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Monday, August 1, 2011
Stream of Consciousness: Chivas USA at FC Dallas

By DJ Walker

The 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.

It’s a hundred-eleventy degrees in Frisco. There’s a serious chance the ball is going to melt in mid-air at some point in the game. Tex Hooper is being hosed down every few minutes to prevent spontaneous bovine combustion.  The Inferno has gone from being a cute nickname for the supporter’s group to a fairly accurate description of section 121.  The big statue of Uncle Lamar is wearing shades and sipping a Del’s Lemonade.

It’s hot, my friends. I’m sweating just describing it, here in the air conditioning, some 200 miles away in Oklahoma City (where it’s a hundred-eleventy-one).

Seriously, they need to kickoff at 10:00 pm on days like this. The front office could plan a midnight showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show afterwards, to draw a bigger crowd.

I’d be much more inclined to travel to a home game in the dead of winter and risk frostbite, than to schlep on down and broil on a day like this. Purists will no doubt see games like this as a sure sign MLS should go to a fall/winter schedule like the rest of the world. The rest of the world doesn’t have the NFL to contend with, however, so this seems fairly unlikely to happen.

This may be the first game in league history where the visiting team made it to town before the home team. FC Dallas just got back from San Salvador, while the Chivas USA guys have been hanging around in the hotel for a day or two. Conditioning will tell tonight. Lots of games, lots of travel, and lots of heat. If these guys are still running hard in the 90th minute, you have to think there’s no team in the league more physically fit.

With 39 points, FC Dallas would be eight points clear at the top of the Eastern Division. Hmmm…..

I was happy to see that Pari Marosevic scored in his debut for Toronto this weekend.

HEY! Speaking of scoring Marvin Chavez starts things off with a deflected goal in the 26th minute. That one was made from a combination of good fortune and slack defending by CUSA (Sorry HP3).

Michael Lahoud just put a fine American football tackle on Jair Benitez. Hit him low, wrapped him up. Textbook. Except this is soccer, son, and we don’t do that. Just to be safe though, someone send Jerry Jones a tweet, in case he’s still looking for players.

Ohhhh, George John just misses with a header off the far post.

So, 1-0 at the half.

Bobby and Steve in the booth tell us that FCD is 10-0-1 this year when scoring first.

If I was superstitious, I’d be afraid I just put the mojo on the boys for the second half merely by mentioning this fact. But I’m not superstitious, and realize any causative nexus between my written words and the outcome of this match is an absolute empirical impossibility, not to mention a metaphysical absurdity.

(Knock on wood)

I was watching the preseason Emirates Cup earlier today. Several things struck me as interesting. First was that Red Bull New York seemed to take this series of exhibition games more seriously than they did the US Open Cup. And when I say ‘interesting’ in this context, I really mean ‘pathetic and disgraceful’.

Second, I love the fact that Arsenal fans hate Manchester United so much that they booed Wayne Rooney’s brother when he subbed in for New York. Nice.

Finally, it delighted me to no end that Arsenal lost their own faux-sliverware opportunity to an MLS side. The only way that could be sweeter would have been if John Rooney had scored the deciding goal. We might have been privileged to witness a good old fashioned soccer riot. Priceless stuff, there.

Brek Shea just took a blast from 30 yards out. What confidence this kid is playing with. The shot was parried by Dan Kennedy, and Marvin Chavez put the rebound in the back of the net, but from an offside position. Still, Brek is feelin’ it these days. He’s getting that confidence and audacity that great goal scorers have to have to excel. It’s fun to watch.

Ruben Luna just misses from the top of the 18, and moments later just misses from six yards out off a corner kick. Right now, Chivas USA’s defensive philosophy is to yell at the assistant referee rather than mark FC Dallas players close enough to prevent them from shooting. Shrewd.

(Again, no offense, HP3. You know we still love you around here)

It’s good to see Maykel Galindo getting some playing time. He really hasn’t been healthy enough to make an impact here in Dallas. Hopefully he’ll get the chance now that he’s back to full speed.

Another go from long range, this time from Ricardo Villar. I wonder if this is part of a conscious effort by Sensei to open up opposing defenses. If so, I heartily approve. I’m no soccer genius, but I’m a big fan of taking quality outside shots. I think I mentioned this last week. There’s just no downside to taking your chances from distance. Either you score beautiful goals, or you force the defense to give vertical space, creating room for creativity within the penalty area. It’s just good soccer. Good, attractive soccer, at that. Which is nice, if you can get it.

Five minutes to go. One difference between this team and FC Dallas teams of yore is that one doesn’t feel like a 1-0 lead is nearly as tenuous as in the old days. This side seems in control, whereas many of us remember the days when a tying goal seemed a more likely-than-not proposition. I don’t get that with this team. Instead of up 1-0 and barely hanging on, they’re up 1-0 like a boss, as the young people would say. I think. Nevertheless, it’s a much more solid and confident team on the defensive side of the field.

If I was inclined towards optimism, I’d be giddy to the point of intoxication at this development. As it is, I’m thinking of adopting a child just so I can name him ‘Schellas’.

Amazingly, after the week they’ve had, these guys are still running and definitely have not lost their legs, even in to stoppage time. Somebody should get a raise for producing such a well-conditioned team. It’s incredible, and it’s going to be a huge advantage come October.

Full time. A very tidy and efficient victory for the boys. Oh, and once again, Kevin Hartman is brilliant. Just wanted to add that, in case you forgot.

See you next time.