Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Not locked, stocked or reloaded

It's hard to say who's suffered the worst during the previous thirty days: the investors on Wall Street or the footballers at Patriot Place.

On September 29th, the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted 777 points in one day, the largest one-day point loss ever. Equally catastrophic events occurred five days later when Steve Ralston cracked his right fibula, and all but ended his 2008 season.

While the Dow climbed back up 936 points nine days later, the Revolution saw no such recovery on the pitch. They lost 2-1 to D.C. United the following Thursday on national television, sinking into the depths of third place in the Conference. From there, they lose their final match of the season against Kansas City, 3-1, after losing two players to red cards. The month of October's record reads a little something like this:


Wait. It gets worse.

During said season finale, defender Gabriel Badilla was booked for a questionable offense when he brought down Claudio Lopez in the box.* Damn red cards. Adios, Senor Badilla for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals. That was bad.

(*Now, I understand why referee Kevin Stott had to give Badilla the red. There's no question Badilla was beat. Accordingly, he hauled Lopez down in an obvious attempt to deny him a goal-scoring opportunity. Award Lopez the kick if you will, but Stott has to consider the ramifications of the card, within the context that both clubs were playoff bound. He calls an MLS game just about as well as Britney Spears stays clothed.)

But wait. It gets even worse.

Not twenty minutes after Badilla's ungraceful goodbye, Khano Smith and his recklessly energetic 6-3 frame barrel spikes-first into the legs of Hercules Gomez, thus warranting the soft-spoken Bermudan a red card of his very own. Because of the egregious nature of his foul, he is likely cooked for the remainder for the entire postseason, if not, longer. He will be roasted.

There's more.

On Tuesday, the Revolution proclaimed Taylor Twellman out indefinitely due to post-concussion symptons that have plagued him since Steve Cronin sent him a double-fisted jab while trying to parry a shot. A fearless Twellman made a bid on the very same ball with a header, thus resulting in a dubious brace: the goal and subsequent concussion.

Let's break out the abacus and do the math. That's one, two, three...three starters out for Thursday night. Paul Mariner up front, anyone?

Congress just doled out $700 billion to fix Wall Street. Unfortunately, Ted Kennedy forgot to ask for the pork necessary to help bail out the Revs.

But it's not all bad. The Dow gained nearly 900 points on Tuesday. And the Revolution still have to play a postseason series to play come Thursday.


Was Saturday night's debacle the final MLS match for Taylor Twellman?

At the beginning of the calendar year, Twellman was the subject of a month-long transfer rumor that had him going to Preston North End for a reported $3.5 million fee. Calls were made. Figures were discussed. In the end, the striker would stay put, much to his initial disappointment.

But after an injury-riddled season in which he still managed a share the team lead in goals (8), the consensus is that he may test the international waters yet again this offseason. And quite frankly, if a transfer is discussed, his best chance to move may be this January.

Why? The reason is two-fold: 1. The Revs can win without him. Despite his injuries, the club resided in the upper echelon of the Eastern Conference for nearly the entire season. 2. His scoring rate is still impressive. Even though he was limited to 12 starts (16 games total), he still managed to bag eight goals. Plus, he's 28-years-old, which means that if he's going to move, this winter might be the last opportunity to do so.

Personally, I hope Saturday wasn't his final MLS match. I think he still has something to prove. He's endured four MLS Cup losses, and I think that bothers him tremendously. Oh, and he's still one goal shy of the career century mark. As much as there may be to play for abroad, he still has a great deal to play for here in New England.

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