Monday, August 13, 2012

SUB WATCH: The Wayback Machine

Thanks to Mr. Peabody and Sherman for the Assist this Week

Can you believe that it has been nearly an entire month since SUB WATCH graced the pages of The Viper’s Nest?  Oppressive summer heat, weekday games, a cross-country business venture and a top secret diversion into the depths of the Marianas Trench are all to blame for this long absence. But fear not, loyal readers, SUB WATCH has surfaced once again, and the wise perspective that only comes with time makes for a thrilling recap column with new, bonus content on sub production! Forgive me?

July 18--Chicago
In what will forever be remembered as Chris Heck’s Waterloo, The Red Bulls welcomed the Fire to Red Bull Arena for a 1:00pm start under an oppressive sun on one of the hottest, muggiest days of the year in what proved to be the hottest month on record in the U.S. After a game just 3 days prior that saw not a single tactical sub, Backe saw fit to use the full complement, with Connor Lade, Kenny Cooper and Stephen Keel all seeing sub action. It was especially gratifying to see He Who Shall Not Be Named coming OFF the pitch for a change.

Sub Production:

  • Shot on goal: Lade
  • Foul: Cooper
  • Tackles won: 2
  • Tackled & possession lost: 9
  • Successful pass: 86% (18/21)
  • Successful dribble: 0% (0/2)
  • Successful cross 0% (0/0)

July 21--Philthy
The Red Bulls sought to extend their dominance of the Union after an implausible victory in Chester earlier in the year that included a moment of glory for Markus Holgersson. It was great to see the resurgence of Kenny Cooper with 2 goals, but that was balanced by the loss of Brandon Barklage. But all was not lost as Barklage’s injury led to the first appearance this year for Jonathan Borrajo, who acquitted himself admirably at right back. The great Mehdi Ballouchy came on near the end in what was surely one of many, many future sub appearances for the team.

Sub Production:

  • Shot: Mehdi
  • Foul: Borrajo
  • Tackles won: 3
  • Tackled & possession lost: 10
  • Successful pass: 79% (26/33)
  • Successful dribble: 0% (0/0)
  • Successful cross: 33% (1/3)

July 28--L’Impact
Somehow, in a game where the Red Bulls’ anemic attack was outdone only by its inept defense, Backe only felt a single sub would be helpful, so HWSNBN came on in the 79th minute for a still-struggling Joel Lindpere, and promptly committed a foul. While SUB WATCH has gone on record to show that Backe’s reputation for not using subs has been overblown by the fans, this game was crying out for an infusion of energy--especially in the last 20’ before Nyassi sealed the win. Alas, it was not to be. Surely, SuperSub Mehdi Ballouchy would have made it into the game, if not for his annoying visa issue.

Sub Production:
  • Shot: 0
  • Fouls: 1
  • Tackles won: 0
  • Tackled & possession lost: 10
  • Successful pass: 87.5% (7/8)
  • Successful dribble: 0% (0/0)

August 3--Dynamo
If the Montreal Impact game was a let down, the trip to Houston was a true debacle. The Red Bulls showed almost no life and even less heart. Sure, the heat and humidity were awful, but I’m pretty sure that Houston was playing under the same conditions, and they seemed to manage just fine. If ever there was a game that called for the frantic energy of the African Assassin, this was it. Unfortunately, Mehdi had been traded away to San Jose on July 30. Without Ballouchy, Backe turned to his next best option when Tainio came off at half, who was... umm... let me see here... oh. HWSNBN. Cooper came on at 55’ and Lindpere--in one of his best performances in recent memory--saw action for the last 20 minutes.

Sub Production:
  • Shot on goal: KFC
  • Foul: HWSNBN
  • Tackles won: 3
  • Tackled & possession lost: 16 (HWSNBN-7)
  • Successful pass: 67% (29/43)
  • Successful dribble: 0% (0/1)
  • Successful flick on: 50% (1/2)

August 10--Dynamo II: Electric Boogaloo
After two sub-par performances, the Red Bulls really needed a home victory against the squad that had completely dominated them the week prior. Solli and Tainio both came on around the 80th minute while Rafa “Next Level” Marquez made a rare appearance in the 86th. Not only did the Red Bulls pull out a victory despite long stretches of kicky-ball and uncreative play, DJ Solli stuck in the dagger at 91’ after Henry broke through the defense on a pass from Connor Lade Tim Cahill, and put the ball at Solli’s feet in front of an empty net.

Sub Production
  • GOAL: Solli
  • Fouls: Tainio
  • Tackles won: 0
  • Tackled & possession lost: 11 (Solli-8)
  • Successful pass: 59%
  • Successful dribble: 33% (1/3)
  • Successful flick on: 50% (2/2)

Super Sub Update
HWSNBN continues extended his smp to a staggering 209 with ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to show for it, unless you’re a huge fan of stupid fouls. What’s the opposite of an impact player? Now we know. With the departure of The Moroccan Master, Kenny REDACTED Cooper vaults into second place thanks to the smp he put up early in the season. However, with the addition’s of Cahill and LeToux, he may start racking up more minutes as a sub than as a starter.

I know you’re all waiting with bated breath for a hot tip on how you can make some easy cash. While, as you know, SUB WATCH is for informational purposes only and all wagering is done at your own risk, it looks like Joel Lindpere may be transitioning to more of a sub role. With all the roster shuffles, it’s tough to say if Backe has any idea who his starting XI is, so there’s definitely some risk here--but it might just pay off. LINDPERE: BUY

Until next time, SUB WATCH is signing off.

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