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Monthly Archives: August 2013

A few words about Clint Dempsey

I’m not going to defend Pa Modou Kah’s challenge on Eddie Johnson in Sunday’s game. The replay has firmly planted me in the shoulda-been-a-red camp.

Kah is a force to be reckoned with. We knew this from the get-go. Even in his first couple matches in Ponderosa green, he seemed to be just barely in control. If I remember correctly, he picked up a yellow in his first outing for the Timbers. He plays right on the edge. And he’s good.

A friend today used the word “precious” to describe how US fans treat national team players. And I think it’s the way a lot of us treat our Timbers.

We expect them to be nice, polite, gentlemanly. And then we get upset when they get knocked around. And they get knocked around because they’re nice, polite, gentlemanly.

But times, they are a’ changin’.

Bring on Kah.

Bring on Kah not for his string of yellow cards and challenges that many have called reckless.

Bring on Kah because he isn’t going to take any crap from anyone.

I miss Boyd. Boyd didn’t take crap from anyone. He didn’t suffer fools. He did this:

And Kah, with slightly less finesse, did this:

http://imgur.com/r/MLS/cRyUU4b#.Uh2XkEKr4Sg.link

Different style, same message. We’re not going to take your crap. Don’t be a diva. Get up and play the game.

***

Oh, right. I was going to say a few words about Clint Dempsey. Nah, I don’t have to. Kah already did.

 
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Posted by on August 27, 2013 in Timbers 2013

 

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Unconcerned.

Will Johnson is questionable. We’ve heard everything from a minor sprain to a broken bone in his shoulder.

Fredy Piquionne is most likely out with whatever that foot thing was.

Futty is out.

Chara is out with a handful of yellow cards. But, honestly, who didn’t think that was eventually going to happen?

Horst and Silvestre have both been out since the beginning of time, along with Dike and Richards and who else? I can’t even remember anymore.

And I’m unconcerned. Completely unconcerned.

We’re going to Seattle on Sunday. Our squad is depleted. They’re having a hard time pulling anything more than a draw. We’ve seen what’s possible from this team and we’ve seen games they should have won slip away in the most ridiculous fashion. This is not new for us, but after such a phenomenal start to the season, it may seem unfamiliar to those with shorter memories.

But we have something we didn’t have at this point last year.

These guys get it.

They understand what it means to wear the badge. They understand that we live and breathe with this team. They know the importance a Seattle match carries.

At the beginning of the season, I was concerned about this more than anything. With all of Caleb Porter’s quips about “no game is bigger than another,” I worried that something would be lost.

This was all we had last year. When everything else was said and done, it was the importance of the Cascadia Cup that pushed us forward and, after so many divisive issues over the course of the season, united us. And it was their desire to win it for us that finally brought the Timbers together as a club.

It took them all year to get there, to reach the place where we all stood waiting. And, together, we lifted the Cup.

The difference this year is that they’re already together. You saw it after the USOC loss to Salt Lake and you saw it tonight. There is nothing quite like the weight of a loss (or a draw that should have been a win) to strengthen their resolve to not let it happen again.

So, while almost all of you are FREAKING OUT, I’m unconcerned.

They get it. They’re going to go to Seattle and get us three points and put us at the top of the Cascadia Cup table. They do this not for themselves, but for us.

Now, get on the damn bus.

 
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Posted by on August 22, 2013 in Timbers 2013

 

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Feeling strangely fine.

We’re standing outside the bar after the match. He’s even more of a little storm cloud than I am when the Timbers lose. He’s furiously tapping words into his phone, no doubt more anger-tweets about the loud guy who’d sat behind him or the “woo-girl” who was, one match into the season, talking about transfers.

“You okay?” I’m almost afraid to ask.

He looks up from his phone. “No. No, I’m not okay.”

And this is my first morning in Arsenal’s world.

***

I don’t know the players. I don’t know anything other than what I’ve read on Wikipedia and that Giroud’s hair is Laudrup-perfect and that at some point someone will make derisive comments about Nicklas Bendtner. But here I am.

I’m late because it’s too early on a Saturday morning. I stand in the back, near the door, until the first and only Arsenal goal is scored. The boys have been kind enough to save me a chair that could not possibly be any closer to the screen. I slouch in awkwardly and spend the next two hours drinking black coffee and wondering what I’ve gotten myself into.

And a soft penalty is saved and then lost and the wheels are already off the bus. “Get up!” someone behind me says to a downed player thousands of miles away. “We don’t have any more defenders.” This. This all feels familiar.

I don’t know that I need another club that will break my heart. I have the Timbers and, though things look good now, the heart-breaking will eventually come around again. I have the Thorns with their inconsistent play and questionable coaching decisions. And I have Rangers who are, for now, more of a mess off the pitch than on.

But a young player catches my eye and I know I’m done for. I do like that fire. A little spark is all it takes.

 
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Posted by on August 17, 2013 in Arsenal