Skip to main content

MLS Game o' the Week: Seattle Sounders v. Houston Dynamo

After showing up at the bar promptly at 8:00 pm to watch Sporting Kansas City (and my beloved Graham Zusi) vs. Vancouver, I was informed that the game wasn't nationally televised. Anyway, I stayed to watch the MLS Game of the Week:  Seattle Sounders (complete with Clint Dempsey) vs. the Houston Dynamo.

Seattle ended up getting the 2-0 win but in pretty un-convincing fashion; a shot from Marco Pappa in the 69th minute deflected off a Houston defender into the goal, and a 75' minute penalty kick goal from Gonzalo Pineda. I say "un-convincing" because, even though Seattle seemed to out-shoot Houston, the game was a lot closer than the score suggests and, in fact, I was more impressed Houston's play than Seattle's.

Houston midfielder Brad Davis was particularly impressive. He just seemed to have a way of moving the ball forward and making chances for the strikers; virtually every time he got the ball, you knew something good was going to happen. Unfortunately, that did not materialize into goals; Houston had at least a dozen quality shots, though apparently only three of them on goal (memory doesn't serve correctly; seemed like they had at least that many on-target head-shots, but IDFK).

The Dynamo also demonstrated some impressive passing through the midfield; long, quick passes that were able to turn the tables quickly on Seattle and catch them on their heels. Again, not quite good enough, but strong passing and a deep midfield are two critical aspects a winning side needs to have. The connection up the right side between defender Kofi Sarkodie and midfielder Boniek GarcĂ­a seemed to create a lot of good runs, as well.

Let us not, either gloss over the quality play of Seattle's Clint Dempsey and Houston's DeMarcus Beasley, USMNT members. Just like with the "Zusi Effect" I noted in an earlier blog post, watching these players in the MLS instead of the World Cup makes me realize just how good they are. Somehow, mixed in with all the other World Cup level players, it wasn't easy to see, but after watching Dempsey dribble circles around Houston defenders, it's clear why people make such a big deal over him. Same with Beasley; while I don't think he had a stand-out game last night, it's easy to see that's he's one of the pivot points around which the fate of the Houston team swings.

My Takeaway: Easily the best game I've watched since the World Cup; fast pace, quality passing, lots of shots, even if the result (IMHO) was far more inconclusive than the score suggests. I like the Houston squad a lot more than Seattle; they play exciting ball and seem to have a real "team," though something seemed missing last night: execution. Sadly, above all, that's what it takes to win games.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

New Yorker Fiction Review #146: "Three Short Moments in a Long Life" by John L'Heureux

Issue: May 9, 2016

Story: "Three Short Moments in a Long Life" by John L'Heureux

Rating: $

Review: I feel like this is a somewhat tired technique, straight out of Creative Writing 101: write a story consisting of three or four different snapshots or snippets out of a character's life at different ages, sort of like a series of written photographs. Fun perhaps, but strikes me as a bit amateurish. However, I also think L'Heureux succeeds here by pushing it a bit further, playing with the character's tentative attempts at something close to faith -- in childish, adult, and mature adult ways -- and tying all three "Short Moments" together in a subtle and readily decipherable way.

L'Heureux's prose and his frank humor and his ability to glorify and find the meaning in the mundane events and thoughts of every day life, and thereby turn the life of an ordinary person into a drama with meaning and significance puts me in mind of John Irving. As well a…

New Yorker Fiction Review #151: "The Bog Girl" by Karen Russell

From the June 20 issue...

My loyal readers (if there are still any, which I doubt) will know I'm usually not a fan of Magical Realism, which, as you may also know, is Karen Russell's stock in trade. That said, there's nothing I love more than having my antipathy for magical realism shattered by an awesome story like "The Bog Girl."

Briefly, an Irish teenager discovers the body of a young woman who as been buried in a bog for over 2,000 years and begins to date her. What more do you need, right? If I'd read that one-line description somewhere else, and wasn't on a mission to review every New Yorker short story, I doubt I'd have read "The Bog Girl." But maybe I should start doing a George Costanza and do the opposite of everything I think I should do.

Where Russell succeeds here is in two main areas: 1.) Making us really love Cillian, the teenager who falls in love with the bog girl, and 2.) pulling the unbelievable trick making the characters…

Water Review: San Pellegrino 250ml Bottle

Damn you, tiny little bottle of San Pellegrino. So little. So cute. But what are you really good for other than to make me wish I had a full bottle of Pellegrino? 
Good as a palate cleanser after a nice double espresso, I will give it that. But little else. The suave yet chaotic burst of Pellegrino bubbliness is still there, but with each sip you feel the tragedy of being that much closer to the end of the bottle, that much faster.

This is a bottle of water made specifically for the frustrated, for the meticulous, for the measurers among us with a penchant for the dainty. This water does not love you in the wild, on a sunny porch or with the raucous laughter of friends. No...much the opposite. Whatever that may be.

Best drunk in tiny, tiny sips, while forcing oneself through an unreadable and depressing Russian novel one does not want to read but feels one should, on a cold, wet day in December that promises four months of gloom and depression...or in pairs or threes and poured over …