Sunday, October 22, 2006

Game 1 EC Semifinal Journal

So as I sit back and get myself situated for the Revs-Fire match this afternoon, I decide to pen my thoughts throughout the match(which is not easy to do on my spare room recliner). White Revs jersey, check. Glass of uncaffeinated soft drink, check. Let's go!

Rob Stone reporting that it's a balmy 35 degree at game time in Bridgeview, IL.

0:43 - Joe Franchino looks like he had his hair recently trimmed.

1:42 - Ugh!!! Steve Ralston takes a clear shot at Fire keeper Matt Pickens. So far, the pressure is being put on the Fire defense early.

3:52 - Shalrie Joseph sighting! And he wearing a huge "cast" of sorts over the right paw to protect him from furthering the injury he suffered on his hand. Looks like a white boxing glove. If I were a Fire defender, I'd stay a good five feet away from him just to avoid any possible contact with that club.

4:54 - Revs are putting together a good attack, and setting the offensive tempo early.

5:03 - Sideline report from Brandi Chastain, my mom's favorite soccer player. Rhetorical question: Is it a pre-requisite that one have to be of the fairer gender to be a sideline reporter? Anyway, she is praising the efforts of one Andy Dorman, to which ABC commentators Rob Stone and Eric Wynalda continue to sing the "Underrated Andy Dorman" hymn for the next three minutes.

8:00 - Here we go! Revs on the attack...but come up empty-handed.

11:26 - Now the Fire set their offensive attack, and Avery John does well to break up the ball from a charging Fire forward.

12:01 - I know I'm a soccer newbie and all, but did the Fire just get caught offsides on a corner??? Wow. How does a club manage that? Embarrassing.

14:43 - Fire take a direct kick, and Matty Reis smothers the ball. Meanwhile, Andy Herron tries to take a swipe at the cradled ball, to which Reis takes exception to after almost getting Adam Vinatieri'd in the face. Yellow card: Herron.

17:21 - Beautiful pass by Clint Dempsey behind the leg to Heaps, but no shot on goal. Wynalda then speaks about how Deuce plays cocky on the pitch. This is a good thing, I am told.

20:03 - Fire attack, and once again, Avery John to the rescue.

21:10 - Matt Reis looking like the Matt Reis that SHOULD have won MLS Keeper of the Year. Call me a homer. Go ahead. Troy Perkins sucks. Matty Reis is better.

21:34 - Fire attack on a chip shot by Justin Mapp (who is sporting the ubiquitous playoff beard) that just clears the cross bar.

23:23 - Sideline report: Brandi tells us at length why Shalrie is wearing a club on his right hand. Had I not been informed, I may have thought that the cumbersome protector was just something worn for superstition. Thanks, Brandi.

26:01 - Weak foul called on Deuce. The accompanying free kick is defended well by the Revs.

27:30 - Great cross block by Michael Parkhurst! Fire continue to attack on the Revs end of the pitch. Guys! Get it outta there!

28:03 - Great cross from Joey to Deuce, but the shot goes well above the goal.

29:57 - Parkhurst has been the early defensive hero thus far. Continues to clear each and every Fire ball (get it? Fireball? eh...) that comes his way.

31:01 - Nice stop by Reis on a Nate Jacqua shot. If I spelled that wrong, it's because I don't have enough respect for him to spell his name right. That's not true. I just felt like saying that. Anyway...

32:02 - I love live soccer on TV because you can make out a few choice words uttered by the crowd, coaches, and players. Screw the FCC!

33:14 -Switch to the Pats game real quick. They lead 14-3, 1:55 in the first quarter. Let's hope that the Foxboro fairy dust encompasses the Revs as well on this mid-Autumn afternoon.

34:29 - No sooner do I finish that sentence than the Fire score on a Justin Mapp free kick! (Expletive!)(Expletive!)(Expletive!)(Expletive!) You gotta be (Expletive!) kidding me! (Expletive!)

35:27 - Replay shows Dorman, who was situated in the Revs wall, shy away from Mapp's free kick goal. Wynalda tears the Revs a new one on this poor effort by the lads to jump up and block the shot.

35:52 - ARGH! Ralston cross JUST misses the many Revs players in the box.

37:16 - Avery John gets yellow carded.

38:24 - We've got a smoke bomb in the stands right behind Matt Reis' goal, with orange smoke encompassing a good part of the Revs side of the field. Obvious advantage, the Fire. Wynalda loves it.

41:09 - Revs trying to mount an attack. C'mon guys! Equalizer before the half!

42:05 - Deuce creates another great pass to Dorman, who puts the shot on goal. Save, Pickens.

43:22 - CJ Brown gets cleated by Joey - doesn't look intentional, but he's taking his time getting back to his feet.

45:00 - Three minutes stoppage time.

45:00 - End stoppage time. Switch to see the Pats-Bills score. Asante Samuel, on cue, picks of JP Losman. Pats continue to hold their 14-3 lead in the waning minutes of the 2nd half.

HALFTIME - Cook myself up an english muffin, roast beef sandwich, accompanied by a Washington's Finest apple. Best apples ever. Mom brings home a Belgian waffle from brunch. I take a bite of the cold speciment. Chewy.

2ND HALF - Take my place back on the recliner, sandwich and muffin to my right.

45:01 - Twellman to Dempsey as 2nd half is underway. Half of an english muffin in my mouth as I write this.

45:48 - Noshing, while diarying (?) a soccer game imparticular, is hard. Food all over the place. And I'm wearing a WHITE Revs jersey. Recipe for disaster.

46:40 - Shot of Pat Noonan on the sidelines. By the way, where can I get that spiffy Revs heavy jacket he's wearing? Note to self: add this jacket, if available for purchase, to my Christmas list.

48:42 - Dorman crashes the goal, cleared by a Fire defender.

49:05 - Corner kick for NE, picked off by...Pickens (it was just a matter of time before I got to say that. IQ drops -5 points)

50:00 - Good job by Shalrie to keep the ball in the Fire zone. Keep pressin' Revs!

50:26 - Brandi's sideline report. She asks Nicol is Noonan will play. "No." Damn!

51:37 - Wynalda comments on Matty Reis' baldness, and the keeper's influence of Jose Manuel Abundis' newly shaven dome as well.

53:19 - Revs really need to mount something here. The chances are there, they just need to capitalize. Btw, nothing like commercial-less playoff action. Thanks RadioShak!

54:03 - Joey into the offensive zone...ball in box...nothing doing.

55:53 - Yellow card for Shalrie on an unfortunate Fire defender that gets a "nice to meet you" from Sharie's elbow.

57:24 - Reis comes waaaaay outta goal to press the ball back up the field. Oh man...

59:30 - Fire on the attack, and Reis comes up with a big save.

60:33 - Fire's Chris Robinson gets carded for taking down Twellman. TNT slow to his feet, heads over to the bench.

62:09 - Taylor's back!

63:01 - Dempsey...cross to Twellman who takes a fine looking header right on goal. Unfortunately, the ball and Pickens have a date on this one.

63:55 - Revs begin to show spark on offense...and no sooner do I write this than the Fire take the ball away and begin to press on the counterattack.

66:40 - Shot of the sideline shows Danny Hernandez being briefed by Nicol. Looks like he'll be going in soon. $20 says he goes in for Joey.

68:05 - ...and goodbye $20. Larentowicz out, Hernandez in.

69:59 - Shot by Joey, saved by Pickens.

72:17 - Ugh!!! Twellman, right in the box, fakes a defender 5 feet from the side of the goal, but can't put the ball on goal.

73:53 - Give and go Dempsey to Ralston...nothing there.

74:46 - Chances are there for the Revs, but can't capitalize.

75:35 - Khano Smith in, Joey out.

77:15 - Deuce fires a shot from a tough angle, just misses right, and hurts himself going down after the shot. Crap. This can't be good. He's limping, and in obvious pain. (expletive!)

79:52 - Fire look content to just hold on to their 1-0 lead.

80:50 - Shot of Deuce on the sidelines, wearing a heavy jacket. He's done. (expletive!)

81:01 - Abundis in for Deuce. Looks like he and Reis have the same barber.

82:04 - Free kick, Ralston...which finds Shalrie, but, once again, nothing doing.

84:48 - Brandi reports Deuce has a sprained ankle. Let's hope he's ok for Saturday night, we're gonna need him.

85:52 - I'd like this match more if the REVS COULD ACTUALLY GET ON THE BOARD!!!

86:53 - Avery John throws it in. Wow are the Fire fans loud!

88:15 - Fire on the attack, and their shot is deflected out. C'mon REVS!!!

89:29 - Frustration. Revs have chances, but can't find the back of the net.

90:00 - 3 minutes of stoppage.

91:00 - Chicago mounts an attack.

92:13 - "Andy! (expletive) steal it!" in an Irish accent overheard. Maybe Nicol imploring Dorman to steal something?

92:54 - Free kick, Revs. Last chance to do something. Ralston crosses to Khano, who takes a great shot on net, but is denied.

93:12 - That's it. It's OVA...O-V-A. Dammit.

EPILOGUE - Switch the channel to espn2, and they're showing "Once in a Lifetime: The Extraordinary Story of the New York Cosmos." Briefly puts a smile on my face, even though I already own the DVD - which I highly recommend.

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