I can't believe people are panicking about the Galaxy. Yeah, they looked bad. In the wind, in the rain, on the road, on turf, without their starting center forward, central defender, and goalkeeper. And they still got all three points.
The only downside I can see is that, since Beckham is a right winger instead of a left winger, I can't make my "David Beckham for Congress!" joke without needlessly annoying innocent Republican fans who only come here for the soccer jokes. (But come on. He stands around, doesn't get anything done, spends more time in front of the cameras than doing his job, blames others for his faults, constantly changes his story from one day to the next, and is so dumb he couldn't pass the Turing test - tell me he's not the perfect Congressman. Okay, next time I'll send the cute politics lines to Rachel Maddow and focus on the damn game, I promise.)
I also can't believe people are panicking about the Sounders. Oh, wait...yes I can.
To some degree, they shouldn't. Seattle got off to a hilarious start last year, and Sigi turned them around to finish very respectably. There's no reason that can't happen this year, except "very respectably" means different things in the West than the East. The only reason the seventh place team in the West won't battle the fourth place team in the East is that, well, it might not be much of a battle.
So, yes, the Sounders are certainly good enough to finish ahead of Portland, Vancouver, Chivas USA, and the dross of the East. Although, having written that, I feel like I should enter that in a faint praise contest. The Sounders are bipeds who exhale carbon dioxide. The Sounders are able to look at their jerseys without turning to stone. The Sounders play so well, their multitudes of fans are able to go weeks at a time without storming the field in rage.
But if the premise was that Seattle was a contender for a championship - yeah, it's never too early to panic. The Sounders didn't look any better in the wind and rain than the Galaxy, but that's Seattle weather, for crying out loud. What do they think will happen in LA weather? Or Dallas weather? Or Colorado weather? Or Vancouver weather? Or Chivas USA weather?
Okay, the last two might not be a huge concern.
And I hate to be a tedious out-of-town Sounder-basher, but if the turf also hurts the home team, that's a serious issue. The Sounders couldn't figure out where the ball was going to skip off to - thus negating whatever home field advantage the Sounders had, minus the crowd.
I know, you have to take it up with the Seahawks. Well, I heard one of your owners knows a guy who can get their ear. Winners play on grass. The Revolution won all the time when Gillette Stadium had natural grass, now look at them. Real Salt Lake were a joke before Rio Tinto, now look at them. Toronto FC is...okay, bad example. But hey, maybe even the Seahawks would make the playoffs if they played on natural grass. What?
What's really frustrating about the Sounders is they should be better. Mr. Wreck was right about Alvaro Fernandez, and I was wrong - I naturally thought that since he had four times the neck of Cuauhtemoc Blanco, he'd have four times the ability. (Dude makes Clarence Goodson look like a Weeble.)
O'Brian White is taking the lion's share of the blame for the shutout, but you can't rely on a Toronto FC castoff to score for you.
Besides Edson Buddle.
And Jeff Cunningham.
And Conor Casey.
Hey, so far White has scored as much as Chad Barrett, right? That's something.
But I think the big problem here is Fredy Montero.
Hear me out on this. One of the reasons the Sounders turned around last year was the same reason that they got off to a poor start - Montero played like a 55 gallon drum of dead cats. Sigi had to bench him to get through to him, despite Paul Gardner's wails of protest. Afterwards, Montero was acceptable. He even got Player of the Month last July, for those of you who care about such things.
Well, he's probably not going to get Player of the Month for March.
It seems like he's been frustrating forever at this point. But he's only 23, he doesn't count against an international spot anymore, and trades in MLS are always hugely risky. So it's the same formula as last year - if Sigi gets through to Montero, the Sounders become a factor in the West. If not, not.
....I should get off Seattle's case. I always feel I have to say, "No, really, I *like* the Sounders, I *like* Seattle, and the fan culture they have there really is wonderful" all the time, and there are enough people on Sounders fans' collective jock without me wiggling aboard. But the fan base is way ahead of what's on the field at the moment...complete with unrealistic expectations. Patience, younglings. Sigi won MLS Cup in his third year with the Crew, sure. But it took him four years with the Galaxy. Unless Fernandez or Montero turn into Barros Schelotto, I'd at least give him that fourth year.
As far as the broadcast goes - speaking of green. I thought Taylor Twellman was okay on his debut. Yeah, he sounded nervous. Maybe I was too busy cheering his anti-Beckham rant to notice all of his flaws, but he's off to a good start. Besides, John Harkes is still the lead color analyst, and we're unhappy about Twellman? Priorities, people.