Thursday Night Futbol - Can You Say Dynamo-mentum?
So what did we know going into this match? Well, Houston is on a roll and looking to be the class of the league and Chicago is in a nosedive and trying hard to pull out of it before they plow into RSL on the way down. You know that silly "that's why they play the game" line that sportscasters seem to be contractually obligated to trot out? Well, it didn't really apply here.
Much like the Metrobulls last week, Houston took an Eastern Conference foe out to the woodshed, cued the banjo music, and didn't let up till they'd reached 4-0. And they did it without Ching and DeRosario, the later coming on as a late sub to set up the fourth. This, I believe, is the definition of a "form team". It'll be interesting to see how they hold up to the punishing schedule they will have to endure over the next month with SuperLiga rolling in. I suppose, like United, they can play off the early exit in the Open Cup by playing the "we had too many fixtures anyway" card.
Oh yeah, and you can cancel the competition for "Goal of the Week" cause Ngwenya's already got that one wrapped up with a fantastic individual effort. Dominic Kinnear is proving himself as a redeemer of lost forwards. "Send me your slumping, send me your goal-shy, send me those with concrete boots . . ." Both Ngwenya and Jaqua netted for the Orange, though they were both aided somewhat by comical Chicago defensive efforts.
This is going to be a long, hard road for new Fire boss Osorio, because he's got very little depth to trade away and it's not like folks are going to be beating down his door with offers. He's pretty much going to have to either mortgage the future by dealing draft picks and cutting the dead weight (hello Calen Carr!), or going the "discovery player" route, though they seem to have used a few discovery slots already from what I can tell.
Now, let's get to the 800lb gorilla with the ink on his arms, magic in his right boot, and whatever hairstyle half the kids in Asia will be wearing next week. Holy crap ESPN! Please aim that floodlight elsewhere please - I'm going Beckham blind, of deaf, or something. How many times did they say His name, flash His picture, or pimp His coming, not to mention calling His coach, listening to Him ramble on about the magical Disney lifestyle He envisions for His kids (note the product tie-in as Disney owns ABC/ESPN - Beckham is a marketing machine after all!) , and showing behind the scenes footage of Him making commercials.
That last bit was excruciating. You've got one of the most promising young American midfielders, Ricardo Clark, banging a volley off the crossbar from outside of the area and what's filling your screen? Beckham making a freakin' commercial! Honestly, if they can't focus on the game before he's even suited up for the Galaxy, you can imagine the insanity that will ensue with the Beckham cam. Between iso-cams on the Golden One, idiotic 30 at 30 breaks, unnecessary video of sideline reporters, replays over live action, photos of Tommy with a wig on, pictures of Wynalda's pool party last week, AAAARRRRGGGHHH!
I feel you Charlie Brown, I really do. ESPN is our Lucy, waving the football/futbol in front of our faces and then yanking it away. I ask you Joe American-Soccer-Fan, is this to be put up with? Will we even get to see half of the live action from the game we love, or will ESPN put the big E of Entertainment (if that's what you can call it) before the S of Sports and subject us to months, maybe years, of inane broadcasting designed to appease the lowest common denominator - the casual viewer and dilettante futbol fan?