Friday, April 24
Friday, April 24
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.
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.
Dear Mighty Timbers,
I want to shake you like the baby one must never ever ever shake.
I want to rub your nose in the mistakes to humiliate you into never pissing in the potted plant again.
I want to flirt strongly with my other clubs to make you jealous and more needy of my attentions and I even dragged my somber and hungover carcass to sit in the slightly too warm heat of a Sunday without brunch, watching third and fourth division football, like a junkie looking for a fix and by “fix” I mean win and by “win” I mean an enjoyable result not riddled with disappointment.
I want to buy the new primary kit just to show you how stupid civilians look in it and then never take it off again because I’m pretty sure you never will the way things are going. I mean four straight matches you’ve trod out that thing nobody wants to even imagine buying as if to cover the spite on the faces it knows.
I want to berate you into understanding. I want to denigrate your pride until it withers into the seed from which ambition and integrity and motivation blossom. I want to wear you down to build you back up with a finer edge.
I want to obliterate the asinine notion of pragmatism into the finest of powders and then say I’m going to share it before snorting it all to myself in the bathroom of a dinner party.
I want to win in March sometime in the history of the world and be able to relax on the porch with you when the May twilight glows with the promise of summer.
I want our Falls to not be determined by our falls in the spring.
I want to not lose matches by a margin of error approximately the size of the hair on Borcher’s chin divided by the hair on the top of Ridgewell’s knot.
I want to win like we played in every moment against Vancouver except the two moments we lost.
I want us to be unbearably intense and direct to the point of slack jawed grins, as if my frontal lobe has been replaced by cookies and the intellect of “2+2=moon”.
I want, at the very least, 500 passes minimum at almost 90% accuracy because that’s what we fucking did and that’s what we fucking do because it wins fucking football matches except when it fucking doesn’t.
I want to be demonstrably the better team like we were and avoid the incomprehensible tragedy of being a step too slow on an average free kick. I want our defense to make the bed with clean sheets and not shit the bed in a blatant moment of fear and “we both done fucked up.”
I want all the possession and chances and enough crosses into the box that we can’t help but exorcise the demons that turn our shooting brains to mush and our creative vision into tracing paper the moment we need to just let physics and logic perpetuate the attack we built through an interplay and desire rarely seen in this league.
I want our starting XI to project the same confidence as our depth players and not the same faults that yield to failure. I want to contextualize our roster within the narrative of a subcontractor with a small sample size of experience and see that we’re damned if we do, if we don’t, or we didn’t.
I want to expect results involuntarily. I want to know beyond a reasonable doubt without having to abandon reason in the dust settling behind belief.
I want to keep playing this way because it’s ideological and daring. I want to revel in the frustrating irrationality of playing good enough to win but losing. I want to cleanse away the stagnant mediocrity of playing just bad enough to lose yet somehow getting the win.
I want to lose if we win everything but the result. I want our undefeated streaks to be broken by the heels of our best matches and our losing streaks to fade into the memory of an outlier we pass on the street on our way to championships.
I want to win trophies but above all else I want to be Timbers.
And I want you to get your shit together.
Saturday, March 28
New England Revolution vs. San Jose Earthquakes #NEvSJ
Let’s start the week where last left off.
Where excitement lingers like a cough.
Jacking off to nil-nil draws.
And gesticulating at bad calls.
How fast England of New can fall.
When their Jones hits a germane wall.
Football played on a pitch this bad.
Makes one forget what one once had.
Impact de Montreal vs. Orlando City Soccer Club #MTLvORL
Retire now and forever young.
Lions have a purple tounge.
Canadians seem to have no fun.
When a Champions League is to be won.
Around Kaka they play like shit.
They tippy-tap around the pitch.
When lack of sun shrinks brains of men.
Is when a pen brings you down to ten.
New York City Football Club vs. Sporting Kansas City #NYCvSKC
Lampard sits in his box up high.
Perpetuating an age old lie.
Promoting a diamond encrusted charade.
A diamond shaped field a branding parade.
A denigration of the holy sport’s show.
Of footballing angles and sidelines aglow.
Second class athletes play on others lawns.
Second class football brings nothing but yawns.
District of Columbia United vs. Los Angeles Galaxy #DCvLA
See what makes the good teams fold.
Inside the crumbling stadia of old.
Olsen is young not old and bored.
He knows wins are earned when goals are scored.
But Arena’s wins come from the book.
The book he wrote on thoughts he took.
Nothing original in locking it down.
But life is complete when you make the Bruce frown.
Columbus Crew Soccer Club vs. New York Red Bulls #CLBvNY
Mellow Yellow won’t give you wings.
Petke’s absence a lingering sting.
The Ides of Marsch still trundle on.
As spectacular as a New Jersey dawn.
While a rebranded crew of vagabonds.
A mishmash shape of missung songs.
Put together something strong.
Because jobs don’t last here very long.
Houston Dynamo vs. Colorado Rapids #HOUvCOL
This game looks like a nap on paper.
A pleated slack without a taper.
More boring than one would hope.
More boring than one man can cope.
Both teams gave up before they tried.
The Soccer Gods have wept and cried.
Banish them to the bottom lands.
If it gets too bad let them use hands.
Football Club Dallas vs. Seattle Sounders Football Club #DALvSEA
You want to see that both teams lose.
But reality is that you have to choose.
But draws can suck the momentum away.
And when it’s said and done that day.
The way they play won’t tell the tale.
Won’t show you ways in which they fail.
Cause end-to-end means nodding off.
And both defenses can be soft.
Sunday, March 29
Chicago Fire vs. Philadelphia Union #CHIvPHI
You can’t expect another draw.
When losing games is all you saw.
Flashes of flame from among the coals.
A lack of guts not lack of goals.
The least of east won’t rise like yeast.
Dark Magic Mike a wounded beast.
Set the Shipp sail and hope the best.
Which bad is better is the true test.
Real Salt Lake vs. Toronto Football Club #RSLvTOR
Pay the price for the price you paid.
But don’t make a bed in which you have laid.
Leave it for others to do unto you.
When wealth of the many goes only to few.
Holes in your wallets holes in your mind.
A whole lot of something from nothing you’ll find.
Put it together but don’t sell it out.
Pull off a result without strutting about.