Seeing as how I'm on the road and watched last night's match in a tiny streaming-video window whilst holding a conversation, my comments will be necessarily brief, rather pixelated, and, unfortunately, buffering . . . buffering . . . buffering ;-).
* I'll admit it--for about the first hour or so, I was worried. We were all over them but clinging to a narrow one-goal lead, and The View was starting to surge, with Scarlett bursting up the left and a few chances being created in and around the top of the box.
* The passing, particularly out of the back, was sloppy to say the least. That said, it was miles better than the first leg. I suppose you can attribute that to a combination of a better pitch with another week of "getting to know you" from the boys in black. The sharpness will come.
* I was a bit worried about Gallardo's free kicks last week--not the direct strikes, but rather the balls into the box for folks to crash in on. Guess we had that little question answered emphatically as McTavish bundled the opener home.
* Speaking of McT, I wonder how long he can hold off Emilio for the top goalscorer spot? Luci's brace drew him level, but Deadly Devon struck back and snatched another opportunistic finish from inside the six to push his tally to three.
* Gallardo's tendency to play deeper and to actually, you know, get involved defensively, should let our wings play higher, producing the type of counter we saw over and over again last night when The View pushed forward--three or four black shirts strung out along the back line, waiting to run onto a ball dumped in behind the defense. Had our finishing been any sharper, or The View's back line any slower, we might have hung double digits on them.
* I'm really, really excited about our defense. Los Gonzalos are solid, and that solidity is allowing Burch the freedom to really push forward and get involved in the attack. Namoff will be his normal, underrated, consistent self, and I'm a lot more confident in Wells dealing with high balls into the box than I ever was with Perkins. We've yet to see if he can bring the Troy-style goods on one-on-one's, but Wells' command of the box and an improved defense that won't allow as many clear breaks should cover any deficiencies in this area. To round it all out, Simms just needs a bit more seasoning to wed his tackling and the ground he covers with a slightly better reading of the game. I'm still not completely sold on his positioning and ability to wreck attacks coming through the middle, but he's getting there.
Overall grade? I'd go somewhere around a B+, given that it's only our second match and we did bag five goals. That said, we should have had more, the passing wasn't up to snuff, and Fred wound up with a pacifier stuck in his mouth.