Stream of Consciousness: Seattle Sounders at FC Dallas


he encyclopedia says Stream of Consciousness is “a narrative mode that seeks to portray an individual's point of view by giving the written equivalent of the character's thought processes.” In other words, DJ watches games, and writes down whatever comes to mind. Sometimes prescient, sometimes odd, almost always entertaining.

There's an old song by the Minutemen, “It's Expected I'm Gone.” I think that pretty much sums up our George John situation.

He is not in the starting lineup because of a red card suspension, and I don't have any inside information, but I have a feeling we've seen the last of of the kid in hoops.

That's bad news.

Well, I say it's bad news, but in truth it's only bad news for us, the fans and supporters of FC Dallas. For George, it may be tremendously good news.

In case you have no idea what I'm babbling about right now, I'm referring to the reports that Blackburn Rovers of the English Premier League have made a bid to buy George away from FC Dallas. His size, excellent recent form, and Greek passport make him a very tempting target for English teams.

If you're wondering about the passport part, you have to understand that in England, there are very strict work-permit laws which hamper non-European players who try to move to the Premiership. European Union law, however, forbids discrimination against EU passport holders. Thus, George John will have no problems getting a permit.

Like most of us (I suspect), I have terribly mixed feelings about this. George John is a terrific young man, a very talented player, and the foundation of a vastly improved FC Dallas defense. So I hate to see him go.

On the proverbial other hand, let's face it; George John is underpaid for a man of his talent. He's one of the top defenders in MLS, and he's making school teacher money. If he was one of the top defenders in say, the NFL, he'd be making school district money.

As in, add up the money all the teachers in your local school district are making put together, and you're somewhere in the ballpark.

I have to think, without knowing the details of the average Premiership payroll, that George would be getting at least a ten-fold increase in salary at Blackburn. Maybe twenty-fold.

So what do you do, if you're FC Dallas?

Tell him no? Sure, he signed a contract, and there would be nothing immoral in expecting him to honor it. But this is the opportunity of a lifetime; it would be well nigh unconscionable to deny it to him.

Give him a raise? Okay, but unless the club is willing to make him a Designated Player, the money won't even come close to what he would be getting at Blackburn. Is FC Dallas likely to make him a DP? Not really.

So, probably, you let him go, suck it up, enjoy the allocation money, wish him well, and hope someone will fill his shoes.

What about us, the fans? Are we to resent George John for leaving in the middle of what could potentially be a treble-winning year?

Some might, but not me. Sure, I think his absence would seriously impair the odds of FC Dallas lifting any hardware this season, and that is depressing (in a non-real-world, soccer kind of way. Real depression is reserved for stuff like deaths in the family, divorce, unemployment, and the cancellation of Firefly by the idiots at Fox).

But, in my little universe, the players on my favorite team are not chess pieces, to be sacrificed with no emotional attachment. They are people whom I admire for their talent and dedication. They are people who bring me joy on a weekly basis during the season. If something bad happens to them, I hurt for them. If something good happens to them, I rejoice with them.

So, if George John gets to go to England, I'll hurt with him a little, because I know he'll be sad to leave. But I'll also rejoice with him, because he's doing something most of us will never get to do: live out his dream.

As for tonight, Zach Loyd is starting in central defense, and the team has come out in the first few minutes playing with confidence. It's nice to see. Confidence and a bit of flair. It's a whole new attitude with this team. They play like they are in charge of things, as opposed to years past when almost everything was reactive with this team, even in successful years. This is a team that imposes its will on the opposition more often than I am used to seeing.

Of course, no sooner do I write this, than Seattle scores first, in the 15th minute, taking advantage of an atypically bad touch by Ugo Ihemelu.

Now Zach Loyd is coming off the field, with what looks like a hamstring problem. Yikes. Jeremy Hall is coming in, having just been acquired from Portland (possibly because the front office knew George John was going to be leaving soon). I hope Zach is okay, but I'm glad to get a look at Hall.

I am very impressed by the large contingent of Sounders fans gathered in section 132. It looks to be 30-40 people that made the long trip from Seattle; they're in fine voice, as well. That, my friends, is good support. Well done.

Annnnnnnd, Match Day Live is giving me a “Technical Difficulties” notice. I hate to go negative here, but I'm really not a fan of the MDL experience. Lots of technical glitches and a consistently bad picture equal one unhappy customer.

I know, I know, I'm watching soccer, in America, on a computer, for not a terribly great amount of money. I'm aware of that. I'm on record as being sufficiently awed and thankful for the improvement in the lot of the American soccer fanatic since the days of, say, one NASL match per season, on a channel you could barely get reception on, played during the exact time your Dad insisted on the lawn being mowed and trimmed even though you had the entire weekend to do it. I get it. I lived through those days. But I'm bitching about MDL tonight, despite all that. So sue me.

Well, since I have a blank screen in front of me, I guess it is as good a time as any for a slight digression. To wit: How in the world is Robbie Keane getting multi-millions per year? I like Robbie Keane, don't get me wrong. He's fun to watch, he's a proven goal scorer, not too old at 31 years old; yes, all of that. Conceded.

But really, 2-3 million a year?

My mind is officially boggled at those numbers. Am I out of line on this? Is that a reasonable amount of money?

Okay, Match Day Live is on the air again, just in time for the last few minutes of the first half. The boys are down 1-0 going in to the locker room, but I'm not terribly worried. The Seattle goal was flukish (though quite nicely finished, I must admit), and FC Dallas out-shot Seattle by something like 11-1 for the half. So my naturally pessimistic nature is somewhat quieted.

The first ten minutes of the second half are much like the first ten minutes of the first. Lots and lots of FC Dallas pressure, lots of good chances, but so far no goals.

Oh, no. Come on. Disaster.

Danny Cruz is sent off. In the 55th minute. He picked up a cheap yellow in the first half, and now Mr. Gantar shows him the second yellow for, supposedly, taking a dive. I've been pretty happy with Mr. Gantar in the few games I've seen him work, but this call was atrocious. Unacceptable. (Ooh, freaky, I was typing the word 'unacceptable' just as Steve Jolley was speaking the same word on the broadcast. You know what they say about great minds, though . . .)

That was without a doubt one of the worst calls I've ever seen in MLS. Cruz was sandwiched between two players, running with the ball toward goal, and went down; a case of legs getting tangled. I don't even know that it was a foul on the defensive player, much less a dive by Danny Cruz.

Bizarre is not to strong a word to describe that call. And I say that as a fan who is all for throwing a diver out of a game. I think it doesn't happen nearly enough in any league, anywhere in the world. That being said, this was still a horrible call.

It may Castillo time. He should be ready to get back in to the swing of things by scoring a quick goal tonight. Or two.

The impressive thing right now is that FC Dallas is still carrying the attack to Seattle, even a man down. I think the Boys have an equalizer in them tonight, if not a winner. That would be a huge confidence boost at this point in the season. Not to mention a crushing blow for Seattle, which wouldn't hurt, seeing as they are the opponents in the upcoming US Open Cup semifinals.

Ha! There he is, SeƱor Castillo, right on schedule.

The main thing going against FC Dallas right this second, more so than the lack of an 11th player, is the presence of Kasey Keller. Kasey's just not really a give-up-the-late-goal kind of guy. Never has been.

There's been so many fouls called that Mr. Gantar's little spray can has run out of white paint for free kicks. Soon, a game like this will be known as a 'two can game'. You heard it here first.

Three minutes left, plus stoppage.

Four minutes added on. Come on Boys. A little magic.

AHHH! Well, there was a little magic there in the last minute, but sadly it was performed by Kasey Keller. He robbed Bruno Guarda like a drunk sailor on shore leave.

Full time. What a bizarre loss. One bad touch by Ugo leads to a goal, then an absolutely crazy red card helps prevent an equalizer.

And, lest you think I'm picking on Ugo, let me go on the record in saying that he was terrific tonight, that one thing aside; brilliant at times defensively, and only a Kasey Keller save away from scoring an equalizer. Ugo is the man, and make no mistake about it.

Okay, folks, I'm road tripping to Kansas City for next weekend's game, Lord willin' and the creek don't rise, so there may just be a road trip edition in our future.

See you then.