I didn't witness it.
I was fortuitously trapped in class while the New England Revolution were getting scorched by the Chicago Fire last night at Bridgeview. Cuauhtemoc Blanco and his fellow Screen Actors Guild of soccer players thrashed a depleted, suspended and broken-boned bunch of footballers that really had no shot from the beginning to the piercing tune of 3-0.
Let's be real: you cannot survive in the postseason without your top three scorers. You can make it to the playoffs, sure. We all know MLS rewards mediocrity by inviting more teams to November than it rejects. But do well enough to advance? It would be like doing Ocean's 14 without George Clooney, Brad Pitt, and Matt Damon. It can be done. Like MLS, moviegoers embrace mediocrity.* People will watch. But it'll tank. Big time.
(*I think if people are honest with themselves, they'll find that alot of movies are just bland. People complain about paying $11 to see a movie. That amount is nothing compared to seeing a major sports event. If movies were, on the whole, better than they are, no one would complain about forking over a Hamilton and his buddy Washington to see a flick. )
From the scoreline, it appears as if Fire manager Denis Hamlet was just toying with the Revolution during Game 1 after drawing 0-0. Showing them the pig ear - here ya go boy - then proceeding to stuff it in the trash, then kicking the dog in the rear. Three times. That's what the Fire did to the Revolution. Game 1 was a taunt. A glimpse of false hope. The bunny at the dog track that the greyhounds chase. That was Game 1.
Game 2 was reality. The makeshift side assembled by Steve Nicol gained Gabriel Badilla from suspension, but lost Game 1 starter Chris Tierney after the rook suffered an injury in training during the week. Then, Jeff Larentowicz was taken out by John Thorrington* on a tardy tackle in the 39th. With the insertion of Pat Phelan at der Kaiser's central mid role, the Revolution officially lost any chance to salvage the game, even though the score was still 0-0 at that point.
(*Whenever something happens in a Revolution-Fire match, Thorrington always seems to have a role in it. Dude's omnipresent. I can't tell you how many times play stopped during Game 1 where I checked to see who was involved. It was always Thorrington. Each time. I swear, it's like five guys on the Fire have 'Thorrington' on the back of their jersey.)
But in all honesty, who was going to score? Slyde? Sainey Nyassi made an appearance SportsCenter's Top 10 last night when he megged his mark with a threatening shot that a diving Jon Busch diverted away from goal in the 58th. Busch got the nod, even though the shot itself was worthy of the highlight reel.
Down 0-3, Chris Albright obviously had enough. Adding insult to injuries, suspension, and on-pitch apprenticeships, the blonde right back was shown his second yellow in the 83rd minute. Unfortunately for the Revolution, they did not play better with ten players, unlike the Rhode Island College Anchorwomen on November 1.
Minutes later, the Revolution's season officially ended.
If you want to be slapped with perspective, get ready to turn your cheek. The last time the Revolution were relegated to watching Eastern Conference Finals on television, W's approval ratings appraoched 87%.
It's not all bad news this morning.
One side that still has a match ahead of them is the Rhode Island College men's soccer team.
The Anchormen will be playing Plymouth State University tomorrow for the Little East Conference title at RIC Soccer Field.
This year's Anchormen boast an 11-5-4 record, and are 5-1-1 in LEC play. They started the season slow after going 0-3-0 (and being shut out in all three), but caught fire in early-September and never looked back, finishing their remaining 17 matches with a record of 11-2-4. Their defending was superb, as they allowed only 16 goals this season (0.76 GAA), and certainly took advanatage of their home pitch, where they went undefeated (8-0-2). All of these stats point to what should be a thrilling game for Anchormen tomorrow afternoon.
One season ends, another continues. The drama that is postseason soccer.