Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Well, that sucked...

It's taken me this long to be able to write about Saturday's loss (at least, that's what it felt like) in Vancouver against the Whitecaps without using a rather large amount of expletives. I didn't want any children happening upon the blog and learning any new words (or new combinations).

I was feeling pretty good Saturday with about 20 minutes left in the 2nd half. SKC had a 3-0 lead and it seemed that they would cruise to another road win. Does the phrase, "Looks can be deceiving..." mean anything to you? In the 73rd minute, Vancouver pulled one back, but I didn't start to panic. Jimmy Nielsen was playing lights out, as evidenced by his TWO save of the week nominations.

But the team had to make subs for injuries... or at least bad cramping issues... I should have seen something coming when Davy Arnaud, the team's Energizer Bunny, had to go off and hand the armband to Nielsen. If Arnaud had still been on the field when the 2nd goal went in, the 3rd goal wouldn't have happened. How do I know that? Quite simply, Arnaud would have gotten in people's faces and told them to get their stuff together for the last couple minutes of stoppage time. Don't get me wrong, I don't have anything against Nielsen's leadership abilities, but as the team's longest tenured player, Arnaud's earned, I think, some respect for basically having, "been there, done that."

The lesson here, kids, is when you have your foot on the other team's throat, and that's what a 3-0 lead is, you don't let them get back up. Period. If you need any more evidence as to how important closing out games is, just ask the 2005 UEFA Champions League runners-up, AC Milan. At halftime, they had a commanding 3-0 lead. I say it that way because when Liverpool went into the locker room at halftime, they looked like they'd already lost. Milan was dominating possession and it looked like there was no way back into the match. In a period of approximately 7 minutes early in the 2nd half, Liverpool managed to score three times. All of a sudden, Mr. Mo Mentum had shifted which bench he was sitting on. The fat lady stopped warming up and sat down. By the time the match reached PKs, it seemed that it had been Liverpool that had been destined to win all along.

I understand that this team is young and I'm fine with that. Along with some defense, what the team seems to lack is a killer instinct. Close games out and don't let your opponent back up off the mat. I know, a lot of cliches, but again, I'm trying not to swear a lot. Here's hoping that the new player that Robb Heineman referred to yesterday is as good as advertised and the team gets back on track.

I hope to have more tomorrow after the Open Cup game with Houston. That's all for now. See you soon.

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