|The only thing missing is a beer.|
Sending me to watch a soccer game live is like dropping an infant into a room full of mirrors, crinkly stuffed animals and buttons that make noises when pushed. I get very, very distracted. By everything (I haven’t quietly "made" at a live game; so far so good). When I'm not staring at everything but the game, I'm talking to the person I came with. Damn close to non-stop, too. Because I like my friends.
So, anyone looking for in-depth, closely observed match analysis probably ought to check elsewhere (the stuff in there on Gaston Fernandez is interesting in a "hey-a-friend-of-a-friend-who-you-will-never-meet-did-this-interesting-thing" kind of way). Happily, the couple articles and the box score I checked this morning matched my fuzzy impressions of the game (which degraded to downright wooly by the 85th minute), down even to wondering if everyone played that little bit better because they’re all afraid that Will Johnson will holler at them...
Yet I think that’s the key: the Portland Timbers, as a whole, just played a better game last night. And, shit, buried the lead again, the Timbers beat a thrown-together DC United side 1-0. They didn't appear to do anything drastically different, either. Dairon Asprilla had a beast of a run, bulling and stumbling through and over three DC players (that one got the crowd all whooped-up) and he looked great on both sides of the ball, and I guess that’s a good short-hand for what went right out there. The Timbers, as a whole, shelved the occasional hesitant listlessness that has weighed so heavily on the season and instead played with good, solid aggression. Basically, they chose not to suck. Perhaps out of fear of Will Johnson.
And...that's where the analysis dries up. After that, I agree with some general observations made in other people's analyses/articles – e.g. I’d rather see Maximiliano Urruti out there than Fanendo Adi, uh, let’s not carried away with one win, um, this wasn’t DC’s best, first team, etc. Oh, to part ways a little with one comment, I would like to see Asprilla start over Rodney Wallace. No shade on Wallace, really, but I think Asprilla has a couple more tricks in his bag. And we need tricks, people.