Captured by Borchers: Official Match Statement for Real Salt Lake vs. The Mighty PTFC


Wild Borchers

Dear Major League Soccer,

It’s funny how lucid moments can be before the times that change our lives.

A tragedy foreshadowed in the vibrant glare of a setting sun reflecting off the dew collected on the tip of a great oak’s newest leaf.

A baby’s first breath hinted in the fluttering feathers on the wing of a dove flying startled into the crisp autumn air.

I’ve been in that train as it plummets from the tracks. Smoking cigarettes and whiskey in the first class lounge. A piano plays and I can hear the fingers hit the keys hit the hammers hit the chords. I can see the faint etches of our thoughts as the smoke clings in the air and settles on our sleeves. The clinking of glasses and subtle puckered sound of parched lips sipping a spirit or sucking a drag serves as a foil to rattle of a caboose hurling along tiny metal tracks. The ambience of a moment stuck in time.

I’ve just lit a cigarette, just the next of too many. The whiskey burns my throat and a friend chuckles on. I look side-eye at my lady covered in the finest of frills. A flower of fortune I think as I shake the dice in my clammy paw.

With fist in the air the cabin lurches as gravity and time intersect and do battle. We float for a second, I reach out with one hand as she is lifted from her seat. I let the dice roll as we tumble to ceiling. I see outside the window as a tumbler of drink whirls by my head. This is our last breath.

But then Nat Borchers catches our train in his gently sculpted arms and lays us down on a bed of roses.

I’ve been in that car driving down the lonely road we’d been down before yet never seen in our lives. The dashboard lights flickering as each curve shakes the wiring. I know I’m going too fast. My gut is telling me so as it sloshes left to right and prepares for some sort of calamitous collision. My coffee sloshes over the side of the stained generic cup. There’s lipstick from who’s lips I’ll never know.

I straighten the wheel, squealing tires from a series of sharp corners. I creep faster and turn the dial on the radio. It’s Jimi Hendrix’s “Fire.” I kill the lights as the engine gives its all. The frame is shaking. The windows are shaking from their rolled down perch inside the thin doors. I count the seconds.

One. Two. Three. I turn the lights on just in time to see the turn. I can make it. But I can’t. Inexplicable I can’t slow down and can only go faster as I careen onward. My stomach is now in my throat. I feel dizzy. I feel sick. I feel like that moment on a rollercoaster just before the first drop after the click-click-click-click-click metronome of fear leads you to the edge. But I wouldn’t be laughing at a shitty photo with my family after. I’d be smeared across the trees approaching.

But then Nat Borchers steps from behind the ancient trunk of a hundred year old Doug Fir and plucks me innocently from the window as the car bursts into flames.

I’ve been in that airplane as the cabin loses pressure and the crying whine of the engines drowns the wails for mercy. I was bummed to not have a window seat. The plane was crowded. There was one of every type of person I don’t like. Two of every type of person you don’t want to be trapped in a box at 20,000 feet with.

I couldn’t drink more even if I’d wanted to. The scorn of a slighted flight attendant isn’t to be trifled with. She hadn’t liked my advances or my gripes or my jittery neediness I wore to mask my downright fear. I ate the last peanut and nervously shook the ice in my empty plastic cup.

I tried not to stare as she passed again but I did at the moment it flew off the floor and into the air. The whine of the engines. The ding of the fasten seat belts sign. The Captain saying nonsense over the intercom as the attendant screamed blood rushing into air. A lurch. A turn. The masks dropping as screaming is starting. I don’t want to die someone yells into a sea of the same thought. Who ever does I think as I begin to weep.

Then Nat Borchers appears from first class and plugs a hole in the fuselage using his old RSL jersey and then saves the pilots life before successfully landing us slightly off course.

This season isn’t even a train wreck-car crash-plane wreck but when it is and it seems like there is no hope, at least we have our second leading goal scorer.



The Expectables: Official Match Statement for San Jose Earthquakes vs. The Mighty PTFC

Chara. That is all.

Dear Major League Soccer,

How hard did you touch yourself when your Subway Sandwich Franchises scored a million goals on Saturday?

How quickly did your nonchalant greed morph into giddy exuberance at the notion that your league could at least be entertaining?

Did you gesticulate in violent passion on the floor as yet another goal ripped apart some shitty defense or were you prone in a desk chair at an expensive desk watching a stream as your fanboys blew you? 

How many tingles coursed down your leathery neck as RSL and DCU undressed each other into a result you’d expect in Oceania qualifying? 

Are there words to describe your perverse desire to equate end-to-end soccer with ass-to-ass?

Expectable, I guess.

Like us, I guess.

But we’re not even sexy right now.

Image issues, I guess.

Fitness some think.

Confidence they say.

Almost there we hope.

“What the fuck?”! we wail in despair, as we see the lineup against San Jose.

So. Fucking. Expectable.

I was so hard up for this match then my expectations went flaccid staring at a predictable mediocrity. We all knew what to expect. We knew exactly what kind of football we were going to play. We knew which channels we’d focus on and that we’d all shit ourselves on set pieces. And we don’t know shit. And even though San Jose displays a general identity of baby with an avocado for a head they knew exactly what we were going to do and could focus on being idiots. 

I expected Paparatto to start. Borchers start was expectable. From the start Will and Chara held back in coverage. Hurried and harried. Not trusting. Unwilling. Some bad touches. Some brave challenges. Linchpins. But not our pivots. Does that start at the back? 

I don’t fucking know. Just fucking start Papa.

But still when we play good defense we can’t see this out on the dull back of 0-0 draws. The flare and panache of 2013 has been replaced by a lumping lurch from the back to the wings and the feet of Rodney or Powell or Villafana or Nagbe back to Powell and expectably disappointing cross after cross. Our attacking mid is playing like an inverted defensive winger. Our Maestro is caught adrift in a maelstrom of identity crises. Nobody creating space. Nobody displaying guile or wit or any drop of creative essence for him to paint a chance from our tears. 

We’re lost. Marooned on a narrative that our bad defense is better than no offense. That our offense is gelling. It’s coming together. We just shipped a piece and brought in another. Lost a cat whose quick off the bench in the right conditions and has been integral in getting us points time after time. 

But off the bench we have Peay for Powell at half. A defensive sub for a team with a bench full of dollars and goals. Forced by fate and misguided in choice when we all know that Jack is second on all depth charts and certainly RB where he valiantly led us through memorable campaigns. 

What more to say? That posts were hit and chances were had but nothing was doing. 

Even the penalty never felt right. Was there something inside us? Something that knew the expectable. Knew that nothing is ever never certain. That sometimes you don’t get something from nothing. 

And Valeri hit post. And our hearts hit the bottom. And the rest was expectable. No million dollar winger making late game heroics or showing anything of note. 

It was all so underwhelming. 

So fucking expectable. 

Sorry about the blue balls.



BOG Tea Leaves: Week Twenty


Friday, July 17

Los Angeles Galaxy vs. San Jose Earthquakes #LAvSJ

A Classico of crunch wrap supremes.
A rivalry of silicon memes.
A DP takes two to tango.
Unchained melody allocated Django.
Make up rules to make up ground.
You can’t change the ball is round.
San Jose’s troll like behavior.
Or Stevie G. the geriatric savior.
2-1 Galaxy

Saturday, July 18

Toronto Football Club vs. Philadelphia Union #TORvPHI

Toronto is a rich man’s Philly.
The Union at best are willy-nilly.
As lovable as a cardboard box.
As cunning as an autistic fox.
The Liberty Bell cracked in half.
The Curtain drawn before the laugh.
The stage is set for the Gio Show.
They’d shoot him down if they weren’t so slow.
3-1 Toronto

Orlando City Soccer Club vs. New York Red Bulls #ORLvNY

Might as well just call it now.
They missed the moon and ate the cow.
The Legend slipped from grasp too soon.
Wright-Phillips pulled too quick from womb.
An incubator of see-ya-laters.
Of crocodiles and too-soon gators.
Off the rails and setting sails.
Or selling out and tucking tails.
2-2 DRAW

New England Revolution vs. New York City Football Club #NEvNYC

The laziest the revolution’s been.
Lethargy thick and options thin.
Opponents strong and with fresh skin.
Starting to turn “shit” to “win.”
World Class don’t grow on trees.
Some touch of ball is a pedigree.
Can’t be taught or unseen.
And sometimes it just seems mean.

Sporting Kansas City vs. Impact de Montreal #SKCvMTL

More games in hand than brains in head.
KC can rise like loaves of bread.
Steady now and watch your yeast.
A back line full of wildebeests.
An identity that is abstract.
Like their shots it’s not exact.
Piatti plays the Argentina ball.
The smaller they stand the quicker they fall.
1-1 DRAW

Football Club Dallas vs. District of Columbia United #DALvDC

Tell me why United’s good.
When all I see are lumps of wood.
And why must Dallas rise before fall.
Not used to them now standing tall.
A solid spine solid luck too.
An awkward goal wins a few.
Now Olsen’s trick is to dull the mind.
Bore you to death with a dull grind.
1-1 DRAW

Seattle Sounders Football Club vs. Colorado Rapids #SEAvCOL

A flash in pan, a plastic fan.
A flamethrower, an empty can.
The Deuce is loose chasing a cup.
He lost them one that’s not enough.
Patchwork pants like Bagger Vance.
Pock marked roster a bad school dance.
If someone can Rapids aren’t it.
But now is now and shit is shit.
1-0 Rapids

Real Salt Lake vs. Houston Dynamo #RSLvHOU

These two clubs so full of meh
Overrated and overripe by the day.
Times have changed and change runs dry.
You can’t rely on a Bruin guy.
This may be the bottom middle hell.
Where the not great rest cause they never fell.
Grind and groan and pretend to care.
Examples of how to have zero flair.
0-0 DRAW

Sunday, July 19

Columbus Crew Soccer Club vs. Chicago Fire #CLBvCHI

Dumpster fires could win more games.
Or at least get a goal from a lick of flame.
But smoldering embers can glow with hope.
And rebranded clubs are still shaving soap.
You can never expect to get what you want.
But the more you watch you can’t stand the font.
Everything looks better when you squint your eyes.
Even a shit show starring 22 guys.
2-2 DRAW

Tiny Pitches Get Stitches: Official Match Statement for NY City FC vs. The Mighty Timbers


*golf clap*

Dear Major League Soccer,

That little fucking pitch. 

Such a little stupid little pitch. 

And it’s not even a pitch. This was an imported knock-off squeezed into the physical boundaries of a society that doesn’t understand it. This was a rectangle placed inside a diamond and it looked like shit. 

This was 10 pounds of manufactured fan culture shoved in a 5 pound bag of free t-shirts. This was 5 pounds of authentic traveling supporter culture drowning in a 20 pound bag of silence. 

It was the regulation minimum dimensions like soccer specific stadiums are a requirement. 

So small it made Borchers seem fast. 

Minuscule in its width it eliminated our wing play and bumbled Yartey and Asprilla into a horizontal pivot with Nagbe whipping about the tiny vaccuums of air between the bustling chaos of condensed mediocrity. 

They closed us down early and often but it seemed less a tactical success and more just the laws of physics increasing the probability that you can’t not be in the fucking way of something when you’re playing in someone’s backyard.

When they weren’t being distracted by the narrative of their facial hair’s Portlandisms, Ridgy and Borchers just lumped balls over the top at Adi until someone finally translated into Beardish that “it doesn’t, it hasn’t, it didn’t, and it won’t fucking work.” We gave NY plenty of time to jog a few steps and close down the pass or entangle themselves in Adi’s elegant legs as our 5 midfielders chased the play with 9 feet. 

The pace of the 1st half was dictated by the chaos of chance. Yartey was clumsy and Asprilla was sluggish. Nagbe dashed amidst the chaos trying to at least collect the ball before being fouled. Long ball, second ball, loose ball, foul ball, back and forth as Chara bossed around the top of our defending third cleaning up messes and kicking asses while Jack filled the gaps and imposed his stoic Midwestern calm. Their consistency would later be the fulcrum through which our possession would create chances. 

Powell and Villafaña were kept studious as NY focused on breaking down our middle by going through our sides and Sueño was gritty and tireless when Powell was brash glittered with dazzle and earned one of those yellow cards that makes you proud. Later he would calm down and Jorge would get tired. 

Adi was rendered obsolete and cantankerous on a pitch as wide as his steps and as long as his skips. He needs space to dabble that cosmic molasses into the run of play and hold up time with a wobble and a toe poke and a roll of the ball. He seemed claustrophobic and panicked on the ball. He was worn down before he had been wound up. And he missed a couple chances that Nagbe would never even take. He single handedly deconstructed a few build ups like an elephant in a china shop. 

The pace of the 2nd half was dictated by the redemptive quality of making your own luck through persistent possession with purpose. 

Yartey improved but got tired. Asprilla got his second wind and played the outside backs and wingers off the pitch. And he opened his account with spectacular fortune and little grace. Nagbe was proactive and creative but still too unselfish to a fault and Urutti’s terrible decision to not play him that pass could have been an intelligent move to avoid two extra passes when we needed a shot. 

La Gata was pensive and curious but dangerous with his frustratingly feline tendency to want to go outside, then inside, then outside. And for about two waning final minutes we all got to revel in the splendor of our Brazilian outside back as he pranced across the tiny tiny pitch with the most glorious hair. 

And we made a statement by winning away because that’s about the only statement you can make in a league riddled with inconsistent quality disguised as parity. 

I’m pretty sure that a study conducted by everyone watching in the summer of 2014 conclusively proved that Adi and Urutti score braces on braces when they alternate starts. Keep them hungry. Keep them purple. Let’s start Urutti this weekend and run Seattle ragged.

Because fuck Seattle. 



BOG Tea Leaves: Week Seven


Thursday, April 16

New York City Football Club vs. Philadelphia Union #NYCvPHI

Yankee Doodle fucking dandy. 
See a baby take its candy. 
See a fanboy give a handy. 
See a sideline make it sandy. 
Not on a pitch but on a field. 
Not for the game but for the yield. 
A flaccid team Kreis will wield. 
But Philly’s fate’s already sealed. 

2-1 City 

Friday, April 17

New York Red Bulls vs. San Jose Earthquakes #NYvSJ

Jersey boys and bayside toys. 
A match that’s lacking all the joys. 
A bruising bash of bastard fools. 
A crappy scrap of misused tools.
Dumber than a bag of hammers. 
Stupid like a bug with manners. 
Squash your foe and stub a toe. 
Bradley Wright this is your show. 
3-2 Red Bulls

Saturday, April 18 

District of Columbia United vs. Houston Dynamo #DCvHOU

Whom the heck would watch this game. 
A Dynamo with head hung in shame. 
A United fan who’s kit is lame.
A kid from Texas who’s kit is same. 
With monuments and fundamentals. 
Facing Orange Juliused elementals. 
A strip mall here a strip mall there. 
A better team is Olsen’s care. 
2-0 United 

Columbus Crew Soccer Club vs. Orlando City Soccer Club #CLBvORL

Soccer club on soccer club. 
Starting legend v super sub. 
Can’t watch it at your local pub. 
But watch it and you’ll see a flub. 
A foul a piss of shitty play. 
A moment where they lose the way.
A moment’s lost they do not stay. 
Caught stealing or making hay. 
2-2 DRAW

The Scoreboard is Snot the Tissue: Official Match Statement for The Mighty PTFC vs. FC Dallas



Dear Mighty Timbers,

Deep into the predawn silence where nighttime just doesn’t know what to do with itself as the sun bustles onto the horizon and stirs the slumbering world from its dreams and nightmares, I briskly walked, hand clenched around a treasure safely held against my chest. 

The warmth of the night’s elations waning in the crispness of a new day, I trundled on intent in purpose and driven by sanctimony. 

I still have the tissue that dried my eyes as our 2013 season ended in the tragedy of just not quite being good enough even though we were the fucking best. It’s edges salted with my tears, it’s center thinned from the weight of emotion. 

I’m clutching it to my chest on my way to burn it in the clearing on the brae as the sun crests the edges of the shadows and consumes them with golden hues.

I’d never throw it in your face and perhaps if I kept it undoubtebly I would. 

I reached the clearing in the gray of a retreating night. I had the fashions for a small fire packed upon me. Why not just use a lighter? Because some things mean something. 

Dry kindling to build the bed for flames to lick. Decades old cottonwood for the hearth to spin my char. Willow for the bow and yucca for spindle and string spun from the hair of a unicorn’s ass to spin the friction. 

The wind was blowing so I ended up just using a Bic lighter after a half attempt at my primitive sanctimony.  

Sometimes you just gotta get shit done and in the end the tissue still burned and in its end it still meant nothing although burning it meant everything. 

Like our win against the purportedly best team in the league meant everything even though it means nothing.

We didn’t play the best and individual talent on Dallas should see them wiping their asses with our creatively depleted side instead of their coach being an asswipe on the sidelines as he got out-classed off the pitch. 

We did just enough of what had to be done which was play a discombobulated match against a club without an identity drowning in a culture of make believe.

We played better poor football against an inferior opponent because you can’t help but play down to MLS level in a league governed by Salazar’s and Toledo’s.

And Chara got a fucking goal. 

And we won our first match. 

And it was against the undefeated club. 

And they fucking suck. 

I stil don’t know if we still do. 



BOG Tea Leaves: Week Five

Friday, April 3

Orlando City Soccer Club vs. District of Columbia United #ORLvDC

Some risks you pass and some risks you take. 
When you’re in Florida it’s hard not to be fake. 
But when a chance comes with a risk of a fall.
When patience is tested by skill on the ball. 
United sit back and weather a storm. 
They look to steal it which is the norm. 
But Ricketts plays like a Redemption Song.
And with Kaka playing it’s hard to go wrong. 
2-1 Orlando

Saturday, April 4

Chicago Fire vs. Toronto Football Club #CHIvTOR

It who you are that’s not Magee.
That brings you home all of three.
A game of halves in a third. 
An offensive output forcing turd. 
The crowd is silent when not there to care. 
The one’s are quiet who don’t have hair.
Swan song me a song of trying to hard. 
And I’ll spin you a wet blanket made out of lard.
2-1 Fire

Colorado Rapids vs. New England Revolution #COLvNE

Couching tiger covered wagon. 
Both offenses they are dragging. 
Slog along ref’s hit the bong. 
The end is very very long. 
Saves of the week and flops of year. 
Silly fucks on shwilly beer. 
Revolt revolt against the man. 
Bad history made and in the can. 
0-0 DRAW

Seattle Sounders Football Club vs. Houston Dynamo #SEAvHOU

Bouts of glee from misery. 
Miserly like Kompany. 
Or Evans falling on his knees. 
Or of defeat and mercy pleas. 
Lose the remote or skin a goat. 
Throw it in to see it float. 
Take some time just to gloat. 
At the dillholes you just smote. 
1-1 DRAW

Vancouver Whitecaps Football Club vs. Los Angeles Galaxy #VANvLA

A swale of kale and fake morning shakes. 
Shaking from zeal from winning from fakes. 
Bring me a shilling for each fucking dive. 
Bring me enough nickels to make me a five. 
Bring me brass nuckles and go fuck yourself.
Hand the pickles from off the top shelf. 
Unscrew the top and dip your hand in.
Pick a Canucks pocket to get the big win. 
3-1 Galaxy