Ouch - I think I pulled a groin with that pathetic stab at a headline. Of course, even with a pulled groin, I can probably still outrun the geniuses at ESPN, who'll be bumping into walls, tripping over their own feet, and taking unnecessarily long phone calls during the race. Seriously, what the hell was with the DeRo phone call? Give him a minute - sure - that's about what he'd get in an equally unnecessary in-game sideline interview, but how long did that conversation drag on?
Thank goodness for the warning from a fellow blog that ESPN would delay the game 15 minutes so that they could broadcast basketball across the known universe on every available outlet. At least I had a chance to extend my DVR taping time as I most certainly wasn't going to watch an MLS game not involving DC United live when the National Team is playing at the same freakin' time! How hard would it have been to either switch this game to Wednesday, or do the existing Wednesday game as the game of the week? Oh wait, I forgot how huge the soccer market was here in the US of A. No pies to be split here. Geniuses all, I tell ya.
I don't really have much to say about the game as I'll freely admit that I went into TiVo "highlight mode" a bit as it was getting late, skipping and jumping around to sample the action. Speaking of action, why the hell would ESPN promise Euro Cup qualifying highlights at halftime and then break them out in the middle of the second half during the run of play?!?! Sorry, I really dislike excessive punctuation, but it's enough to drive a man to emphasize.
From my admittedly narrow point of view, I thought that maybe a draw would have been a more fair result. Houston pounced early on a mistake by the Rapids' back line (incidentally, Mr. O'Brien, it's Prew-doh, not Prih-doo - would someone in the booth smack him in the back of the head for me? thanks!), but the boys in baby blue fought their way back into the match. Color me somewhat astonished that Clavijo has built himself an interesting little team out there in the hills. This is really the first extended look I've had at them for a month or so and they were moving the ball about pretty well considering the less than impressive way their roster reads.
I guess Casey boned up on the fine art of "embellishment" during his time in Europe. That was certainly a penalty, but who let the snipers into the ground? Sort of "Fish-y" - if you get my drift. Despite probably doing enough to merit a draw, Rocky Mountain Arsenal were punished late by a thunderbolt from Stuart Holden. I couldn't believe that he scored from that tight of an angle at first. Then I saw the replay and was wondering a lot more. He hit that thing with venom, there's no doubting that, but I think that Coundoul will be a little disappointed that he didn't do better.
In the end, it was probably the better of the two games to watch last night. The relative ineptitude of ESPN and FSC pretty much cancel each other out when it comes to either having an advantage in the presentation department. Sadly, and somewhat mysteriously, Okulaja was also the better referee on display in the two games (how did that happen?) and the play on the field was also more attractive on the MLS side of the fence - the parts of it that ESPN allowed us to watch that is.