So, what's the deal with EJ's first touch? Is there a more unpredictable thing in all of American soccer? One minute he's brilliant, the next the ball is flying off his foot like it slammed into a concrete wall. It was encouraging that he was willing to shoot from distance and looking to take on defenders, that bespeaks of a growing confidence that's boosted the level of his game in MLS this year, but he's got to solve that first touch to be anything more than a top striker on the domestic front.
The more worrying thing for Onalfo's men will be their failure to create the type of chances on the break and in the box that Eddie Johnson thrives upon. The team looked out of sync and frustrated. I think twice KC players drilled a pass off of Marinelli and the Argentine ended a number of attacking movements holding his hands up in frustration, questioning the decisions and sloppy passing of his teammates. It also seemed like every Wizard was attempting to conjure some of Zavagnin's Goal of the Week magic by blasting away, early and often, from distance.
Some of that frustration has to be due to the twin towers of the Revolution midfield, Larentowicz and Joseph, who clogged the center of the park, choking off attacks through the middle, and the impeccable positioning of Parkhurst in defense. While the Revs were also guilty of some sloppy play, they were, in the main, putting together more cohesive attacks and actually proved capable of finding the final ball. Both keepers also proved their quality on multiple occasions and both clubs were maybe unlucky not to see more goals in this match, which was sloppy, but still entertaining.
And that's why it's so hard to figure out ESPN's obsession with cutting away for the ridiculous "30 at 30" segment, sideline interviews, and the torturously long shots of the coaches while the ball is in play. If you really feel the need to do crap like that, there are times in the match when you can do so - injuries, the milling about prior to set pieces, etc. I was really hoping that Marinelli's deflected shot would loop in over Reis so that ESPN would have to come out of the "30 at 30" to goal celebrations and egg all over their faces. Not to mention the couple of times that they would return from a replay only to see one keeper or the other shouting at his defense while the opposition set up for a corner. What the hell? What led to that corner, did they just have a scoring chance? Bah! Actually following the game is for fey Euro-pansies! Viva la replay! Screw long attention spans! What?
At least they managed to restrain themselves and did the Freddy interview during halftime. See, was that so hard? You don't have to do all the interviews during the freakin' game! Of course, if it's Beckham we're talking about, you know they'd either cut away from the game entirely or put it in the tiny "30 at 30" window so that they could maximize the real estate slavishly devoted to His Highness. No way they waste His presence during halftime, when folks might be off getting a snack or hitting the loo (see, Fullback Files takes its part in helping our Saviour feel right at home seriously - see, I did it again with an extraneous "u" - we're nothing if not accommodating to our brethren from across the seas).