I dub today Soccer Sunday. I am going to try to use Sundays to post something about the sport I am currently loving and that is American Soccer or English Football. I am right now as I write watching a replay of the US National Men playing against Argentina and it has been a really amazing game. The passing and touch on the ball that Argentina is showing is incredible and as usual Lionel Messi is playing amazingly. But I think that for me the real star of the game and the hero for the United States was Tim Howard. As much as I have complained about him in the past he was amazing in goal in the game. If he had not been on point the US would have lost probably 3 or 4 to 1. As it was the USA escaped with a 1-1 draw. Lets face facts. While it is true that, at times, we were competitive with Argentina we are not as good as they are. Oh sure we played well and there were some stellar moments during the game but overall on a position by position level we just do not match up well with them. They are faster and smarter then we are in terms of both passing and overall strategy.
I have to say though that as much as I enjoyed watching the match and as much as I enjoy watching the US play and I suppose I am a supporter of the team though I am not a card carrying member. I have to say that I am really bothered by Clint Dempsey and his attitude on the pitch. It isn't that he is unable to play or that he isn't talented because he is and he has proven that he can play at the highest levels of Soccer. But the way he acts on the pitch just irritates me. It feels like if he isn't pouting about something he is hacking at another play or just coasting along until he can sneak in a run on goal. He gives the illusion or impression that he does not work all of the time. I realize that I may be wrong but he just makes me crazy at times. (Climbs down off of soapbox)
In local Soccer news the Major League Soccer (MLS) expansion team Portland Timbers lost their second straight match to the Toronto Reds. It was a hard fought match and the Timbers looked really good at times which leads me to have some high hopes for the rest of the season. But, once again as in the first loss of the season a 3-1 defeat by the Colorado Rapid the Timbers showed a real inability to finish. That coupled with a team that seems to be unable to get going in the first 15 minutes in a game does not make for a success. The talent is there and the coaching staff and the front office is doing everything they can to ensure success but in the end it comes down to the players on the pitch and it is up to them to win these games. It up to them to put the ball into the net. That is the ultimate goal in a soccer match and if you do not put the ball into the onion bag you can not win matches. That being said you also must keep the ball out of the net on defense and if you are unable to do that it becomes doubly hard to win games. The first two games of the season so far have shown that while the Timbers seem to have a strong defense there are times where they seem to check out mentally and when that happens they give up goals. I hope this gets fixed and gets fixed soon if it doesn't we are in for a long season and not a very fun one.