I've been storing up all of my hare-brained thoughts on soccer for some while, unable to find the time to post. So be warned:
1. Ridiculously entertaining Minnesota Thunder game at The Jimmy on Saturday night. The good guys triumphed 4-3 over the Puerto Rico Islanders. The Thunder, with a record of 4-2-4, have proven quite enigmatic so far this season. Against Puerto Rico they played a lackluster first half, falling behind 2-1 and getting physically beaten up by the mammoth Islander defenders. Then in the second half the Thunder dominated possession, exploiting their superior speed and skill to score three unanswered goals in 30 minutes.
The biggest question mark about this team is defense. They've yielded more than four times as many goals as they had at this point last season. Brett Branan, the team's 22-year-old rookie central defender has been promising, but inconsistent (he headed in an own goal against Puerto Rico). The left side of the defense, alternately manned by Mike Wilson or C.J. Pezneker, has also proven problematic. Conversely the offense has sparkled. At this point in the 2004 season the Thunder had outscored opponents by a margin of 11-3. So far this year they've compiled an 18-14 scoring advantage.
The best song sung at The Jimmy so far this year (to the tune of the Addam's Family theme song):
Your uncle is your brother
Your sister is your mother
You're sleeping with each other
The Charleston Battery
Second best song sung at The Jimmy so far this year (to the tune of Frere Jacque):
Portland Timbers, Portland Timbers
What's that smell? What's that smell?
Dirty stinkin' hippies, dirty stinky hippies
In your town, in your town
The next game is Friday at 7:05 p.m. at The Jimmy. As usual you can get all Thunder information at Blue Sky Soccer. I should have some player interviews posted there on Friday.
2. D.C. United turned in perhaps the most scintillating half of soccer by any MLS squad this season on Saturday against the previously unbeaten Revolution. The score should've been 4-0 at the break, but Jaime Moreno inexplicably botched two sitters. I'd love to see Peter Nowak go for broke the rest of the season and play three forwards up front.
John Wilson was a fabulous pick-up at left back for United. He's been an absolute beast in the last two games.
David Stokes must posses pictures of Peter Nowak buggering Freddy Adu. There's no other explanation for how that man continues to show up on the pitch. Stokes should've been charged with assault during the last five minutes of that Revolution match. He couldn't even make the first XI for the Indomitable Drinky Crows. He should be put down like a rabid dog.
3. The Metrostars are my sleeper pick to win the MLS Cup. Their midfield is arguably the best in the league (if Yuri Djorkaeff can stay healthy). The arrival of Ante Razov finally gives them some balls up front. But what the fuck is up with new GM Alexi Lalas whining about MLS' single-entity ownership structure? The league has done everything possible this side of rigging games to make the New York squad successful. Unfortunately the team's moronic management continually wastes money on old, ineffective players and can't get a decent stadium built. That's certainly not the league's fault.
4. I was under the impression that goal scoring is up markedly this year in MLS. But I was wrong. I just did the math. Last year there were 2.6 goals scored per game. This year: 2.7 goals per game. Maybe I'm just more excitable this year.
5. The Indomitable Drinky Crows, defying all expectations, finished the regular season unbeaten. We compiled a record of 3-0-4, good enough for fifth in the table. Last Sunday, despite playing without five of our most decent players, we inexplicably beat one of the top teams in the league by a 3-1 score. I've never been so proud to be a Drinky Crow. Playoffs start Sunday.