and possibly a return for Marshall Leonard at left back. I think Noonan and Cristman will be very successful together if Noons can get his mojo back. We'll see . . . Khano will definitely have to step up as well though and get some good crosses in. It's going to be an interesting time. Another problem will clearly be depth. The only substitute options the Revs have seen so far are on the defensive side of the ball with Franchino and Flood. Willie Sims and Bryan Byrne may be called upon to try to spark some offense, but their results are very much unknown. I think a lot of Revs fans may soon be wishing Cancela was around still . . .

Which brings me to another thing to discuss: the TFC/RSL trade. This seems to be very bad for both teams, but we'll let this weekend sort it out. As far as I see it, Toronto's forward role should be someone to play off Dichio. Cunningham plays of no one. He is the ideal solo striker, and can't do nearly as well as Alecko with Big Dan. Combine that with the fact that Alecko was already a fan favorite with his own blog on the team's website, and I have absolutely no idea what Mo is doing. Sending a first round pick also seems a bit strange. TFC . . . just when things were looking better . . . And for RSL, Alecko can't do it alone. Cunningham was the perfect fit. Alecko is fast, cagey, and pesky, but he's not a guy who can create his own goals out of thin air like Cunningham could. He needs a second forward and RSL doesn't have one. Even if Salt Lake can somehow wrestle Shalrie away from the Revs, he's not going to aid in the goal scoring process and Alecko is going to be starved for attention. On the subject of Shalrie, I just can't see it happening since I doubt he'd want to go to a loser. Just get him a contract . . .

Lastly, I'm very excited for the Gold Cup. It'll definitely be a challenge this time around once we get out of the group stage. All I ask is that Twellman gets a chance . . .

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Where's the motivation?

I know, I haven't posted in a long time, so here's some blurbs on what I'm thinking:

- The Revs are back. Revolution fans know that the team never really got going last year, and no one really knew why. I submit Exhibit A: Taylor Twellman. Apparently he was telling the truth when he said he was playing hurt last year because the pace is back, and the finishing certainly is back. Not only that, but look at HOW he's finishing. I don't remember Twellman ever having those shots from outside the box like he's had this season. He's doing it off his head, mid-air volleys, and flat-out shots. Impressive TnT; too bad that impressiveness is going to take him away from the Revs in July, and possibly interrupt the free-flowing chemistry currently in operation.

- The Columbus Crew are good. I said it from the start, but they're proving me correct every weekend. They're certainly a fun team that will always struggle to find goals, but they're finding them. Scheletto looks good from what I've seen, and maybe Moreno will work out for them. Add Herron back in this lineup and the goals could really be a bit more consistent. Andy Gruenebaum has to be #2 for goalie of the year to this point as well.

- Overrated: Chicago, Houston, Juan Pablo Angel. Chicago's wins aren't really of any quality, and a thrashing at the hands of Toronto certainly makes you question their standing. Houston may have finally awoken this weekend, but before that I was wondering how they scored goals last year. And Angel? I said it before, but I still hold to it. I never saw him score a goal. I don't know if he really can be a dominant force. The Red Bulls seem to think they have everything figured out, but they have a long way to go.

- Underrated: COLUMBUS, Ronnie O'Brien. Columbus we already discussed, but let's talk about TFC with the Irish kid. Yes, he makes that much of a difference. Notice how during all that Toronto-thrashing, no one brought up the fact that one of the league's best midfielders (yes, he is) was missing with an injury! He returns and budda-bing budda-boom 3-1 win. He was only 70% and they win 3-1. No, it's not a coincidence. He's nasty, and if he has the desire to lead this team, they're going to be very good.

- My All-Stars so far:

GK - Matt Reis (Gruenebaum would be option 2)

D - Dunivant, Parkhurst, Dasan Robinson (I don't feel like these are really that great of choices, but 3 guys who don't get the attention they deserve, and no one else looked that appetizing)

M - Steve Ralston, Herculez, DeRo (call it a pre-emptive pick), GRABAVOY! (I really like this CREW!), Toja/Martino/Dorman

F - Twellman (duh.), Rolfe (Kenny Cooper is a good 3rd option)

- And I'll say it just like everyone else: I wish I lived in Toronto right now. BMO Field, while looking far too simple and close to the boredom that is Crew Stadium, packs in real fans it appears for every match. Not obnoxious youth soccer teams or the weekend yuppies, but ACTUAL SOCCER FANS!!! 20,000 of them. Just seeing them all stand when the ball got NEAR the box last weekend peaked my awe. If the Revs had fans like that, I'm pretty sure we wouldn't drop a point at home

Yeah, good stuff in MLS so far. Can't wait for the LAG uniforms in July, and the Gold Cup is shockingly near.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Tonight's Match

Colorado 1 - 1 RSL: The Rapids offense hasn't shown much, but I really hope they put Conor Casey right in there. He's so good and it's time America was reminded of that fact. However, the problem lies within the jersey. I can't see them scoring more than one tonight for some reason, and for some reason I see RSL playing well. It doesn't have to be logical . . .

Sunday, April 29, 2007

When charity goes wrong . . .

Did anyone else notice that the Va Tech shout-outs aren't helping? The Washington Nationals were the first to try the whole VT mojo, but, being the Nationals, they lost the game in which they wore Va Tech hats. Gotta say, the Hokies are probably wishing there was another MLB franchise in the area right about now . . .

Then this weekend happened. The DC United continued their awesome run of perfection by losing again to the "everyone thought they were lowly but Tim Crawford said they were gonna be good" Crew. Weeeeeeird. They were wearing maroon jerseys in tribute.

And lastly, the Houston Dynamo, already having the orange factored into the unis, decided to complete the ensemble with maroon kits as well. This did not do much for a result with a 1-0 disaster loss to ChiTown at home.

Doesn't this seem to go against everything we've ever known? Teams have that "air of destiny" about them so much lately that you'd think things like this could only help. Needless to say, coolness from Houston who aren't even close to Virginia, and good job by DCU repping as well to help the school recover. I'm sure they're still wishing for 3 points as well though . . .

Great result from the Revs! Good to see Parkhurst and Noonan back in the lineup. However, I didn't actually get to "see" them in the lineup thanks to Telefutura blacking out the online coverage and the fine University of Connecticut not having TV38 or the aforesaid Spanish coverage. I was mad. Still, going into Dallas has been a major problem for us in the past (See MLS Cup last year, and I believe it was 4-1 in the regular season to the Hoops as well). A road win where we shut out what has been a decent offense is definitely a good one, regardless of how we played. Now the Revs have 4 points in 3 road games (one above the goal) and a perfect 3 from their one home game. Good stuff . . . The DC game will look extra scary since they still haven't gotten a point yet and will be more focused than ever this Thursday, so let's hope the Revs bring their A-game.

Friday, April 27, 2007

I'm getting better at this thing!

2 for 2 so far this week and everyone's thinking: "STOP NOW!!!" Too bad!

KC 3 - 0 Toronto: Alright, I take it back. There's no way Toronto will score. They're doomed. Utterly doomed. Ronnie O' where art thou? And KC? A game of film to watch how they destroyed Toronto just makes it easier.

DCU 1 - 1 Columbus: Why stop the tying? DC may have fixed some thing, but they can't fix them all. Columbus has looked good I maintain even if the Revs handed them the point last game. There are some good attacking options on that side, and they will find the net against DC's awful d. It's DC's offense that will make the difference. I'm just saying they won't get the job done.

El Super Classico!!!
Chivas 1 - 2 LAG: I love these games. Somehow there's just such a good air to them, and thanks to FSC, I won't be getting to watch it for round one this year. Bunch o' punks . . . Chivas hasn't impressed me yet, and I believe the potential is greater for the Galaxy. Landon finally gets on the board?

Revs 1 - 1 FCD: Parkhurst back! If he isn't, I'm saying 3-1 Dallas just so ya know. The defense should have most of its problems solved w/ Parky back, but Shalrie needs to wake up. However, Dallas always seems to pick up their pace when the Revs come into town and I expect nothing less in this case. Cooper will be a menace as usual.

Chicago 0 - 1 Houston: Chicago stinks. Really. Stop believing the record. I said they'd do well in the East, but I can't see how, and so far that's the case. Houston's d will not concede a goal to them, but will their awful o-ffense find a way to score one. It seems that's the only amount they CAN get.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Predictions For Another Crazy Week . . .

Well, let's start with the midweek anyways:

TFC 1 - 2 KC: Yes, once again I think Toronto will score. Once again, they'll probably lose. There just aren't many reasons to think otherwise at this point . . . Which KC will show up is an interesting question . . . but probably an irrelevant one.

RBNY 2 - 1 FCD: I'm jumping on the Red Bull bandwagon. Things are working well there with what turned out to be a really solid defense, and one heck of a Jozy. Is he good for more than one goal though? And if not, who is the 2nd coming from? Good question, but I'm just picking it anyways . . . Dallas looks good, but Red Bull seems to be playing at a different level right now.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Why Bother?

I mean . . . seriously. I have 2 right so far. So poor. Predictions anyways:

Dynamo 1 - 2 Red Bull: The Dynamo aren't playing well right now. I don't care about the results. There's just simply nothing impressive to this point. Red Bull on the other hand look good.

Wizards 2 - 0 Fire: I'm worried for the Fire. The lack of energy they've shown in the first two games is really disturbing, while the way the Wiz came out last weekend makes you wonder just how good this team is going to get. The Bridgeview fans won't be too happy with this one.

RSL 0 - 1 Chivas: Eh. Boring. As usual. You'd think there'd be more goals here with the lack of defense on both sides, but I'm going to go against the curve.

Colorado 2 - 2 FCD: This is my pick for game of the weekend, though Dynamo vs Red Bull is a good meeting of old power vs new power. Colorado looks very impressive still, and Ruiz and Cooper are flying atop the Hoops' attack. Should be very entertaining.