Soccer is My Sport; The Sounders Are My Team
Welcome to Seattle Soccer Season, Son! I am your host, Rich Michelson, and I’m slaving over a hot microphone… Wait, never-mind, I’m not on radio right now.
Nevertheless, it is MLS season and I am here to share my weekly musing, ruminations, pronouncement of odious facts and prognostications of what is to come in MLS. We will visit the Rave Green’s latest weekly hero, and review the happening in world soccer (er football) or is it Futbol?
So lets start with the local team eh?
We interrupt this broadcast to say that the last 12 sports months have been send haywire with all of the incredible comebacks. This week Barcelona came back from a 4-0 deficit in from the first leg of their 2-match series with Paris Saint Germain (PSG). Barcelona rallied for 3 quick goals in the first half to give themselves hope. PSG scored their 5th goal in the middle of the second half and all looked like doom for Barcelona. The waited until the 87th minute when Neymar hit a perfect free kick, then scored a penalty, before sending a perfect lob in extra time to his teammate for the game winning assist. Go watch the highlights of this match. Yes its 15 minutes. Go watch it. Yes I am talking to you. I don’t care if you think you don’t have time to watch. You do. Your life isn’t that important. Lets get real. Yes, Abe, this means you.
The Sounders lost on the road at Houston Dynamo, falling 2-1. It was a tail of two halves. The Sounders got slaughtered in the first half, and rallied and took the game to the Dynamo in the second half. This team has had a target on its back since it strode proudly into the league in 2009. For nearly a decade, the Sounders were — the New York Yankees of the 1980s, the Cowboys since the triplets left, the Atlanta Braves of the 1990s– all flash in the regular season, and no dash in the playoffs. They were like the team of empty calories. And never giving their Rave Green clad fans the satisfaction that they have deserved more than any other fan base in MLS. The Sounders will have to buck up this season and show us that they can wear the crown of champions and take every team’s best shot. They are the defending champs. Lets see them act like it.
Clint Dempsey and Ozzy Alonso are my co-Men-of-the-Match for the Sounders from last week. They get it due to being on the field. Both men played the full 90 minutes. It was Dempsey’s first game since last August. This was a person who soccer fans in Seattle and throughout the US were concerned might be forced into retirement or even die. Instead he was his normal effective, dangerous, defiant, spontaneous self. He scored the Sounders lone goal by doing his right-place-right-time poaching thing to perfection. Lets hope head coach Brian Schmetzer lays down the law with Dempsey and has him just plant himself on the back shoulder of the opposing center back and then try sh*t.
Ozzy Alonso was legen-wait for it-DARY in the MLS Cup Final. He played on 1 good knee; the other being held together with bailing wire, duct tape and cortisone shots. He was epic in that final match. The only thing he didn’t do was shoot in the penalty kick shootout. He could have retired. He could have taken a couple of months off to rest and recuperate. Instead he is looking fit and looking like he will be on the pitch for 30 matches again for the Rave Green.
A few thoughts on soccer uniforms (or kits). A soccer kit is the main indentifying feature of a team. It should be unique and distinct enough that you can turn on a league match and immediately know who is playing. Instead many teams in MLS are using the similar looks. Also Adidas should be ashamed of themselves with some of the MLS designs. Brian Straus of Sports Illustrated wrote a great article on the uniforms. Also the blog for DC United, Black and Red United, wrote about this well a few months ago.
The teams with colors for both of their kits look better. They are distinct. White can be a complementary color. It shouldn’t be your primary color. Can there be exceptions? Sure. Should there be? Look, the best clubs in the world wear colors, (except for Real Madrid) and are distinct and reinforce thier brand over and over as you view them week after week. Roma’s dark crimson and orange kits. Man U’s Red shirts. Everton’s blue shirts with the tower on their crest. Dortmond’s bumble bee kits. Its like the Yankees pinstripes.
The games I will be watching this weekend. Anything with Pulisic, Chelsea, Sounders, and Columbus. Seriously, go. watch. Pulisic.
Liga MX (Mexico) has no games this week. The refs are on strike. That’s too bad. There are free games to watch in English!!!!!! on Facebook live from Univision every weekend.