Owing to time and family constraints, this is going to be short and ugly. I've not seen much beyond highlights, match writeups, and the reaction of my fellow bloggists, so my own reaction is going to be necessarily quite limited. Have I hemmed and hawed enough? Good. Let's throw a curve and toss in a little Tickle v. Tackle action on this one . . .
Another shutout for Saint Louis Crayton. The man from the Bong Mines now has three shutouts in four appearances and made a couple of key saves to keep the Bulls off the board. The hint and rumor of whispers in the dark say that maybe he was taking "sweeper keeper" to an extreme, but I say: "screw you guys--dude pitched another shutout" and, of course, the obligatory, "you want Wells back?" Pairing the non-Thor-like physiques of the Iceman (c'mon, you know he's got "Highway to the Danger Zone" on his iPod, right?) and the Bachelor (hipster, huh? I can dig it, McT) and getting away with it against Angel has to be a bonus as well, though we might be singing a different tune if Saint Looie didn't bail them out a few times.
But, of course, we didn't manage to smuggle one into their net either. Jaime's penalty miss may have the masses pining for what might have been, but from reaction elsewhere and the stat line (stats never lie, right?), it seems like a draw was the fair result. And it seemed to me that an inordinate amount of the highlight reel was Tino blasting away from long range. Not exactly the high-percentage play. Then again, getting some horses back in the stable (Doe and the long-absent Gallardo) bodes well for a brutal September-October run, particularly with Moreno and Emilio emerging from the dog days of summer in a somewhat dinged and exhausted fashion.
From most accounts, it looks like Joe Vide is starting to make his presence felt, surprisingly more so than fellow Quake-reject Guerrero. Question is, what do we do with him when (if?) Gallardo returns to full fitness? Do we change things up and try Vide on the right? Or maybe we push Gallardo into a wider role? Box midfield anybody? How about a narrow diamond? 4-3-1-2 or back to the 3-5-2? Questions aplenty for the sometimes questionable tactical nous of Tommy Soehn.
But while we're on the subject of Quake-rejects, where is Guerrero? Is it just taking him a bit to settle or should we start to get worried about the fact that he couldn't even feature in San Jose (pre-transfer window renaissance)? And speaking of failure to make an impact, how much longer can the Rod Dyachenko Experiment continue? Seriously. Does he have incriminating pictures of Soehn or something? What is he doing to deserve his playing time?
Sorry. That's about all that the Reaction Launch Window will allow at this time. Fingers crossed that Emilio hasn't joined the victims of the Bum Hammy Hammer. All thoughts are now bent to Wednesday--possibly our best chance for silverware this season and our golden ticket to continental competition for next year. Optimistic? Cautiously.