Soccer is My Sport; The Champs Are Back in Their Groove!
Recapping 4 points earned
Well the Boys are Back! Well mostly they are back after a win in the home opener against RBNY. With a 3-1 win the Sounders showed resiliency and found their rhythm on the offensive side of the ball. A few thoughts. Harry Shipp is the perfect complementary player to work with the “Big Three” of center forward Jordan Morris, attacking midfielder Nicolas Lodeiro, and USMNT hero (we’ll get to that later in the column), Clint “Deuce” “I play whatever position I damn well feel like” Dempsey. Harry Shipp’s play is that of facilitator and provocateur. He is consistently looking for the dangerous attacking run to make, or the small gap of space to attack the defense off of the dribble. Late in this game he had a intricate slaloming sequence into the teeth of the Red Bull defense that almost put him in on goal.
I understand some of you don’t care about good chances or almost got done. Well then just remember, he did score the game sealing goal with a wicked redirection of Joevin Jones’ shot. Yes it was very intentional yes, some of you don’t think it was. You are all wrong. This guy ,Harry Shipp, is the best parts of Lamar Neagle, Marco Pappa, and Steve Zakuani rolled into one (well except for the raw foot speed). This excellent article sums it up well.
SSU player of the week
So my man of the match is…. you’ll just have to keep reading below.
Some further thoughts… Joevin Jones is the best left back in MLS. End of discussion. He has and will continue to roam and destroy opposing teams on the left side of the field. This year he has dramatically improved his all ready solid defense. He picked up two assists in this match
Some of the chemistry that existed last year in the four matches that Lodeiro, Morris and Dempsey all played immediately after Lodeiro arrived, and before Dempsey was hurt has slowly started to emerge. This video shows the sweet chemistry with Jones making a bit of one-on-one magic happen and Lodeiro showing the world that he has eyes in the back of his head, and that they should probably mark Morris on the back post.
Lets Act Like Adults Please…
Roman Torres was not in this match due to his post match suspension that he earned for kicking out at his opponent. Also Dempsey earned an unnecessary yellow for retaliation against a Red Bull player who had jostled him in the box. C’mon guys keep it together.
Goose Should Supplant Torres; Torres to RB
Gustav Svensson replaced Torres at center back, pairing with the reliably excellent Chad Marshall. Svensson, here after referred to as Goose, was excellent. I am going to say, after reviewing the tape, that he should start next Friday versus the explosive Atlanta United. I have a few reasons and a lineup change commentary for why I am saying this. This idea is not mine by the way. Credit for this goes to Ryan Cowper (@cowperryan) who writes for Bavarian Football Works, a Bayern Munich blog, similar in scope to Sounder at Heart. He is also a contributor to SAH. He’s a good follow and good read.
Any who, he suggested that Torres be the right back for the foreseeable future. He says, “Torres has speed, crossing ability, and physicality. He’d be a more than capable fullback option.” When I first read this, I thought, “This guy is a Loon (like the terrible Minnesota United defense; if you want to see goals scored, just watch them every week.) who has lost it. However after re-watching every Atlanta United match so far, Ryan is right. Torres would work well.
Here are my reasons:
- Brad Evans is hurt
- Oneil Fisher is hurt
- Svensson is much better in the center of the park and isn’t very fast enough to match up with Atlanta’s left side of their offense. Atlanta’s LB, Greg Garza, is very talented and fast, the LW, Yamil Asad is technically gifted and fast, and their attacking midfielder, Miguel Almiron, likes to drift the the left.
- Roman Torres is fast, physical and has a penchant for adventuresome forray forward. Against Atlanta’s afterburner offense right now, he will hurt us less on the outside than on the inside.
- Atlanta’s forward, Joseph Martinez, has 5 goals in the last 2 games for Atlanta. Now these did come against two of the worst defenses in MLS, but still that is insane.
- Martinez kills high defensive lines and offside traps (thanks @totalsoccershow). You cannot hope to stop him, you can only hope to contain him.
- Torres is a good long passer and can cross the ball with aplomb. Also he has makeup speed for days, and slid tackles are more likely to be forgiven outside of the box than in it.
So Roman Torres please get your fullback shoes on and go lob in some crosses to our very adept attackers. Let’s hang 4 on Atlanta!
Atlanta United are all the rage right now in MLS. Check out their highlights here.
This is some seriously good Sh**. Enjoy it. The last goal is insane. IN-SANE!
Sounders Man of the Match
Christian Roldan was the man against NYRB. He was everywhere and doing everything. He attacked, he defended. He tackled, intercepted, fouled, got fouled. He circulated the ball well and partnered with Ozzie Alonso. Roldan was also installed at emergency right back after Oniel Fisher went down with an injury. He played sweeper-right back/center midfielder/right midfielder at that point, tracking all over the field from touch-line to touch-line.
He is the worthy successor (hopefully not too soon) to Alonso. He could be our best player next year.
Dempsey is Back!
Clint Dempsey is back! He scored 3 goals for a hat trick yesterday for the USMNT in a must win match vs. Honduras. He scored three different ways, showing his skill. With an incredible effort he scored a half-volley while being tackled (like dragged down in American Football, not futbol), He scored by out running and juking the goalkeeper, and he finished his scoring off with a beautiful strike on a free kick that just was gorgeous to watch.
Oh and here are the long form highlights too!!!!!
The Timbers are good, really good. The Whitecaps suck for now. Sorry Freddy Montero. Arsenal are becoming that old senile uncle you love and hate. And Wayne Rooney might be heading home to Everton. Until next time, good night and good luck.