Completely and utterly jaded. That's the only explanation. How else can you describe the sort of malaise I face as I stare at this blank post and wonder what to say. Sure, I pumped my fist and came out of my chair after every United goal. I'm satisfied with the shutout, perhaps even mildly enthused that we hung three on the cRapids, but . . .
3-0 is misleading. We were getting ready to come down to the wire in this one, but finally caught a bit of karma from the Injury Gods as the Bum Hammy Hammer came down on the opposition for once and gave us a man advantage that we took full advantage of. And you couldn't have picked a better cog to yoink out of the Rapids' midfield than Mastroeni. Flattering, that's what I call your 3-0 supposed smackdown. To the talking points!
* Tommy the tactician decided to go back to a three-man back line. I can't say I blame him. The Rapids stuck Casey up top and packed the midfield. Packing it even more was an appropriate response, though it probably would have paid bigger dividends if (1) we valued the ball more instead of coughing it up at every opportunity, and/or (2) we had a midfield maestro to pull the strings and dump balls into space. Oh, Marcelo, Marcelo, wherefore art thou Marcelo? Splayed out upon the Sports Hernia Anvil of Doom and desperate to avoid the Bum Hammy Hammer probably. I suppose that's why we have Emilio morphing into the King of Assists.
* All hail Good Saint Louis (Crayton)! A couple of sloppy moments, but a second shutout in three appearances. Is there a shred of blame left that hasn't yet been heaped upon poor Zach Wells. Let it be heaped now! Strange verb, "to heap". Kinda sounds like it should involve flying elbows and an incredulous expression directed at a referee holding a card doesn't it? Back to Crayton v. Wells. Anybody want to lay odds on the likelihood of Wells being way out of position on that chance late in the first half that Crayton tipped over? Also, you gotta love the smiles on the guys' faces as they were congratulating Crayton at the end of the game--and his day-glo smile in return. Good chemistry there.
* So what about Tommy's substitution pattern? I thought he may have waited a bit too long to bring on the fourth defender as the Rapids were really starting to look a big danger to our net. Of course, given the missed tackles (including a spectacular two-player whiff on Casey that had me haunted by visions of Chicago in the playoffs last year) Zaher was turning in, maybe it wouldn't have mattered much anyway. To be fair to Zaher, he did have one glorious charge forward . . . but that didn't help the defensive cause. I guess we'll give Tommy points for sending on a couple of attackers late, both of whom had good looks at goal and were eager to do damage, Kirk ultimately cleaning up Cordeiro's garbage. And thank God Almighty that we didn't have to put up with another nightmare Dyachenko appearance.
* How about some quick hits to break things up a bit? Tino was firing from range all day and finally manage to hit one--and boy what a hit! Another Goal of the Week candidate? Thompson may put in a solid shift, but that's all he's bringing to the party. He's neither technical nor a thinker, and that hurt our thrust down the right. Beautiful movement in the 79th minute would have been a fitting goal for Moreno, but he curled it wide. Martinez' heavy involvement in this move shows what we end up missing when we play him wide in a back three versus wide in a back four. Terribly sloppy to start the second half. That's no way to bury a team in "our house".
* Finally, a note of sympathy to our brothers out in Dick's country. Good God! Do you have to put up with that lame-ass announcer every freakin' week? Let's enumerate some of his sins shall we? Apparently, United has a really solid defense with McTavish and Pat Carroll holding down the center. Um, dude? We're statistically the second worst defense in the league. We've been haunted by error and inconsistency. And Pat Carroll has played only a handful of games for us and didn't even play in this one. Also, it seems that the Rapids turn the sprinklers on at the Big Dick in order to wet the turf before the game . . . in order to slow the play down!
Continuing on in that vein, can we stop to consider the existential wonder of DC United's wonderful long-ball game that is allowing them to dominate possession? No? How about this dude's expectation that the Rapids should be dominating possession and having a lot more shots than United just because, well, they've outshot their opponents the last few weeks. You remember, during their three games in a row AT FREAKIN' HOME! And I know that he was struggling with the names of about half of United's lineup and even a few of the Rapids as well, but how about that goal by Quirk? I smell a nickname brewing ;-).
Sorry about the rant, but that kind of crap puts the bush in bush league.
So, we're temporarily back in the saddle again. But, of course, this has been our pattern over the last month or so. One up, one down. Will the roller coaster continue when the Red Bulls roll in? Fingers crossed everybody! Oh, and somebody put in a good word with those Injury Gods cause we could sure use some more healthy bodies about now. And see if you can find a way to hide that Bum Hammy Hammer while you're at it.