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Sunday, April 03, 2011

Soccer Sunday

In soccer news yesterday was a bit of a mixed bag for me as the two teams that I intend to focus on the most ended up not winning their matches. But, in this case, something I find most interesting is how much a tie and the thoughts about what a tie means has so much to do with the league a team is playing in and their position in that league.

On one end of that scale we have Tottenham Hotspur the English Premiere League (EPL) team that is currently in 5th place in their league and is fighting to get into 3 or 4 position. The biggest impact finishing higher in league will have for them is that they will get more prize money and qualify for the Champions league. Well yesterday they had a match with Wigan Athletic and things did not go as well for them as they would have liked them to. Wigan Athletic is in last place in the league and on paper Tottenham should have wiped the floor with them. They unfortunately did not. The final result was a scoreless draw. On the complete other end of the scale in the MLS we have the Portland Timbers and their match yesterday against the New England Revolution. This match ended in a draw as well a 1-1 finish.



This is where my feelings grow mixed as I am not happy at all that Tottenham was not able to beat Wigan. The fact that they were unable to even score a goal against the weakest team in the EPL is even more bothersome to me. True it is getting toward the end of a long season of soccer and Tottenham has a match in Champions league on Tuesday but that does not excuse them. They should have won this match by a two goal margin at minimum and to do not just really makes no sense to me. It isn't worse then a loss or even as bad as a loss but it is still upsetting to me and to most likely all of their fans.

Now the Timbers match ending in a 1-1 draw actually has me feeling pretty happy about everything. To be honest I would have been happier with a win. But that does not diminish the fact that this result was an important one for the Timbers. The match comes at the end of a long series of road matches. A road trip is not the best way for any team to start the season and for the Timbers to have to start their first three league games on the road well that is not how any team wants to get started and if they had ended up with three losses that would have been even worse.

The Timbers have been progressing nicely so far this season. They seem to be getting better and better with each match and really that is all I can hope for right now. This is there inaugural season in the MLS and I do not think that anyone is really expecting them to do anything spectacular. I think if they are then they are not being honest with themselves about what happens when a team is starting out. All that I have really been wanting is for the team to be competitive and I believe that so far this season they have been just that competitive. It really is beginning to feel to me that they are going to be more then competitive. I am trying to not get to excited about the possibility's for the because if I do then I will surely be disappointed. But things seem to be looking really good.

The fact that they have a 20 yr old rookie playing goal for them and playing well is huge. I really think that Jake Gleeson has the potential to be a superstar in the MLS and probably in the rest of the world. He came to the Timbers out of their U-23 team last season. That team was 23-0 and won the league championship. Let me repeat that. The team he played on last season won 23 games in a row. He was keeper in 14 of those and had eight shutouts. In this season so far for the Timbers he has 1 cup win against Chivas USA in which he recorded a shutout and a draw against New England in which he gave up one goal. He played the second half of the game against Toronto FC and gave up just one goal in that match. To be honest the goal that he gave up is not likely to be repeated as that was a goal of the week candidate and frankly was an amazing strike. Please give it a look.

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Gleeson just really seems to have a knack for playing goal and I think as the season progresses he is just going to get better and better. I am really looking forward to more of the same as the season continues and to the season home opener on Thursday April 14. It is going to be epic and I am so ready to kick off the home games. The game is sold out but it is going to be shown on ESPN2 and their will be numerous bars in the area that will be showing it I am sure.

As for myself. I will be there in person with a Timbers shirt on, a scarf around my neck and a green logging hat on. I will be screaming my brains out!!

RCTID!!!
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