A few thoughts on San Jose.

20 Sep

This match should have been ours. This should have been our first road win in nearly a year.

Two reasons:

Joe Bendik.

In two Timbers/Sounders matches this last weekend, we went down two goalkeepers.

Thankfully, we still had Joe Bendik.

People seemed apprehensive about him. He’s young, he’s pretty green, he seems to get thrown into the fire pretty often. First MLS start against a high-scoring San Jose side? Seemed like a disaster waiting to happen.

But he held his own. He’s earned my respect.

David Horst.

I know of no other player who shows such passion on the pitch with such consistency. Yeah, he’s made a few missteps, but I’ll forgive a great deal from a player like Horst. I could not possibly love a player more than I did when he went at Wondo after the final whistle blew. And I expect that he might get a slap from the disciplinary committee, but I’m willing to take it because it shows his love, his desire, his passion, his emotion. He is truly one of us.

That’s what this is all about, isn’t it? Heart and passion and emotion. That’s a debate that will rage for as long as soccer survives in this world.

In a contest of skill vs. passion, I will pick passion every single time.

Don’t mistake me. I still believe the talent is there. The ability to fit those pieces together in a way that makes any sense at all is not there. What was that? Square pegs, round holes.

I’m tired. I’m frustrated. I’m rambling. The real blog post, the one I’ve been working on for days, will be submitted to SlideRulePass tomorrow and, should Kevin decide it’s worth putting into the world, will be released well before Saturday’s game.


Posted by on September 20, 2012 in Timbers


5 responses to “A few thoughts on San Jose.

  1. theaxepdx

    September 20, 2012 at 6:36 am

    heart never won a game. well, unless it is joe hart and even then it was skill. what heart does is supports a team with skill in moments when they are under the cosh. we give horst a ruff one, now and again, but last night he held his own. unfortunately, the talent in the squad was not there to push them through in the last minute when all that was required was a shot on goal. still, we can be rather proud of the efforts the timbers put in last night–that was not the expected result by a long shot.

  2. Xmuver

    September 20, 2012 at 10:06 am

    “I could not possibly love a player more than I did when he went at Wondo after the final whistle blew” Truth. Horst functions like our big brother – he’s got our collective back and will go head to head with whoever screws with us. Love the man!

  3. FDChief

    September 20, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    Funny. I was thinking that I was the little Mary Sunshine still dreaming of the bright sunlit uplands of respectability…but everyone around me seems to have been more hopeful and yearning that I was about that match.

    You guys are Hopeful Romantics! I feel like such a mean old cynic now…

    As I see it, right now the Boys are really pretty much of a mess. There’s individual talent there, to be sure. Bendik was a stud between the sticks, our man Horst played a blinder, Franck Songo’o was a beast, a genius with the ball at his feet, and of course lightning struck twice in the form of Danny Mwanga.

    But as a team? We’re a trainwreck. There’s no consistency, no tactical shape, no communication, no coaching savvy (in a “knows more about the game than a capuchin monkey” sense).

    Look at this match from a distance. The Quakes didn’t take us seriously for 45 minutes; their big guns Wondo (the rat-bastard) and Gordon started on the bench. They were playing this for a laugh, resting their racehorses. And they STILL had, what, 65% of the possession and almost all the attack?

    We were under siege from the opening kick, and were damn lucky and Horst’s forehead away from going down 1-nil before Mwanga’s first goal. With any sort of decent luck SJ should have been 2 or 3 up at the turn.

    And our defense as a unit is a shambles. No communication, no leaders, can’t pass out of danger and can barely clear – how many times did a Timbers “clear” fall right to a Quakes attacker? Our midfield was Franck and a bunch of guys losing possession.

    And yet…we led 2-nil for something like 70 minutes. Mwanga struck a brilliant goal. We could have snuck away with a 3-2 win if Bright Dike could put a soccer ball where he wants it when we wants to.

    So I enjoyed Franck’s mazy runs, and Danny’s strike, and Joe’s stonewalling that bastard Lenhart for 95 minutes. But I’m not frustrated by this draw; it was what we are – not a team, an odd lot of individuals run by a guy whose study of the game peaked somewhere south of Auckland. If the remainder of this season does nothing more than showcase who should be playing here next spring and give us a few more moment’s like the ones above? I think the Boys will have done all they can do.

  4. fdchief218

    September 21, 2012 at 10:34 am

    One thing more.

    I agree with you that passion is a great asset for an athlete.

    But…without skill passion is just berserk racing about. Think about that – it’s true for practically everything. Nobody ever observed “She can’t add two and two but she’s sure passionate about being an accountant!” “He could burn water but he sure loves being a chef!”

    So I don’t think you can hope to “pick passion” over skill in sports and be successful. The skill must be there too. I love that Kimura pounds the badge on the way onto the pitch, but I don’t want to SEE him on the pitch; he just doesn’t have the skills.

    It’s a hard choice, but it’s a cruel game, and there’s no disguising that.


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