Sunday, April 4, 2010

Sounders vs. Red Bulls - Quick Impressions

My first, quick, impressions of the game:

We played very defensively, but rarely got bunkered in--we pushed forward *just* enough to keep Seattle from controlling the game. We did a good job of dispossessing Seattle, but also had a hard time keeping the ball long enough to create chances. Seattle may have had a lot of the ball, but we earned and deserved this win--it wasn't a fluke, it wasn't luck. It was a LOT of hard work.

We defended very well. Bouna, Ream, Petke, and Miller all had some great moments. That said, Jeremy Hall was simply overmatched tonight against Zakuani. He's a trooper back there doing his best, but we need Albright to come back and play well; the sooner the better.

Seth Stammler is a better replacement for Carl Robinson than Sinisa Ubiparapovic. I still want to see Robbo and soon. His control of the pace and possession will help to free Joel Lindpere up for more attacks.

Speaking of Lindpere... what a box-to-box warrior! With Robbo in there, maybe he won't have to work quite so hard, but I'm not sure anyone will be able to stop him from battling for 90 minutes a game. Exactly the kind of player we want and need!

Ubi was two different players between the first half and the second half. First half, his passing was typical: very shaky, lots of giving the ball away, with an occasional brilliant pass. In the second half, he was much better both in possession and passing. I'd still like to be able to free Hall up to play over there.

We've got a First XI that is good enough to beat MLS teams, but there wasn't one person on the bench that I wanted to see subbed in, in a tight defensive match like that. I take that back--Borman for Ubi was a good move.

Kandji was much better today. Less dumb-ass dribbling straight into a wall of defenders. More alert. Did anyone catch his second half run where he created that corner kick when he was one-on-three? Last week, he would have run straight into all three of them and lost the ball. He was solid tonight. Much better. Maybe when Salou Ibrahim is ready, we try him paired up top with Angel and start Kandji at left mid?

Dane Richards... opened things up off the ball, but sucked the life out of every attack as soon as he touched the ball. Where is the Dane from pre-season?

Bouna was very good again, but also scared the hell out of me a couple times again.

Is "Ljungberg" Swedish for "Petke's whiny bitch?"

Two games, two clean sheets. Come to think of it, this team has not lost a game under the new regime, not in pre-season, not in the first two of the MLS season. We've got six points from two games, and sit atop the Eastern Conference standings in this young season. (Much better to be us than D.C. United right now. Then again, it's always better to be us than D.C. United!)

It was a hard fought, gritty win. Get the hell outta Dodge and celebrate your road victory. It's been a long time coming, and you earned it!
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