Sunday, November 11, 2007

MLS Cup Rematch

Houston won tonight to set up a rematch with the Revs for the MLS Cup Final next Sunday. Here's my initial thoughts:

* Not a soul mentioned the irony of KC playing in this game. Not a soul (see previous post).

* Houston were clearly the better team on the night. They dominated for stretches, especially in the first half.

* A lot of Houston's success was due to Kansas City's inability to control the ball. Their first and second touches were atrocious. Luckily for Revs fans, that's one of our strong suits.

* So is defending set pieces. The first half goal made KC look like they were stuck in rough surf. And drowning.

* If indeed Brian Ching tore his calf, I feel for him. He's a stand up guy, and that injury is a bitch. Huge break for the Revs if true, but it's still bad to see.

* The ref was lenient with cards like on Thursday, but there was one challenge by Mullen (or was it Barrett? I always confuse them) from behind that was clearly a yellow, maybe worse. Shortly afterwards, the ref called a yellow on Marinelli for getting his legs tangled and fouling from behind. Yes, that's a cardable offense, but the foul from the Houston player was also cardable, yet much more egregious. I'd love to know what his yellow card status was going into the game.

* New England will have a tough time breaking down Houston's defense, but they can if players besides Taylor Twellman step up. Thompson and Smith are going to need to be dangerous.

* If no one steps up for the Revs, this game will be a mirror image of 2006. New England will defend better than KC, and they sure as heck will control the ball better. This has logjam written all over it if there isn't a first half goal.

So there it is. The Revolution have their work cut out for them. Funny enough, they are going into this one from a less prestigious position than the previous two. They will be slight underdogs, especially if Ching is alright. However, they will be in much better shape physically than those games. In 2005, they went in beaten up and exhausted. In 2006, Clint Dempsey had to come off the bench due to injury. This was after he put the team on his back from September on. There's no excuses this time. Here's hoping the team does the business this time around.


John said...

I don't usually cover MLS match but from what I have read here, you are doing a great job.

Will be dropping by more often.


Jimmy Chowda said...

Thanks, John!