Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Timbers Take a Tumble

This account of the Timbers' embarrassing weekend delayed on account of all of us collapsing into a heat-induced coma. Let's hear it for global warming!
Oh my. Oh Timbers. Not good this weekend. Not good at all. I don't want to kick my team when they're down. They're my team, after all. If the Timbers played Barcelona, if the Timbers played an all-star team composed of my own hand-picked favorite players like Riquelme and Messi and Ribery and Thuram and Gerrard and Ronaldinho and Terry and so on, I'd still root for the Timbers. Who were not good this weekend. I know this. They know this. I did not see them play in Seattle on Saturday, but on Friday, I saw this: The passing is a mess. The marking is off. The finishing is a disaster. What happened to my fast, creative, fun-to-watch team? It's as though I looked away for a month of World Cup and when I looked back they had been replaced by...by slow, dull, confused amateurs. And I know these players are capable of so much more.

Okay, we weren't terrible in the first half. And we showed some courage and spirit toward the end of the second half. And Hugo Alcarez-Cuellar's shot into the net was lovely in its precision.

It's not really about where we are in the standings--tenth place--although if we had promotion and relegation, which is a rant for another day, we'd be in the danger zone. On second thought, that's a rant for right now. There's so little at stake in American soccer. You can only move so high or so low, and nothing matters much from season to season. I'd like to see us in the playoffs this year, but not if we're going to crash and burn as ignominiously as we did last September. I suppose I just want us to play well for the remainder of the season--to play up to our potential, whether we win or lose.

Friday night was miserably hot, by the way, having hit 104 degrees earlier in the day, so after the second half, cross and exhausted from the heat, we moved out of 107 into 206. Since I tend to hunker down in 107 with a singleminded concentration, this new seating arrangement provided an interesting perspective. We sat in 207 a couple of years back, along with one or two dozen other people; this past Friday it was too crowded. The Army is exponentially louder than they were two years ago. As for the middle sections halfway cross the park, did they prop corpses in those seats, or what? Even our one goal appeared incapable of rousing them from their stupor. For the love of Clive Charles, people. At least pretend to show a little enthusiasm. You're a disgrace!

Final weekend results: Seattle wins 2-1 Friday and 3-1 Saturday (face-saving goals scored by Hugo and by Luke Kreamalmeyer). We sit in tenth place while Team Evil ascends to seventh. Rose City Til I Die!

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